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Mr. Exposition

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"I know! That's what I told 'em, but no! All the cruddy exposition goes to me! I've got to talk and talk and fiddle with the computer and talk some more and fiddle and talk! I feel like Obi-Wan cruddy Kenobi!"
Roddy MacStew, Freakazoid!

A character whose purpose is to provide Infodumps and explain the plot. Ostensibly, this is for the benefit of the protagonists, but most of the time their real reason for existing is to provide Exposition to the audience. This is why they spend so much time explaining things the protagonists already know. Popular in Science Is Bad stories, where you can bet the Mad Scientist in charge will have a tape recorder with him at all times that he's always dictating his progress to. Mr. Exposition is also an essential component of the Instructional Dialogue. In spite of the name, this is an equal-opportunity position, as the many female examples below demonstrate.

The Watson, especially if Constantly Curious, may force Mr. Exposition into this role.

See also Captain Obvious, Expositron 9000, Haunted House Historian, Exposition Fairy, and Ancient Keeper. The Combat Commentator is a variation that provides color commentary for ongoing fights. Not to be confused with Mr./Ms. Fanservice, though the comparison could make for some interesting puns.

Can be very high on the Sorting Algorithm of Mortality. Expect someone to kill him off once he's done expositing. In an ongoing series, however (especially where a Mission Briefing is involved), his odds of survival tend to be better, and he'll often serve this role in an ongoing capacity.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Attack on Titan has a couple of examples:
    • The first is Eren Kruger, whose exposition is given via Grisha Yeager's flashbacks. He's essentially a case of a Posthumous Mr. Exposition.
    • Secondly we have Willy Tybur. He shows up for a few chapters to deliver a speech about the supposed true history of Paradis Island and how Eren holds evil powers and could destroy the world... and is then promptly killed by Eren, who was listening to all the exposition.
    • Another minor example is Kiyomi Azumabito. Her main purpose seems to be providing exposition about Mikasa's mother's homeland, Hizuru, and the nation's role in supporting Paradis.
  • Dew Yamamoto from Cap Revolution Bottleman describes how different Bottleman attacks and other parts of Bottleman battles work.
  • Darker than Black:
    • Subverted at the beginning. One of the characters is a scientist who had been working on the Gate. She gives us a rather hefty dose of Expospeak to explain the Contractor-related weirdness; however it turns out she doesn't even know who she is. As such, 90% of anything anyone says in the first two episodes is misinformed at best and Blatant Lies at worst.
    • Later the trope is played straight with Dr. Schroeder, who appears to be the only person on (or off) the show who both has some idea what's going on and is inclined to share.
  • Delicious in Dungeon has Laios dumping info on monsters, Senshi on cooking and proper nutrition, and Marcille on magic.
  • Digimon Adventure tri.: Since the first three films are astoundingly tight-lipped on just what the hell is going on, in the fourth the Mysterious Man and Hackmon take turns explaining things, the former as he's trying to kill the main characters.
  • Dragon Ball Z often has exposition but this particular line spoken by Krillin in The Tree of Might recapping what happened moments prior is particularly egregious, especially considering he delivered it while lying on the ground in pain, speaking to absolutely no-one but himself.
    Krillin: No! Earth's energy was sucked up by the Tree of Might and Goku couldn't find enough power to form a Spirit Bomb to defeat Turles! Now we're dead for sure...
  • Ergo Proxy had a very interesting method of revealing its backstory: the characters ended up in a bizarre gameshow, where most questions and answers were directly related to the plot. The gameshow host MCQ played the part of Mr. Exposition.
  • Reversed in Eyeshield 21 in the form of Yamamoto Onihei, ace lineman of the Hashiritani Deers. More than any other player on the sideline, this is Onihei's role, and a running gag is formed around the fact that his analysis has yet to be accurate. It doesn't help that the team he usually tries to predict is one of the most unpredictable teams in the whole of Japan....
  • Fairy Tail had Klodoa, a sentient staff who spends about three chapters explaining the Oracion Seis's plans. Once he's explained everything he's fulfilled his plotline purpose and promptly dies. He's insignificant enough that that's not worth a spoiler tag.
    • Happy tends to be this when everyone's caught up in battle, and Lucy's also played this at the beginning of the series.
