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Dramatic Irony / Fan Works

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Dramatic Irony in fan works.

  • In To Hell and Back (Arrowverse), Iris notes that some days, it seems like Eddie is more into the Streak than he is her. Meanwhile, Eddie is complaining that some days, it seems like she's more into Barry than she is into him.
  • Vigilantes' Dawn: After Nyssa gives Laurel some limited information about the Dark Archer, Oliver and Laurel try to use that to narrow his identity down. Oliver complains that the criteria is so vague that Malcolm Merlyn comes up as a hit — something that Oliver and Laurel both appear to find absurd.
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  • In Granted, Oliver prepares to do an Unbroken Vigil for Laurel "to make sure she was safe and happy and knew how he felt, the deep bond and affection that all the years and hurts had yet to destroy." Readers know she is deeply unhappy, moments from death, their bond is in fact broken, and she knows he will never say "I love you" to her again.
  • Rash Actions: Diggle is seething over a "betrayal" by Oliver, firmly believing you don't break a promise to a brother. Specifically he recalls that "he had always had Andy’s back while Andy had had his when he was living". In truth (though this doesn't come up in the story proper), Andy is not only still alive but also Evil All Along, and never loved Diggle.

Avatar: The Last Airbender

  • Reluctant Hero uses this quite a bit in relation to Iroh, as Yugato and Pakku respect Zuko's uncle (based on Zuko's strong loyalty to him) while fearing the Dragon of the West, unaware they are one and the same. Yugato also wonders if Iroh would be a good candidate for the Order of the White Lotus, of which he is already a member.
    • When the Avatar's temples are triggered, the Fire Sages think they have to find a baby or toddler as successor to the mantle. The current Avatar is actually sixteen years old and activated the temples because he entered the Avatar State rather than being born.
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  • In The Best Path, Jet slowly grows to consider Zuko as one of his kids, unaware the teen is actually the Fire Prince, one of the firebenders he hates so much, thinking he's actually another victim displaced by the war.


  • Early on in Feeling Hollow, Rukia is tricked into entering Ichigo's Mental World. She wonders out loud where his hollow is, when he's actually standing right in front of her. Rukia also comments that she half expected to run into Ichigo and the hollow fighting. Which she had. Hichigo finds the irony hilarious, even if Ichigo doesn't.
  • Swinging Pendulum:
    • Shunsui and Kaien end up talking about Ichigo's possible age (which he's kept hidden), with Kaien commenting that with how he acts he had to be at least two hundred and fifty, or two hundred, and eventually says "He can't possibly be any younger that one hundred!" The audience knows that Ichigo is actually somewhere around twenty, which would be particularly disturbing to them as typically children in Soul Society are under forty. Which would make Kaien's habit of calling Ichigo his "baby cousin" more accurate than he realizes.
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    • In the same conversation, they also mention that though Ichigo's group is late getting back from a mission, they shouldn't worry because no one has sent a message for backup yet. What they don't know is that the leader (and the only one who could send anything) refused to do so out of pride before being knocked out in battle. The group's in fact desperate for help and barely scrapping by.
    • A more comedic variant is that Kaien constantly worries for his "baby cousin" Ichigo's safety, not knowing that Ichigo could kick the asses of the captains with ease.
  • In The Snow Has Stopped The Rain, Uryu thinks to himself that if he didn't know any better, he'd say Ichigo and Ganju were related because of how similar they are. Unbeknownst to him, they're cousins.

Code Geass

  • Several in My Mirror, Sword and Shield:
    • Almost everyone in his Praetorian Guard has backstabbed Lelouch. The one person who is genuinely loyal is Suzaku, who's a time traveller making sure that he dies at the right time.
    • Despite Cornelia and Schneizel’s fretting over Euphemia and Nunnally and fearing their safety from Lelouch, Euphemia and Nunnally don't want their "rescue".
    • Nunnally makes Suzaku promise to protect Lelouch when he knows that he has to let Lelouch die to ensure the timeline. Then Suzaku lets Nunnally think that he failed despite saving Lelouch's life so the timeline would remain in tact.
  • Code Geass: Colorless Memories In Chapter 11, Suzaku is talking with Lloyd and they bring up Rai, to whom Lloyd had offered a place in his unit. However, Rai turns it down as he had joined the Black Knights partly because of Kallen of whom Suzaku knew the two hung out with each other a lot and says to these lines in response.
    Suzaku: Well, you see... there's this girl that Rai hangs out with at school. If he were to join the military, though, I fear he won't be able to see her that much anymore. I would hate for them to be separated because of something that I did.
    Cecile:"So is this person his girlfriend or something?
    Suzaku: Well they never made any official statement or anything, but I think it's heading in that direction. I believe he would be safer with her than with me anyways."


