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Internal Reveal

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In-universe: "Oh my gosh! He's Spider-Man?!"
The audience: "Oh my gosh! They finally know now!"
"So this movie's not really trying to trick you into thinking he's a good guy, rather you're just waiting for the moment where the characters realize he's not a good guy."
Schaffrillas Productions on the villain twist in Up

The Reveal occurs when the writers reveal a secret to the audience. Sometimes, however, the audience already knows, but one or more characters in the story don't know. Maybe it is the fact that one of the story's main characters is in love with another character. Or perhaps we already know who the serial killer is, or that two characters are having an affair. An Internal Reveal is a form of Dramatic Irony that is almost exclusively used to create tension and concerns a major plot element, with the story making it clear to the audience that the ramifications will be huge when the relevant characters finally find out.

This can be limited to a single character or small group, or their secret can be revealed to the entire world.

This can happen retroactively with particularly famous plot twists: thanks to Popcultural Osmosis, the audience already knows about what was once a regular reveal, but the characters still don't.


May involve a Secret Identity or The Masquerade. See also Reverse Whodunnit, when applied to detective stories. See also Cassandra Truth, for when a secret is revealed but isn't believed. Contrast Tomato Surprise, when something is a revelation only to the audience, but not to the characters in-universe.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Aikatsu!, it's known from early on that Ichigo's mother was one half of the legendary idol duo Masquerade. Ichigo herself (and all other young idols) doesn't learn of this until episode 47.
  • In the Asteroid in Love manga, Ao, as well as the readers, already learn in Chapter 23 that Ao is going to move away from the town due to her father's job transfer, but it is 4 chapters later, or about two months in in-universe time, when she tells the rest of the cast about this. In the anime, however, this internal reveal is converted to The Reveal through Adaptation Explanation Extrication; during episode 7 the viewers know Ao was told something, but what is being told wasn't shown.
  • In Basara, Sasara and Shuri fall in love with each other. She is known by the public as Tatara, her deceased twinbrother, and vows to get revenge on the Red King for murdering her twin. Shuri is the Red King in question and vows to stop the rebellion led by Tatara. Since Sasara is using her real identity as a woman as a Secret Identity, neither of them is aware that they are the person the other wants to kill. It takes a very long time for them to eventually find this out.
  • Bleach:
    • Ichigo's father is a bumbling idiot who pervs over his daughters and his deceased mother was someone he remembers as gentle and kind. Kon and the audience finds out that Isshin is a Shinigami when Aizen's proto-Arrancar almost kill Kon. However, it's hundreds of chapters later when Ichigo learns the truth about Isshin, and that's only because Isshin intervenes in Ichigo's fight with Aizen to prevent Aizen revealing the truth about Ichigo's mother, who was a Quincy. Ichigo doesn't have much time to stay shocked at Isshin's reveal given that he's in the middle of a fight with Aizen and Gin, so it takes almost another hundred chapters before Isshin's back story reveals he's the former 10th Division Captain who went AWOL twenty years before the story began. The Gotei 13, especially his successors, Hitsugaya and Rangiku, still haven't found out who Ichigo's father is.
    • The Everything but the Rain arc, which reveals Isshin's back story (and which is, by association, a partial reveal of Ryuuken's back story), concludes with the reveal to the audience that Uryuu didn't go with Ichigo to Hueco Mundo because he has instead joined the Vandenreich. Several chapters later, the rest of the Vandenreich find out about their new recruit, which the audience knew about before they were told. They're not impressed as he's an unknown man who has immediately jumped over Haschwalth's head to become Yhwach's successor. It's many more chapters before Ichigo and his friends all learn that Uryuu has joined the Vandenreich, and they only find out when Uryuu chooses to intervene between Yhwach and Ichigo to both reveal his current allegiance and to attempt to protect Ichigo's life without appearing to be disloyal to Yhwach.
    • During the final battle, no one is aware of Isshin and Ryuuken's arrival in the Royal Realm except for the audience. They eventually reveal themselves to Uryuu so that Ryuuken can give Uryuu a special arrow created from the soul silver that Yhwach used to kill Uryuu's mother. Ryuuken collected the silver to forge an arrow that can briefly stop Yhwach's power. Although initially surprised to see his father in the Royal Realm, Uryuu doesn't waste much time on either disbelief or needless questions — he's well aware that Ichigo's running out of time against Yhwach.
  • Code Geass:
    • Much of the drama (and even some of the comedy) throughout the series stems from Lelouch trying to conceal his identity as the terrorist leader Zero — and as the exiled eleventh prince of the empire — from both his friends and his enemies, while of course the audience knows from the very beginning. The situation is made more complex by his Geass power, which allows him to erase memories, but which only works once on any given person. The major, heartbreaking Internal Reveal occurs in the final minutes of the first season finale.
    • Due to a Time Skip and some amnesia induced by The Emperor's Geass, the situation is mostly reset for the second season, with many of the characters who were previously aware of Lelouch's identity either once again oblivious or at least unsure of whether Lelouch is the "new" Zero.
  • Digimon Tamers: Takato eventually shows Guilmon to his entire class. What follows is an episode of middle schoolers playing with a little red dinosaur. This case is unique in that there was no real reason for doing so until later when Takato wanted to sneak Guilmon on the school camping trip.
  • Goku spent the entirety of the original Dragon Ball in the dark about what happened to his grandfather Son Gohan — namely, that he squashed the poor guy when in his giant ape Oozaru form on the full moon, which Bulma, Yamcha, and the crew figured out pretty quickly after Goku transformed for the first time in the manga. He finally twigs to it during the Saiyan saga of Dragon Ball Z when his enemy Vegeta, a member of the Saiyan race like he is, reveals his ability to transform into a giant ape as well, as well as displaying considerably more control over it than Goku was ever able to maintain.
  • Shu explains about Voids (and the fact he's a member of Funeral Parlor) to a few of his classmates halfway through Guilty Crown.
  • In Fairy Tail, toward the end of the Tartaros arc, Zeref reveals that E.N.D., the strongest demon he created, is actually Etherious Natsu Dragneel, and in a flashback an arc later, also reveals that Natsu is his younger brother. In the arc after that, Natsu learns about his identity as E.N.D. and relationship to Zeref during his fight with Zeref, and Gray, after defeating Invel, who'd intended to manipulate him into killing E.N.D., learns that E.N.D., whom he'd sworn to destroy, is actually Natsu.
  • Food Wars!: For about the first half of the story, only a few people are aware of Soma's relationship to Joichiro, largely due to Soma using his maternal surname while the world knows Joichiro by his original surname Saiba. This is played up for Dramatic Irony given that Erina admires Joichiro but hates Soma, unaware of their relationship until Chapter 130, where she walks in on Soma right when he's telling her father Azami Nakiri that Joichiro is his dad.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • The audience is well aware that Havoc's girlfriend is actually an evil quasi-immortal being who's only using him to feel out what the good guys know about the bad guys' plan. The fallout of the reveal itself is horrific, but with the twist that emotionally, Havoc wasn't all that upset, and not being an idiot, he hadn't told his girlfriend anything that was sensitive information. What really upset him was her stabbing him through the spine and paralysing him.
    • Bradley's true nature as Wrath is revealed long before anybody finds out.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's:
  • Mash's status as Un-Sorcerer is known in Mashle: Magic And Muscles from the start and he doesn't really hide it, however his friends don't learn he was born without magic until chapter 38.
  • My Hero Academia: All Might is a superhero who is suffering from a crippling injury which in his normal form, makes him really weak. He can temporarily use a muscular form, and keeps his real form a secret so that people can put their faith in him as the symbol of peace. During his fight with his archnemesis All for One, the hero eventually fails to keep up this muscular body, exposing his weak self to the public.
  • Nagasarete Airantou: After a number of silhouette outlines and hints for the reader's benefit, the only person who didn't know the identity of the Leader of the West before the Scavenger Hunt Arc was Ikuto.
  • Naruto :
    • It was long suspected and eventually revealed that Naruto's father was the Fourth Hokage. Naruto himself didn't discover it until a Journey to the Center of the Mind nearly 80 chapters after it was revealed to the audience in a conversation between Tsunade and Jiraiya.
    • In The Last: Naruto the Movie, Naruto is surprised to find out that Hinata is in love with him, even though all of their friends and a good portion of the general public have known about it for years, especially after Hinata confessed to him during the Invasion of Pain arc two years ago — and that's In-Universe. If one were to go by real time, it'd be at least six years ago. Slightly justified when Sakura theorizes that Naruto did remember that Hinata said that; he just didn't realize that the type of love Hinata meant is not the same as his love for ramen.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • The audience knows all along that the boy Ako falls in love with is really Negi magically aged up, but she doesn't find out until over 100 chapters later. Cue Shower of Angst before she.
    • Also, the audience knew that the Asuna that's with Ala Alba in later chapters is an impostor long before Rakan revealed it to Negi and Chisame during his Obi-Wan Moment.
  • One Piece:
    • When the Straw Hats were brought to the Sabaody Islands, they were in search of a man who could prep their ship for Fishman Island. Then the readers were told that this person was the Pirate King's Number Two, which made fans eagerly await his inevitable meeting with Luffy.
    • After Luffy's bounty goes up from 30 to 100 million Berries, and Zoro gets his first bounty of 60 million Berries, no one catches on for almost the entire Jaya arc, not even the Straw Hats themselves. Seeing Luffy's new bounty prompts an Oh, Crap! reaction from one member of Bellamy's crew, and Luffy only learns about his new bounty when Blackbeard's pursuing him to the Knock-Up Stream.
    • On Amazon Lilly, Luffy gets the first news that his brother has been sentenced to death. He had realized that Ace was in trouble after seeing the Vivre card burning, but didn't realize how bad it was until then, although the execution had been announced days earlier.
  • Superior is built on the Dramatic Irony of Sheila trying to keep her identity as the demon queen a secret from Exa, because she knows that all hell with break loose when he finds out. He finally learns the truth in the second to last volume of Superior Cross, and the results are not pretty.

