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Captain Obvious Reveal

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"So, are you suggesting that the Alice from Alice in Wonderland this whole time was... Alice from Alice In Wonderland? Whoa, I mean fucking whoa, this movie is pushing the envelope of cinematic twists! I mean, who could have seen that coming? Next you'll be telling me that Clark Kent all this time was... Clark Kent!"

A Captain Obvious Reveal occurs when the writer sets up a Reveal for the story... only the audience figured it out already by the time they revealed it. Obviously, this will never apply to 100% of the audience, but when it applies to the majority of an audience, you have this trope on your hands.

This can happen for a variety of reasons. The most common one is that the author put in so much Foreshadowing that the reveal becomes clear long before it was intended. (The right amount of foreshadowing, of course, is a delicate balancing act; if you have too little in an attempt to avoid this trope audiences might accuse you of having an Ass Pull or Shocking Swerve instead.) Another reason is that there were no other options for the reveal; if we're told that a character has a missing father, and there's only one character we already know who's the right age and position to have a missing child, audiences are likely to figure it out. Another possibility is that the secret is shown in an episode that gets broadcast before the one with the reveal. And finally, it could be that no matter how well you plan your plot twists, there will always be someone who can figure it out.


Note once again that this will never apply to 100% of the audience. Likewise, just because one audience member foresaw it doesn't mean we have this trope — that particular audience member is just good at recognizing foreshadowing. Also worth noting that among the thousands who watch a movie/read a book, someone is bound to simply guess the plot twist ahead of time, no matter how well it is set up — it's practically a statistical certainty.

Compare The Un-Twist; this trope is very similar, but not quite identical to that one. The Untwist can be intentional and always comes from too much Foreshadowing to the point the audience itself gets misdirected because they get suspicious of all the hints (which turn out to be not Red Herrings, but legit). Here, the obviousness is never intentional, and it doesn't necessarily need to have foreshadowing in the first place. The author genuinely thinks they have an actual twist in this case instead of a double subverted one.


Also compare It Was His Sled, where the twist was a surprise but has since become so well known to even those who never engaged with the work that it is no longer a twist. Contrast Tomato Surprise, Deus ex Machina, and Foregone Conclusion. The in-story version of this is Everybody Knew Already. A variation is the Obvious Judas when the most Obviously Evil character is revealed to be the villain. Related to Captain Obvious Aesop, when a moral that most people in real life believe already ("Murder is bad!") is treated in-story as a profound revelation.

Not to be confused with Dramatic Irony that leads to an Internal Reveal; characters may be surprised by information that is new to them, without any expectation that it will be a surprise to the audience.

Warning: Approach with caution. As this is a plot twist trope, spoilers will be unmarked... but considering what we’re talking about, they’re really obvious ones.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Naruto:
    • Double subverted with the mysterious masked man Tobi being Obito Uchiha. It seemed incredibly obvious right from the get-go until Tobi pulled a 180 degree on personality, authority, and power level that completely contradicted what Obito would have been capable (eg: the class dunce should not be capable of giving the Fourth Hokage a hard time). This actually led to a number of other characters being considered and causing quite a divide among the fandom. It isn't until 300 chapters later and a confirmation that he wasn't Madara Uchiha that it became somewhat possible, but the vast power level difference allowed this to be subverted up until the chapters leading into The Reveal made it so blatantly obvious it was him that it literally could not have been anyone else.
    • Then, of course, there's the fact that Naruto is the 4th Hokage's son...something most of the audience had already figured out since they look similar and the guy's face is carved into the side of a freaking mountain. Just one look at his picture and most of the audience had already figured who Naruto's father was. If you took out the whisker marks on Naruto's cheeks, they could be twins. It really makes you wonder how ignorant the people of Konoha were to not see such an obvious resemblance.
    • There's also the reveal that the Six Paths of Pain are just dead bodies being controlled by Nagato. This wasn't revealed until quite a while after Pain (and later Nagato's) introduction into the story, but it was predicted by MANY people in the fandom.
    • The reveal that Boruto's teammate is Orochimaru's son hardly came as a surprise given that he both resembles Orochimaru and gave many readers the same creepy vibes.
    • The Reveal that Sasuke and Naruto were the reincarnations of the Sage of the Six Paths' elder and younger sons respectively. While many were still shocked, just as many were left unsurprised, and those that were shocked admitted it was obvious in hindsight, especially after it was revealed that their respective previous incarnations were Madara Uchiha and Hashirama Senju, the First Hokage.
  • Subverted in Fullmetal Alchemist. Before the main characters encounter Father, we're led to believe that Father is Hohenheim since they both look alike, but we only see the bottom half of Father's face, so one would expect the series to "surprisingly" reveal that Father is Hohenheim. Then it turns out that he's a different person and they just look the same because Father is a homunculus who took on Hohenheim's appearance when they were younger. Arakawa did this on purpose.
  • There's a minor reveal in Martian Successor Nadesico that the Jovian Chulips are a kind of warp gate that allow Jovian robots to teleport in directly from Jupiter. Of course, since the audience has already seen the Chulips clearly opening some kind of portal, the biggest surprise is finding out that you weren't supposed to know that already.
  • Danganronpa 3, in Side:Despair Episode 10, it's revealed that Juzo is in love with Munakata, not with Chisa. Most fans already knew that, but it felt good for it to be confirmed.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • The siblings of Hoteye/Richard Buchanan and Yukino Agria (Wally and Angel/Sorano, respectively) weren't surprising to the majority of the fanbase who put two and two together. The former pair of brothers have similar appearances with polygonal bodies, while the latter pair of sisters have white hair and are Celestial Spirit Mages. Oddly enough, Lucy, who's fairly intelligent, heard Yukino's story about her sister and knows both Yukino and Sorano, doesn't seem to make the connection.
    • It's gloriously subverted with Silver of Tartaros' connection to Gray; readers speculated from the start that he is actually Gray's father before The Reveal that while his body belongs to Gray's father, it's actually possessed by Deliora, the demon that killed Gray's parents and forced Ur to use Iced Shell... only to later be double subverted when Silver reveals he really is Gray's dad brought Back from the Dead and lied about being Deliora just to rile Gray up enough to put an end to his agonizing existence.
  • Pretty Cure
    • In Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GO!GO!, Kurumi Mimino aka Milky Rose being Milk is so obvious, yet only one character figured this out for a while before the reveal. The other characters actually realized some similarities, but they still didn't figure it out for four episodes.
    • Hugtto! Pretty Cure: Even if you haven't seen the leaks caused by the Pre-Heart toy, it was pretty obvious that Ruru would eventually defect from the Dark Tomorrow Company the moment she decided to spy on Hana's family. If that wasn't blatant enough, then the focus on her and Emiru's growing friendship in episode 15 certainly solidify this fact.
  • In One Piece, Sabo being alive and a member of the Revolutionary Army. It is strongly implied with how he may have appeared to be shot, but his dead body was never shown, and later on, Dragon finds someone injured who he wants to be taken to the med bay on the Revolutionaries' ship. In the latter part of the flashback, Sabo grows to hate the nobles and by extension the government, so it makes sense that he would become a Revolutionary. Furthermore, the flashback was mostly about Luffy and Ace growing up together — if Sabo had just been killed off to never play any role in the story again, his character's existence would almost have been Filler. In addition, one of the chapter covers showed an adult Sabo alongside Luffy and Ace, indicating that his role in the story wasn't finished yet. Subverted in that Word of God said Sabo was dead, and that cover was just a tease. That means the author outright lied to everyone.
  • Sailor Moon: Tuxedo Mask's secret identity and the reveal of Usagi's past life were not very surprising, as their alter egos were shown countless times in the series...and, in Usagi's case, the opening of the first series and the ending of the second.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Trunks is Bulma's son. While it was somewhat easier to be surprised by this in the anime (in the manga, Bulma had purple hair instead of blue), his haircut resembles his grandfather's and he wore the Capsule Corp logo on his jacket.
  • In Blood-C, it's very obvious that Fumito, Saya's neighbor who made her lunches, is the mastermind behind the events of the show and that he's drugging Saya with coffee and marshmallows which results to her memory loss. It's also blatantly obvious that he's the narrator in Saya's flashbacks and the tone of his voice showed that he knew all about her. And when episode 11 rolls around, it doesn't come as a surprise.
  • Attack on Titan:
    • Annie is the Female Titan. The only other female with blond hair in the military (Krista) was present during her attack, and her face was similar to Annie's. Even before the Female Titan was introduced, you could tell by Annie's facial expressions that she may have a darker moral alignment.
    • Afterwards, the Armored Titan being Reiner is even more obvious, thanks to the readers having gotten enough examples of Titan Morphic Resonance to know the muscular Titan with close-cropped blond hair is going to be a muscular human with close-cropped blond hair.
  • Elfen Lied: Lucy killed Kouta's father and sister. Kouta's shocked expression when he saw her for the first time in the series and the mention of his dead family put two and two together for the audience.
  • The reveal in 20th Century Boys that "Yabuki Joe" is actually Kenji is so completely, ridiculously, ludicrously obvious that is most definitely an invoked example. It's so obvious in fact, that the English volumes accidentally spoil it in the translation notes four volumes before it's confirmed.
  • Pokémon Adventures: Yellow is the girl who Red met and caught a Rattata for before his fight with Giovanni. Given how they share a Pokémon, compounded by how similar their designs are, you'd have to have completely forgotten the former's existence to be surprised.
  • Evillious Chronicles: The reveal in Gift From The Princess Who Brought Sleep that Hanne Lorre and her sister Hedimarie are actually Elluka and Gumillia under false identities was so obvious that most of the fans took it as a given when the site went up, when the reveal itself in the novel doesn't occur until past the halfway point.
  • Bleach is quite notorious for this, especially in the later arcs.
  • ERASED attempts to treat the The Reveal that Satoru's teacher Yashiro is Kayo's killer as a huge twist, despite Yashiro being literally the sole character who fits the very basic information one is given concerning the culprit.
  • Library War: You'll already know that Kasahara's "Prince" is Dojou long before it's finally confirmed since the voice and hairstyle are a perfect match to the silhouetted figure in her flashback. Not to mention, all the times she wonders why "her heart flutters" the few times he compliments her. Plus, he's right there on the box cover art and is the male lead.
  • Played for Laughs in the Crayon Shin-chan mini-series Crayon Shin-chan Gaiden: Aliens vs. Shinnosuke. Takosuke is very obviously an alien, due to his strange behavior and resemblance to The Greys. Characters accuse him of being an alien multiple times and he continually denies it, making it look like they're just setting him up as a Red Herring, but in the end, it turns out he is an alien.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans: It's so blatantly obvious that Vidar is Gaelio Baudin in disguise that it could be argued it's not even supposed to be a secret (at least out-of-universe). They're both played by Masaya Matsukaze, Vidar knows things that only Gaelio could possibly know (like the circumstances of Carta Issue's death), and he has a deep-seated hatred of McGillis Fareed, the man who betrayed Gaelio's trust and "killed" him. Needless to say, when the mask came off, absolutely nobody was surprisednote .
  • Daily Life with Monster Girl: Eventually it's revealed that Mero is actually a princess. This came to the surprise of absolutely nobody since the foreshadowing is so blatant that it's almost impossible to miss. Most notably, almost immediately after being introduced, Centorea goes off on a tangent about Mero's "royal aura". Even in-universe, the amount of surprise is minimal.
  • Tiger & Bunny:
    • Yuri Petrov is Lunatic. He looked Obviously Evil and no attempt was made to disguise his voice.
    • Fake-Tiger is a robot. There was an episode right before his introduction featuring the scientist who was making combat robots to fight superheroes that were capable of matching Tiger and Barnaby in hand-to-hand fighting.
  • Gundam Build Divers: Sarah is actually an AI. Viewers figured out this reveal as early as the first episode yet it takes over 20 episodes to realize something is very off and just thought she had her reasons.
  • In the Magi Prequel Adventure of Sinbad, it's not entirely clear if it's supposed to be a twist that the child assassin is Ja'far. On the one hand, his name goes unmentioned and part of his face is hidden until the end of his redemption arc. On the other hand, freckly albinos are not exactly common.