  • In The Captain of the Virtual Console, this applies regarding Giovanni, as the other Gym Leaders have no idea he's evil. Gancena, however, does.
  • In Ancient Relics, when an thirteen-hundred-year-old immortal and incognito Merlin is in Transfiguration class at Hogwarts, the professor gives him detention for slacking off, stating, "You must grow up and live in the real world...I suggest you take the time to reflect on whether you really are as powerful as you think you are."
    • It's lampshaded in-universe that all of Ron's "Merlin's ___" curses are also a case of this, as he's invoking Merlin without realizing that the real guy is sitting right next to him-and very much unamused.
  • Rhode Evans (a Gender Flip version of Harry Potter)from The Unrelenting Frozen Seas: The Journey often make quips about her status as Poseidon's only child. Her father becomes a teeny bit nervous when she jokes about her lack of siblings in front of him.
  • Black Sky: Under the alias "Stefano Torreta", Theodore Nott manages to infiltrate the Vongola Famiglia in order to spy on them. Unbeknownst to him, he Harmonizes with Daniela Vongola — the former Ottava — as her Rain Guardian, meaning he's considered as a close confident and ally. For further irony, Timoteo Vongola tried for years to find another Rain Guardian for his mother, and had renunced to this endeavour just as Theo was accepted in the staff.
  • Child of the Storm:
    • Hermione notes of her new Professor that his name is the same as that of the ancient Welsh bard Taliesin. The audience, Harry, and Bucky all know that he actually is Taliesin, and also Doctor Stephen Strange.
    • In a much darker example, Bucky sends Harry, Carol, and Jean-Paul away so that he can hunt Sabretooth without worrying about civilians or the kids getting hurt, reasoning that Jean-Paul is fast enough and the other two are tough enough to deal with whatever might come up in the meantime. Unfortunately, he hasn't bargained for Jean-Paul leaving for a bit and Maddie Pryor, one of the two most powerful psychics in history, and Badass Bookworm Dr. Sinister coming along.
  • Code Geass: Paladins of Voltron
  • Deadly Nightshade gave Bruce Wayne a biological son in Hawthorne Isley, who very much mopes over the fact his sire is nothing but a foppish, brain-dead playboy. He outright tells this to Batman, as justification for refusing to ask his father for shelter.
  • The Many Dates of Danny Fenton: Katie Kaboom had a great time on her blind date with Danny and even falls in love with him as a result. However, she is completely unaware of the fact that the only reason Danny did so many nice things for her during their date was because he did not want to risk her turning into a monster again and if anything, he seems to not want anything to do with her as a result.
  • Guardians, Wizards, and Kung-Fu Fighters:
    • At one point, someone comments to Cyrus (who's in his disguised alias as Rebellion member Drake) that they should never trust a Ludmoore. Cyrus finds a lot of amusement in that, seeing as he is a Ludmoore, and the other person is absolutely right that they can't be trusted.
    • The Guardians and Chan Clan decide to keep the true nature of the girls' powers and the existence of Meridian from Section 13 for fear that their government superiors would try and take advantage of their magic and situation. Unbeknownst to them, Section 13 is secretly controlled by the Dark Hand, who know all about the other Known Worlds and the Guardians' powers, and are working towards weaponizing magic.
  • SAPR:
    • During the Battle of Vale, Shining Armor and the rest of the Atlesians try to protect his wife, Councilor Cadenza, assuming that the White Fang and any other attackers are after her. In actuality the White Fang is targeting Kali Belladonna and her daughter Blake, who have managed to seat themselves next to the councilor.
    • During the same battle as the above, Ironwood makes a speech that cites Rainbow Dash as an inspiration and quotes her speech on guts and loyalty too. His feelings end up being very different when he finds Rainbow stood by and let Sunset enable The Breach months later.
  • My Hero School Adventure Is All Wrong As Expected:
    • During lunchtime at U.A., Hachiman bumps into a nondescript schoolmate and copies his Quirk, a Shapeshifting one that perfectly mimics a given person's appearance after ingesting a sample of their blood. While Hachiman finds it too creepy to keep, he doesn't think too much of it. The readers, on the other hand, collectively went "Oh, Crap!, that's Himiko Toga in disguise!"
    • Hachiman's main motivation to do well at the U.A. Sports Festival is to impress Shizuka Hiratsuka enough to let him join her investigation as an intern in the case of Zaimokuza's disappearance and likely murder. He has no idea that just the profiling skills he displayed a few minutes after making that deal was more than enough to convince her that he would be a real asset to the case.
  • A Dovahkiin Spreads His Wings:
    • Catelyn Stark hates Jon Snow since he was an infant for being the living reminder of her husband loving another woman to the point he was unfaithful to her. Jon himself feels more pity than anything towards Lady Stark, being aware the woman Ned Stark loved enough to take her son in was his own sister Lyanna, and as such Catelyn's hatred is ultimately pointless since her husband was faithful all along.
    • Elia Martell writing to Lyanna Stark their names will enter into history. Needless to say, everyone in the Seven Kingdoms know who they were now, but for much more ugly, painful reasons that both women ever imagined.
    • King Robert Baratheon immediately takes a fancy for Jon Snow, treating him as a honoured guest and basically the son he wished he had. Jon himself and Ned can't enjoy it very much, as Jon's birth father is actually the guy Robert hates for swiping his beloved Lyanna and whose name is still enough to induce frothing, murderous rage within the king.
  • Spark to Spark, Dust to Dust is filled to the brim with this trope. Both of the story's author have admitted that this was intentional, as Dramatic Irony is one of their favorite tropes.
    • Yang and Ruby are determined to protect their sisters from knowing the truth about their activities, completely unaware that the other is working the same problem from a different angle.
    • Yang badmouthing Adam's old partner with no idea that the person in question is her current partner Blake.
    • Later on, Team RRANNBW figures out that there's a woman named Sunfire involved with the Decepticon fight; however, based on their limited information they think she's a villain and attribute Cinder's activities to her, unaware that she's really Yang.
  • Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail:
    • In Vermillion City, Chloe's friends and family are worried about what might have become of her. Those who know about the Train are all the more horrified about what she might be going through. Meanwhile, Chloe is having the time of her life, enjoying the chance to spread her wings and find herself without dealing with the constant pressure she was under back home.
    • In Chapters 2 and 3, as her loved ones are first learning about her disappearance and freaking out, Chloe is living it up in The Corgi Car. She also honestly believes that her father and Goh don't care about where she is, while the audience can see that Professor Cerise regrets how he's neglected her and Goh is blaming himself for what happened.
    • When Parker finds out that his sister ran away, he believes that she thought he didn't love her enough. In reality, Chloe was closest to her brother, even sharing her secret hobbies and interests with him, so that he knew her better than anybody else.
    • In Chapter 5, Goh vows to be a better friend to Chloe after she gets back. Meanwhile, Chloe has just written a story inspired by his obsession with Mew in which his Expy killed off her character due to his own single-minded pursuit of his goal, followed by some Laser-Guided Karma.
    • Lexi advises Chloe to forget about Goh, declaring that it's clear he doesn't care about her. As detailed above, Goh's reactions to her disappearance show otherwise.
    • While relaxing at Hotel Crayola, Chloe muses that she hopes Parker has kept his promise not to let her parents know about her secret interests. Part of this is because she fears that, if they knew about them, they'd turn into Amazingly Embarrassing Parents trying to show their support. Meanwhile, readers know that Parker already gave into his parents' pressure to share what he knows about her interests, and that Professor Cerise has been anything but supportive, deriding her macabre writings as 'just a phase' and looking for somebody he can blame for getting her into such dark materials.
    • Goh is sending messages to Chloe but believes someone stole her phone and is ghosting him just to drag him along. Turns out Chloe has been receiving the messages and is constantly deleting them to get him out of her life.
  • Infinity Train: Knight of the Orange Lily:
    • Gladion insists that everything he did was for Lillie's sake... while completely dismissing how she feels about any of it, or the impact his decisions had on her. When she confronts him, he dismisses her anger as ignorance and ingratitude.
    • Part of his indignation stems from his belief that he's the only reason why she was able to overcome her Trauma-Induced Amnesia. The irony of this is that's exactly what she's so angry about — because HE retained his memories of that incident and chose to keep her Locked Out of the Loop for years. And would have continued keeping her in the dark if not for circumstances entirely out of his control. Circumstances that he was furious about at the time.
    • Gladion raged against their mother for not knowing what happened to Lillie that fateful evening, ignoring the fact that he originally assumed that she DID know, and thus never bothered trying to tell her. This ties back into Lillie's frustration with him, as he refuses to acknowledge the part he played in the problem.
    • During the Prologue, Gladion muses about how much he admires the White Knight's dedication and drive, but also notes that unlike him, he'd rather not be a Dork Knight who misses the obvious. Yet his willful ignorance and dismissal of anything that doesn't suit his personal narrative makes him more like said knight than he cares to admit.
    • His intention to tackle the Grand Trials and gain the power of Z-Moves also reeks of this. Z-Moves require the user to get in sync with their Pokémon; meanwhile Gladion is completely out of sync with his family, and only sees Z-Moves as a way to make himself stronger.
  • Light, Darkness and Paradox has some of this due to its use of Rotating Protagonist. For example, the reader knows that Pyrrha is alive from the sections written from her perspective, but other characters believe her to be dead.