    Comic Books 
  • In Batwoman's run on Detective Comics, Katherine "Kate" Kane's cousin Bette Kane guest-starred in several issues, culminating in a three-part arc where she was kidnapped by a serial killer that Batwoman was tracking. At the end of the arc, after she has been rescued, Bette reveals to her cousin that she is Flamebird, and wishes to be Kate's sidekick. The fact that she was a costumed character had been featured several issues earlier, and her history with the Teen Titans would have revealed it even earlier to readers who were familiar with that series, but she only reveals her secret to Batwoman at the end of the arc.
  • Spider-Man:
    • During Civil War, Spider-Man removes his mask at a press conference, showing the world he's really Peter Parker. The reading audience had known that for about 43 years. It didn't end up mattering in the long run, though, since not long after the revelation was erased from public memory.
    • Thanks to several retcons over the years, Peter Parker has had to do this with many characters on more than one occasion. Most notably, twice with the Fantastic Four.
  • The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye: had one juxtaposed with a shocking reveal. Tailgate finds out that Orion Pax, badass hero and cop became... Optimus Prime benevolent leader of the Autobots, a twist already known throughout many stories. He's amazed, just like the audience was when they find out that his friend and all-around Nice Guy Senator was really Shockwave.
  • Superman:
    • In Superman/Shazam: First Tunder, Superman calls out the fact that Captain Marvel had nearly killed a criminal he'd caught. The captain promptly turns into his schoolboy true self, Billy Batson, and explains that the criminal in question had got his best friend killed in an attempt to assassinate him. Superman's immediate expression is shock.
    • In Superman Smashes the Klan, Pretty much everyone knows Superman's backstory by now. But after running from his heritage for most of his life, he decides to learn about it by diving to the bottom of the lake where he threw the Kryptonian sound box, only to discover an underwater Fortress of Solitude had grown there. Once he steps inside, his biological parents, now shown as they truly were, greet him and tell him everything.
    • In The Unknown Supergirl, Lesla-Lar kidnaps and brainwashes Supergirl, but Kara does not find out about it until The Girl with the X-Ray Mind, published one year later. However, she only learns Lesla made dealings with Lex Luthor as pretending to be Supergirl in later storyline Strangers at the Heart's Core.
    • In The Strange Revenge of Lena Luthor, Lena finally discovers she is Lex Luthor's little sister, a fact readers had known for twenty years.
  • Towards the end of Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise, Aang's past life, Avatar Roku, tells him that Zuko, Aang's erstwhile friend and Firebending teacher, is his great-grandson. Zuko and the audience have known this since the middle of season three of the animated series.