    Asian Animation 
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Mighty Little Defenders is about the goats trying to befriend the wolves. The goats and wolves become friends, but the final episode reveals that the wolves might not keep their friendship with the goats and they might go back to being enemies. Did that really surprise anyone, considering the wolves are the main villains of the franchise and even before Mighty Little Defenders came out, we already knew there were going to be more seasons and movies after it?

    Comic Books 
  • Subverted in The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye, which pulled one over on fans by making it look like a twist they’d been predicting for years (Rewind turning out to be Not Quite Dead) was finally coming true, only for it to turn out that it was an alternate version of him; the real Rewind was not only still dead, but his killer later turned up again just to confirm his death.
  • The New 52: Future's End: One of the major plot points in the comic is the approach of a powerful alien villain, whose identity the writers try to build up as a twist. Unfortunately, anyone familiar enough with the DC Universe will most likely figure out very fast said villain is Brainiac due to the villain's robotic minions all wearing his very recognizable logo on their head.
  • The Ultimates 3: Black Panther was actually Cap the whole time? It'd probably be a bit more shocking if it hadn't been so blatantly telegraphed from the outset.

    Fan Works 
  • The End of Ends:
    • Count Logan being Beast Boy would have been a huge plot twist... The only problem being that we focus on him for the first two chapters with enough information that when the slightest hint is given, it's instead a plot un-twist. For starters, Beast Boy's real name is Garfield Logan, and the story goes to great lengths to show the name. It also goes to great lengths to showcase his relation to Terra and his reason for why he became Count Logan in the first place, right down to using a clip from the show constantly, to the point where when they show it again and this time, with the names muted, it's downright obvious. Especially since one of the words that wasn't muted was Teen Titan.
    • If you catch on that this is a Whole Plot Reference to Super Paper Mario, then it wouldn't surprise you that Dr. Beljar, an Expy of Dimentio in the Count's Quirky Miniboss Squad would backstab Beast Boy and remake the world in his image.
  • In Curse of the Demon Pony, JusSonic makes it incredibly obvious that the titular Demon Pony is in fact Twilight Sparkle's old friend, Ben Mare. Within the story, it's treated like it's a huge twist, but anyone who's been reading it up until then should've known it was him, given how unsubtle it was.
  • The Games We Play by AbsoluteAnonymous has The Reveal that Pinkie Pie is Mare-Do-Well. Not only did several characters figure it out in advance, but several readers were actually hoping it would not be who it was, going so far as to declare that possibility a cop-out if gone with. The real twist was that, according to Word Of God, it was intended to be an Internal Reveal, the real mystery not being WHO was under the mask, but WHY they put the mask on in the first place. AbsoluteAnonymous had placed some clues in the story that, upon re-read, makes Pinkie being Mare-Do-Well a bit more obvious, but many readers had in fact missed these beforehand.
  • In Romance and the Fate of Equestria, Twilight's OC boyfriend, Snicker-Snack, being revealed as a villain. Many readers found him creepy and suspicious from the moment he appeared and felt that attempts to pass him off as Twilight's Love Interest fell flat.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series does this a lot but it's played purely for laughs. One notable example would be in episode 23, where Bandit Keith was being mind-controlled by Marik and disguised as a rare hunter. The fact that it's Keith is made very obvious to the audience (in that Keith doesn't bother to hide his normal voice and catchphrase)note  but Yugi is totally oblivious to it until Keith reveals himself, leading to this gem:
    Yugi: Oh my god, it's Bandit Keith! I had no idea! Super special awesome plot twist!
  • Eventually Jaune (and the audience) learn that the people who trashed his cafe and beat him in Service with a Smile were sent by his corporate rival Cafe Prime. Given that the robbers went out of their way to cause as much property damage as possible and didn't even check his apartment above the store for more money, it's pretty obvious they were hired to cause him financial trouble.
  • In The Flash Sentry Chronicles: The last chapter of The Forgotten Darkness reveals that the egg that held the child of Sharp Paw and Calm Paw was actually Springer. Everyone acts like this is a major development, but it can be guessed as soon as the egg first appears and Luna casts her spell on it to protect it.
  • In the final story of the Princess of the Blacks series, it's revealed that Voldemort's been sending Danny Potter false visions through his missing eye. Given that the smarter and saner Voldemort allegedly left their connection so wide open it can't be closed and both of the raids on Danny's information were traps, few readers were surprised.

    Films — Animation 
  • Brother Bear: No prizes given for guessing what happened to Koda's mother. Kenai kills a bear and is punished by being turned into a bear. He then runs into a young cub who claims he got separated from his mom, but they'll meet up at the fishing grounds. Most older audiences guessed that Koda's mom was the bear that Kenai killed from that first line.
  • A humorous In-Universe example appears in Chicken Run. Fowler repeatedly makes reference to "his time in the Royal Air Force", but in the climax when the chickens jury-rig a makeshift plane to escape the farm, Ginger is horrified when he tells her he has no idea how to fly a plane. Fowler insists that it should have been obvious to all of them from the beginning since everyone knows the Air Force doesn't let chickens behind the controls of complex aircraft.
  • The Kung Fu Panda franchise has two humorous examples:
    • In Kung Fu Panda 2 where Po's father Ping reveals a deep secret to Po: he's adopted. Given that Po is a panda and Ping is a goose, this doesn't come as a surprise to the audience, or even Po himself.
      Tigress: Your father, the goose?
      Po: (nods sheepishly)
      Tigress: That must have come as quite a shock.
    • An in-universe example occurs in Kung Fu Panda 3 when an older panda breaks Po's dumpling-eating record and reveals that he lost his son years ago. Po tells him that he lost his father when he was a baby. (Keep in mind that neither of them thinks there are any other pandas alive that they haven't met yet.) They wish each other good luck and then turn to walk away. Everyone else who hears the exchange is completely dumbstruck.
  • Incredibles 2: There was a ton of foreshadowing leading up to the reveal that Evelyn Deavor is the villain. The Deavors' operation is just begging to be sabotaged from within, and between the two of them, Evelyn's the only major character with the tech-savvy to pull off the Screenslaver's actions. Plus, her name sounds like "evil endeavor." Humorously, once the twist is revealed, the villain comments on how 'clever' Elastigirl is for figuring it out, even though the majority of the audience probably guessed it long before the reveal.
  • Played for Laughs (twice!) in The Lego Movie 2 The Second Part:

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The "reveal" that Count Dooku is a Sith Lord in Attack of the Clones. According to George Lucas, it was supposed to be a major twist that completely redefined the character. But the first we hear of him is Padme accusing him of trying to assassinate her, he's openly the leader of the villainous Separatist faction, he's outright said to be a disillusioned former Jedi, he hangs around with Sidious' henchmen from The Phantom Menace, he's played by an actor well-known for villainous roles, and the only thing he does to try and avert suspicion is a half-hearted appeal to Obi-Wan that isn't taken seriously even in-universe. Plus, it's Star Wars, so there's got to be a lightsaber duel at the end, and, well... Who else could it have been against?
  • In I, Robot, the fact that VIKI is the Big Bad should be blindingly obvious within a minute of their introduction, particularly when they say they can't retrieve the security footage from the room that Dr. Lanning jumped from.
  • Secrets & Lies: Monica's infertility is signposted fairly clearly by scenes in the film prior to the eventual reveal.
  • Averted in the film version of The Lord of the Rings; the writers knew that they could not have Éowyn disguising herself as a common rider without invoking this trope heavily, so the movie abandoned all pretense of hiding her identity from both Merry and the audience.
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug reveals that the mysterious Necromancer is none other than Sauron, the Big Bad from the original trilogy. Everybody, even those unfamiliar with Tolkien's work, guessed it. Though to be fair the revelation of the Necromancer's identity was made clear in The Fellowship Of The Ring book, so hiding this fact in the adaption of the prequel would be almost impossible.
  • In Hide and Seek, we're supposed to be shocked that Emily's Not-So-Imaginary Friend Charlie is actually an evil Split Personality of her father David. However, the constant and ominous flashbacks shown in David's head every time just before he finds out that Charlie has been causing trouble again make it abundantly clear that at the very least, he's hiding something really big.
  • Honeymoon: Bea's strange behavior would be kept mysterious through most of the film if not for the fact that the bright, descending lights pouring through her window on the first night make it pretty obvious that aliens are to blame.
  • Jurassic World treats the revelation that Indominus rex is part velociraptor as a big surprise, but given that she is a known hybrid and demonstrates the trademark intelligence of a raptor, a lot of viewers were more startled that it was supposed to be a surprise.
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier: The Winter Soldier is Steve's Heterosexual Life Partner Bucky Barnes. Even if you weren't familiar with the comic books (or any prior adaptations; there had been two or three), the fact that Bucky's actor played the Winter Soldier was a giveaway. Even Marvel had given up any pretense of it being secret by the time the movie premiered. Fortunately, the actual twist of the film — that SHIELD had been infiltrated by HYDRA at its inception — was kept remarkably well hidden before the big reveal.
  • Captain America: Civil War: Bucky killed Howard and Maria Stark as the Winter Soldier. A montage showed in The Winter Soldier heavily implied that the Starks were assassinated by HYDRA, and the Winter Soldier was the most likely to carry it out as he's an infamous HYDRA assassin. Tony calling out Steve, who had the same information as the audience, could be considered a Lampshade Hanging:
    Tony: Did you know?
    Steve: I didn't know it was him.
    Tony: Don't bullshit me, Rogers, did you know?
    Steve: ...Yes.
  • The Fugitive: The character of Dr. Charles Nichols is introduced as a colleague and friend of protagonist Dr. Richard Kimball. He has no other plot-relevant purpose for being in the film other than to be revealed as the Big Bad. He's also played by an actor known for playing villains.
  • Morgan: It's pretty easy to tell early on in the film that something's off about Lee. Given the prowess with fighting and guns she shows in the climax, the reveal that she's an Artificial Human like Morgan isn't so much a twist as a "Called it!"
  • Alien: Covenant: At the end of the film, we get a Cruel Twist Ending when the main character realises that the spaceship's android, Walter, has been replaced by the psychopathic David, who forces her back into cryo-sleep and plans to experiment on the other passengers in stasis. The film expects this to be a big twist, but the fact that David's first introduced with shoulder-length hair, which he then cuts off so he's visually nearly indistinguishable from Walter, practically telegraphs that he's going to at least attempt a Kill and Replace; why else have the haircut?
  • Spectre: Really, the twist of a James Bond called Spectre is that the leader of the titular organization who has his face initially hidden in the shadows is actually Ernst Stavro Blofeld? Yet they are upfront about the new and more surprising angle that he's Bond's estranged adoptive brother. They sure they shouldn't have done the reverse?
    • Also Max Denbigh in Spectre. He acts with a villainous attitude since his very first appearance, so everybody figured out that he would be working for Blofeld. The fact that Andrew Scott's most famous role was the one of a villain pretending to be a good guy didn't help either.
  • Mission: Impossible – Fallout: The terrorist "John Lark" is actually August Walker, the menacing CIA Agent who's been assigned to work with Ethan Hunt. He's openly antagonistic to Ethan and company, he has a reputation for unnecessary brutality, and he gets several ominous low-angle closeups during otherwise innocuous scenes. Even the movie's trailers included footage of him blatantly shooting at Hunt. Halfway through the movie, he even tries to frame Ethan with obviously false evidence, and when The Reveal eventually comes, the movie treats it more like a formality than anything else, because honestly, there's not really any other options for who Lark could be.
  • The Layover: One of the biggest complaints about the movie is that the twist that the wedding Ryan was so desperate to attend was his own was transparently obvious since the second the wedding is first mentioned.
  • Ready Player One: It's pretty easy to tell that Aech's voice is a female voice modulated to sound a little deeper.
  • While The Dark Knight Rises was in production, Christopher Nolan insisted that Marion Cotillard (a member of his Production Posse) was just a random business lady named "Miranda Tate". No one bought it and figured she was actually Talia al Ghul. Especially because The Dark Knight is more or less standalone while the first film in the series had plenty of threads left hanging. One of said threads is that her father was the villain of it and Batman purposefully left him to die. Further adding to this was the fact that Nolan willingly pushed production back several months because Cotillard was pregnant during the time they had originally planned to shoot and he wanted her in the film that much. Why would he do that for a random character, wouldn't that make more sense if she was a villain? She reveals in the climax that she is indeed Talia when she stabs Batman in revenge for leaving her dad to die. Even when the film first came out in 2012, it was a shock to no one despite the film treating it as some huge revelation.
  • In a meta example, in 2008, Joaquin Phoenix claimed he was retiring from acting to become a hip hop performer, grew a wild beard, and began making bizarre public appearances while Casey Affleck filmed him. Most commentators instantly assumed that the whole thing was an act for a mockumentary film similar to Borat, which had recently made waves. In 2010, Affleck and Phoenix released a film about Phoenix's behavior called I'm Still Here and shortly thereafter revealed, to the surprise of almost no one, that the whole thing was fake.
  • In Beauty and the Beast (2017), Belle wants to find out what happened to her Missing Mom, but Maurice doesn't want to tell her. She eventually uses magic to find out, and get this—she died. Of a disease! So...pretty much just what every fan of the original movie naturally assumed.
  • Angel Has Fallen makes it pretty obvious that Vice President Martin Kirby is the mastermind of the scheme, having hired Salient Global to assassinate President Trumbull and make Mike Banning take the blame.
  • Joker: Arthur wasn't really dating Sophie, he just imagined her there during times we see them together to cope with his loneliness. Problem is, nobody else sees Sophie with Arthur either, not even Sophie's young daughter, and also, why would Sophie be so cavalier about dating a lonely, mentally ill weirdo who lives with his mother and stalked her to work? Granted Arthur didn't mean any harm at that point, but still, there was no reason why Sophie would have been interested in a man like him in the first place, so the twist she barely knows who he is really isn't a shock.
  • It: Chapter Two: The reveal that Stanley died by cutting himself could be an example of this. We see someone lying in a bathtub at the start of the film, and while the audience probably wouldn’t recognise him because he was grown up, we then see all the other characters are alive and well. Then there’s the scene where the fortune cookie messages spell “Looks like Stanley couldn’t cut it.” After that the reveal over the phone isn’t that surprising.