Death Note

  • In Death Note fanfic Fade, L gets his hands on a Death Note, containing a part of the story of Kira's rise to power. Trying to stop that from happening leads to L's own Start of Darkness as he becomes more and more similar — and arguably worse — than the killer he's trying to find.
  • In A Charmed Life Light feels the safest around Ryuk, a Death God. Also Light becomes more secure in his sexuality thanks to an article that was written by L under an alias.


  • In the Disgaea fic, Fail to the King!!, one of the antagonists is searching for the killer of his lover. Any reader who finished Disgaea 2 is well aware that Rozalin is both Zenon, the Overlord that he is hunting for revenge... and the little girl from the Snow Village that he almost gave up his quest to become a father for. He isn't.

Dragon Ball

  • At one point in Trunks and Goten's Excellent Adventure, Vegeta claims that he highly doubts Trunk's "pathetic" father could be a threat to the Ginyu Force, an assertion Goten finds hilarious.

Fate/stay night

  • Fate/Harem Antics:
    • When Bazett summons Scathach, Kirei tries to sneak up and kill her to take her Command Spells and Servant. Irisviel stops him by causing him to have a heart attack. Bazett and Scathach nurse him back to health, completely unaware of his murder attempt and Bazett thinking he is still her old ally.
    • Kirei and Gilgamesh want to use the Holy Grail to unleash Angra Mainyu, unaware that Irisviel has killed the entity.
    • Kirei is unaware that Zouken is dead, and thinks the old man is still lurking in the shadows planning something.
    • With all the oddity of the Grail War, Sakura mentions that the Grail must know what it's doing, since the War wouldn't work if it wasn't impartial. Of course none of them are aware that Shirou's mother Irisviel is actually in charge of the Grail now, and she's been manipulating things to get her son a harem.

Final Fantasy VII

  • In the original Final Fantasy VII, Cloud was basically seen as a loser when the truth came out and Hojo didn't even recognize Cloud, even though he experimented on him for years. In the The Fifth Act Hojo of this timelime thinks Cloud is his most perfect creation and scolded the other Hojo for not recognizing his own success.
  • Epiphany: When Cloud's party is trying to figure out what they should be doing, they decide to go after Sephiroth, believing his taking her from Shinra tower was actually abducting Aerith, not rescuing her. Cloud even makes the point that it isn't like he took her back to her mother, unaware that he actually did just that! Aerith agreed to go with Sephiroth afterwards. And Jessie jumped at the chance as well.

Final Fantasy X

  • When Lulu and Wakka join Zuke's pilgrimage in Guardian, they console themselves with the knowledge that Yuna will be safe and sound on Besaid. Naturally, Sin attacks there while they're having a fairly quiet journey.

Fullmetal Alchemist

  • Son of the Desert:
    • Edward hated Roy for killing his mother's family and village in Ishval and wanted to see him dead for it. Turns out Roy hates himself for Ishval as much as they do and would have let Edward kill him to make up for what he did.
    • Edward and Alphonse were terrified of Roy and Riza, knowing of their reputation in Ishval and feared that if their Ishvalan heritage came out that they would kill them without question. Roy and Riza would never do that to them, not that they knew that.
  • Hohenheim in My Master Ed is taught alchemy by Edward, who comments on the irony of the situation, to Hohenheim's confusion. Hohenheim also mentions what a great name Alphonse is, prompting Edward to look at him funny.
    • One chapter flashes back to how Edward ended up 400 years in the past, and his thoughts about the ways he could save everyone, blissfully unaware of exactly how far back he truly is.