    Fan Works 
  • In The Dogfather, the reader knows by the end of the first chapter that Harry MacIntyre is the son of James and Lily Potter who disappeared as a child after his parents were murdered by Voldemort, and that his dog is really the notorious escaped convict and unlicensed Animagus (and Harry's godfather) Sirius Black. Various characters over the course of the fic have one or other of these facts dramatically revealed to them, with one of the biggest reveals coming halfway through when the Daily Prophet finds out about Harry and announces his identity to everyone in the Wizarding World who didn't already know.
  • In Racer and the Geek, Sunny is Telny, but his love interest doesn't know that, and he is terrified by the prospect of her finding out the truth.
  • Played straight but also played with in With Strings Attached. The reader knows early on why the four are on C'hou—they've been sent by alien undergraduates as subjects in a psychology experiment—but the four don't find out who sent them until halfway through the book, at which point they intermittently interact with the "Fans," as the four dub them. However, the Fans lie to them as to why they're there, and the four never do find out the truth.
  • Night of the Shy: Nightmare possesses Fluttershy in Chapter 2, but the other characters don't find out about it until Chapter 4 (except Zecora, who witnesses it, and spends the next two chapters on the run).
  • In Chapter 60 of Kyon: Big Damn Hero, Sasaki was revealed Haruhi was trying for a Marry Them All situation with Kyon and the girls of the SOS Brigade, while the audience already knows this: developing bonds between the girls so they can rely emotionally not only on Kyon has been an objective for dozens of chapters beforehand.
  • A Growing Affection has a few of them.
    • Hinata's Anguished Declaration of Love in the first chapter.
    • Sakura admits to herself and Lee that she has feelings for Naruto.
    • Sakura tells Naruto she has feelings for him.
    • The reveal of Naruto's father, though this was not previously revealed in the story and counts on the reader knowing it from canon.
    • The reveal that Tobi is Madara. But unlike canon, in this fanfic, it is actually true.
  • Mega Man Reawakened:
    • Robert reveals the full truth of his half-human, half-robot nature to Quentin Emerald, stunning him.
  • In the finale of Arc 4, Blues reveals to Robert that they are brothers.
  • Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race:
    • In Episode 11, Chapter 6, Wily finds out about ProtoMan's betrayal, courtesy of Bass.
    • In the same chapter, Mega Man finally sees the full video of ProtoMan's activation.
    • Episode 11, Chapter 11 has the reveal that Mr. Black is on the heroes' side.
    • In the Episode 13 epilogue, Roll learns about ProtoMan and Nomad.
  • Child of the Storm has a few of these: Jean Grey is Harry's cousin, Bucky Barnes is alive and the Winter Soldier and ends up Mercy Killing Arthur Weasley, Hermione is adopted and the biological daughter of Wanda Maximoff and John Constantine (when she eventually finds out, she is not pleased), Lucius Malfoy murdered Harry's maternal grandparents and Tony's father infiltrated the Hellfire Club for Xavier as the White King and his mother was Sage of the X-Men doing the same (and they were murdered for it). It would have more if it wasn't for the fact that Word of God seems to enjoy shocking the audience at the same time as the characters.
  • Because of Captain Obvious Reveal, The Reveal for Count Logan's true identity—Garfield "Beast Boy" Logan—was rendered into this in The End of Ends.
  • The Twilight Child:
    • A running situation throughout the story is the main character's inability to reveal who she is to the rest of the cast. Most of them don't find out until the latter third of the story.
    • Twilight Sparkle's parents realize very quickly after meeting the character. It helps that they recognize she's their granddaughter.
    • Spike learns the day after his birthday when the main character outright tells him.
    • And the Cutie Mark Crusaders (but mostly Scootaloo) learn when she confesses the truth to a disbelieving Rainbow Dash. Scootaloo is the one who realizes she's telling the truth.
  • Luso reveals the fact that he was from another world to his clanmates after the events of the Mistwalker arc in The Tainted Grimoire.
  • In Robb Returns, this happens several times.
    • Eddard tells Catelyn and Jon about the latter's true ancestry (Jon's parents are Rhaegar and Lyanna), and Daenerys learns about the events of Robert's Rebellion.
    • Through a vision, Brynden Tully finds out about what happened to Robb, including the Red Wedding, that his ancestor Edmyn Tully (the one who led the Targaryen supporters against Harren the Black) was foretold of the Targaryens' eventual madness and the death and resurgence of the Dragons and about what will happen if further action is not taken to stop the Others. Brienne undergoes a similar revelation.
  • In Mega Man Dissonance Chapter 11/Page 157, Dr. Hook contacts Requiem while no one else is around, showing that she's directly involved with what was assumed to be the rebellion of her robots up to that point. Granted, some readers have suspected this all along.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell:
    • In the sequel Picking Up the Pieces, during her meeting with Night's older brother Crooked Blade, Xvital inadvertently tells him about Night's relationship with Page, which they'd previously kept a secret from the rest of the Blade family for thirteen years. Night Blade himself inadvertently reveals it to his parents the next time they meet; fortunately, neither he nor Page is upset when he and Xvital admit their little slip-ups to the group soon after.
    • It happens again in Chapter 13, when Wind Breaker inadvertently reveals it to Night's nephew Striking Blade while Striking is getting his Hatchery file, though this time he doesn't give Page's name. Night just shakes it off when Wind Breaker confesses to him afterward, saying that since his parents and oldest brother already knew, it was only a matter of time before his whole family found out. Eventually, by the end of chapter 20, the entire family does know.
    • In Chapter 3, Wind Breaker admits to Page about his previous meeting with Diamond Back and the other griffon's love confession. Diamond Back himself reappears in Chapter 13 and inadvertently reveals the same thing to Night Blade, resulting in some lighthearted but non-malicious teasing (aimed at Wind Breaker) from him.
    • Chapter 26 features many of these, as the new Bearers explain about their adventures and what they learned to the six Captains, including Violet Lulamoon canonically learning about her being descended from Trixie. It also confirms Page's identity as the Changeling Queen and Shining Armor's descendant to the four Captains who hadn't been let in on the secret yet.
    • Chapter 29 reveals, via Discord, what the final chapter (pre-epilogue) of the first story did: that Balance had committed all sorts of terrible acts in order to ensure that the Six would become its new Bearers (such as delaying Night's birth), including what they each would have done with their lives if not for its meddling. The Six are quite stunned by this.
  • In Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, Ash gets a pretty big one in Chapter 34. Throughout the main story and several sidestories, Ash's father had been built up as a sociopathic career criminal who sired hundreds, perhaps thousands, of bastard children, and when she confronts Sabrina, she tells him everything she knows in order to push Ash's buttons and force him to use his full power against her. Of course, she leaves out the most important detail: namely, that he's the Bloodline King.
  • All throughout The Rigel Black Chronicles, Harry narrowly dodges revealing who "Rigel Black" really is. At the end of fourth year, though, people find out that "Rigel" is a half-blood, so her time at Hogwarts is up.
  • Not directly shown, but in Did I Make the Most of Loving You?, when Roslin tells Billy Keikeya- the only time-traveller unaware of the identities of all twelve Cylons- the identities of the Final Five, Billy apparently spent ten minutes in stunned silence before he was able to squeak out a response.
  • Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!: Pretty much anyone who has picked up an American comic book in the past 50+ years would know that Izuku is Kryptonian. But since his adoptive parents had to run away with him for dear life to avoid getting caught by the authorities, they only managed to grab the lid of his spaceship rather than the whole thing, leaving him in the dark about his origins even after learning that he is an alien. This leads to his Quest for Identity: hunt down his spaceship to figure out who and what he is to finally obtain some closure. He gets his wish and then some when it turns out that K.E.L.E.X. stored a Virtual Ghost of Izuku's biological father, Jor-El.
  • For the Want of a Nail Series
    • Mastermind: Strategist for Hire:
      • Izuku reveals Dabi to be Touya Todoroki, Shouto's older brother to the League of Villains whilst they are planning their attack on the UA Training Camp; later on, after Shouto is kidnapped, Dabi reveals this information to him.
      • In chapter 22, Izuku is revealed to be Mastermind to Shouto.
      • In chapter 26 and 27, Endeavor, Class 1-A and all of Japan learns of Dabi being Toya and of a Face-Heel Turned Shouto.
    • Mastermind: Rise of Anarchy:
      • Mastermind's Quirklessness is made public at a press conference held by Tsukauchi, Nedzu and Tsuragamae after his capture, whereas the reader would have known of that since the beginning.
      • "Rematch" features Ochako and Tsuyu putting together the pieces and realizing that Katsuki is the vigilante King.
      • "Predator" has Tsuyu realizing just what Nedzu and Monoma are plotting.
      • "Corpse" has Ochako noticing that she looks like a corpse, comparing herself to All Might's weakened form, and realizing that if she keeps burning that candle at both ends, she's going to die.
    • Viridian: The Green Guide:
      • Shinso gives Eraserhead a clue that lets him know Bakugo knows Viridian.
      • Izuku tells Aizawa that he's Quirkless after they are captured by Giran. Which Aizawa then uses, along with the other information they have on Viridian, to connect Viridian with Izuku.
    • Cheat Code: Support Strategist: Hitoshi, Aizawa, and Present Mic all find out that Todoroki is streaming with Shigaraki in Chapter 68.
    • Shadows: The Horror Movie Heroes: Jirou first learns of One For All in Recovery Girl's office, waiting for All Might to recover from her pepper-spraying him.
  • In Chapter 5 of Team Rocket Roots, Ash and James learn that Miya is Jessie's Missing Mom. The audience has known this from the start.
  • In Leave for Mendeleiev, Chat Noir lies to Ladybug about how Copycat was created, claiming that Theo was upset about her not showing up to the statue unveiling (something she wasn't even aware was happening). Ladybug learns the truth when Nadja brings Theo on as a surprise guest on their Face to Face interview and he admits that he was akumatized after hearing from Chat that the two of them were dating, leaving her less than thrilled with her partner.
  • One of Witch Hunter's powers in BURN THE WITCH is a scroll with a magically up-to-date list of all of Lila Rossi's misdeeds. Reading off of it helps her whip up listeners into an angry mob intent on hunting the girl down.
    • Witch Hunter was herself created through one of these, when Rose learned the hard way that Lila never met Prince Ali, and that everything she donated to her supposed 'charity' was just going straight into her False Friend's pockets.
  • Code Geass: Paladins of Voltron:
    • As of the end of Chapter 8, Return of the Gladiator, Jeremiah, Euphie, Cornelia, Viletta, and Charles and Marianne are aware that Lelouch is still alive.
    • Chapter 11, Confessions and Revelations, has Lelouch reveals that he is a Britannian Prince and is also Zero, while C.C. explains a bit about Geass.
    • Chapter 22, Rai's Escape, has Lelouch realize that his father has Geass and used it to alter his memories about Marianne's death. And during a later conversation with C.C., he learns that she knew Charles, as well as the fact that Charles got his powers from V.V..
  • Code Prime:
    • R1: Rebellion
      • Chapter 16 sees Kallen learning that Lelouch is Zero.
      • Chapter 18 has the Black Knight Leadership learn that Suzaku pilots the Lancelot.
      • Chapter 19 has Shirley learn about Lelouch's past, his Geass, and his and Rai's connections to the Autobots.
      • Chapter 26 has the whole world learning that Suzaku is the pilot of the Lancelot.
      • Chapter 27 has Lelouch reveal his identity and heritage to the leadership of the Black Knights who were unaware of his true identity.
      • Chapter 28 has Optimus tell Euphemia the history of the Cybertronian War.
      • Chapter 29 has Nunnally learn that Lelouch is Zero and the truth about the Autobots, though she already suspected. Lelouch learns that Sayoko was recruited by Diethard into the Black Knights as a spy. Megatron uses the Cortical Psychic Patch to learn everything about Suzaku's history, including killing his own father, and Rai reveals his past and heritage to Lelouch, Shirley and the Autobots.
      • Chapter 30 sees Lelouch telling Euphie everything (Geass, V.V., Rai's past, Clovis's death, etc.) during a secure phone call. Later, Suzaku informs Euphie over a (not-so-secure) channel that Lelouch and Nunnally are alive and at Ashford Academy and that Megatron knows this and is threatening to tell Charles. All of this is news to Dreadwing, who's also on the call.
      • Chapter 33 has Dreadwing learning the truth of his brother Skyquake's death.
      • Chapter 35 sees Lelouch, C.C. and Suzaku learn that Megatron had been aware of Lelouch's being Zero from the beginning.
      • Chapter 36 sees Rivalz and Nina learning the truth about Lelouch and Nunnally, and the leadership of the Black Knights, along with the Britannian defectors (except Euphie, who learned of this before) learning about Geass and the Autobot/Decepticon War.
    • R2: Revolution
      • Chapter 2: C.C. learns that Anya is Marianne's current host body.
  • In Scarlet Lady, Chloe becomes the titular Nominal Heroine after stealing the Ladybug Earrings from Marinette before she even learns of their existence. As a result of this, not even Master Fu knows just who Scarlet Lady is, and Plagg doesn't figure it out until he pops into her purse looking for camembert and finds Tikki inside.
  • It is not after Rena Rouge and Marinette do it in the Everybody Loves Marinette chapter "Rena Rouge" does Marinette reveal that she knew that she was Alya.
  • Know Thyself:
    • The Oracle knew about the Wizarding World and Harry's place in it the whole time, not divulging in it until after Neo, Trinity and Morpheus confront her about it.
    • In Chapter 5, Harry reveals that he can teleport in the real world, convincing the Council to pool in the resources to research the Wizarding World further.
  • Ruby Stars: Seraphinite uses her powers to read Pearl's mind after noticing her hands automatically swoop up to cover her mouth, discovering that Rose Quartz, and by extension Steven, is Pink Diamond.
  • #14 (MHA): Iida, Todoroki, Uraraka and Kirishima learn about Katsuki's role in Izuku's suicide when he goes berserk and starts screaming at Stain.
  • A Moon and World Apart: In chapter 21, Celestia admits some of the truth about the Elements of Harmony and who she believes to be their next wielders to Cadance.
  • It takes until Chapter 9 of Luz Belos: Princess of the Boiling Isles for Luz to admit to Amity that she's half-human, a fact that is outed to everyone else in school in Chapter 21.
  • Cinders and Ashes: the Chronicles of Kamen Rider Dante reveals early on that Hoshi had attempted suicide after his friend did the same. However, as the attempt was an experience only he and a random civilian know about, two later mentions are this trope, as both his friend and sister find out about this on separate occasions. This also carries over in a crossover made with another fanfic where the protagonist of that story is made aware of it too.
  • The Night Unfurls: Readers who have already played Bloodborne or studied its lore will surely know Kyril's whole journey in Yharnam before setting foot to Eostia. Certain characters, on the other hand, eventually catch a glimpse of his past and true character.
    • Chapter 5 has Celestine and Olga taking a peek at Kyril's journal. The journal shows several segments of Kyril's journey in Yharnam: a death by a mob, his first visit to the Hunter's Dream, the deaths of almost everyone he met, parts of his journey in the Hunter's Nightmare, and his final parting words before meeting Gehrman under the great tree.
    • Being an apprentice to Kyril means they get to learn something about him that the readers already know about, albeit not everything. By Chapter 5, Kyril had already told Sanakan and Hugh about how he became a hunter by signing a contract, referring to the opening cutscene of the game. He is seen reenacting the tradition to the two so they can officially serve him under his command. By Chapter 7, they had learnt about the horrible job of a hunter, the origin of the beast plague, and the implication that Kyril is not human, albeit his exact nature is still unknown to them.
    • Celestine and Olga would eventually learn about the existence of the Hunter's Dream, as well as Kyril's companionship with the Doll, in Chapter 7 and 12 respectively. At this moment, both decided it is in their best interests to not pry any further.
    • In Chapter 28, Kyril reveals to Claudia about what he did before coming to Eostia, namely, spending a horrible amount of time killing off mobs of insane villagers and nearly dying, while seeing many people torn apart by beasts and other horrible things... which is exactly what the game is all about.
    • Starting from Chapter 32, the fact that Kyril experienced his first death meant that Celestine, Olga, and the assassin responsible knew about his Resurrective Immortality.
    • Chapter 33 has Kyril showing Celestine and Olga more segments of the Night of the Hunt: his battle against a Cleric Beast, the opening cutscene of the game, his first death, his journey through the Forbidden Woods and Byrgenwerth, the descent of the pale moon, and lastly, the Workshop burning.
  • The Mountain and the Wolf:
    • The Wolf casually reveals he killed Ramsay sometime after King's Landing has been taken.
    • Tyrion suspected the Wolf had something to do with Euron betraying Cersei, having found Euron's helmet onboard the Wolf's ship, but was convinced otherwise. After the Wolf is beaten by Drogon and flees, Tyrion starts reexamining everything they knew about him, coming to the conclusion that the Euron they saw was one of the Wolf's men dressed as Euron, Euron is likely dead and the Iron Fleet works for the Wolf. All of which is correct.
    • Harry Strickland waking up from his coma around the same time as Sandor Clegane lets the heroes realize the Wolf can teleport almost anywhere he wants.
  • With how widespread and unavoidable the mutations become in Sacrifice (Ravenshell), the Hamato Clan out themselves to New York, Donatello explaining to New York via Channel 6 how to avoid Dimension X's hazards and informing the populace that a retromutagen does in-fact exist.
  • NieR has a lot of plot twists. Tower of Babel treats them as something the readers already know (the very first chapter is from Shadowlord’s point of view), but it takes a while for the characters to catch up. Several different chapters are devoted to one revelation or another.
  • Syngenesophobia
    • In chapter 11, Rita learns about everything that happened in the episode "Brawl in the Family"; the real reason Lori and Leni were arguing, and how Lincoln was treated throughout the time the sister fight protocol was active.
    • In chapter 23, Margo, Liam, Rusty, Ronnie Anne and Zach learn about Lincoln’s syngenesophobia.
    • In chapter 24, Ronnie Anne learns the whole story behind the Sister Fight Protocol and the situation that lead to Lincoln's current condition.
    • In chapter 35, shows that Bobby wasn't the one who broke up with Lori but the other way around out of complete shame.
    • In chapter 37, Lincoln finds out to what extent his sisters' punishments when he sees their rooms, and notices a lot of the stuff relating to their hobbies and talents are gone.
  • Total Drama Legacy: From the very beginning, the reader knows that Tina and Lydia are the same person. However, this fact isn't uncovered in-universe until the chapter "A Shocking Twist", when Lydia's wig is knocked off, revealing her true identity as Tina.