  • Subverted in FLCL by Commander Amarao. He tells Naota (and the audience) that Haruko is searching for her lover Atomsk, the pirate king (the scene is accompanied by a humanoid fire creature). Amarao was just guessing, Haruko really wants to eat him.
  • Highschool of the Dead: Saya Takagi was the smartest girl at Fujimi High and possesses near encyclopaedic level intellect. So she'll often provide the reader and the other characters with detailed analysis of their current situation.
    • During the outbreak at the school, she explained why going to the staff room for help was a bad idea. She was also able to accurately assess why the police weren't responding and why they hadn't heard any sirens yet, when Hirano brought it up.
    • When all the electronics at the Takagi Estate went dead in Chapter 15, she was able to deduce it'd been the work of an EMP blast and gave a detailed summation of how they worked, to Takashi and the others.
    • And during Chapter 28, she tells them about the JGSDF's evacuation plan, after finding a report about it (albeit, with help from Alice) on one of the computers at the police HQ, where Rei's father was stationed.
    • It was even lampshaded by, during their countdown of the Top 10 'Anime Cliches'. No.8 on the list, was: "overuse of exposition" where they specifically singled out Saya (seen at 2:20-2:31):
    WatchMojo: "An example of this is Saya Takagi, from Highschool of the Dead, who — due to her outstanding intellect, will often analyze the group's condition and sum it up for the audience."
  • Hunter × Hunter: Kurapica filled this role early on, before being Put on a Bus. In later arcs, the exposition is usually provided by whoever's training Gon and Killua.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Phantom Blood: Perhaps one of the most memorable examples from the series, Robert E. O. Speedwagon narrates almost every single fight that Jonathan take part in, some perceive it as annoying, but most older fans like him.
    • Golden Wind: Pericolo is the one who informs Bucciarati's group of Trish's identity as The Boss' daughter, provides a brief explanation of Trish's mother and informs the group that she is being targeted by La Squadra.
    • Steel Ball Run: Through Mountain Tim, the audience learns the way of obtaining a Stand, and that's by passing through the Devil's Palm and surviving.
  • Kotetsu and Onikiri from Kamisama Kiss. Their main purpose in the story is to provide infodumps when needed.
  • Kemono Friends: Lucky Beast will provide information on geography and Friends as they're encountered. Does not (directly) provide much information regarding the show's main mysteries.
  • Kill la Kill:
    • Aikuro (Ryuko's homeroom teacher) combines this with Mr. Fanservice, as he will start seductively taking off his clothes while delivering exposition for absolutely no discernible reason.
    • Inumuta also explains a lot of things going on in the story, such as some of Ryuko's powers like Senketsu Mubyoshi. Though unlike most examples, he needs data to explain what's going on, leading to some times where he can't explain the situation itself. Nonon lampshades this in "I'm Not Your Cute Woman".
      Inumuta: A Three-Star Goku Uniform unravelled by pulling out a single thread! How can that be?!
      Nonon: Isn't it your job to explain how these things work?
      Inumuta: Impossible. I cannot analyze anything without data.
  • Terryman from Kinnikuman would often explain the various attacks and holds used by the characters. His son sometimes takes up the role in Ultimate Muscle, especially on matters of science and technology. When he is not busy yelling at Suguru/Mantaro or torn to pieces, Meat does a fair share of this as well.
  • Komi Can't Communicate: The author himself is this, as he tends to shortly describe what characters are doing and why, also often saying what they want to do next. Later on, a character named Kometani is introduced, whose sole purpose is to fulfill this role.
  • Akiyama in Liar Game spends a lot of time doing this as he explains various strategies throughout. A rare example where this is completely justified because unless you're well-versed in game theory, studying every panel, and calculating everything with a pen and paper, you'd be left with no idea of what is going on. And even then...
  • For the first half of Lupin III: Dead or Alive, Lupin has to explain what's going on to Jigen so that the audience is aware of what's going on with the plot and what treasure the gang is after.
  • The Pursuit of Harimao's Treasure: Lupin and Sir Archer take turns providing the audience with exposition about the three bronze statues, the Loyd Insurance Co., and the eponymous Harimao, himself.
  • Dr. Inez Fressange of Martian Successor Nadesico abuses this trope to the point of parody: she is actually acknowledged as the "explanation woman" by the whole crew of the Nadesico battle spaceship. There have been cases where she senses her explanations are needed from several rooms/decks over, and she once uses exposition as her talent in a beauty contest. One episode has several of the crew, including Inez, find their personalities inverted from their normal ones and are all in desperate need of an explanation? She's shown in her room quietly enjoying a glass of fruit juice, not saying a word.