Game of Thrones

  • The Mountain and the Wolf:
    • Because the Wolf kills several major characters shortly before they were going to die anyway the Mountain, Ramsay, Littlefinger, and Euron, the plot mostly happens much the same as in the series. Thus Tyrion complains that if the Wolf hadn't prevented Oberyn from defending him against the Mountain, Tyrion would be free instead of a fugitive.
    • The Wolf sneers at the Night King, laughing off the idea of some corpse-emperor resisting the Chaos Gods.
    • Beric is rescued from a pack of wights by a berserker screaming about corn. Or so Arya thinks, as the concept of Khorne is utterly unknown to her.


Harry Potter

  • The Dogfather is an AU in which baby Harry was adopted by a Muggle couple and grew up under the name Harry MacIntyre.
    • When Minerva McGonagall is compiling the list of new Hogwarts students and sees "Harry MacIntyre" at a Muggle address, she feels sorry for him because having the same name and being the same age as the long-lost Harry Potter are going to make things weird for him at Hogwarts and being a Muggle he won't understand why. She doesn't know that he is the long-lost Harry Potter, or that he's been told his family history by Sirius and Remus and will have a fairly clear idea of why everybody's being weird.
    • The Weasley family have a similar reaction when they meet Harry waiting for the Hogwarts Express, with Ron going so far as to take him aside and give him a short history of Harry Potter's disappearance in attempt to prepare him.
    • Harry wants to know more about what his birth mother was like when she was young, since Sirius and Remus only became friends with her later on, and haven't told him much about her life before that. He decides to find a teacher who's about the same age as Lily and ask if they know of anyone who knew her well and might be willing to share stories about her. The teacher he picks for this purpose is Severus Snape, whose history with Lily he's unaware of.
  • Ginny Weasley and the Heir of Slytherin, which tells Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets from Ginny's perspective, has several ironic Call Forwards. For example, Percy scolds Ginny for using the word "bitch", saying "Ginny, language! What d'you think your mother would think if she were here? Do you think she would ever use a word like "bitch"?"
  • The Very Secret Diary: Shows up all over the place, especially early on. We know that Tom is a monster who's only using Ginny, but Ginny has no idea, and innocently loves and trusts him. As a result, a lot of Tom's lines come off as earnest, friendly, and interested to her, but sarcastic, manipulative, and sometimes downright cruel to us. For example:
    Tom: Good. Let me advise you. You know I only want to take care of you.
    Ginny: I know.
    Tom: Such a good girl. So open and trusting. You must allow me to shield you from the world… you must let me suggest what is best… will you do that?
    Ginny: Yes.
    Tom: Then remember that generosity is often a trick used to hurt nice people like you.
    Ginny: I will.

Haruhi Suzumiya

  • In Kyon: Big Damn Hero, Kyon feels guilty for kissing all the girls in the SOS Brigade through the fic because, even if he cares about them, he feels he's disrespecting them. The girls in the SOS Brigade are aiming for a polyamorous relationship with Kyon by strengthening their relationship as True Companions.


  • Blizzard of the Red Castle has Fubuki, an orphan, looking for her parents. Akagi, it turns out, is her mother. Much yarn is made of this as the fic explores the "behind the scenes" moments in the anime, up to the reveal. Then the irony is shifted to how the satellite characters still don't know.

Kill la Kill

The Legend of Zelda

  • Looming Darkness has Link temporarily working with Dark Link. The reader is shown all sides of the conflict, Zelda and Ciara believing that Link has gone through a Face–Heel Turn when the reader knows Link is suffering just as much as they are.

The Legend of Korra

The Loud House

  • A two-fold occurs in No Such Luck, No Such Love, which centers around an Alternate Timeline where the Loud family knew that Lincoln was lying about being bad luck and they excluded him from activities, made him sleep outside, and sold his stuff to punish him for it. The family, however, forgot to tell him this, so he thinks that they really thought he was bad luck. Conversely, the family forgot that they never told him about it, so they think that he's mad at him because of his punishment, not because of the bad luck and the stuff he goes through. Rita and Lynn Sr. realize this in Chapter 17 when they find out that neither of them discussed the matter with their son because they assumed that the other was going to talk with him.

Marvel Universe

  • born of hell('s kitchen) has Matt and Jess covering their superpowers and refusing to allude to their vigilante second lives in front of their seven-year-old son Peter, as they fear ruining his innocence and pushing him to fear them. Cut to a desponding Peter confessing to his best friend Ned that his birth parents are utterly normal, and because of that Peter will have to hide his nascent superpowers or Matt and Jess will abandon him again.
  • Devils Diary: The final straw which transformed Erik into Magneto was a mob murdering his daughter. Years later, he instigated a mob to attack Wanda Maximoff, unaware that she is his second daughter.
  • Take All The Courage has the Avengers rallying around their deaf teammate in front of Daredevil's blatant ableism for refusing to learn sign language and being generally tense around Clint. It's completely horrifying as Matt actually is blind, doesn't know how to act with someone whose handicap is directly opposed to his own, and genuinely tries to fulfill everyone's expectations only to fail due to his lack of ability and being hated for it.

Mass Effect

  • Tevos, Saren, and Benezia in Mass Effect: Synthesis believe that humanity is the Obliviously Evil pawns of the Reapers who will bring about the extinction of all sentient life in the galaxy and they must work with the rogue Reaper Sovereign to stop them. In reality, Sovereign is the only Reaper still attempting to continue the Cycle with the rest all devoting themselves to synthesis and determining their new purpose in the universe.

Mega Man

  • In Mega Man Reawakened, Wily does not know Megaman is Robert at first, and neither does Tron Bonne.
  • Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race:
    • ProtoMan, who doesn't want to kill Mega Man anymore, is forced to train the Mega Man Killers, who are made to kill Mega.
    • Brain Bot is overjoyed when he sees the Stardroids, not knowing that the invaders do not come in peace.
  • In Mega Man Recut, this is all over the place in "Future Shock," especially regarding Proto Man's password.