    Films — Animation 
  • Frozen:
  • In The Incredibles, the audience is shown baby Jack-Jack using several superpowers when Syndrome attempts to kidnap him. However, because the two are high up in the air at the time, the rest of the Parr family can't see it. They can only see Syndrome struggling to maintain control of his flight. As a result, they are all left in the dark regarding this until the sequel, where the Parrs each find out at different points. First is Bob, then Dash and Violet around the middle of the movie, and finally Helen at the climax.
  • In Incredibles 2, Tony Rydinger's memory being erased is shown to the audience in the first scene and later we see that Bob had reported Tony's knowledge to Agent Dicker. This leaves Violet unaware that a memory wipe was likely and thinks that Tony is just pretending to not know her because he thinks she's a freak. When Bob hears Violet complaining he knows a memory wipe occurred and starts to ease the conversation into how many times Dicker did wipes for them. That's when Violet realizes what happened and Bob realizes that Dicker removed all of Tony's memories of Violet, not just the superhero reveal part.
  • In My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, after spending the whole movie trying to pose as a New Transfer Student, Twilight Sparkle is all set to reveal to the Alternate Selves of the rest of the Mane Six why she desperately needs to get the crown for the Fall Formal. Then Pinkie Pie manages to sum up the plot of the movie based on "a hunch".
    Pinkie Pie: You're from an alternate world and you're a pony princess there and the crown actually has a magical element embedded in it that helps power up other magical elements and without it they don't work anymore, and you need them all to help protect your magical world, and if you don't get the crown tonight, you'll be stuck in this world and you won't be able to get back for like a really, really long time!
  • Pooh's Grand Adventure: Christopher Robin is found in the Eye of the Skull of Skull Cave; that is when he reveals to the animals that he hadn't been captured by Skull — he had just gone to school, and they read his note wrong. Of course, the audience knew where he went because Owl was clearly spelling "school" off the note.
  • Tangled: Rapunzel sees Corona's sun emblem — which she'd only seen for the first time after leaving the tower — hidden subliminally throughout her own artwork, which along with a healthy dose of No Infantile Amnesia leads her to to the conclusion that she's the lost princess. Of course, the audience has known since the introduction.
  • At the start of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the viewers learn that Quasimodo is Romani and that his mother died saving him. Frollo, however, didn't tell him much about his past besides Quasimodo supposedly being abandoned for being deformed. It isn't until later in the film that Quasimodo learns the truth about his heritage and what happened to his mother.
  • Scar kills Mufasa to usurp the throne fairly early in The Lion King, but only the hyenas know about this until the climactic confrontation, when Scar makes the mistake of telling Simba when he thinks he's won. This gives Simba a Heroic Second Wind, and he immediately pins Scar and forces him to tell the rest of the pride.
  • Similar to the Grand Adventure example, in Winnie the Pooh (2011), Pooh finds a note from Christopher Robin saying he's gone and would be back eventually, but cannot descern it due to having very little brain. Owl misinterprets it as Christopher Robin being captured by a creature called the Backson, and the animals plan to capture it. When Christopher returns in the end, he reveals to them Owl misread the last two words wrong, and that he would be "back soon".

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Andhadhun, Akash's knowledge of Sakhu's Shiva tattoo reveals to the organ harvesters that he could see, which saves him from having his kidneys stolen.
  • Berlin Syndrome: Franka is alerted to what's going on once Clare slips a photo of herself bound and naked into Franka's notebook when Andi's grading it.
  • The Departed: Costigan realizes that Frank's mole is Sullivan when he recognizes an envelope from Frank — immediately recognizable from the misspelling on it — in Sullivan's office.
  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial: The kids obviously have to explain things to their mother when Elliot falls ill from E.T.'s Psychic Link. And this is moments before the government stepped in and placed their entire house under quarantine.
  • In Gilda, the audience learns that Mundson survived the plane explosion immediately. Our lovebirds need to wait until the climax.
  • Halloweentown: The audience is shown in the opening scene that Sophie has fully developed magical powers, but her siblings don't find out until she helps Marnie cast a spell about an hour into the film.
  • In Highlander, when Connor and the Kurgan have their last talk in the church and Connor observes the gnarly scar Ramirez left in the Kurgan's throat, the barbarian gloats "Ramirez was a effete snob who died on his knees, I took his head and raped his woman before his blood was even cold". From Connor's dawning look of horror and shame (giving way to an epic Kubrick Stare), the Kurgan realizes that young woman he violated was really Connor's wife, and continues to taunt him with it (saying that she took the secret to her grave because she liked it). The actual rape isn't shown to audiences, but it is alluded he did something unpleasant to her that night in 1542 - his confession just filled in the blanks.
  • While the audience knows that Rosie from Jojo Rabbit is a member of La Résistance against the Nazis pretty much all along (she's constantly away from home, subtly tells Jojo that she hates Hitler and tries to raise him to not be a Nazi, and she's seen burning fliers that say "Free Germany, fight the party"), Jojo himself only finds out when he finds her hanged from the gallows in the town square with other dissenters at the end of the second act. Elsa later tells Jojo that his father is one as well and is fighting with the Allies.
  • Joker (2019): At his guest appearance at ''Live! with Murray Franklin'' Arthur Fleck, now fully reborn as Joker, casually admits to killing the three Wall Street men at the subway. In-universe, this is the Wham Line of a mystery left unsolved for three weeks, while the audience watching the movie knew this for a long time.
  • In Just One of the Guys, Terry has to convince Rick that she's female. She flashes him. Oddly, he doesn't take it well.
  • The ending of Kill Bill Volume 1 reveals that the Bride's daughter is still alive. She herself doesn't find out until the end of Volume 2, during her final confrontation with Bill.
  • The Last of Mrs. Cheney starts off as what seems like a romantic comedy with Fay Cheney the wealthy widow being pursued by two British nobles, stuffy old Lord Kelton and handsome young Lord Dilling. The end of the first act reveals that she is an impostor and that she and her "servants" are actually a gang of thieves, looking to worm their way into high society so they can steal a pearl necklace.
  • The Legend of Frenchie King: Maria only learns that Louise is Frenchie King near the end of the movie, while the audience already knows this since nearly the start of it.
  • In Matilda, Miss Honey responds to a particularly vile taunt from Miss Trunchbull with "I am not seven years old anymore, Aunt Trunchbull!", revealing to her students something Matilda and the viewers had learned about half the movie ago.
  • Our Miss Brooks: Early in the movie, Mr. Boynton tells Mrs. Davis that he is finally willing to propose to Miss Brooks. Mrs. Davis soon reveals it to Miss Brooks while pretending to tell her fortune.
  • Phoenix (2014): The premise is that a woman, Nelly, is trying to reunite with her husband Johnny. Johnny thinks Nelly has died in a concentration camp and mistakes Nelly for a random woman that happens to look like his wife, and hires her to pass for his wife in order to collect her inheritance. Because Nelly is the protagonist and the story is told from her POV, the audience knows that Nelly is in fact Johnny's wife, while Johnny is left in the dark right until the very end, when Nelly reveals the truth and then leaves him.
  • In Repo! The Genetic Opera: The audience fully knows that Nathan is the killer from the beginning, and yet it is treated as a major plot twist when Shilo finds out near the end.
  • The Shop Around the Corner and its remake You've Got Mail are built around this trope, with two Internal Reveals. Half-way through Alfred/Joe finds out that rival Klara/Kathleen is actually his secret sweetheart, and the rest of the film sees the audience waiting for Klara/Kathleen to find out the truth.
  • Sorceress: The audience knows Traigon is the twins' father right from the beginning. Mira doesn't though until much later. It's left unclear if Mara ever learns.
  • In Stalag 17, Price is revealed as The Mole to the audience well before anyone else finds out.
  • Star Wars:
    • The scene in Return of the Jedi where Luke tells Leia that Darth Vader is his father (which he found out last movie) and she is his sister (which he figured out earlier in this one), as well as the scene later on when Leia tells Han are internal reveals.
    • In a similar vein, audiences knew since the classic trilogy (when the Force-ghost of Obi-Wan Kenobi explained it to Luke) that the good Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker became the evil Sith Lord Vader, and Revenge of the Sith shows how that happened. The younger Obi-Wan, however, doesn't find out until he sees the holo-recording of the attack on the Jedi Temple.
    • The Rise of Skywalker: While the audience and the main characters have known for decades, this film sees the fact that Palpatine is a Sith Lord become public knowledge for everyone in the galaxy.
  • Switchback: The audience discovers who's the killer before the other characters do, since we see him just as she's about to murder someone (with the actual act offscreen).
  • Happens off-screen between the first and second Transformers films. In Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, it's revealed that Sam's parents are fully aware of the fact that their son's car is a giant alien robot in disguise.
  • Halfway through Vertigo, the audience learns that Judy, who initially only seems to be a woman with an uncanny resemblance to Scottie's dead love Madeleine, actually is Madeleine. More accurately, the "Madeleine" Scottie met was only Judy impersonating as her. The audience's knowledge of Judy's secret makes her eventual giving in to Scottie's demands to make her into his lost love's image even more ironic. Hitchcock explained his motivation for this reveal in his interviews with François Truffaut; once the audience knows the truth, their sympathies are divided between the Main Characters.