  • A Song of Ice and Fire - Jon Snow's true parentage has not yet been revealed in the as yet unfinished book series, but the TV series (which has overtaken the books) revealed it as being pretty much the number one fan theory since the first book was written (although there are still diehard factions who insist on alternative possibilities, mostly on the grounds that the official TV reveal is "just too obvious, so it can't possibly be that"). The question of his actual legitimacy may be another matter, considering the somewhat shaky laws and precedents for divorce or annulment and remarriage in Westeros: but the question of his parentage can probably be regarded as settled - not least since, allegedly, the author only gave the go-ahead for making the show when the producers were able to give the correct answer to this exact question, and are unlikely to have changed what is evidently an important plot point.
  • The Mortal Instruments is rather infamous for these, due to its very obvious use of Foreshadowing. The most hated examples were that Valentine was Clary's father (after having revealed that he was married to Clary's mother) and Clary and Jace weren't siblings (for the meta-reason that they're the main couple and most fans aren't into incest).
  • In Midnight Predator, a lot of fans figured out that Jaguar was Turquoise and Ravyn's employer before it was revealed.
  • Harry Potter is a special case: since it has a very big, very... let's say detail-oriented fandom, a lot of things were obvious to it despite the clues being minimal or well-hidden.
    • When J. K. Rowling wrote that an "R.A.B." had already procured the Horcrux locket at the end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, fans figured out almost immediately "R.A.B." stood for Regulus Black. Though note that this was on the strength of just a couple barely memorable mentions of him until the final book, making this more a case of the fans being just that obsessive. note 
    • Snape is the Half-Blood Prince. The HBP is good at potions, and Snape got promoted to Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, which is usually a dead give away that you're going to be important in a Harry Potter book.
    • Speaking of Snape, his love for Lily Evans-Potter certainly counts, as fans had already made a connection between the two characters long before they were even mentioned together and the ship actually was called the "S.S. Cliched" for a time.
    • An example that can't just be blamed on fannish obsessiveness: The big reveal of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is that Harry is The Chosen One, with a prophecy saying that he and Voldemort are destined to battle to the death. Granted, the existence of a prophecy is new information, but it seems a bit unnecessary now that Harry and Voldemort have faced each other four or five times already. It helps somewhat that Because Destiny Says So and Prophecies Are Always Right are both Discussed and dismissed in the following book.
    • Harry Potter is the last Soul Jar. Would've been shocking if a huge deal hadn't been made out of the mysterious connection between him and Voldemort, and it hadn't been all but spelled out that Voldemort had put "a part of himself" into Harry.
  • In Monstrous Regiment it's fairly easy to figure out that all of the soldiers are women long before it's explicitly stated. There's quite a lot of foreshadowing for each of them, like Sgt. Jackrum saying "on my oath, I am not a violent man" while being quite violent indeed; plays like Hypocritical Humor, but she is telling at least a partial truth. Not to mention that if you know your Elizabethan history the title itself is a hint, because the title of an Author Tract against Mary Queen of Scots referred to "the Monstrous Regiment of Women."
  • Double Subverted in Cirque Du Freak with The Vampaneze Lord. At first, it's incredibly obvious that Steve will be returning as the Vampaneze Lord until it turns out that Steve became a vampire hunter. Then it's revealed that he was, in fact, the Vampaneze Lord all along. It's treated as a big twist, but many readers saw through the Red Herring anyway.
  • Gentleman Bastard: The second book opens with Locke and Jean, two conmen who have been True Companions since childhood, cornered by some mooks. Suddenly, Jean turns on Locke and tells the mooks that he has betrayed Locke for their master. We then flash back to show How We Got Here, leaving this shocking swerve as a cliffhanger until the end, when we find out the obvious: the conman was conning the mooks.
  • In Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe, "Robin of Locksley"— who lives in Nottingham, is a brilliant shot with a bow, and leads a merry band of outlaws in the forest who fight against Prince John—is revealed to be the secret identity of... you guessed it, none other than Robin Hood! All right, maybe it wasn't originally quite as much of a Captain Obvious Reveal as it is today, because Scott invented several of the tropes that became stock parts of the Robin Hood legend. Still, any reader with even the tiniest familiarity with the genre must have seen it coming a mile away.
  • The Lost Symbol: Mal'akh is really Peter Solomon's presumed-dead son Zachary. According to the narration, Mal'akh killed Zachary Solomon before escaping prison with Solomon's money but it's not hard to figure out this is just careful wording. Dan Brown even drops a massive hint by outright mentioning Darth Vader and Luke and then having Mal'akh cut Peter's hand off but it's still treated as a big reveal.
  • In Trail of Lightning, supernatural abilities come in pairs. One of Kai's is a Healing Factor, but he's reluctant to talk about the other one, and Maggie spends most of the book trying to figure out what it is. She also spends most of the book commenting on how good Kai is at persuading people into things, and at one point even suspects him of having sold her out to an enemy to save his own skin because it's too implausible that he could have just talked his way out of trouble. When it's finally revealed that Kai's other ability is being able to make people do what he wants just by asking them, this is played as a huge surprise, but for some readers the only surprise is being reminded that we weren't supposed to already know.
  • Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle: Coral being a girl in disguise is blatantly hinted right from her very first appearance, where she's described as androgynous in appearance and Lux inexplicably finds himself attracted to her. This may have been to distract from the more important reveal: that she's actually the second imperial princess Aeril. However, this also qualifies for the trope, what with Coral mentioning her elder and younger sisters (the imperial princesses being the only set of three sisters known to the reader).
  • In the sixth Alex Rider book, Ark Angel, the Big Bad of the novel is originally presented as being Kaspar, the leader of the Eco-Terrorist group Force Three. The real Big Bad is, in fact, Nikolei Drevin, a Russian oligarch who has invented the group to take the credit for his plan... but the major clues to this (the revelation that Force Three held Alex hostage in a block of flats owned by Drevin, no guards were watching Drevin's son even though Drevin knew he was a target, and it is effectively said outright that Drevin, not Force Three, ordered the murder of a minor character) are incredibly obvious.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Dracula (2020), the way John Harker looks and acts during his time at the convent makes it clear as day he's undead himself long before the narrative makes it official. It's more a question of how, not if, he ended up in this state.
  • Several tropes were so frequently repeated in Kamen Rider that fans were able to guess the moment Kamen Rider Wizard premiered that the White Wizard was going to be the Evil Mentor, be connected with the Big Bad in some way and that Koyomi would be the Living MacGuffin. Needless to say, by its endgame, the show confirmed all three.
  • Kamen Rider Gaim has the first episode featuring the disappearance of a character, a monster who appeared around the area where he dropped the Transformation Trinket, and an ominous fruit that The Hero was tempted to eat. If you guessed that the fruit had something to do with the disappeared person and that chances are he became said monster, then congratulations, you've guessed along with everyone else. However, the reveal isn't the fact that the monster was this character all along, but instead the inevitable moment when this truth is revealed to the characters.
  • Another subversion is found in Kamen Rider Drive where we have two characters, Chase and Proto-Drive. Both of them are similar in visual design and what they can do, and even comparisons have been made In-Universe. It was no surprise when people started saying the two were the same. Come a three-part episode regarding An Ass-Kicking Christmas and we find out two details: Proto-Drive is dead and that Chase is actually a robot with a number that isn't a part of the 108 numbered-robots. This actually becomes Double Subverted in a Meta Twist. Three episodes later and it is revealed that Proto-Drive and Chase are one and the same.
  • In Hikari Sentai Maskman, "Prince" Igam is played by a woman who makes no attempt to disguise the fact that she is one, apparently a She Is the King situation. About 3/4 of the way through the series, it's dramatically revealed that she is in fact a woman when her headgear comes off and her long hair is seen. The episode is called "Prince Igam, You're A Woman!" It's at this point that you realize it was in fact supposed to be a secret. On the other hand, the medium of Tokusatsu is inspired by traditional Japanese theater, in which some roles were played by the opposite gender (particularly in the art of Kabuki), so it's somewhat excusable.
  • Supernatural:
    • A big mystery is built up in season 3 over the demon who holds the contract for Dean's soul, despite there only being one important demon character still living.
    • Taken Up to Eleven in season 8 with the reveal that closing the gates of Hell requires taking your own life. This one was so obvious that even Sam and Dean predicted it in-universe half a season beforehand, yet both of them still acted as though it was a surprise they had never considered before.
  • The Star Trek: Voyager episode "Scorpion (Part 2)" makes a big deal out of The Reveal that the Borg were the aggressors in the war with Species 8472, who were well on their way to exterminating the entire Collective before Janeway stuck her nose in. Considering it's the Borg we're talking about, the bigger mystery is why wasn't that the default assumption?
  • The Flash (2014):
    • Reverse-Flash turns out to be Harrison Wells, who has been Ambiguously Evil to the audience since the start of the series. However, the real twist is that he isn't Harrison Wells at all.
    • And in season 3, the Flash gains a new major enemy, an evil wizard who is creating new metas to fight him, and a dickish new coworker who is played by Tom Felton, best known for playing Draco Malfoy, an evil wizard. Though again, the real twist is that he is not aware of it.
    • Season 3 Big Bad Savitar being an evil version of Barry from the future. The foreshadowing was not very subtle ("I am the future, Flash" actually being "I am the Future Flash", the numerous other vague statements that pointed to this conclusion, Killer Frost instantly trusting him after learning his identity, etc.). It was so blatant that fans immediately dismissed it as too obvious and started theorizing about other possibilities (such as Eddie Thawne or Ronnie Raymond). Hence, they weren't happy to finally learn of his rather obvious identity twenty episodes into the season, as many felt it wasn't worth the wait.
  • Once Upon a Time has many of these including Regina's mother Cora being the Queen of Hearts (we saw Cora disappearing through a looking glass, the Queen of Hearts knowing Regina's father and her name means heart in Latin) and Emma's childhood friend Lily being Maleficent's long-lost child (Lily has a strange Birthmark of Destiny and mentioned having been found when she was a baby).
  • Subverted in Power Rangers Zeo. The mysterious and powerful Gold Ranger starts appearing and helping the Rangers. Meanwhile, former ranger and current ranger tech guy, Billy, starts being mysteriously absent. Lo and behold, the Gold Ranger is... some guy we've never seen before.
  • Dexter: During Season 6, many viewers guessed that Professor Gellar was Dead All Along almost immediately. The writers were simply too obvious with nobody but Travis ever seen talking to him but still treated it like a shocking turn of events when the "reveal" came.
  • Iron Fist (2017) makes a big show of finally revealing Madam Gao's face, even though it being her was completely obvious to anyone who'd watched Daredevil (2015), while being meaningless to anyone who hadn't. Not many people were wondering which elderly female crime boss with a cane it could possibly be — and the subtitles didn't even bother hiding her name.
  • American Gods (2017): In theory, Mr. Wednesday's identity is supposed to be a shocking reveal. However, anyone with the slightest knowledge of Norse mythology will immediately realize that the one-eyed old man named after Odin's day is, in fact, the one-eyed Old God Odin. Unlike the book, the show doesn't really make any attempt to actually hide his identity. His old friends call him Wodan (one of Odin's names), he is followed by two ravens who occasionally talk to him, and the New Gods even offer him to give him a bunch of sacrifices using Odin-class missiles. When he makes his reveal speech in the season finale of season 1, it's clear that the only one who is supposed to be surprised is Shadow.
  • Beverly Hills, 90210: Halfway through Season 4, a stranger shows up on Dylan's doorstep, claiming to be his late father's ex-girlfriend, and the mother of Dylan's half-sister, who he never knew existed. Dylan agonises over whether this woman is legit, or she is performing some sort of scam to get his money, and after half a season with her, and Dylan finally deciding that she is legit, we find out that she was scamming him all along and everything she said to him was just a ruse to get access to his money.
  • Blake's 7. In "Traitor", the measures used to conceal the identity of Commissioner Sleer only make it obvious to the audience that it must be an Arch-Nemesis Back from the Dead. Unless Travis had somehow survived his Cruel and Unusual Death in "Star One", who else could it be but Servalan?
  • Black Mirror: The "It was just a simulation!" trope gets used a bit too much. By the time of the fourth season episode "Hang the DJ", the characters musing about how The System may be a simulation is likely to prompt eye rolls from long-time viewers. The romantic (as opposed to horrific) nature of the episode is almost unique to the series, but the other example is by far the most renowned in the series and has won several real-life awards. That episode also turns out to be taking place in a simulation.
  • The Julekalender: The mysterious man (Benny) is revealed to be a Nåsåernote  in Episode 15, but by then the show has dropped so many obvious hints that you've almost certainly figured it out already: For starters, the narrator keeps saying stuff like, "The Big Book is incredibly dangerous in the hands of a Nåsåer", which suggests that there's a Nåsåer in the cast — otherwise it'd be pointless — and Benny is the only candidate.note  Starting at Episode 5, he takes advantage of the farmers' hospitality by telling them Blatant Lies. His weird mannerisms are also a clear sign that something is off. In Episode 8, he asks the farmers some questions that are clearly about the Nisses even though he tries to hide it. In Episode 9, he's very interested in the Nisses' lost map. In Episode 10, he lies to the farmers and goes to steal The Big Book. Finally, in episode 12, he uses The Big Book to practice black magic, which the Nåsåere are known to do. Note that the reveal was probably obvious on purpose, as The Julekalender is partly satirical.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Long before it was official, people were sure Bully Ray was going to turn out to be the leader of Aces & Eights, the then-latest stable trying to takeover TNA. Many of those speculating flat-out admitted they didn't have logical reason behind the assumption besides being used to that kind of thing happening in TNA. Furthermore, Bully Ray ended up being well-received in spite of people seeing it coming, and in spite of people generally wanting the Aces And Eights angle to die.
  • Generally, when something is going in an obvious direction, resulting in this, TNA (and occasionally WWE, but mainly TNA) try to pull a Shocking Swerve. It happens so often that the swerves themselves become this.
  • Any time Sting would partner with "face" Ric Flair, the eventual betrayal could be seen a mile away. Actually, nearly anyone Sting partnered with in major storylines was going to turn on him, including Bully Ray above.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • Baldur's Gate: in the Tales of the Sword Coast expansion there is a quest involving a distant island with some strange inhabitants. They often point at your smell, one of them will refer to the village as a pack and they have uncommon ways of speaking (which at first could be seen as a dialect since they have a strange accent) and reasoning (like the way they give importance to the concept of someone "belonging" to a community). The village leader will task the player to slay some beasts that were harassing the village. She underlines a lot that they are different from villagers and that they look like them but they are not them: "wolf-like but not wolves and man-like but not men, I don't know how to call them, they are like us but not like us", they are "they are animals and live as wolves and carrion feeders" while the villagers "lived as humans as we could". A children says that "sometimes the beasties look like us but they change and get mean". Further investigating in the village will give another hint in the fact that apparently the hostilities between the two sides started with their ancestors shipwrecking on the island, implying that they had some ties in the past. Later you discover that the beasts are obviously lycanthropes (precisely wolfweres, wolves capable of turning humans) but their leader will reveal a plot twist: the villagers are too (although true werewolves). While the hints hidden in the village could lead the player to a final hypothesis that the whole island is inhabited by those creatures, it's evident from the first very dialogue with a child saying "you smell different" that the villagers are lycanthropes too.
  • Batman: Arkham Knight: The identity of the Arkham Knight is this, thanks to its overuse of Foreshadowing. Anyone with some knowledge of Batman lore can have a decent ballpark idea of who it is fairly early into the game; heck, tons of people correctly predicted who the Knight was the very first day he was unveiled, but discarded the idea because it was too obvious. Even if you didn't know anything about Batman, a certain character is seen several times through Batman's flashbacks who had not even been so much as mentioned in any previous game in the series. The last of these flashbacks has said character being Mind Raped by the Joker into having a grudge against Batman, then Joker supposedly shoots him dead. Guess who the Knight is?
  • Destroy All Humans!: In the first game, Majestic leader Silhouette, who obscures their identity through a large trench-coat, and voice-filtered gas mask, turns out to be a woman. While Crypto is shocked upon discovery, it doesn't come off as a major shock to anyone who reads the thoughts of a Majestic agent early on, who blatantly states it and then fails to cover it up. In addition, even with the voice filter, Silhouette still sounds rather feminine.
  • Caster of Midrash from Fate/Grand Order is revealed to be the Queen of Sheba which is treated as a big surprise for the protagonists and would be for the players if not for the fact that prior to this reveal, they put on a play about King Solomon where the Queen of Sheba was in silhouette but still had the exact same headwear that Caster of Midrash has in her artwork.
  • Final Fantasy II: At the start of the game, Maria is separated from her brother Leon as the party flees from Fynn, and she spends most of the game looking for him. A bit later, it's revealed that a mysterious man known as the Dark Knight has taken a position of power as the Emperor's right hand. Most players won't take long to figure out they're one and the same, specially in the Game Boy Advance remake, where the Dark Knight's character portrait is just Leon's portrait with a darker coloration.
  • Final Fantasy XII: Basch tells the party that he has a twin brother, Noah, that sided with the Archadians. This happens shortly after the party sees Basch being interrogated by Judge Gabranth, who looks similar to Basch. And it's mentioned in conversation that Gabranth is from Landis, Basch's homeland, and he has a brother that has joined the Dalmascans, the kingdom Basch was fighting for. So when Gabranth shows up near the end of the game and reveals he is Noah, the player is probably thinking "no kidding."
  • Final Fantasy X:
    • All Summoners, including Yuna, will die at the end of their journey. The game is not very subtle in hiding its hints. High Summoners, the title given to Summoners who have defeated Sin, are all dead; Yuna's meaningful glances at all places, before leaving them; the tearful farewell from her village or the noticeably awkward silence, after Tidus insensitively saying that they'll do this and that, after Yuna has defeated Sin. The reveal scene itself, about halfway through the game, seems to be more for Tidus than for the player.
    • Auron is an Unsent. Aside from it being It Was His Sled territory, the hints are so unsubtle (Seymour asking why Auron's "still here" and saying that he can smell "the scent of the Farplane" on him) that Tidus knew what Auron wanted to say, when he revealed his status as an Unsent to him. The others get this reveal in the final scene, where Yuna performs a Sending and Auron willingly lets himself be sent, after having fought a previous Sending that affected him.
  • Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII: Bhunivelze, the apparent Big Good, is actually the Big Bad. Anyone remotely following the lore of the trilogy in the first two games could peg this one coming a mile away, since they spell out that Bhunivelze's sons, Lindzei and Pulse, are The Man Behind the Man to the fal'Cie, the villains of the first game. Even if you aren't familiar with the lore, Serah and Hope, the two beings who claim to speak to Bhunvelze directly, are acting oddly and not telling Lightning the whole truth, and Lightning hasn't been feeling quite normal since being appointed Bhunivelze's servant, all of which she herself takes note of.
  • Rune Factory 3: When Micah reveals his secret to Daria, she reveals her own secret — she's an elf. Micah treats this as a stunning revelation, and the player is supposed to as well. This is Daria. Though it could be argued that the shock was that Daria was specifically an elf, not just non-human. Falls flat especially in the case of the legitimate surprise of Raven's reveal.
  • Persona 4:
    • Naoto is a girl. Thanks to the English voice acting this doesn't come as much of a surprise to most (although her voice is slightly deeper before The Reveal), though the Japanese voice acting does a slightly better job of hiding it. Even then, many players were able to tell her gender just by looking at her, and the twist has well and truly reached It Was His Sled levels now.
    • Adachi being the killer for some people. He was the only major character who didn't have a Social Link (until the Golden Updated Re-release—and even then it was an Arcana that doesn't exist in reality), much like Ikutsuki in Persona 3. Another hint was his tendency to "accidentally" give the Investigation Team hints, mostly to cover his own ass. Another give-away that it's a common cliche in murder mysteries that the killer is perceived as a Nice Guy before the reveal while a Jerkass is a Red Herring.
  • Persona 5:
    • Goro Akechi being Black Mask, as well as the one who sold out the protagonist during the Niijima's Palace heist. Many fans suspected this plot twist from the beginning, as Akechi isn't present in a lot of promotional material and didn't receive official artwork of his Phantom Thief outfit or his Persona Robin Hood until a few years after the game was released. The game isn't subtle in this regard either, as several of Akechi's DLC outfits gives him costumes that hint at his true moral standing such as Ideo Hazama's uniform and Boss (Dumuzid)'s suit, a book for his Persona doesn't get unlocked when he joins the party unlike with the other party members note , and one of the first scenes where the protagonist personally encounters Akechi has him talking about "delicious pancakes", despite that Morgana was the only one who mentioned pancakes and it's established early on that only those who have visited the Metaverse can understand Morgana.