  • Mazinger Z: Professor Yumi is both The Professor and The Mentor, so he frequently explains to the characters — and the audience — plot points. He was the one guessed first what was Mazinger-Z and who had created it. He explained how Dr. Kabuto had discovered Photon Atomic power and Alloy-Z and built Mazinger-Z with them. He narrated how Dr. Kabuto met Dr. Hell and what happened in Bardos Island. He recognized Minerva-X and explained what she was and how she worked. He explained what were the Mykene and where they came from... And often during the series he explained what strategy the enemy or Kouji was using, how worked the Mechanical Beasts' weapons... or simply what kind of training Kouji was undergoing. In Mazinkaiser he retained that role (he recognized Mazinkaiser as soon as he saw it, he explained how they had modified to Mazinkaiser in the movie...)
  • Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun: In the Dating Sim Nozaki plays in Chapter 8/Episode 4, Tomoda is supposed to be this. Due to an In-Universe case of Platonic Writing, Romantic Reading, he is seen by Nozaki and Mikoshiba as a Gay Option.
  • Tobi in Naruto. He's got a tendency to drop in and explain the plot as needed. Of course, whether or not he's telling the truth at any given time is another matter.
  • Yue Ayase in Negima! Magister Negi Magi, usually due to her innate smarts or her Great Big Book of Everything. She tends to indulge in Walls of Text, but isn't usually heard.
    Yue: [long explanation about Celtic mythology, the "other world" and paradise]
    Nodoka: Yue, they're not listening.
    Yue: Say what!? This is important background information!
    • Kamo's usual functions are snarky commentary and exposition at a moment's notice. With diagrams! Whether or not anybody is listening!
  • On the too few occasions when The Omniscient Council of Vagueness in Neon Genesis Evangelion told anyone anything, they have been told "But I already know all of this" by the person they were speaking to. It serves solely to inform the audience, and yet it doesn't.
  • One Piece lampshades this with the character of Sentomaru. He considers himself "the most tight-lipped man in the world," as he is a member of a highly secretive government branch and as such is privy to hundreds of secrets. The thing is, he's constantly blabbing those secrets and often without the slightest provocation. Whenever he does, he'll start by saying something to the effect of "I'm the most tight-lipped man in the world! You'll get no information from me!" and then proceeding to inform everyone.
  • Hatchan went from Dumb Muscle in Arlong Park to this trope in the Sabaody Archipelago soon after meeting Camie.
  • In Patlabor, this is usually Asuma's job:
    • During the police pursuit in chapter 1, he broke the 4th wall when Noa complained she couldn't keep up with all the geographical data, by saying he'd explain two pages later. Sure enough, he whipped out a map and pointer to explain where their units were positioned and how they intended to set up the dragnet!
    • And whenever Noa goes up against enemy Labor units, he usually gives her a brief analysis of their make and model, as well as any design flaws they may have. Highlighted during the tunnel scene near the climax of Patlabor 2: The Movie, when Asuma provides intel on the Ixtl units and devises how to systematically take them down.
  • Brock from Pokémon: The Series (and later Cilan) became this more as the series has gone by. RotomDex also serves as this in Sun & Moon.
  • Princess Tutu:
    • This is Autor's main function in the final episodes. Well, that and putting Fakir through the Training from Hell.
    • Edel's entire function in the first season, until she dies. Sort of.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: After being introduced to the Infinity Library, Yuuno was reduced from being The Lancer to this.
  • Ranma ½: At first, it appears that Dr. Tôfû Ono is going to fulfill this role, but it fails to happen, partially because of his tendency to become a bumbling idiot when Akane's sister, Kasumi is around (to the point where he actidentally destroys potential cures for their problems), and partially because of the introduction of the and Trickster Mentor Cologne. To lesser extent, Happôsai. In fact, the manga gave him Chuck Cunningham Syndrome; he vanished by the end of the first Cologne story arc. The anime kept him on as a bit-character and an excuse for filler episodes.
