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* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'': Chancellor Palpatine/Darth Sidious is expertly playing both sides and has virtually everything under control (and most of the things he doesn't control go his way either way, because again, he is PlayingBothSides). What he doesn't account for is the [[Recap/StarWarsTheCloneWarsS2E18TheZilloBeast Zillo]] [[Recap/StarWarsTheCloneWarsS2E19TheZilloBeastStrikesBack Beast]] a prehistoric {{Kaiju}} from Malastare, which according to WordOfGod may or may not [[EvilDetectingDog be aware]] of Palpatine being evil and it comes scarily close to ending Sheev then and there (complete with probably the only time in the entire show where Palpatine shows genuine fear).

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* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'': Chancellor Palpatine/Darth Sidious is expertly playing both sides and has virtually everything under control (and most of the things he doesn't control go his way either way, because again, ultimately, he is PlayingBothSides). RunningBothSides). What he doesn't account for is the [[Recap/StarWarsTheCloneWarsS2E18TheZilloBeast Zillo]] [[Recap/StarWarsTheCloneWarsS2E19TheZilloBeastStrikesBack Beast]] a prehistoric {{Kaiju}} from Malastare, which according to WordOfGod may or may not [[EvilDetectingDog be aware]] of Palpatine being evil and it comes scarily close to ending Sheev then and there (complete with probably the only time in the entire show where Palpatine shows genuine fear).fear).
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsRebels''[[Recap/StarWarsRebelsS3E20ZeroHourPartII , "Zero Hour"]]:
** Thrawn had no idea of the existence of [[EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep the Bendu]], and so is completely taken by surprise. Thrawn can handle Jedi, but the Bendu is [[PersonOfMassDestruction another level]]. Furthermore, the fact that the Bendu is extremely powerful in the Force and a WildCard means that Thrawn has no cards to play against him. It doesn't stop him from trying, though.
** To a lesser extent, the Imperials probably didn't expect a force of Mandalorian warriors, a group meant to be unaffiliated with the rebels and busy with their own civil war, to show up and take out their last Interdictor cruiser either.

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* Played with in ''Film/LastActionHero'', in which the villain attempts to '''become''' this trope by escaping Jack Slater's world of Action Tropes for our own: one where the bad guys ''can actually win''. For him, it's a mind-blowing concept and opportunity.

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** In ''[[ComicBook/CaptainAtom Captain Atom: Armageddon]]'', the titular hero becomes this for ''ComicBook/TheAuthority.'' They assume he's just another super-powered thug, and as a result Captain Atom hands out an ever-increasing number of CurbStompBattles.


* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'': Chancellor Palpatine/Darth Sidious is expertly playing both sides and has virtually everything under control (and most of the things he doesn't control go his way either way, because again, he is PlayingBothSides). What he doesn't account for is the [[Recap/StarWarsTheCloneWarsS2E18TheZilloBeast Zillo]] [[Recap/StarWarsTheCloneWarsS2E19TheZilloBeastStrikesBack Beast]] a prehistoric {{Kaiju}} from Malastare, which according to WordOfGod may or may not [[EvilDetectingDog be aware]] of Palpatine being evil and it comes scarily close to ending Sheev then and there (complete with probably the only time in the entire show where Palpatine shows genuine fear).



* In ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'' Chancellor Palpatine/Darth Sidious is expertly playing both sides and has virtually everything under control (and most of the things he doesn't control go his way either way, because again, he is PlayingBothSides). What he doesn't account for is the Zillo Beast which according to WordOfGod may or may not be aware of Palpatine being evil - and it comes scarily close to ending Sheev then and there.

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** Inverted for the players/series protagonists, the planeswalkers, who able to travel between planes at will, cast powerful magic, and summon completely alien creatures. From the perspective of the planes they visit, they are the OutsideContextProblem.


* Invoked in ''Film/RogueOne'' by the Empire and the Death Star. [[spoiler:Turns out that the very concept of a starship capable of [[EarthShatteringKaboom vaporizing entire planets in a single shot]] being fully operational and [[MyGodYouAreSerious actually able of doing what it advertised]] was so terrifying to the Rebellion that [[ScrewThisIAmOuttaHere the majority of them wanted to surrender while they still could]], forcing the titular team to fetch the plans [[LethallyExpensive at the cost of their lives]] so the Rebels would still have hope.]]