    • "Igor" is actually an imposter. His voice is completely different and his previous Cryptkeeper-like demeanor is altogether gone, so it's not hard to guess that he's being impersonated, even if you can't initially tell who it is. Note however that this largely applies to the Western release, as Igor's Japanese VA (Isamu Tanonaka) had passed away several years before the game was released, thus meaning the player would be less likely to suspect the change in voice. note 
  • In Mega Man 6, the villain behind all of this games' Robot Masters is supposed to be a mysterious "Mr. X." Given how formulaic the series is, anyone who has played any of the previous five games knows Mr. X is very obviously going to be eventually revealed as Dr. Wily in disguise. Particularly since the series already tried a similarly unconvincing final boss fake-out with Dr. Cossack in Mega Man 4.
  • Even ignoring how widely known the twist is now thanks to Super Smash Bros., the identity of the Masked Man in MOTHER 3 is pretty obvious. It certainly doesn't make what happens after the mask is taken off any less impactful, though.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon Black and White:
      • "What? Are you telling me that the serious, pale-skinned man who uses a red scouter-like machine on his right eye, wears a robe with eyeballs in it and is constantly talking on behalf of Team Plasma is actually a villain and Team Plasma's real leader? And the guy who looks like a younger version of him is actually his son!? HOW WOULD I KNOW?" Though what IS a surprise is just how evil said villain is and how he has treated his son.
      • Black and White also try to pretend that N being the "official" leader of Team Plasma is a surprise until Nimbasa City. Even for players who skipped past the animation depicting his coronation that plays before the title screen every time the game is booted up, it wasn't hard to piece together that the weird kid who sympathized with Pokémon was linked to that weird organization that claims to fight against Pokémon abuse.
    • Pokémon X and Y:
      • The leader of the villainous Team Flare (whose stated goal is to make the world beautiful) is supposed to be a mystery. In practice, it's a no-brainer to connect said goal to a guy's ravings about how "the world should be destroyed before its beauty ceases", along with his matching wardrobe and color coordination, and conclude that the guy is their leader.
      • In the same game, they also make a half-hearted attempt to hide the fact that Diantha is the champion. Even the anime pretty much introduces her as such in her first appearance there.
    • In general, the regional champion has always followed a set pattern: they're uniquely designed, unique in personality, and have a significant role in the game's plot. In Generations I and II, this wasn't much of a problem, given how Generation I (the very start of the series) led the player to believe that the Elite Four was their final challenge (with the rival's champion status being a rather big twist even today) and Generation II had only just begun to experiment with this formula. Starting from Gen III, however, this formula for the champion was practically set in stone for the series, with champions becoming rather easy to pick out from the game's cast. It got to the point where Pokémon Black and White didn't even attempt to hide that Alder was the Champion. Which allowed them to use the established pattern to pull a Meta Twist: Alder isn't the Final Boss, he's actually The Unfought during the main story due to Team Plasma's plot, and is only fought as the True Final Boss. The sequel stacks onto the twist by silently having him replaced by Iris as the champion.
      • Averted again in Pokémon Sun and Moon. Due to the Pokémon League being newly established, there isn't a Champion... which makes it all the more surprising when Professor Kukui steps in as the game's Final Boss. Then Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon pulls a twist on this twist by having Kukui claim he was challenging you as a mere gag, with the real final battle pitting you against your rival, just like in the very first generation.
    • Pokémon Sun and Moon:
      • The very instant the Aether Foundation was revealed in trailers for the game, everyone suspected that they would be the story's Big Bad. In fact this is averted completely, the game opens with Lillie on the run from a bunch of malicious-looking Aether employees, thus making the reveal that the Aether Foundation had been corrupted by one of the Ultra Beasts even less of a surprise to the players.
      • The Reveal that Lillie, Gladion, and Lusamine are all related is hardly surprising given that they all look so similar, especially Lillie and Lusamine.
      • The fact that Lusamine is evil is blatantly obvious after the first Ultra Beast leaves during your first meeting with her, because she sports a Slasher Smile and starts muttering like a madman. Though much like in Black And White, the surprise is just HOW bad she is.
      • Many people predicted Cosmog would evolve into Lunala simply by noticing how similar its design is. Same goes with Cosmoem and Solgaleo. This meant the only real surprise was Cosmog evolving into Cosmoem rather than them being separate evolutionary lines.
      • The minute the Ultra Beasts were revealed for Pokémon Sun and Moon, people predicted they'd be Pokémon you'd be able to catch later in the game, even though the developers were trying to make them out as being distinct from Pokémon, and deliberately not showing any images of them in battle. By the time the datamining and official company statements revealed they were Pokemon you could catch, the percentage of fans who believed they were only NPCs was practically nil.
    • Starting with Pokémon Emerald, a generation always has a post-game legendary Pokémon with a theme and/or design similar to the main mascot duo, is often close by them in the Pokédex, and is totally ignored in the main plot. Then a later game focuses on them and reveals that the Pokémon that looks and acts very similarly to the main duo is actually related to them, and they often expect you to be shocked by that. If their similarities aren't a premature tip-off, that they always play this "twist" dead straight every gen should be. It was actually quite a surprise to many people that such a thing never happened with Zygarde, who got some minor focus in Pokémon Sun and Moon, but no Pokémon Z, and no plot developments tying it to Xerneas and Yveltal.
  • Subverted in No More Heroes when it's revealed that Henry is Travis's twin brother. Apparently, he thought such a reveal would be one of these. How does everyone react to this news...?
    Travis: That's the craziest shit I've ever heard! Why would you bring up something like that at the very end of the game?!
    Henry: I would have thought that you and the player would have at least expected a twist of fate of some kind.
  • Tales of Destiny 2 gives us Judas who is so obviously Leon (from the first game in the duology) that it hurts.
  • Fire Emblem Fates has the revelation that Odin, Selena and Laslow are actually Owain, Severa and Inigo from Fire Emblem Awakening. Even if you missed or forget the fact that previous game established The Multiverse as a thing, all three have the exact same appearances, voice actors, personalities and birthdays as their Awakening counterparts, and their Supports frequently reference Awakening, so one has to wonder how much of a surprise it's actually supposed to be.
  • Fire Emblem Gaiden (and Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia):
    • In the remake, we have a red-haired masked figure who follows Celica and her party around, warning them of various dangers and seeming very concerned for Celica's welfare and seems to know she's actually the heir to Zofia, and Celica mentions more than once that she had a brother who died. It's decidedly a hugely unsurprising reveal when it turns out to be Conrad, Celica's big brother.
    • Alm being Rigelian royalty becomes one in the remake. He has a Birthmark of Destiny just like Celica, multiple characters from Rigel appear to recognize him, he gets a unique weapon that's only usable by those of royal blood, Desaix practically spells it out in his death quote, and once the army reaches Rigel Alm feels a sense of familiarity with the place. Considering that Echoes is a remake of a game nearly two decades old, the developers probably assumed the twist was well and truly It Was His Sled by now.
  • Sirius being a Not Quite Dead Camus in Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem is practically the same as the above Conrad situation in Shadows of Valentia. Strangely though, The Reveal never actually happens. Though it's all but stated in his conversation with Nyna in the final chapter, there's no Dramatic Unmasking, as he knows full well revealing his identity would cause more harm than good for everyone.
  • From Tales of Graces, we have Richard being possessed. If his sudden headache and subsequent bloody rampage against soldiers at Wallbridge isn't enough to clue the player in, there's also his desire to take revenge on his uncle, whom he also kills in front of the party. Richard's continued aggressive behavior, including starting a war is not enough to make the party actually figure this out themselves. While the player has figured it out ages ago, one must still sit through a good 20 hours of gameplay before the idea of Richard being possessed by the Big Bad is even considered an option.
  • Tales of Symphonia:
    • The game has an odd situation in that an actual reveal leads directly into an example. After Ozette is destroyed, the party meets a child claiming to be the sole survivor, whose name is Mithos. Over several skits, it becomes apparent that Mithos is more than he seems, and he shares many traits with the ancient hero Mithos. Then a genuine reveal occurs, as a storyteller informs you that the hero Mithos's last name was Yggdrasill, the name of the Big Bad. However, several more scenes occur before the final reveal, which should be obvious from the previous two by the transitive property: the Mithos in their group is also Yggdrasill.
    • There's also the matter of Genis and Raine being half-elves. Fairly early in the game, a half-elven character compares himself to the two of them, but quickly and awkwardly retracts this comparison when Genis nervously declares them to be elves, and he realizes they've been traveling incognito. Combined with moments like Raine telling Genis "we're not like them" about a group of half-elven villains, the player may well have forgotten that their race was supposed to be a secret by the time the shocking-to-the-characters reveal arrives several plot twists later.
    • Kratos is Lloyd's father. The age doesn't seem to make things work out, Kratos is stated to be 28 and Lloyd is 17 years old, so he would have had to become a father at a very young age, but the twist is still obvious. Early on, the party visits Lloyd's home and Kratos is seen standing at the grave nearby, which Lloyd reveals to be his mother's. They share similar facial expressions (as well as a distaste for tomatoes) and Kratos is a little too uncharacteristically emotional when the party meets Kvar, who gloatingly reveals how he was at fault for Lloyd's mother's death. And when the party splits up into one fighting Kvar, Kratos refuses any combination that does not involve him on that team. The reveal itself? Takes place close to the last third of the game. The age thing is also made clearer when it's revealed that Kratos is actually about four millennia old. And leaving most of these plot-related reasons aside, there is fairly interesting clue to be found in actual gameplay: one of the possible settings for your A.I. allies in battle is to let them fight, move and use their skills at their own discretion. To be specific, each party member actually has their own tendencies pre-programmed into their individual A.I.s. In Kratos' case, analyzing his actions in battle reveals that he will almost always prioritize healing and protecting Lloyd over everyone else, even the all-important Collete whom he's supposed to be guarding with his life!
  • Tales of Xillia 2:
    • Elle is Ludger's daughter from the future. Within the first hour of the two meeting in the beginning of the game, multiple hints are dropped over and over and not leaving much of a potential surprise for the player. The revelation being given to Ludger and Elle themselves? The last third of the game.
    • Elle actually being from a fractured dimension. Nothing in the world of Xillia states that time travel is actually possible, but even ignoring that, the fact that Elle's father's clock merges with Ludger's is a big hint. Especially because the game states early on that the same thing cannot exist twice in the prime dimension, making it obvious that the clock (and Elle) come from a fractured dimension.
  • Bravely Default:
    • For the second half of the game, the player is gradually given hints that Airy either isn't telling all the information, is evil, or both. Once you hit the 3/4 mark, the title screen changes the subtitle to read "Airy Lies", outright spelling out her deception. And yet, for another 20 hours or so of gameplay, the characters still can't piece it together. Even after when Ringabel remembers that she's evil and outright murdered the others in another world. When her true intentions are finally revealed, the cast is shocked, while the player is banging their head against the wall.
    • Alternis and Ringabel being the same person, provided one reads the Book of D. While the narrator's identity is never textually given in the entries, Alternis is very clearly shown in an illustration, make it easy to identify him as the narrator. From there, the various details, most glaring being Ringabel's lack of presence in the Book of D, make putting two and two together easy. There is a wrinkle, however, in that the player is initially led to believe that Ringabel is merely faking his amnesia and covertly posing as an ally of the heroes, especially after Alternis suffers an injury at the hands of Victoria and the scene cuts to a recently absent Ringabel limping back to the party with the exact same wound. The reality is that Ringabel is actually Alternis's Alternate Self (now look at his name again) who was transported from his version of Luxendarc to the current world via the Holy Pillar.
  • In BlazBlue, fans figured out that Phantom was really Konoe A. Mercury (aka Nine of the Six Heroes) almost four years before it was actually confirmed in the third game. Phantom's attire being incredibly similar to what Nine wore while she was alive, as well as none too subtle hints to her true identity throughout Continuum Shift while in the presence of the other members of the Six Heroes, made it easy for people to connect the dots.
  • Super Mario 3D World attempts a Victory Fakeout at the end of World 7... which might have been a little more convincing had there not been eight worlds in Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Super Mario Bros. 3, all 5 New Super Mario Bros. games and several others. It seems that the Grandfather Clause is obliging the Mario series to use Your Princess Is in Another Castle! in every game by now.
  • In Paper Mario: Color Splash, virtually nobody was surprised by Bowser being the Big Bad. In fact, most people figured it out the moment the game was shown off. Not only is there Bowser tape in Port Prisma, but during Ruddy Road, the first actual level, a Shy Guy is shown placing Bowser tape down right in front of your eyes. And yet no one suspects a thing. The reveal of the Koopalings being the main bosses only rubbed salt into that wound. Like the above example, it feels like the Grandfather Clause is obliging the series to use Bowser as the Big Bad in every game now.
    • However, it ends up subverted when it's all but outright stated that the black paint Bowser covered himself in was actually possessing him and that all the trouble started just because Bowser accidentally mixed all the Prisma Fountain paint colors together because he wanted a rainbow patterned shell. However, even this isn't totally without foreshadowing as when you get to the final level, you see that he drained Peach's color when she tried to escape. And when, in the literally dozens of times that Bowser kidnapped her before, has he ever actually harmed her?
  • Astro Boy: Omega Factor has the reveal that Blue Knight is actually President Rag, having survived his attempted assassination. The attempted assassination that Blue Knight is shown flashing back to in an early conversation with Astro.
  • In Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, many could easily guess the real identity of Arcanus because his mask covers less than half of his face. In case it's still not obvious, it's recurring villain Alex.
  • The Man Behind the Man in Sonic Rush Adventure is Dr. Eggman, who is completely absent from the story until The Reveal. However, given that apparent-Big Bad Captain Whisker is a robot who sports a mustache and overall looks identical to that of Eggman, roughly no one was shocked when the twist was revealed.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Tetra is revealed to be Zelda. She's the only blonde female protagonist in the main story who isn't Link's sister. Also entering Tetra's room earlier on, you can see portraits of the Triforce, the legendary hero and Tetra's mother who looks like a queen. The game's other twist though...
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds has Link working with the mysterious Hilda, who claims to be his ally in the Lorule, Hyrule's alternate dimension counterpart. It's an established fact that everyone in Lorule is the polar opposite of their Hyrulean counterpart. Zelda is kind, wise, and a genuine friend to Link, so it's not quite hard to guess that Hilda turns out to be a villain (though she's admittedly a complex character who falls more toward Well-Intentioned Extremist territory than any truly evil acts). Even worse, the apparent Big Bad of the game, Yuga, is first seen transforming Seres, a young nun, into a painting for part of some kind of evil ritual. After completing the spell, Yuga outright states "Her Grace will be most pleased..." It's possible that the developers hoped players would overlook that line, but if you read it for even a moment, it becomes obvious that the two are conspirators.
  • In Nicole, one of the four guys Nicole interacts with is a kidnapper. This could have been an intriguing mystery to solve had Jeff not begun acting like Creepy McCreeperson just two weeks into the game.
  • Diablo 3 has Act 2 that involves the player character hunting for Belial, the primal evil Lord of Lies. Everything points to the creepy child emperor of the desert nation he/she is in being the obvious culprit. Everything. This kid covers every evil child cliche known to man, short of speaking parseltongue (and that too, since his personal guards are snake people in disguise). Yet the players spend the entire linear story arc going off on increasingly silly red herrings only to be told by the creepy child himself that, surprise, he was Belial the whole time. No way! For that matter, it's so obvious that even the player character had figured it out awhile ago.
  • Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 opens with the conclusion of Dragon Ball Z: Bardock – The Father of Goku, as the titular Bardock is enveloped in Freeza's death sphere, and defnitely is in no way related to the mysterious masked stranger with a similar damaged armor and voice that shows up with Towa, Mira, Turles, and Lord Slug immediately afterward. The game pretends his identity to be a complete mystery and somehow expects the player to be shocked and all-surprised when the Masked Saiyan's identity is revealed.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X has Phog and Frye being brothers. The game tries to present this as a twist, but the fact that one Affinity Quest requires both of them, they're Mutually Exclusive Party Members until said quest is done, and that they constantly mention eachother in their battle quotes means it's hardly a twist at all.
  • Thimbleweed Park turns out to be all in a video game itself. This would be quite surprising... if the two agents didn't blatantly break the fourth wall saying the dead body is "pixellating" and could ask the pigeon brothers "Should I save my game?" (and be told "This game is hard-coded not to be unwinnable") within the first fifteen minutes.
  • Hunt Down The Freeman renders its very name meaningless by the end of the game, as it's revealed that the person Mitchell is looking for is actually someone who was disguised as Gordon Freeman, rather than the man himself. The problem? "Gordon" is shown wearing an HEV helmet while attacking Mitchell, which is very uncharacteristic of the real Gordon, so any sharp-eyed Half-Life fan who notices this detail will naturally suspect that something's fishy.
  • At the end of Disc 3 of The Legend of Dragoon reveals that Rose is the Black Monster Dart has been searching for. But it was already very obvious that the Black Monster was a Dragoon with a darkness theme and near the end of Disc 2, it was established that Rose has been around since the Dragon Campaign over 11,000 years ago (which itself was frequently hinted with the fact she knows far more about the time period than even acknowledged experts).
  • We Happy Few first revealed itself with the idea that Wellington Wells had turned itself into a drug-fueled Happiness Is Mandatory dystopia due to "The Very Bad Thing", which was somehow tied to the city's children being taken away after England was conquered by the Nazis during World War 2. Fans immediately began speculating what "The Very Bad Thing" was, mostly revolving around some kind of horrific counter-strike against the Nazis. Then the game came out and revealed "The Very Bad Thing" was actually the fact Wellington Wells let their children be taken in the first place. With the addendum that Wellington Wells found out after their children were taken that letting their kids be taken to preserve their own skins was a Senseless Sacrifice; the German army was so depleted that the tank units that blockaded them were entirely paper-mache models.
  • Mary Skelter: Nightmares tries to set up a betrayal involving the Dawn's leaders and the leaders of the Order of the Sun. Three chapters into a nine-chapter game, it's possible to investigate the laboratory of Professor Tohjima (the de facto leader of the Dawn) and stumble across a secret monitor room. While the Professor turns Plausible Deniability into an art form, the other suspects' allegiances and motivations are made obvious, which makes the latter half of the game feel like a giant farce. The kicker? Even when it's finally obvious to the heroes that Tohjima is a traitor, the Professor still somehow manages to dance logical circles around them, and the reveal only comes when another senior member of the Dawn who was a former accomplice and both secretly and not-so-secretly guides the main character in the right direction tells him to knock it off.
    • Mary Skelter 2 doesn't fare much better. The game includes an enhanced remake of the first game, but the fact that the developers heavily suggest playing the sequel first, going so far as to force the player to download free DLC to play out of order, makes it obvious that Mary Skelter 2 leads into the remake narrative-wise.
  • Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando is a rare example of doing this intentionally. A large man with a butt chin, pink mustache and donning a bright green leotard with a Q on the front is selling cheap devices to fund his evil scheme under the name Steve McQwark. He then laughs maniacally after the last customer leaves as he says "Steve McQwark... indeed!" and ripping off the pink mustache, revealing him to be Captain Qwark, a large man with a butt chin known for wearing a bright green leotard with a Q on the front. What tops it off is that the camera crash-zooms on his face as if the director genuinely believes the audience will be shocked by this.
  • Heroes of the Storm: This happens with a lot of teasers for new heroes. Since the game is a Massive Multiplayer Crossover of every Blizzard franchise, players can usually narrow every teaser down to a few options on the first hint, and figure out who it is exactly long before the reveal.
  • In BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm, the main villain Arianna turns out to be a rogue A.I. This shocks the heroes (one of whom is an A.I. herself and really should have seen the signs), but to the player it's likely been obvious since the first ten minutes of the game, when Arianna shows up in a crude robotic body and has no idea how to interact with humans.
  • In Raiden V, the fact that Valbarossa is a woman is played up as a surprise to the heroes, however her feminine voice, which is not masked in any way, makes her gender clear well before she officially reveals the fact. This is mostly an issue in the Director's Cut version if voices are enabled (which is the default), since the original version did not have any voice acting until an update introduced it.