Merlin (2008)

  • The Perfect Scry is the classical Arthur-dicovers-Merlin-actually-has-magic plot, but done in such a way that Arthur believes he was responsible for awakening Merlin's abilities. Naturally, he angsts much about it and seeks to hide the truth from everyone, including Merlin himself. Lancelot almost laughs himself sick when he hears this.

Miraculous Ladybug

  • Who You Know revolves around Lila claiming that she can arrange an exclusive meeting with the hot new fashion designer MDC, whose identity is shrouded in mystery. Frustrated by Marinette seemingly rejecting this opportunity, Alya decides to seize it for herself, blissfully unaware that Marinette Dupain-Cheng is MDC. Even when Marinette tells her this outright, Alya refuses to believe it, lecturing her about the importance of having connections in their respective dream careers and how she shouldn't reject an opportunity just because of who's offering it... while rejecting the opportunity that her 'best friend' is trying to offer.
  • In-canon, Marinette is famous for being a klutz. In Lady Fairy, Marinette has much more grace despite being blind, managing to guess where objects are despite her disability. Nooroo and Master Fu claim that this is a sign that she has her own magic.
  • In A True Hero Of Paris, when Lila Rossi tries to accuse him of sexually harassing her, Gabriel Agreste decides it's time to cut all ties with her and releases evidence of her collaborating with Hawk Moth (a.k.a. himself). As a result, he ends up hailed as a hero by all of Paris for exposing Lila as a terrorist's accomplice, up to Ladybug herself awarding him a medal...all while everyone is none the wiser that he was the terrorist Lila was working for. He has to keep himself from laughing at the sheer irony during the awards ceremony.

My Hero Academia

  • I am [REDACTED]: During his emotional confrontation with Katsuki in Chapter Five, Izuku points out that the person Katsuki is really mad at is Nimbus, not him, and that Katsuki is just using Izuku as an outlet. Of course, as the readers and Izuku himself know, Izuku is Nimbus, so Katsuki is technically channeling his anger at the right person, just at the wrong time and for the wrong reason.
  • In Karma in Retrograde, Touya doesn't recognize Dabi at first, telling Aizawa that whoever Dabi is, he looks like the walking dead. He also scoffs at how edgy Dabi's name is. He learns a minute later that Dabi is him.
    Touya: [in his head] What the fuck kind of name was 'Dabi'? It sounded like it was made-up by someone who was trying to be edgy.
  • In Mastermind: Strategist for Hire, the police believe Villain Protagonist Mastermind may have some kind of analysis Quirk that lets him create the plans he sells to villains; as the readers know, Mastermind, being Izuku Midoriya, is Quirkless.
  • Origin of a Non-Hero:
    • Izuku wanted nothing more than to become a Pro Hero, but was convinced that it was impossible due to his Quirklessness — until his idol granted him a Quirk and the chance to fulfill his dreams. Years later, his son Shikinori wants absolutely nothing to do with Heroes after having to deal with both of his parents putting their work first, to the point that he's desperate to have his Quirk removed in order to escape the pressure to follow in their footsteps.
    • As hard as he fought to save Shouto from his father's stifling expectations, Izuku unintentionally makes his son miserable with his own presumptions — because after all, why wouldn't his son want to help him out?
    • Shikinori wants his Quirk removed because he's convinced that it's the only way to convince his formerly Quirkless father to let things lie. Ultimately, when Izuku thinks that he's gone through with it, his knee-jerk response is planning to give him One For All, even though that would just massively intensify the pressure for Shiki to go Pro.
  • In the Sleeper Hit AU, Aizawa expels the Quirkless Izuku from U.A. on his very first day, fudging the results of his test in order to 'justify' booting him out. One of the main reasons why he did this was to ensure that there was room in his class once Shinsou qualified for the Hero Course. By the time the Sports Festival rolls around, however, other vacancies have been created due to Asui and Mineta suffering Death by Adaptation during the USJ attack. Aizawa himself considers this to be his greatest failure, wondering whether having Midoriya's sharp mind around would have made any difference.

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

  • In Diaries of a Madman, Discord occasionally interjects to address the reader directly, and provides information that the main characters are unaware of. He doesn't always tell the truth, however.
  • In Past Sins, Twilight was afraid that Celestia would take her daughter away. Celestia was afraid that an Eldritch Abomination was loose in her kingdom, plotting to overthrow her and her sister, and bring about nighttime eternal. Celestia's knee-jerk reaction to her fear resulted in both their fears coming true.
  • In Just Before the Dawn, the narrative regularly switches around between characters, resulting in the reader being far more informed than the cast at several points.
  • In Friendship is Witchcraft, Sweetie Belle, who is very obviously a robot, accuses Rarity of being one because of her heartlessness and her taking acting lessons.
  • The Life and Times of a Winning Pony:
    • The Lunar Rebellion: In a last-ditch attempt to keep Shadow from defecting to Celestia's cause at the beginning of the eponymous civil war, Cyclone says that if she does, the Kickers will forever be remembered as "blackguards and betrayers, lead into infamy by a madmare". In the Winningverse's present, as established well before this story was posted, the Kickers are remembered as the only clan that remained loyal during the Rebellion, and Shadow is one of Equestria's greatest heroes.
    • The Freeport Venture: After Sunset falls out with Celestia and runs away to Freeport, the Equestrian Intelligence Service is assigned to keep tabs on Sunset on the off-chance she might go off the deep end and, say, return to Equestria as a false alicorn at the head of an army of brainwashed minions or something like that.
      Sunset Shimmer: "Yeah, there’s no way that would ever happen."