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* Invoked in ''Film/RogueOne'' by the Empire and the Death Star. [[spoiler:Turns out that the very concept of a starship capable of [[EarthShatteringKaboom vaporizing entire planets in planets]] [[WaveMotionGun with a single shot]] being fully operational and [[MyGodYouAreSerious actually able of doing what it advertised]] was so terrifying to the Rebellion that [[ScrewThisIAmOuttaHere the majority of them wanted to surrender while they still could]], forcing the titular team to fetch the plans [[LethallyExpensive at the cost of their lives]] so the Rebels would still have hope.]]

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* Invoked in ''Film/RogueOne'' by the Empire and the Death Star. [[spoiler:Turns out that the very concept of a starship capable of [[EarthShatteringKaboom vaporizing entire planets in a single shot]] being fully operational and [[MyGodYouAreSerious actually able of doing what it advertised]] was so terrifying to the Rebellion that [[ScrewThisIAmOuttaHere the majority of them wanted to surrender while they still could]], forcing the titular team to fetch the plans [[LethallyExpensive at the cost of their lives]] so the Rebels would still have hope.]]


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* Invoked in ''Film/RogueOne'' by the titular taskforce. [[spoiler:The entire plan to infiltrate the Citadel is built around the fact that the Empire thought the Rebels wouldn't attack a secure facility in the heart of Imperial space and they didn't know the Death Star plans were stored there.]]


** The eastern religion of R'hllor was virtually unknown in Westeros at the start of the series, yet evangelical inroads made by the clergy have allowed them to quickly shift the balance of power in the Seven Kingdoms. Also, unlike the two dominant religions of Westeros, the followers of R'hllor are capable of using real magic with some requiring a great sacrifice. That this is suspiciously close to the Targayen motto of "Fire and Blood" and the old myths and legends surrounding the rise and dramatic fall of Valyrian magic has not escaped readers... and, links back to the above examples, too. [[TheMagicComesBack Magic is full of nasty outside-context surprises.]]
** The less magical, more mundane version also crops up: paradigm shifting. Major power-players like Petyr Baelish, Varys and Maester Pycelle, as well as even more minor ones like Bronn, Qyburn and Thoros of Myr to historical leverage points like Ser Duncan the Tall, the Great Spring Sickness or the formation of the city state of Braavos all manage to take the various established powers by surprise thanks to flying in under the collective radar to engineer, take part in or spark paradigm shifts almost nobody could predict until ''after'' the once-taken-for-granted sociopolitical landscape is yanked from under them.

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** The eastern religion of R'hllor was virtually unknown in Westeros at the start of the series, yet evangelical inroads made by the clergy have allowed them to quickly shift the balance of power in the Seven Kingdoms. Also, unlike the two dominant religions of Westeros, the followers of R'hllor are capable of using real magic with some requiring a great sacrifice. That this is suspiciously close to the Targayen motto of "Fire and Blood" and the old myths and legends surrounding the rise and dramatic fall of Valyrian magic has not escaped readers... and, links back to the above examples, too. [[TheMagicComesBack Magic is as full of nasty outside-context surprises.pitfalls as it is nigh-unimaginable (and highly risky) opportunities. Or just outright bloody chaos.]]
** The less magical, more mundane and usually more subtle version also crops up: paradigm shifting.shifting -- for when systems get suddenly changes so much, the old version pretty much dies, despite keeping some previous ideas alive. Major power-players like Petyr Baelish, Varys and Maester Pycelle, as well as even more minor ones like Bronn, Qyburn and Thoros of Myr to historical leverage points like Ser Duncan the Tall, the Great Spring Sickness or the formation of the city state of Braavos all manage to take the various established powers by surprise thanks to flying in under the collective radar to engineer, take part in or spark paradigm shifts almost nobody could predict until ''after'' the once-taken-for-granted sociopolitical landscape is yanked from under them.