    Visual Novels 
  • Danganronpa:
    • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc:
      • The fact that the first murderer was Leon Kuwata was made extremely obvious; the Dying Clue number 11037 was blatantly "LEON" upside-down on the wall. Justified in that the game was written in Japanese (and set in Japan), where Leon would be written completely differently, although anyone with a basic knowledge of the Latin alphabet could still easily figure it out.
      • The Chapter 3 culprit being Celeste isn't very surprising either, since Celeste does a terrible job diverting suspicion away from herself, despite being purportedly a good liar. It's especially obvious once it is deduced that Hifumi is the accomplice when Celeste is the character who Hifumi interacts the most with. How intentional this actually is is up for debate.
      • The reveal that Kyoko's talent is Ultimate Detective. She spends every single case ruthlessly investigating, everyone is amazed by how professional she is when inspecting bodies, she's constantly talking about proper investigative procedure, and the first thing she does after the Chapter 1 investigation begins is to search the crime scene, Makoto's bedroom, for stray strands of hair. Even Makoto himself, in the anime, says it was obvious in hindsight.
      • The twist of Kyoko being the headmaster's daughter was not very surprising to some, considering how she immediately lost her composure when Alter Ego revealed it was the headmaster's idea to lock them in the school.
      • The fact that Sakura was Driven to Suicide. The poison powder on her shoes, the locked room murder aspect, and the fact that someone of her body mass had her corpse positioned to be sitting normally, were dead giveaways.
    • The reveal in Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair that the main character Hajime Hinata is super-student and major antagonist Izuru Kamukura is a possible example, depending on whether one has read Danganronpa Zero. It is a fairly big revelation earlier on that Hinata was part of the talentless Reserve Course, while Kamukura is stated in the book multiple times to be a former Reserve Course student. Combining this with the statement that the Reserve Course committed mass suicide and one can easily connect the dots. If you haven't read the book (like many people who played the localization) then the fact Kamukura exists at all isn't indicated until an exposition dump just before the final trial and several details about him aren't given (likely an effort to avoid this trope) making this a jarring Shocking Swerve instead.
    • The Reveal in Danganronpa Kirigiri that Mikado Shinsen is the fourth 000 detective and the Big Bad would be a big twist... only Shinsen himself disappears partway through the case he's featured in. Anyone remotely familiar with detective fiction would know to be suss on any Never Found the Body scenario, all of Shinsen's scenes establish him as a mysterious figure, he's the guest given the least development and both the identities of the Committee chairman and missing 000 are referenced throughout the book and speculated to be the same person, making it obvious both will be addressed.
    • Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony:
      • Maki Harukawa not actually being the Ultimate Child Caregiver but the Ultimate Assassin. Not only does she display no traits that remotely match her being a caregiver (even being a self-admitted Child Hater), but her repeated refusal to let anyone inside her Research Lab makes it very apparent that she's hiding something. Not to mention Kaito even states in Chapter 1 that Maki looks like she's killed before, an odd statement to make about somebody with a supposedly non-violent talent.
      • Korekiyo Shinguji being the third culprit is one to a lot of fans especially since he was the one to set-up the resurrection ritual (aka the death trap that ended up having Tenko killed). What makes this trope unique is how the Word of God stated that the culprit was meant to be obvious.
      • Case 5 is built on the premise of no one being able to ascertain if the victim is Kaito or Kokichi. Problem is, the game pushes repeatedly the idea that Kaito was the victim so hard, that anyone would instantly be able to guess that the game is pulling a fast one and that Kokichi was the real victim, especially since while Kaito's coat conspicuously is sticking out of the mechanic press, Kokichi's uniform has been flushed down the toilet. Now, why would that be, unless they were trying to hide something?
  • In Fate/stay night, Kotomine Kirei is introduced as supposedly morally ambiguous... except his theme is a creepy organ piece, he's extremely tall and dressed in all black, and he constantly says vaguely threatening things to Shirou. It's not exactly a shock when he turns out to be evil.
  • In Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, the reveal that the amnesiac singer Lamiroir and the long-missing Thalassa Gramarye are the same person should not be shocking to anyone once Thalassa's picture is first shown. Lamiroir might cover her face nowadays, but she didn't change a damn thing about her hair.
  • It's not really so subtle in Policenauts that Tony Redwood happened to be Lorraine's killer and the villains' primary hitman.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY:
    • From the moment she was introduced in the "Black" trailer, and throughout the first season — up until The Reveal — hints and clues were dropped all over the place that Blake was secretly a Faunus. Then she accidentally reveals it, and almost no viewer was surprised. Lampshaded when a tertiary character had figured it out after meeting Blake for about a minute and pointed out one of the more obvious hints to the rest of Team RWBY.
      Yang: We're looking for our friend Blake.
      Penny: Ooooh, you mean the Faunus girl!
      Ruby: Wait, how did you know that?
      Penny: Uhh, the cat ears?
      Yang: What cat ears? She wears a... bow...
      (tumbleweed rolls by)
      Ruby: She does like tuna a lot.
    • Happens again with Penny being a robot. The audience had her pegged pretty much the second she showed up (especially when a bunch of levitating swords popped out of her back). The only question was whether she was an A.I. or some form of cyborg. In the second season, we find out it's the former.
      Penny: (to Ruby) You're taking this extraordinarily well.