  • The Line Is Not Broken: Naruto keeps on calling Tsunade "Granny". Unbeknownst to him, but not to her, she really is his grandmother.
  • Son of the Sannin has several of these in relation to canon:
    • In Chapter 16, after Zabuza returns from completing the Land of Waves mission, he tells Jiraiya that Tazuna would be dead before completing his bridge if Gato had hired him.
    • In chapter 51, Kankuro compares his father's anger over Konoha and Kiri's alliance to being similar to how Konoha would feel if he had teamed up with Orochimaru behind their backs.
      Jiraiya: Honestly, I can't picture that.
    • Kurenai in chapter 89 reveals that she considered sealing Yakumo's powers altogether so she wouldn't pose a danger to anybody, and Yakumo says she should have done exactly that. Anybody familiar with the anime knows how well that turned out, of course.
    • In chapter 106, Kin comments how it's likely that they would have ended up as an Impure World Reincarnation zombie if she, Zaku, and Dosu had stayed under Orochimaru. Anko says that it's far more likely that they would have been used as one of the sacrifices instead.

Neon Genesis Evangelion

  • The One I Love Is...: After Asuka runs away, a depressed Shinji notes how ironic it is that he -a self-proclaimed coward and wimp- stood his ground as she -who had always been brave and indomitably stubborn- runs away.
  • HERZ: In chapter 2 Asuka ponders about her life’s several ironies: she had missed terribly her mother, but her mother had been always there and she had been unable to find her, open up and feel her love because Kyoko’s death had driven her to shut her heart; and she owed her family and her current happiness to two women she hardly considered as friends.
    Asuka leaned into the kiss. She had lost much and suffered terribly, but from the ashes, she had risen anew. She had also gained so much. Things she had not dared to hope for in the past, a past that seemed like a lifetime ago. The irony of it all. Owing so much to two women she hardly considered as friends.
  • In The Second Try When trying to play her old role in "Repeat", Asuka realizes that her claims of being a grownup, her attempts to seem it and her demands to be treated like such not only proved that she was still a child but also made her seeming even more childish. Sadly, she has to keep the masquerade instead of behaving like the adult she is now.
    • This is especially seen whenever we are in the perspective of another character, in which the genuine affection between Asuka and Shinji is often misunderstood.

One Piece

  • In To Protect Everything, Nami (a Marine in this story) opposes the Shichibukai idea, citing how she'd never trust a pirate.

Persona 4

  • In One Year, Yu Narukami gets a confession from his old friend, Sakura, and since he's in a relationship with Yukiko already, he decides to refuse her. The next chapter is from the POV of the confessor, who is nervous about how things will go and oblivious to Yu being in a relationship.

Persona 5

  • In the Persona 5 Peggy Sue fic series Start Again, several characters see Akechi wandering around doing his thing and worry that he's going to be a threat that needs to be dealt with. They are unaware that during the events of the first entry, The Count of Monte Cristo, Haru came back from the future, and her actions led to Akechi pulling a Heel–Face Turn and never getting involved in the Conspiracy in the first place.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

  • Dirty Sympathy:
    • Phoenix compliments Apollo and Klavier for putting their personal feelings aside and sending Kristoph, Apollo's mentor, and Daryan, Klavier's bandmate, to prison despite their close relationship. The audience knows that Apollo and Klavier framed Kristoph and Daryan.
    • Daryan expects Klavier to get him off murder charge that he's accused of, not knowing that Klavier is the one that framed him and fully intends to throw him under the bus.


  • In Pokémon Master, this trope is invoked when Brock decides he'll force a mind-controlled Ash to kill Misty. He shouts "Now you'll be killed for your lover himself. How dramatic irony!"
  • All over the place in Pokémon Reset Bloodlines and its sidestories:
    • In the main story, when Iris breaks down for not being able to save her family from Hunter J, Misty feels at unease as she realizes that, had she been in Iris' position, she'd be cheering instead of crying, given the way her family always treated her. She's still unaware that her sisters were kidnapped by the Bloodline King to breed more Bloodliner children.
    • Later, Belladonna might have succeeded in killing Aurora's father Tokiomi for betraying her, but she's still unaware that Aurora didn't really want her father dead, and only followed through with the plan out of fear of being left alone.
    • In the Snivy Interlude, the Samurai dismissed Snivy as useless because she wasn't a Bug-type, not knowing that she had Leaf Storm and Contrary.
    • In the Jeanette Interlude, A.J. tells Jeanette that he always wanted to meet a Bloodliner. He doesn't know that Ash, Misty and Iris are Bloodliners.
    • In the Big P Pokemon Race Interlude, Lara and Hex are revealed to be Bloodliners, and the former wishes they had more Bloodliner friends, not realising they already do in Ash and Co.
    • In the Ritchie Gaiden, it's revealed that due to catching a fever, Ritchie was unable to attend Professor Oak's Summer Camp, missing a chance to possibly meet and even befriend Ash early on in this timeline.
    • In the Ultima Interlude, William Stronger is firmly convinced of being on a divine mission to eradicate bloodliners. Unbeknownst to him, the Mars Gaiden later reveals that the one who spurred him into it is basically the equivalent of the Devil.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

  • In The Unlikely Ally, Kyubey spends his tenure when the girl's still trust him telling Mami, Madoka, and Sayaka that Key (an Incubator who has emotions and is trying to combat Kyubey) is mentally unstable and in need of treatment. As per Kyubey, he's not lying from his own perspective. He does succeed in coloring the girl's views of Homura and Key for awhile.