  • In the ninth Alex Rider-book, Scorpia Rising, the audience finds out about Scorpia's plan to manipulate the MI6 to send Alex to Cairo at the beginning of the book. The rest of the book revolves around showing the MI6 falling straight into the trap, and Alex finding out about Scorpia's true plan.
  • More than once in All for the Game.
    • When Neil tells Kevin that he is the Butcher's son.
    • Kevin announces in an interview that his hand wasn't broken in a skiing accident in The King's Men.
  • Ascendance of a Bookworm: The story is usually told from Myne's point of view, but prologues, epilogues and side stories are told from that of other characters. This often results in the reader being made aware of something a significant amount of time before Myne is.
  • Lori and Dimity together do this in Aunt Dimity's Death. Lori has just discovered Dimity is writing to her from beyond the grave, and Bill finds her just after the first time this happens. Lori tells him about it and shows him the journal page, which looks blank to him — until Dimity writes something to Bill which only he can read. Later in the series, Lori demonstrates the journal link to Emma Harris, and Dimity addresses herself to her as well.
  • The opening chapters of Jane Linskold's Breaking the Wall — Thirteen Orphans were meant to be this for the main character Brenda, being brought into the full knowledge of lore that her father and others have inherited over the generations. What was planned as a gradual reveal turned into a crash course fairly quickly though.
  • While The Dinosaur Lords never makes a secret of Karyl's and Melodía's fates — they're both POV characters — Felipe, Jaume, and Falk are shocked to learn that one is still alive and the other now fights for Providence.
  • The Dresden Files
    • Harry slowly starts revealing details of the magical world to his Badass Normal friend Karrin, when he needs her help.
    • Battle Ground: Harry tells the Erlking he is Margaret LeFay's son. The Erlking's response is a deadpan "Much is explained."
  • Fatherland is set in a world where the Nazis won World War II, and the protagonist is an SS officer investigating a Government Conspiracy. It quickly becomes obvious to the reader that the conspiracy is to cover up the remaining evidence of the Holocaust from the German public (the outside world suspects the truth, but it is denounced by the Reich as propaganda). However, even with foreknowledge of the "twist", the protagonist's horror at the discovery of what his country and professional position represent is still affecting.
  • The novel From Russia with Love spends nearly half of the text detailing the history of the assassin Red Grant and the decision-making processes of the upper echelons of the Soviet spy machine, before revealing its plan to murder James Bond (using Grant) by luring him with the Fake Defector Tatiana Romanova. The other half is how Bond falls into (and gets out of) the trap.
  • Played with in Gone Girl. Nick and Margo find out that Amy is a sociopath around the same time we do, but while they only get the general idea of what Amy has done, Amy herself tells us exactly how she did it, down to the sickest detail. Still, the police don't know yet.
  • Harry Potter:
    • The readers learn in the opening pages that magic is real and that Harry Potter survived something terrible and so will be incredibly famous in the wizarding world. Harry himself does not learn any of this until Hagrid provides him with an infodump that his guardians had been trying to hide from him for 11 years.
    • It is not until the end of Book 5 that the wizarding world in general learns and comes to accept what the audience witnessed happening at the end of Book 4, that Voldemort has returned to full power.
    • Harry accidentally finds out in the fourth book that Neville’s parents are institutionalized in St. Mungo’s because they were tortured into madness by Death Eaters. Dumbledore swore him to secrecy but he tells his friends he’d known for a while when they run into Neville visiting his parents for Christmas.
    • Harry gives his Triwizard tournament win money to Fred and George as a business loan at the end of the fourth book but doesn’t tell anyone but them because he doesn’t want to offend the rest of the family. He finally has to Ron and Hermione a year later because they thought Fred and George had done something illegal to get the money.
  • The Heir Chronicles: Jack and friends do have to explain their magical powers to their parents (and the local police chief) in the third book, Dragon Heir. The Roses had formed a truce and begun to launch a full-scale assault on their hometown, you see...
  • Journey to Chaos: It is made clear to both the readers and Tiza's teammates that her biological parents are Sathel and Retina, but she herself doesn't learn this until the second book in the series. They were hoping she would remember on her own.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • The series' Greater-Scope Villain, the Others, are introduced in the prologue. Only a few characters have learned about their existence, and it's treated as a big reveal to all of them, since the Others have not been seen for millennia.
    • Cersei and Jaime Lannister's relationship is revealed to the readers in Chapter 8 of the first book, but Ned Stark doesn't learn about it until late to the book, and most other characters aren't privy to it until A Clash of Kings. However, the fact that their relationship is deep enough to produce children — Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen, all of whom are ostensibly Robert Baratheon's heirs — is a secret the readers learn alongside Ned.
    • Jorah Mormont spying on Daenerys for Varys is something that has been disclosed to the readers early in the first book, but she doesn't find out about it until midway through the third book.
  • Split Heirs: Everyone witnessing Arbol's royal bath before coronation is incredibly shocked to realize she's a girl (aside from her mother or the reader that is). Arbol herself is outraged, punching people who say this, not having known before.
  • Villains by Necessity: The readers know from the start that Robin is a mole in the Main Characters' group, but they don't find this out until much later in the book.
  • Warrior Cats
    • In the Original Series Bluestar reveals to her grown-up kits that she is their real mother, something the reader (and Fireheart) found out about a while ago.
    • Bluestar telling Firestar about SkyClan in Firestar's Quest, which the reader saw in the prologue. Although some of the information was new. Similarly, Sol mentions it to Hollyleaf and Dovewing in The Forgotten Warrior.
    • In the third and fourth series, the prophecy du jour (known to the readers, Firestar, and Jayfeather) is revealed at least three times. Once to Jayfeather's siblings, once to Dovewing, and once to Brambleclaw, Leafpool, and Squirrelflight. Not to mention Jayfeather finally telling Firestar he knows about the prophecy
    • Any cat training in, or being trained by a member of, the Dark Forest. The readers know it's bad news, and the characters eventually find out that they're being trained by evil cats who want to use them to destroy the Clans. Notable examples include Ivypool in series four, and Crookedstar in his/her Super Edition.
    • A more minor one in Mistystar's Omen. The readers have known for ages that Mothwing doesn't believe in StarClan, but it's a huge reveal to Mistystar and provides the main drama of the book.
    • Bramblestar learning about SkyClan in Bramblestar's Storm. By the time this book came out, readers had known about SkyClan for seven years.
  • In Watership Down, the invaders from Efrafa are shocked to learn during their standoff with Bigwig that he is not his warren's Chief Rabbit—they had taken it for granted that he was due to his size and strength. Readers, of course, already know that the Chief Rabbit is Hazel, who is a good leader despite his small size because of his determination and faith in his fellow rabbits.
  • In The Witchlands:
    • Merik only learns that Safi — one of the POV characters — is a Living Lie Detector three-quarters through Truthwitch.
    • The readers know from the start that Leopold is part of the scheme to get Safi out of Emperor Henrick's hands, but it takes Aeduan a whole book to figure this out.
  • In Deep Wizardry, the second book in the Young Wizards series, Nita and Kit repeatedly break curfew while trying to make sure that a Sealed Evil in a Can stays sealed, forcing them to come clean about being wizards to her parents. At first, the adults think that it's a combination of trickery and hypnosis, so Nita and Kit up the ante by taking them on a trip to the Moon (Nita's younger sister Dairine is not happy about having been left out of the trip). Nita's parents (and eventually Kit's parents) seem to be unusually undisturbed about their children risking their lives to fight evil, but given that the only way to stop them would be to keep them permanently unconscious, that might just be the adults dealing with the hand they've been dealt.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
    • "Turn, Turn, Turn" brought the show's characters (and any viewers who missed the movie) up to speed on what happened in Captain America: The Winter Soldier: HYDRA had infiltrated SHIELD, the Triskelion (SHIELD HQ) was destroyed, and Nick Fury was dead. The next episode had Coulson learn that Nick Fury was secretly alive.
    • Also in "Turn, Turn, Turn," the audience learns that Agent Grant Ward is The Mole. It's not until two episodes later that someone on the regular team finds out, and the rest of the main cast find out in the episode after that.
  • The plot of Alias begins when Sydney reveals her status as a spy to her fiance, and he is promptly killed by SD-6.
  • In the fifth season of Angel when Lindsey shows himself to Spike and calling himself Doyle, any viewers who followed the show know something is up because the real Doyle did the same thing for Angel.
  • Boomer was revealed to be a Cylon sleeper agent at the end of the Battlestar Galactica (2003) miniseries. Most of the cast, including Boomer herself, didn't find out until the end of season one.
  • In the second series of Being Human (UK), the audience knows that Lucy is Dr. Jaggat as soon as the latter appears on-screen. Mitchell remains in the dark until she's killed his vampire charges and the priest he's interrogating about her whereabouts refers to her by her surname.
  • The Barrier:
    • For part of the series, the protagonists are persuaded Marta was taken away by the government because her father Hugo is unemployed, while the audience quickly finds out that Marta has actually been taken to a scientific institute. Several episodes later, the protagonists get their hands on a copy of a presentation from the institute that includes a photo of Marta. Only then does her grandmother start considering the possibility that Marta was actually taken away for reasons other than her father's employment status.
    • Upon handling an unconscious Marta, Alejo winds up being the first person working on the noravirus cure to notice her chip implanter scar. The Distant Prologue showed that chip being implanted into Marta's mother right before her grandfather was taken away by government agents.
    • After the children Alejo is detaining in a backwoods camp for scientific research are transferred to police headquarters, Pedro winds up having a brief discussion with Fernando, during which he's informed that the man he's talking with may be his father.
    • Julia spends most of the series masquerading as her dead twin Sara and thinking that she fooled the police. When Enrique gets around to arresting her, he pointedly calls her by her real name after having called her "Sara" during previous encounters. When he does so, there are people who were so far genuninely convinced that Julia was Sara within earshot.
    • Combining two of the previous situations, when Alejo calls his sister Alma to tell her about Marta and Julia's subcutaceous chips, he refers to Julia as Marta's aunt. The latter is news to Alma, who has been employing Julia while thinking she was Sara, by extension Marta's mother, for most of the series.
  • Breaking Bad:
    • Half the drama comes from Walt trying to keep his new life as a meth cook a secret — particularly from his wife, son and DEA agent brother-in-law. Skyler is the first to figure it out, while Hank doesn't realize until halfway through the last season. Walter Jr / Flynn is the very last to learn the truth.
    • On top of that, the show sat on the reveal that Walt watched Jane die for three and a half seasons. Much of the tension between Jesse and Walt was heightened with the viewer's knowledge that the truth would eventually out. The episode where Walter reveals the truth is widely regarded as the best episode of the entire show (for a number of other reasons as well).
  • The Brittas Empire: The identity of the father of Carole’s twins. The audience (and Helen) find out early on in Series 2 that the father is Gordon Brittas. However, neither Gordon nor Carole finds out until the very end of the show, in Series 7.
  • Done to a frustrating level in Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • One of the things that "Once More With Feeling" is notable for is revealing just about every secret the characters had to each other. Of course, by the next episode, there were another half dozen drama-sustaining secrets put into place.
    • Ben being Glory was played with, in that it was revealed that a spell stopped people from remembering the fact that they inhabited the same body. So even when they did find out, they didn't know.
    • Buffy having been in heaven prior to her friend "saving her" through resurrection was one of the internal reveals in "Once More With Feeling", and was one of the most emotional of the lot.
    • Spike kept his soul secret from Buffy for a couple of episodes, making for quite a powerful scene when she finally realized.
  • This happens gradually for Chuck with his close circle. The only two people still Locked Out of the Loop? Jeff and Lester.
  • The format of Columbo is built on internal reveals. Every episode begins by showing the audience exactly who murdered the Victim of the Week, how they did it, how they covered their tracks, and usually their motive as well. Then Lt. Colombo shows up knowing none of these things, and we get to watch him figure it out.
  • Dates: Erica comes out to her brother and Callum, after having already admitted she's lesbian with Kate.
  • Doctor Who has done this several times, often using viewers' knowledge of the show before it was brought back.
    • Many classic series Dalek stories have the word Dalek in the title and end their first episode with the Doctor discovering that there are Daleks around.
    • Any time there are reasonably knowledgeable alien lifeforms in the show, we wait eagerly for them to realize that this is that Doctor.
    • "Dalek" has two for anyone who knew the episode title — first when the Doctor realizes that there is a Dalek, and then when the rest of the characters realize how dangerous Daleks are.
    • "Vincent and the Doctor" does this to powerful emotional effect. The episode features the Doctor meeting Vincent van Gogh, who is portrayed as full of self-doubt and insecurity. After the Monster of the Week has been defeated, the Doctor takes Vincent to the Musée d'Orsay in the present day, and leads him up to the van Gogh collection. There, he asks a tour guide, in earshot of Vincent, where he thinks van Gogh rates in the history of art.
      Dr. Black: Well... big question! But to me, van Gogh was the finest painter of them all. Certainly he is the most popular great artist of all time. The most beloved. His command of colour the most magnificent. He transformed the pain of his tormented life into ecstatic beauty. To portray pain is easy, but to use your passion and pain to portray the ecstasy and joy and magnificence of our world... no-one had ever done it before. Perhaps no-one ever will again. To my mind, that strange, wild man who roamed the fields of Provence was not only the world's greatest artist but also one of the greatest men who ever lived.