* The Endbringers in ''Literature/{{Worm}}'' are massive, unstoppable monstrosities that regularly obliterate major population centers. Their origins and motivations are completely unknown [[spoiler:though the characters theorize that someone is creating them]]. The entire Hero/Villain dynamic was shaped specifically with the Endbringers in mind once they showed up. They're powerful enough to force cooperation and an unwritten code of conduct between the two sides.

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* The Endbringers in ''Literature/{{Worm}}'' and its sequel ''Literature/{{Ward}}'':
** The Endbringers in
are massive, unstoppable monstrosities that regularly obliterate major population centers. Their origins and motivations are completely unknown [[spoiler:though the characters theorize that someone is creating them]]. The entire Hero/Villain dynamic was shaped specifically with the Endbringers in mind once they showed up. They're powerful enough to force cooperation and an unwritten code of conduct between the two sides.sides.
** In ''Worm'', [[spoiler:the source of the powers themselves, the Entities. They are sapient, planet-sized, multidimensional, hive mind, alien beings that use portions of themselves ("Shards") to empower "lesser" beings via trigger events in order to gather data in an attempt to find a solution to Entropy. They reproduce by learning enough data to split off a new version of themselves, and travel by blowing up planets across every alternate dimension. The secret organization Cauldron is dedicated to trying to find a way to stop them, but no one else has any idea what they are or how they work. Until one of them starts ending the world ahead of schedule...]]
** In ''Ward'', [[spoiler:the Titans, who are gigantic, Endbringer-like creatures formed when a Parahuman undergoes a "broken" second trigger event and merges with their Shard, an event made possible by the destruction of the Entity Scion at the end of ''Worm''. The first was created when due to being stuck in a time loop and suddenly released, Dauntless undergoes ''10,000'' second trigger events at once. Later, ''12 of them'' are suddenly created when overuse of powers at a critical moment causes ''cracks in reality'' to form. Each has different levels of humanity and goals. They are individually as tough and destructive (or more so) than the Endbringers. Much as with Scion and the Endbringers in ''Worm'', no one has any good idea how to fight them, much less defeat them, though at least in this case, being formerly human, ''maybe'' there's a way to communicate with them...]]


* In WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars Chancelor Palpatine / Darth Sidious is expertly playing both sides and has virtually everything under control (and most of the things he doesn't control would go his way either way, because again, he is PlayingBothSides). What he doesn't account for is the Zillo Beast which according to WordOfGod may or may not be aware of Palpatine being evil - and it comes scarily close to ending Sheev then and there.

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* In WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars Chancelor Palpatine / Darth ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'' Chancellor Palpatine/Darth Sidious is expertly playing both sides and has virtually everything under control (and most of the things he doesn't control would go his way either way, because again, he is PlayingBothSides). What he doesn't account for is the Zillo Beast which according to WordOfGod may or may not be aware of Palpatine being evil - and it comes scarily close to ending Sheev then and there.

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* In WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars Chancelor Palpatine / Darth Sidious is expertly playing both sides and has virtually everything under control (and most of the things he doesn't control would go his way either way, because again, he is PlayingBothSides). What he doesn't account for is the Zillo Beast which according to WordOfGod may or may not be aware of Palpatine being evil - and it comes scarily close to ending Sheev then and there.


* Darth Maul comes across as this in ''Film/StarWars Episode I: Film/ThePhantomMenace''. Since the Sith Lords had supposedly been wiped out a millennium before, no Jedi figured on having to fight him. Adding to this is his choice of weapon: a double-bladed lightsaber, extremely rare by anyone's standards. It's no surprise that he gives two Jedi the fight of their lives [[spoiler:(and in the case of one of them, the ''last'' fight of his life)]].

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* Darth Maul comes across as this in ''Film/StarWars ''[[Film/ThePhantomMenace Star Wars Episode I: Film/ThePhantomMenace''.The Phantom Menace]]''. Since the Sith Lords had supposedly been wiped out a millennium before, no Jedi figured on having to fight him. Adding to this is his choice of weapon: a double-bladed lightsaber, extremely rare by anyone's standards. It's no surprise that he gives two Jedi the fight of their lives [[spoiler:(and in the case of one of them, the ''last'' fight of his life)]].

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