  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Lampshaded in the strip that reveals that Nale is Elan's twin brother, referring to that fact as "semi-secret" and noting, "I mean, it's not like you couldn't have figured it out." The other characters are also completely unsurprised.
    • Much later, Tarquin dramatically reveals himself and his party to be the secret rulers of three empires. A bit after that he shows up with a legion trained in "plot-critical reveals", one of whom shouts this same information at them out of nowhere, which Tarquin brushes off with "Yes, yes, we did that one already."
  • Lampshaded in El Goonish Shive; the title of this strip acknowledges many readers already guessed Chaos was the same Immortal that appeared to Mr. Verres and his agents two years previously.
  • In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja the doctor teams up with a bunch of his half-baked clones against a lone villain and doesn't figure out that Conservation of Ninjutsu is holding him back until, in the words of the author's own Alt Text, a week after the readers did.
  • Homestuck does this constantly, mainly due to how readily it invites theorizing. At one point the narrator even lampshades it:
    But the fact that he's a slob was never exactly breaking news to anyone.
    Neither is the fact that you both share a body.
    I mean come on.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Many readers correctly guessed Tuuri was going to get the Rash from her troll bite the second they saw her clutch a bloody shoulder, despite some of the characters, including Tuuri herself, acting like there was decent chance she didn't get infected. Reynir, the only other member of the crew to not be The Immune to the Rash, had very narrowly avoided getting scratched by a troll several chapters earlier, meaning there had already been one false alarm.