  • A staple of Couer Al'Aran's works is having characters, often Jaune Arc, get something horribly wrong for laughs.
    • Professor Arc has several characters wonder about what life would be like if Jaune had become a student at Beacon like he intended, picturing him as the cool, popular guy everyone looked up to, not knowing he'd actually be the Butt-Monkey.
    • White Sheep (RWBY):
      • A lot of the plot comes from no one knowing Jaune is half-Grimm and the humanoid Grimm "Hentacle", particularly Ozpin's faction wondering what Hentacle and Salem want with Jaune, believing he must have some amazing/unusual power that's a threat to their plans. In reality, all Salem wants from Jaune is for her son to come home and give her lots of grandbabies.
      • Early on, the teams mention how odd it is that Qrow, a shameless skirt chaser, apparently never actually gets any girls. Nora concludes "either he's the unluckiest man alive, or he's gay." Qrow in fact is the unluckiest man alive.
    • Jaune and Roman both talk about how troublesome "cats" are in Service with a Smile, having no idea that they're both talking about the trouble Blake has caused for them.
    • In the Peggy Sue fic Relic Of The Future a time displaced Jaune Arc decides to avoid large alterations to the past so that he won't invalidate his knowledge of future event. The reader however knows that by the time he's decided this he's already prevented Summer Rose's death.
  • Children of Remnant:
    • Blake goes in and out of the first conversation with her parents convinced that she manipulated them into feeling sorry for her, all while she doesn't care. The very next section has Kali reveal that she could see right through her, and it pushes her to attempt to assassinate her.
    • Ruby models her social behavior after Emerald, who she believes to be an incredibly confident social expert. The audience is aware that this couldn't be further from the truth, and every social situation Emerald is in absolutely terrifies her.
    • James accuses Ozpin of lying when he says that Ironwood's plan to kill Salem will only work because the world will be destroyed with her. While Ozpin is well known for stretching or hiding the truth when he feels the need to, the audience knows that he really is telling the truth.

Sailor Moon

  • In this comic, Sailor Venus admits to Princess Serenity, who is upset that Venus is so formal with her, that while Serenity is her dearest friend, she can never let herself relax in the princess's presence lest she fail to protect her and that she doesn't think that will ever change. Then the final panel cuts to their Reincarnations in full Vitriolic Best Buds mode with Serena whining that Minako stole her food. This plays as a heartwarming moment as Serenity got what she wanted but also a Tear Jerker because neither of them realize just how meaningful this change is.

The Smurfs

  • The Smurfs That Canon Forgot:
    • Farmer, Tailor and Harmony are the most outspoken opponents of Scaredy and his faction adopting increasingly extreme measures to defend their village against threats like Gargamel, berating them for going against the more peaceful methods typically favored by smurfs. However, they cause no small amount of strife themselves with their protests, escalating the conflict to the point where the smurfs are physically fighting each other... and ultimately, all three are involved in trashing Scaredy's home and terrorizing him, threatening even worse violence if he steps any further into the role of leader.
    • Late in the story, it's Dreamy's panicked shout of Gargamel's name that alerts him to the fact that some of the smurfs are nearby. Gargamel is also so intent upon getting away from the smurfs before they can hurt him again that he winds up going right over the side of a cliff in his haste.
    • In the sequel, Smurf Village Upturned, Brainy is granted the gift of Insight, allowing him to see into the character and potential of all of his fellow smurfs... but not his own, a fact that drives him to no end of distraction and grief.
    • Brainy's glasses are later broken, rendering him practically unable to see aside from discerning light from dark. This leads to him mistaking a glow for the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel; in reality, this is actually from Papa Smurf passing on. Meaning that Papa is dying right before his eyes, but Brainy can't see, much less do anything about it.

A Song of Ice and Fire

  • Robb Returns:
    • Just before his trial by combat, Baelish smirks when remembering Brandon Stark's death in the latter's father's "trial by combat" against Aerys the Mad's champion — fire. Probably what was in Jon Arryn's mind when he got Littlefinger to wear heavy armor before handing him a heavy axe and sending him against his champion — the sea.
    • Upon meeting Gendry, Robert wonders why Joffrey had to look so much like a Lannister. The readers obviously know why.
  • Dragonstone:
    • The story starts when Robert Baratheon decides to grant the eponymous island to Ned Stark's illegitimate son Jon... who's actually Rhaegar Targaryen's last surviving son and as such, entitled to the title "Prince of Dragonstone" as the rightful Crown Prince.
    • When Olenna rages over Margaery's betrothal to Jon, she muses her granddaughter deserves a king for a husband, not some crass Northern illegitimate son. Jon does have Northern blood since he is also the son of Lyanna Stark, but he is also acknowledged as the true King of the Seven Kingdoms since birth, so Margaery will end up a queen after all.
  • A Man of Iron:
    • When Ned Stark realizes his cousin Tony is actually the Magic Knight roaming around Westeros, he wonders who serves as his Body Double to throw the Crown's suspicions out of Tony's trail - dismissing Jon Snow who's Just a Kid and as such couldn't handle such responsibility. Catelyn later does the same mistake, thinking Jon is Locked Out of the Loop because a boy would be unable to keep his mouth shut if he knew his guardian is actually a masked avenger.
    • Ned trusts Syrio Forel to watch over Arya and bring her safe and sound at Winterfell or Iron Pointe if things get ugly in King's Landing. He's technically right, since Arya's mentor really does have her interests to heart... he only thinks these interests are very different things.
    • In A Song of Ice and Fire's canon, House Martell repeatedly tries and fails to arrange a wedding with House Targaryen - starting with Arianne's betrothal to Viserys falling flat because he gets himself killed then Quentyn's attempt to woo Daenerys failing because he gets himself killed. Here, Oberyn Martell decides to honour another marriage pact by offering his eldest (legitimized) daughter as a bride to Antony's heir Jon... who happens to be Rhaegar's last living child. Which means Oberyn was more successful than his brother when it came about giving a Targaryen royal a Martell spouse.
  • In the series proper, Ser Barristan Selmy intensely dislikes Jaime Lannister for breaking his oaths to the mad monarch Aerys III, though it's made clear to the observer if not to Barristan that had he not done so, the entire capital would have been wiped off the map by a burst of wildfire. Near the end of Purple Days' Oxcross Loop, Sansa uses a glass candle to see into the Red Keep and sees Ser Barristan, having hit the Despair Event Horizon, killing Daenerys, his queen, in an ultimately futile attempt to stop her dragons from wiping out Flea Bottom.