    • In "Asylum of the Daleks", we meet Oswin Oswald, a girl trapped on the Daleks' asylum planet who served as the Doctor's Voice with an Internet Connection. We see her in her base, but because we eventually learn she was forcibly converted into a Dalek, the Doctor himself never sees her face. Due to this, in a later episode, when the Doctor meets Clara Oswald, he fails to recognize her even though the audience is perfectly aware it's the same person. Only after Clara dies does the Doctor realize she was the same person and she died both times he encountered her, setting off the big mystery of series seven.
    • It takes until "Spyfall", over a season after she met her first companions, for the Thirteenth Doctor to admit to them what species she is and where she's really from.
  • EastEnders has made this its main strategy for driving ratings over the past 10 years (or even longer). Examples:
    • Grant Mitchell finding out about the affair between his wife Sharon and brother Phil.
    • Kat Slater telling her "sister" Zoe that they were actually mother and daughter.
    • Bradley Branning finding out on Christmas Day that his dad had an affair with Bradley's wife Stacey when the two of them briefly split up.
    • Phil Mitchell finding out that his ex-girlfriend Lisa's daughter was also his daughter, not her new husband Mark's.
    • Phil finding out — on his wedding day — that his fiancee Stella was psychologically abusing his son Ben.
    • Bianca Jackson finding out that her boyfriend Tony was sleeping with her 14-year old step-daughter Whitney.
    • Ronnie Mitchell finding out that Danielle Jones was the daughter that she gave away as a teenager.
    • The audience found out who was blackmailing Syed before anyone in the story did. it was Lucy Beale.
  • Farscape got a nice bit of mileage out of this trope:
    • Moya's pregnancy, first revealed to the audience in the season one episode "They've Got A Secret," has significant implications for multiple villains of the week when they discover this over the rest of the season, such as sending Durka into a full-on Villainous Breakdown when he realizes Moya's condition prevents her from utilizing Starburst to escape a Nebari vessel he really doesn't want to go back to.
    • Harvey's existence has the distinction of not only getting played as The Reveal but an Internal Reveal as well. For the same character! Harvey first reveals himself to Crichton as a bizarre Enemy Mine to help Crichton escape capture by the Scarrans in "Won't Get Fooled Again," but by the end of the episode has erased his existence from Crichton's mind. Later in season 2, Scorpius himself reveals Harvey's presence to Crichton, which ultimately sets up the season finale.
    • Zhaan discovers Aeryn is still alive as The Reveal, sacrificing her own life to bring her back. The Internal Reveal occurs later in the episode when Aeryn pulls a Big Damn Heroes to save Crichton and D'Argo from a Scarran agent.
    • Chiana and Jothee sleep together. The following episode D'Argo finds out, which completely destroys his relationship with Jothee and isn't repaired again until the finale miniseries.
    • "Incubator" reveals Scorpius's backstory to the audience, which he later relates to Crichton in "Into the Lion's Den: Part I," to show him just why he's so desperate to construct a wormhole weapon. The revelation of just how dangerous the Scarrans are and Scorpius's drive to defend the galaxy (supported by the agreement of Harvey, who has Scorpius' memories and intellect, but "not his passions and his fears") almost convinces Crichton to go back on his plan to destroy the wormhole weapon project and consider helping him for real.
    • After Crichton is "twinned" in "Eat Me," a substantial part of the season splits the crews between Moya and Talyn, with one Crichton on each. Talyn!John dies, sacrificing himself to destroy a Scarran Dreadnought. Moya!John learning of this when the crews finally reunite several episodes later severely impacts his relationship with Aeryn.
    • A big one is set up by The Reveal that Aeryn is pregnant in the season 3 finale. Noranti tells Crichton immediately, while the Internal Reveal to various other characters (including Crichton revealing to Aeryn that he knows) drives a fair bit of interactions between Aeryn and the rest of the crew for much of season 4, as well as further damaging Crichton and Aeryn's relationship.
    • Crichton taking drugs supplied by Noranti over most of the season to suppress his feelings for Aeryn does not go over well with her when she finds out. Her furious confrontation with him and outright ordering him to stop taking them ultimately reconciles them and leads to them finally getting together for good.
  • The Flash (2014):
    • The first episode reveals there's much more to Harrison Wells than meets the eye. As the audience learns more and more about him, the other characters gradually become suspicious. It all comes out in "Who is Harrison Wells", when the heroes find pretty indisputable evidence that the real Wells has been dead for years and the guy impersonating him is also the Reverse Flash.
    • There's also the moment where Iris realizes that Barry is the Flash, which the audience spent most of a season waiting for.
    • In the episode "Killer Frost", Cisco learns that his brother was alive before Barry reset the timeline, meaning that Barry is partly responsible for his brother's death. He does not take this well.
  • Niles was in love with Daphne on Frasier for years and years before she finally found out.
  • Friends:
    • "The One Where Rachel Finds Out" that Ross has a crush on her, followed by "The One Where Ross Finds Out" after Unrequited Love Switcheroo.
    • Monica and Chandler's relationship was treated like this a bit, too. The audience knew by the morning after, but they tried to keep it secret from other characters. Joey found out after several episodes so they were forced to confide in him, until the secret got out to Rachel and Phoebe in one episode, and finally Ross later that episode. Amusingly, Joey was the only one to figure it out just by connecting dots.
  • Fringe — Peter finding out that he is Walter's Replacement Goldfish from the Alternate Universe. The reveal to the audience happens at the end of the first season, but once Olivia figures it out in the middle of the second, the audience knows it's only a matter of time until the beans are spilled, and the writers milked it for all the tension they could. Peter's reaction to the reveal does not disappoint.
  • Game of Thrones does this constantly, due to the complicated plot and the slow speed at which news travels in medieval Westeros. Examples include:
    • The 1st and 2nd seasons had numerous cases of characters finding out the big reveal from the first episode: that the queen has been nailing her brother and all three of her children are his bastards.
    • Various characters finding out that other characters are dead or not dead.
    • Various characters finding out that Daenerys has dragons.
    • Various characters, especially Stannis and Davos, finding out that the White Walkers are real.
    • Jaime finding out that the capital was besieged by Stannis's army.
    • Gendry finding out that he's the bastard son of the late king.
  • Hannibal:
    • Anyone who has been exposed to popular media in the last 20 years knows that the title character is a serial killer who will later be known as "Hannibal the Cannibal". Part of the drama in the series is when and how Will Graham will figure it out.
    • It's also played as a bit of a wink to the audience in one episode when Jack Crawford is having a meal at Lecter's and innocently asks what the meat is. Mads Mikkelson draws out the pause before saying it's just pork. Not to mention the lion in the room metaphor, and the little in-jokes Hannibal likes to make.
  • Heroes:
    • The audience finds out that Nathan is Claire's father before Claire does.
    • Don't forget most of the second season, like Hiro finding out that Adam killed his father when it was already incredibly obvious in Peter's storyline.
  • Into the Dark: The audience knows early on that the women we see in All That We Destroy are clones. However, the latest Ashley only learns it near the end.
  • The Joe Schmo Show is built around this, with the ending of each of its seasons featuring the reveal to the chosen schmo (or schmoes in season two) that the entire reality show they've been participating in was fake and everyone they were supposedly competing against was actually an actor.
  • In Kamen Rider Gaim, many members of the audience guess fairly early (earlier than the first character who discovered it actually) that Kouta's missing friend Yuya was turned into an Inves, and was the first one Kouta killed. Once Kouta learns, however, his reaction isn't pretty.
  • Cops shows perform these all the time when a suspect is set up by police acting the part of a potential victim or co-conspirator. In one example from Law & Order: SVU, a social worker suspected of taking advantage of welfare-seeking homeless women starts making moves on undercover Benson, touching her from behind as he's showing her how to fill out an application for food stamps. Olivia reveals she's a cop by reciting aloud what she's writing in for "Most Recent Employer": Special... Victims... Unit.
  • Legend of the Seeker: Richard doesn't learn why he can't be with Kahlan (it might cause the release of her power during passion, Confessing him) until long after the audience does (aside from book readers of course, who already know this).
  • In the Legends of Tomorrow episode "Compromised", the Legends discover that Damian Darhk is working with a speedster, which the audience had learned four episodes earlier.
    • In general, the show has quite a few of these. The Legends keep a lot of secrets from each other.
  • Lois & Clark had the episode where Lois Lane finally figures out that Clark Kent and Superman are the same person.
  • Lost: The audience finds out Claire is Jack's half-sister more than a season before Jack does. Plus, Richard's immortality, the extent of the Smoke Monster's abilities and influence, and characters like Christian Shepherd and Libby having met various Losties before their arrival on the Island. Mostly these are due to the flashback/flashforward structure of the story and the characters' inability to communicate whatever new information they've learned.
  • Lucifer (2016): The audience knows from the beginning that Lucifer really is the Devil but no matter how many times he tells his human assosciates they assume he's lying or being dramatic. Dr. Linda finds out the truth in season two's "Monster" when he reveals his Game Face to her after she demands he stop using the "metaphor" during their sessions. In the third season finale Chloe Decker sees Lucifer with his angel wings exposed and realises he was telling the truth the entire time. It takes until season five for Dan Espinoza to catch up after Michael tricks him into seeing Lucifer's Devil face.
  • The Mandalorian: The first season finale ends with a shot revealing to the audience that Moff Gideon survived the crash of his TIE fighter. The titular Mandalorian and his don't learn that Gideon is still alive until the fourth episode of season two when they find a newly recorded message that was sent to him.
  • Mimpi Metropolitan:
    • The audience already know that Alan is secretly wearing a wig since episode 3 (and episode 34 reminds the audience who missed it). It's only revealed to the others in episode 35.
    • The other dorm residents find out about Bambang and Melani's secret relationship in episode 54, seven episodes after it started.
  • Motherland: Fort Salem: It's clear to the audience from the start that Scylla was responsible for the terrorist attack at the mall and that she is Spree. It's only revealed to the other characters later in the season.
  • The premise of the first season of Once Upon a Time is that all of the people in Storybrooke are fairy tale characters magic'd into thinking they're not. The audience learns this quickly. The Huntsman starts to understand, but then he's killed. Much later Emma gets a proper Internal Reveal, and then the whole town.
  • Our Miss Brooks:
    • In "The Wrong Mrs. Boynton", Miss Brooks offers to pretend to be Mrs. Boynton in order to impress the dean of the local college. She thinks she's getting an opportunity to act as Mr. Boynton's wife, but the audience already knows that she has unwittingly agreed to play the part of Mr. Boynton's mother.
    • In "Mrs. Davis Reads Tea Leaves", Miss Brooks overhears a conversation between Mr. Boynton and Harriet and jumps to the conclusion that Mr. Boynton is finally going to marry her and move with her to honeymoon cottage on the edge of town. It turns out that he wants to open a summer camp. Cue her stunned reaction when he proposes they have twenty kids. Not to mention the fact that Mr. Conklin tries to outbid him.
    • In "June Bride", Walter Denton and the Conklins assume that Mr. Boynton has finally proposed to Miss Brooks, and the two are to be married that same day. In actuality, Miss Brooks had agreed to be the proxy for Monsieur LeBlanc's French bride.
    • In "Radio Bombay", a newscast on Walter's homemade radio forecasts the imminent arrival of a strong hurricane. Unfortunately, nobody is around to hear that the newscast originates from Bombay, India.
    • In "Spare That Rod", Walter Denton and Stretch Snodgrass alter a ten-year-old letter they find addressed to a previous principal. The letter was from the head of the board, accusing the principal of being "flagrantly dictatorial" in his management of the school. They use a typewriter to readdress the letter to Principal Conklin.
    • In "Bobbsey Twins in Stir" Mrs. Davis had been arrested after having unwittingly sold forged tickets to the policeman's ball, but fortunately released soon thereafter. Upset, she goes to visit her sister Angela. Miss Brooks, Mr. Boynton, Mr. Conklin, and Mr. Stone end up being drawn into the scheme as well.
  • Power Rangers RPM: Doctor K creating Venjix. The Rangers don't find out until a few episodes after the audience did, and General Truman and co don't find out for quite some time after that.
  • The Republic of Sarah:
    • In the pilot, we learn that Alexis is having an affair with AJ, but other characters take some time to.
    • Sarah learns Corrine suspects Danny may be her son's father only in 1x9, long after the audience did.
  • A frequent Soap Opera trope. Viewers are often privy to things that the characters aren't, sometimes for years.
  • Supergirl (2015):
    • The episode "The Darkest Place" has quite a few. Kara discovers that the head of Cadmus is Lillian Luthor, Lex and Lena's mother, Alex discovers James is Guardian, and J'onn discovers M'gann is a White Martian.
    • "Blood Memory" has several as well.
      • Nia tells Kara she's transgender, something that the audience already learned.
      • Nia reveals her dream powers to the rest of her family, though her sister doesn't take it well to say the least.
      • Kara reveals she is Supergirl to Nia so Nia won't feel alone.
  • Supernatural first reveals to the audience that Sam's been powering up by drinking demon blood. Dean is the last person to know.
  • In the Ultra Series, a common Internal Reveal involves the attack team of the season discovering the secret identity of the Ultraman protecting Earth at the time, usually near the climax.
    • Ultraman Mebius broke the tradition by having Mirai Hibino unmasking himself in the middle of the series. At that time, he was originally meant to leave Earth under Father of Ultra's orders, but after surviving the Imperiser assault, he was permitted by Ultraman Taro to stay on Earth up till the final battle against Alien Empera.
    • A non Ultra-host example comes off in Ultra Fight Orb, where near the end, a battered Reibatos try to revive Ultraman Belial with the last ounce of his energy, but discovered that Belial was still alive. To the audience, especially in Japan, Belial was already Back from the Dead at the end of Ultra Zero Fight.
    • In Ultraman Z, the fact that Captain Hebikura is Jugglus Juggler in disguise is revealed near the beginning of the series, but the other characters don't find out until near the end when he enacts his plan to steal the Ultroid Zero for himself.
  • The Wilds: In Season 2, Shelby tells Rachel about what happened with Becca and her guilt over it, something the audience saw before.