    Western Animation 
  • Played for Laughs in American Dad!, when "Roy Rogers McFreely" reveals himself to be Roger in disguise. He apparently thought that Stan would be surprised by this.
  • Futurama:
    • This is Played for Laughs in the episode "The Sting". When Fry is killed, anyone who's not completely Genre Blind knew they were going to bring him back to life. The writers knew this from the beginning, so they kept on having Fry come back to life, but it was one of Leela's delusions. In the end, it was played straight.
    • A couple of fans predicted that Leela was a mutant, and many deduced that Nibbler pushed Fry into the cryogenic tube. However, in both cases the producers left obvious clues in early episodes as Easter Eggs; in the pilot episode one may spot Nibbler's eye and shadow around the table Fry was sitting on, while Leela's one-eyed parents may be spotted among the sewer mutants in a background shot.
  • In the Season 5 finale of Star Wars: The Clone Wars Ahsoka got framed for bombing the Jedi Temple, and committing several murders during her escape by someone who's suspected to be Jedi themselves. Most of the viewers correctly guessed that this traitor would turn out to be Barris Offee, Ahsoka's friend, who hasn't appeared for three seasons prior to this arc, where she suddenly got considerable screen-time, and most of her scenes were very clearly pointing at her guiltiness.
  • Star Wars Rebels: In "Spark of Rebellion", the pilot, the reveal that Kanan is a Jedi is not much of a surprise given that the Jedi theme had been used multiple times when he was on-screen (plus we had already seen that he had a lightsaber and a holocron). It's still a Crowning Moment of Awesome though.
  • In the season one finale of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012), it's finally revealed that Oroku Karai is really Hamato Miwa, Splinter/Hamato Yoshi's biological daughter who he thought died in the fire that killed his wife and Karai's mother Tang Shen. However, the large amounts of foreshadowing (for example, the use of the alias Harmony, as "Miwa" literally means "beautiful harmony"), along with the fact that several adaptions of the TMNT that use Karai explicitly state her to be the Shredder's adoptive daughter, made this blatantly obvious from the get-go.
  • The 1944 Looney Tunes Wartime Cartoon Plane Daffy has Daffy trying to guard a military secret from Nazi spy Hata Mari. In the end, she reveals the secret to her superiors: "Hitler is a stinker!"
    Hitler: That's no military secret!
    Goering and Goebbels: Ja, everyone knows that.
    (Hitler gives them a Death Glare, causing them to shoot themselves)
    Daffy: I lose more darn Nutzies that way.
  • Batman: The Animated Series: In the "Shadow of the Bat" two-parter that introduces Batgirl, the mastermind behind the plot to frame Commissioner Gordon for corruption remains hidden in the shadows until near the end of Part 1, when he's revealed to be Two-Face. Except that between his hideout possessing the half-pristine, half-rundown nature you'd expect from a Two-Face lair and the show not bothering to hide Richard Moll's distinctive Guttural Growl, it's pretty obvious it's him from the get-go.
  • Avengers, Assemble!:
    • The Thunderbolts turning out to be the Masters of Evil. Not only was it a nearly 20-year-old spoiler at that point, but it actually suffered from Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole as the team gets accepted by the people despite the Avengers not being missing (the result of the battle with Onslaught sending them and the Fantastic Four into a pocket universe), the Masters of Evil only recently being introduced, the Avengers having fought them in the episode prior to the Thunderbolts' debut, and the Masters of Evil line-up not changing as the comics' line-up had done many times well before that point.
    • The mastermind of the Civil War arc in Season 3 being Ultron, as both the season was subtitled "Ultron Revolutions" and Season 2 had its own adaptation of Civil War that ended with Ultron being the main villain.
    • Black Panther's Quest has a way obvious twist with Princess Zanda pretending to be Black Widow and framing Black Panther.
  • In the Star vs. the Forces of Evil episode, "The Hard Way", it's revealed that Toffee (thought to be dead following the season one finale) lives on inside a fragment of Star's wand. Many had predicted that he became a part of the wand as early as the ending to season one, owing to his smirk at the wand's destruction even when he was about to be blown up, as well as his demonstrated Healing Factor. Season 2 only made it more obvious, with Star's wand established to be corrupted, his missing finger being inside the wand, his skeletal arm clutching the wand fragment (which wasn't seen at the end of season one) forming Ludo's wand, which talks to him, and the build-up of Toffee as a character with importance to Star's family and the universe at large.
  • Gravity Falls: Grunkle Stan has a twin brother. Given that the show deliberately includes all sorts of details and clues for fans to analyze, it didn't take them long to piece it together. Alex Hirsch even commented that he modified the way The Reveal was handled because the theory was so popular (specifically, the fact that Stan has a twin isn't the reveal, it's the fact that said twin is the guy who wrote the journals that Dipper has been following for the whole series). A few episodes later, a massive Lampshade Hanging occurs, with the characters watching an episode of Ducktective and being less than impressed with the reveal that Ducktective has a twin brother because they found it so obvious.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: The Big Bad Hawk Moth turned out to be Adrien Agreste/Cat Noir's father Gabriel. Both Gabriel and Hawk Moth have similar facial structures and builds, they have the same voice actor in most languages (and Keith Silverstein doesn't even bother to make his voice sound different outside of making Hawk Moth deeper), Hawk Moth's Miraculous has a picture of Gabriel's wife in it, and Gabriel was shown to have a book about the Miraculouses as well as the Peacock Miraculous inside of a secret safe. Prior to The Reveal, the fandom was basically split between "it's obviously Gabriel" and "it's too obviously Gabriel so it must be a Red Herring.''"
  • Kim Possible: The episode "Tick-Tick-Tick" clearly depicts the heroes' first run-in with Dr. Drakken. He is initially seen by flickering firelight, obscuring his blue skin color for a later reveal to anyone who didn't already see it in the previously broadcast episode "Crush".
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode Rarity Investigates has the "twist" that Wind Rider is the bad guy... and it's about as obvious as an F5 tornado. Show staff admitted as such, but pointed out that the episode was less about actually fooling the audience and more about doing a cool Film Noir.
  • Steven Universe has a funny case of this. The pivotal twist of the series is that Steven's mother, Rose Quartz, was actually Pink Diamond. This was a common theory in the early seasons—heck, before the show even revealed that there were multiple Diamonds—but confirmation of Pink Diamond's existence came with information that Rose had killed her. This Red Herring got so much focus over the next season and a half that the "Rose is Pink Diamond" theory was pretty much dead, to the point where the truth arguably seems more like a Shocking Swerve than a legitimate twist, despite all the little hints hidden throughout the show.
    • Played for Laughs at times. When Pearl first figures out that Lion is somehow connected to Rose, Amethyst is only mildly surprised while Garnet comments "It's a little obvious." She says the same thing in Steven Universe: Future when Steven reveals that Bluebird is a fusion of Eyeball and Aquamarine; later in the same episode, Bluebird unfuses and the pair clearly expect people to be shocked by their identities, only for Steven to snap that literally everyone figured it out as soon as they saw her.

As it turns out, this page was describing obvious plot twists the entire time! Admit it, you're surprised.


Video Example(s):


"It's the Hot Dog Bear!"

Brother and Sister Bear sum up this trope pretty well when they figure out who the culprit on a TV show is long before he's revealed.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

Main / CaptainObviousReveal

Media sources:

Main / CaptainObviousReveal