Sonic the Hedgehog

  • In Prison Island Break Shadow and Silver find out they're father and son at roughly the same time, but can't bear to tell the other for fear of rejection - even though the reader knows they'd probably embrace it. Shadow starts treating Silver like a son (teaching and protecting him), while Silver starts taking on some of Shadow's stronger traits - ironically because Shadow is being kinder to him. But neither knows the other knows.

Star Wars

  • The Star Wars fic The Sith Lord Who Brought Life Day is about an Imperial officer who loses a bet and has to give a Life Day present to Lord Vader. The reader has a far better understanding of what the present ends up meaning to Vader than the character does.
  • Double Agent Vader gets a lot of dramatic irony out of the fact that Anakin Skywalker is Darth Vader is the highly-placed Rebel mole Ekkreth is Padme Amidala's husband is Luke and Leia's father, with very few people knowing more than one of those identities and nobody including Anakin himself knowing all of them. There's a reason why five (at current count) of these fics are tagged with 'truly ridiculous amounts of dramatic irony'.
    • After Senator Leia Organa becomes the Rebels' contact with Ekkreth, they become friends. Leia starts to see Ekkreth as a second father figure, and Ekkreth to see Leia as a daughter figure. Leia is not aware that Ekkreth is her father, and Ekkreth isn't even aware that he has a daughter. He's noticed that she has the same name he intended to give his first daughter, but is convinced it's just a coincidence.
    • Leia has a recurring dream of Padme, the mother she never knew in life. Once she finds out that she's Force sensitive, she correctly guesses that she's the daughter of a Jedi, but assumes because of the dream that it was her mother. During one of the dreams she remarks to Padme that she thinks Padme would have liked Ekkreth if they'd ever met.
    • At one point, a Rebel agent named Fulcrum gets assistance from Leia to keep Vader away from an operation Fulcrum is running. Leia and Ekkreth are amused by the irony that, unknown to Fulcrum, it's Vader himself taking on the task of distracting Vader. Unknown to any of them, there's an additional irony in the situation: Anakin never learns that Fulcrum is his old friend Ahsoka, nor Ahsoka that Leia's friend Ekkreth is her old friend Anakin.
    • Leia reveals to Luke that she's Force sensitive, so she can teach him what Ekkreth has taught her, and having that in common, as well as the fact that they've both been left alone after the Empire killed their families, leads them to form a close bond and adopt each other as Family of Choice, unaware that they're family by birth as well.
    • Luke and Leia have conversations about Luke's famous father Anakin Skywalker without being aware that he's Leia's father too, or that he's Ekkreth/Vader.
    • Ekkreth insists that Leia tell him nothing about the Force-sensitive pilot who destroyed the Death Star, so that there's no danger of him betraying anything to the Empire, so she doesn't tell him that the pilot's name is Luke Skywalker, which he would have immediately realized the implications of. Likewise, she doesn't tell Luke the name of her teacher in the ways of the Force, which would have triggered a similar revelation, because Luke would have recognized the name "Ekkreth" from Tatooine mythology and known that, at the very least, Ekkreth is somebody who knew his father.

Steven Universe

  • In What Might Have Been, White, Yellow and Blue gave Pink her second pearl with the intent of helping Pink become a leader. It is unlikely that they were expecting her to become the leader of a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits in direct opposition of the Empire.


  • In Perfect Words, Gabriel wants to make a good impression on his crush, so he delays and delays talking to him, trying to think of a romantic way to introduce himself. He ends up blurting something out while asleep in the hospital, embarrassing himself more than if he'd simply said "Hello".


  • In Trusting In Faith, Nessarose thanks Glinda after she enchants her shoes so that she can walk without assistance. When Glinda tells her to be strong, Nessarose replies that she doesn't need to be anymore. Glinda's love and the Unnamed God give her strength. That was their last conversation. A few years afterwards, Nessarose was killed in a freak accident involving a house falling on her.

World of Warcraft


  • Rachel, the main character of When Your Mother Is Khepri, worships Khepri, a legendary parahuman who saved the multiverse. Her father is a priest of the same religion. Her mother is a completely normal housewife who has absolutely nothing to do with Khepri. Rachel isn't aware of her mother's history, resulting in every other sentence she says being ironic, such as "Khepri help us, we’re doing this."
  • In Peggy Sue story Warp, Vicky partially blames her sister Amy's breakdown and subsequent sanity slippage on her mother Carol disliking Amy for hypotetical crimes Amy might commit in the future. Nonetheless, Vicky is about to cut ties with Amy because of future crimes Amy hasn't committed as of yet.


  • This trope is all over With Strings Attached thanks to the presence of the Fans, whose comments are known to the reader but not to the four, even after the four start interacting with them! Of course, the fact that the Fans lie to the four about many things doesn't help. They lie to each other, too. In fact, the whole plot is one big example of Dramatic Irony, since the four think they've been sent to C'hou, empowered, and sent on the Vasyn quest by the C'hovite gods, when it's perfectly clear to the reader that the Fans initially sent them over as part of a class experiment (which went askew) and were behind most of the empowerment and the quest. (Though the C'hovite gods did have some hand in what happened.) Actually, no, they didn't, though finding this out is a Wham Line, not Dramatic Irony.
  • The Tyrant and the Hero:
    • A group of human lumberjacks talk about how monsters are becoming more active and approaching closer to human villages than usual, unaware that they're being overheard by a particular monster.
    • While trying to cheer Heinrich up, Black Alice says that he could become a legendary hero whose name will be known by everyone. The reader already knows that this will happen from the prologue of the story.
    • Black Alice, after sneaking out of their inn room, hopes that Heinrich is sleeping well. The section immediately prior to this had Heinrich notice her sneaking out.

Alternative Title(s): Fanfiction


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