  • The final stanza of 'Stan' by Music/Eminem follows Eminem replying to the character's letters, relating Stan to a case on the news of a man who drove his pregnant girlfriend off of a bridge. In the very last lines of the song, he comes to realise they're one and the same, which the listener already knows from the previous verses.
    Come to think about it, his name was... it was you. Damn...

    Mythology & Religion 
  • At the end of Book I of The Achilleid, Achilles throws off his disguise and reveals to Lycomedes and his daughters that he's not Thetis' daughter, but, y'know, Achilles. In the same moment, he also lets Lycomedes know that he married his daughter, Deidamia, and had a child with her.

  • The Magnus Archives: In "Nothing Beside Remains", Elias brings the rest of the team up to speed on what Jon and the audience have known since the season 2 finale: that the body found in Jon's office was actually Jurgen Leitner, Elias murdered both Jurgen Leitner and Gertrude Robinson, and Sasha died over a year ago and was replaced by one of the Not-Them.

  • In Panopticon Quest, the readers know that the Big Secret the Void Engineers are going to very great extents to keep about Threat Null is that (Spoilers for Mage: The Ascension canon!) they are actually the once-human remnants of the space-based members of the Technocracy trying to return to Earth to reassert control, but the party initially doesn't. A large part of the story involves the characters deciding what to do with that knowledge once they learn it without prior Void Engineer permission.

  • In the third scene of The Adding Machine, the Zeroes get together with the Ones, Twos, Threes, Fours, Fives and Sixes for an evening of gossip and bigotry in which Zero doesn't participate much, though the others don't suspect him of anything other than thinking too much and being a Lazy Husband. When a policeman comes looking for Zero, he's ready to go, and calmly tells the others why: "I killed the boss this afternoon."
  • King Lear:
    • Edmund outs himself to the audience as a Manipulative Bastard out to banish his brother Edgar and usurp his father, Duke of Gloucester early on in Act I. The latter two only find out about it during Act III, when things come to a head and Edmund has Goneril and Regan gouge his father's eyes out.
    • Similarly (and perhaps more importantly) Goneril and Regan discuss getting rid of their father — or at the very least, putting him in his place — as early as the first scene. Lear only realises his daughters have turned on him at the end of Act II, just in time for them to turn him out into a storm. This, coupled with the added realisation that he banished his only loving daughter, Cordelia (yet another piece of knowledge the audience was already privy to), drives him to madness.
  • Othello: The audience knows from the beginning that Iago is a Manipulative Bastard, but the majority of the other characters don't find out until the play's climax.
  • In some games of the Barbixas' theater presentation, like "Escolinha Improvável", involve one of the actors finding out what character the other actors are acting like, and the public always knows it before the game starts.

    Video Games 
  • Final Fantasy X makes use of this for most of its biggest plot points:
    • Rikku's identity as an Al Bhed is this for the majority of the rest of the party in at two different points; Auron and Lulu find out when she joins the main party, and Wakka and possibly Kimahri find out after fighting her brother's machina, during which Rikku speaks in Al Bhed and calls her opponent "brother."
      • Yuna's Al Bhed heritage is also one (but for Wakka only). He finds out some time after Rikku's secret is outed, from Rikku's father (Yuna's uncle) no less.
    • The fact that Sin is Jecht is given to the player (and Tidus) very early on, but the rest of the party only find out on Mt. Gagazet. Well, the rest of the party save Auron, who is the one that reveals it to Tidus.
    • Auron reveals himself to Tidus as an Unsent after fighting Yunalesca (but there were already many hints at this to the player) — the Internal Reveal comes at the end when he has Yuna Send him in front of everyone. But it's strongly implied that Kimahri already knew about this, as he had encountered the dying Auron. None of the others really seem all that surprised either, though, and it's very possible they had already figured it out too.
    • Possibly the biggest of all: Tidus finds out he's a Dream of the Fayth, and will eventually disappear if Sin is permanently defeated, comes just after the first half of Mt. Gagazet (and one hell of a boss fight). It's only several gameplay hours later that Yuna begins to suspect something is awry, and he only openly admits the truth just before the final battle.
  • In Fire Emblem Awakening, the opening chapter is a flash-forward that reveals The Avatar is destined to kill Chrom and bring about the Bad Future. The Avatar themself doesn't find out until late into the game when Lucina tries to kill them to change the future.
  • An interesting and common variation on this trope is to have the big secret hid from the player character, typically by means of showing a cutscene from elsewhere. For example, in The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, Link and Ezlo don't find out until near the end that Vaati has been impersonating the King since they had headed off toward the swamp.
  • In the PS3 version of Ni no Kuni, cutscenes make it obvious from the start that the White Witch is the real Big Bad of the story and Shadar is just The Dragon, and the game is even subtitled "Wrath of the White Witch". To the characters though, Shadar is the only apparent threat, and they don't even become aware of the White Witch's existence until after he is defeated. This is a consequence of the Updated Re-release, as in the original DS version Shadar really was the sole Big Bad.
  • Queen at Arms:
    • It's known only to player character Marcus and her adoptive brother Nick that Marcus is really a girl. But it falls to Nick to inform her that she's not just a girl, she's the rightful Queen.
    • Elsewhere in the game, during one of the romance paths, Marcus has the choice to reveal her true gender to her Love Interest prior to partaking of the Optional Sexual Encounter.
  • Defied depending on the player's actions in The Walking Dead. In Episode 3 Lily will point out that Lee is a convicted murderer after Kenny calls her a murderer for shooting Doug/Carley. If Lee did not tell anyone about his conviction, Lilly will be surprised that Kenny did not know, whereas if Lee did tell Kenny privately, she will be surprised he did know.
  • In The Spectrum Retreat, Cooper only figures out that Alex murdered Matthews only after the player was expected to put it together themselves.
  • In Psychonauts 2, Raz (and the player) learns mid-way through the game that Helmut Fulbear, a founding Psychonauts member long assumed dead, has in fact been alive under everyone's noses the entire time. Much later, Raz needs the help of his widower Bob Zanotto in order to progress, but he's in such a deep state of alchoholic depression that he won't hear either his request for help nor his explanation that Helmut is alive, halting his progress on a high-stakes mission. Only after Raz goes into Bob's mind and is able to help him start the process of mentally recovering is the reveal finally able to hit home.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel:
    • Lots of them (and extra lots if you include things the audience didn't explicitly know but could guess with high accuracy based on past games), including Alisa revealing what the 'R' in her last name is short for to the entire group and Emma revealing to Rean just how she's able to do some of the stunts she's performed over the course of the game. Some of these are limited to Bond Events while others occur during the normal plot.
    • Towards the beginning of Cold Steel IV, Juna Crawford learns that Giliath Osborne is Rean Schwarzer's father. The player already learned this along with Rean himself and the rest of the old Class VII towards the end of ''Cold Steel II'. Altina Orion already knows from having been Rean's partner for over a year, while Kurt Vander guessed as much from knowledge he had gleaned from other Vanders and his use of the "Unclouded Eye" technique which Rean taught him. Thus, the news is only a shock to Juna, who upon learning just what burden Rean is carrying, becomes even more fired up to go rescue him from the Empire's captivity.

    Visual Novels 
  • At the end of Daughter for Dessert, the protagonist reveals his new girlfriend to the rest of his staff - that is, if he's with someone other than Amanda.
  • Leads to a bad ending in Melody if the title character and Amy find out that you’ve been dating both of them.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: "A Much Needed Talk" has Qrow finally revealing to Ruby and JNR the truth about the Maidens, how it relates to Beacon's fall, and Pyrrha's death (the last of which Jaune is particularly upset over), all of which the audience saw play out in the last Volume.
  • In canon Dragon Ball Z, Freeza never learned just who the rose-haired pretty boy that hacked him up happened to be, and the same is mostly held true to the abridged series. Cell, however, does know, seeing as he is made partly from Freeza's DNA; in the third episode of HFIL, however, Cell leads Freeza towards the answer for the purpose of breaking him.
    Freeza: And if you're going to tell me that I wasn't killed by Goku, I frankly don't care. Whoever it was couldn't possibly be more embarrassing than Goku's tween offspring.
    Cell: Well, there's always Vegeta's teen offspring [Trunks].
    Freeza: Well, yes, I do suppose that would be— (realization)!
    Cell: Who do you think that time traveller was...? And I'm sure everyone would love to hear how you were split in two by Vegeta's overgrown sperm.

  • Daughter of the Lilies: Subverted and Defied by Brent regarding the reason why Thistle always hides her face. When Thistle abruptly stops reading a book out loud because it's started demonizing her fellow Cave Elves, Brent guesses the book is talking about whatever she is, grabs it out of her hands, and tosses it into the fire unread.
  • In El Goonish Shive, the build-up of one particular relationship mess. The fans had diagrams. To quote a recap:
    Nanase likes the ladies, and knows that Elliot and Susan know.
    Elliot knows that Ellen knows, very likely knows that Susan knows and may know that Justin knows.
    Ellen knows that Elliot, Susan, and Justin know.
    Susan knows that Ellen and Justin know.
    Justin knows that Susan and Ellen know.
    Sarah knows that Grace and Susan know.
    Grace knows that Sarah and Susan know.
    Tedd is completely clueless.
  • Plume's Dom and Corrick find out who the bounty hunters are really there for several pages after readers do.
  • In Rain, Rain's trans status is the very first thing the audience learns — and several chapters hinge upon her coming out to friends and family.
  • Alison reveals that she is Mega Girl in Strong Female Protagonist on national television. Mild shock for the audience, in universe great shock though!
  • Tower of God: It is known from the beginning that Bam is an Irregular, i.e. somebody who entered the Tower uninvited and thus is a terrifying existence to most. But when he boldly announces that during an assembly of most of his generation's regulars, jaws drop even though you already knew that.

    Web Original 
  • Noob had a few episodes during which the audience knew that Sparadrap's younger brother was playing the game, but Sparadrap himself wasn't aware of it. His brother ends up setting things straight after it turns out that blackmail is going on between members of their respective guilds (one of Sparadrap's teammates is a Manipulative Bastard).

    Western Animation 
  • In American Dragon: Jake Long, the audience finds out that Jake's crush Rose is actually the secret identity of his archenemy Huntsgirl in the very first episode, but Jake doesn't find out until half a season later.
  • Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender finds out that he's the great-grandson of both Avatar Roku and Firelord Sozin in the aptly titled episode "The Avatar and the Firelord" but he doesn't tell Aang (the other half of this equation) until the tie-in comic, Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise.
  • Big City Greens: The episode "Friend Con" has the Greens discover Chip is still evil since his promotion to CEO of Wholesome Foods. Of course, if the audience had seen the ending of "Reckoning Ball" to begin with, they knew all along.
  • Central Park:
    • In Season 1 "Dog Spray Afternoon", both Birdie and the audience know what Bitsy is up to, but Birdie explains he cannot tell Owen or Paige because there are rules to being a narrator. He, however, gets impatient and blurts out to Paige that Bitsy is the one money laundering for the mayor, breaking the rule of revealing too much to the main characters. He tries to cover it up by saying as a busker he overhears business talk in the park all the time.
    • In Season 1 "Hot Oven", the Tillermans finally learns the truth about Bitsy thanks to Brendan, who reveals that she's his great aunt, and that she's plotting to buy Central Park.
  • Danny Phantom: In the series finale, Phantom Planet, Vlad Masters finally reveals to the world that he is the real identity of the ghost villain Vlad Plasmius. For the audience (and for Danny), The Reveal has happened as early as Vlad's introduction in "Bitter Reunions". It's also in this episode that Danny Fenton shows the world that he is Danny Phantom, which has been known to the audience since the beginning.
  • In Dog City, the cartoonist drawing Ace's story was fighting with another cartoonist on whether or not to reveal the villain's plan to the viewer. They re-painted over the scene a few times.
  • DuckTales (2017):
    • Near the end of Season 1, Huey and Louie are let in on Dewey and Webby's quest to find out what happened to Della Duck; the adults find out in the very next episode, with Scrooge reluctantly giving The Reveal when pressed.
    • The episode after that ended with The Stinger that Della is still alive, which the main characters wouldn't discover until the middle of the second season... at which point Donald Duck goes missing, unbeknownst to everyone other than the audience.
    • The ending of Season 2 revealed that Scrooge's board of directors were the head of F.O.W.L., but the protagonist would not find out until the middle of Season 3. The rest of the series deals with the fallout of this revelation.
  • Gravity Falls: At the climax of "Scary-Oke", Stan confesses to Dipper that he knows about the town's weirdness after all (something the audience was made aware of at the end of the season one finale "Gideon Rises"), but was pretending to be oblivious in a misguided attempt to discourage Dipper from investigating and putting himself in danger.
  • The first season of Jackie Chan Adventures had its human antagonists, the Dark Hand, working to collect the talismans for Shendu, a Demon Sorceror who was turned into a statue 800 years prior, so as to restore his physical form. The heroes aren't even aware of Shendu's existence or why Dark Hand are collecting the talismans until the last two episodes of the season (though they do come across Shendu when he temporarily leaves his body and possesses Jade's, they don't make the connection that the evil spirit and the talking statue are one and the same).
  • It's plainly obvious to the viewer from the very first episode of King of the Hill that Nancy Gribble is cheating on Dale with John Redcorn and Joseph isn't Dale's son, but it's treated as a shocking revelation nonetheless when Peggy Hill figures it out for herself in season 3.
  • Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts: The audience (and Mandu) learns that Kipo has shapeshifting abilities in episode five, but Kipo herself doesn't realize this until the following episode and Kipo's friend Wolf doesn't realize until two episodes later, leading to a dramatic falling out between the two.
  • Miraculous Ladybug:
    • In its second season, Alya and Nino are drafted to aid the heroes on two separate occasions as Rena Rouge and Carapace. In "Catalyst", Ladybug recruits them together, leading them to learn each other's secret identities (though it's implied Alya already knew Nino was Carapace. Definitely counts for Nino, though.)
    • In the fourth season, the stress of being Ladybug and the new guardian of the Miraculous, and having to keep it secret from everyone she cares about, gets to Marinette so much that she gives up and fills Alya in on the truth.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • The opening of the first episode explains to the audience the story of Princess Celestia's sister, Luna, and how she became corrupted into Nightmare Moon. Only at the end of the premiere does the rest of the cast learn of Nightmare Moon's relationship to Celestia... despite the myth concerning the character clearly noting that the two are siblings.
    • "The One Where Pinkie Pie Knows" starts with Pinkie finding out that Cadance and Shining Armor are having a baby. The rest of the episode centers around her crazy antics to avoid telling Twilight until Cadance and Shining Armor are ready to tell her themselves.
  • The identity of Mr. E in Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated is revealed to the audience in the final third of the first season, but the characters themselves aren't made aware of this until the early parts of the next season.
  • Sofia the First: In "Day of the Sorcerers", Sofia and her family finally realize Cedric is trying to take over Enchancia as well as the times he tried to take her amulet, something the audience had known since she first came to the castle three whole seasons ago.
  • Early on Spider-Man: The Animated Series, the audience knows that Wilson Fisk is the main bad guy controlling most of the criminal activities, but Spider-Man himself doesn't know about him until Daredevil shows up and reveals his true identity.
  • Towards the end of season three in Star vs. the Forces of Evil, Star and Marco end up sharing a kiss while the former is in a relationship with Tom, who considers Marco to be one of his best friends. In the season finale, Marco admits to Tom what happened in an attempt to make him abandon him so he can pull off a Heroic Sacrifice, which fails when Tom comes back under the assumption that Marco was lying (only to be corrected). Tom still takes it surprisingly well, though.
    • As an extension of that, early in the following season, Star is furious when she discovers that Tom learned about the kiss and choose to talk about his conflicted feelings concerning what happened with his mother rather than her. Tom proceeds to rightfully point that he should be the one angry in the situation, since Star should have told him about the kiss herself rather than him having to confront her about it.
  • A variant is offered in the penultimate episode of Static Shock when the titular hero's father immediately realizes that his son is Static after he's kidnapped in order to lure the locally famous superhero out.
    Mr. Hawkins: Wasn't hard to figure out. Why else kidnap me to get to Static?
  • Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters ends the second episode of season two with one of the Flex Fighters, Nathan "Wingspan" Park, revealing his double life to his girlfriend, Erika Violette, at least 14 episodesnote  after the viewers learned all of the Flex Fighters' true identities.
  • Transformers: Animated has plenty of things revealed to the viewers long before the characters ever find out.
    • The end of the three episode pilot reveals that Issac Sumdac has been keeping Megatron's head and hand within his main laboratory after having discovered it 50 years ago, and he had reverse-engineered the Cybertronian technology to create the robots that would make him a successful businessman. This is not revealed to the Autobots until Megatron Rising Part II.
    • The end of Blast From The Past shows Grimlock transforming to robot mode, revealing that the Dinobots were given Sparks and turned into Transformers by the AllSpark energy from Sari's key (something that was foreshadowed earlier in the episode when Megatron finds himself unable to control them). Six episodes later, in Survival of the Fittest, the Dinobots reveal their ability to transform to everyone present (Bulkhead, Prowl, Sari, Fanzone, and Meltdown). Optimus would learn of this in Megatron Rising Part I.
    • In Autoboot Camp, a flashback shows Bumblebee learning of a Decepticon spy amongst the Autobots and suspects it to be Wasp, an Autobot who bullies him. This leads to Bumblebee teaming up with an Autobot named Longarm to expose him as the spy. However, it's revealed at the end of the episode that the true spy is Longarm, who is actually the Decepticon Shockwave in disguise. The main characters don't learn of this until Shockwave reveals himself in A Bridge Too Close Part II.
  • Played with in Voltron: Legendary Defender. It's never explicitly stated to the audience that Pidge is a girl until she admits the façade in the sixth episode, though the show doesn't do much to hide this. In the same manner, the other characters had also either figured out by that point or at least suspected it (except Lance).

Alternative Title(s): The Inner Reveal


The Wild Thornberrys Movie

Eliza gives up her powers to save her sister.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

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Main / FriendOrIdolDecision

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