  • Reborn in Reborn! (2004) does this almost every time a battle is plot-important and he happens to be watching. Most of the rest of the cast is guilty of this at various occasions as well, but it's usually Reborn that does the exposition. In fact, it's consistent enough that one can tell if a fight is plot-important when Reborn is nearby by whether he's beating people up or currently being Mr. Exposition. For everything not related to the most recent level-up, there's Ranking Futa, who seems to be a recurring character primarily for random exposition.
  • Meteora in Re:CREATORS is often heard dumping infos and explaining what's happening.
  • The Invid Regess in Robotech seems to have an almost compulsive need to dramatically explains what is happening and what she's doing. This gives us a rather funny scene in The Sentinels, where the one scene she shares with her estranged husband has her insulting him and give detailed justifications for each insult.
  • Rurouni Kenshin: Sanosuke is often relegated to providing commentary during Kenshin's fights, to either explain Kenshin's attacks, or his opponent's, or simply how the fight is progressing insofar as which of them has the upperhand at the moment.
  • Sailor Moon: Luna and Artemis tended to work as the ones to deliver exposition, but Ami in particular liked to inform them of their situation during battle... as more of a Captain Obvious than anything. Early on, Umino fills this role as well, talking particularly about current events and telltales around the school which usually leads the main characters into their weekly adventure.
  • Hakkai in Saiyuki sometimes plays this role, explaining things from plot points to random background information on specific items to puns. On one occasion, when the ikkou are trying to escape from the scorpion youkai's underground trap and the ceiling starts to collapse on them, he goes into this mode to point out that they've just escaped their cell by breaking one of the walls (something Hakkai apparently tried to warn them against) and so the remains of the lair can no longer hold the weight of the sand above, prompting Goku and Gojyo to yell that he should be saying this sort of stuff sooner.
  • Tales of Wedding Rings: Alabaster is a wise old sage who traveled the world extensively in his youth. Whenever Satou needs some aspect of the fantastical world of Arnulus explained to him, nine times out of ten it will be Alabaster who shoulders the burden.
  • Tenchi Muyo!: Washu usually is Miss Exposition in the manga, popping in to explain one concept another character mentions to a third character... so when Yoshi uses Big Words when talking to a villain, Yoshi stops his exposition to wait for her. Both he and the villain just stands there awkwardly until Yoshi remembers Washu is on a mission in space, and excuses himself.
  • The cloned head of Lordgenome is one in the second arc of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
  • Tokyo Mew Mew: Ryou and sometimes Keiichiro. A hilarious example of this occurs with Masaya in the first episode of Tokyo Crystal Mew. He even feels the need to describe what he looked like in his Deep Blue form.
  • In Tomica Hyper Rescue Drive Head Kidou Kyuukyuu Keisatsu, Munakata usually serves this role, when she explains the incident of the week to the drivers as they're launching.
  • Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-: Yuko Ichihara ends up becoming the Ms. Exposition, before she is temporarily removed from the story. When she returns in Chapters 216 and 217, these chapters were pretty much her exclusively explaining what the hell's been going on.
  • Elsie of The World God Only Knows starts as this, explaining to Keima the nature of Hell and the escaped spirits. Of course, most of what she says is wrong, so when her friend Haqua starts coming around, Keima is quick to go to her for more accurate information.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Every single character in the 4Kids dub, often to downright ridiculous lengths. Everyone feels compelled to remind one another (i.e. the viewers) of the continuous effects of every card in play, the effect of a card that has already been played before in an episode (especially "Monster Reborn"), all the way to what happened two minutes ago. This expo-speak always happens at the start of episodes, (referencing previous events), which wouldn't be a bad thing if not for the fact that each episode includes a "last time, on Yu-Gi-Oh!" opening bit. Also always occurs after a commercial (because, well, you know), but sometime even for no reason at all. As an example of the last type, pick any duel in the Battle City finals/semi-finals and count how many times the fact that one of the characters possesses an Egyptian God Card is mentioned. For the truly ambitious, drink every time it's mentioned, and kiss your liver goodbye.
    • Subverted in the movie when Kaiba interrupts Pegasus' exposition of a card-effect with "Do you ever shut up?"
    • Also Lampshaded in one episode where an opponent starts to explain the effects of Painful Choice before Kaiba cuts him off with "I know what the card does, you fool."
      • ... And then he explains it anyway.
    • Misawa in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, to the point that it's the sole reason he occasionally takes a bus trip back.
      • GX is especially bad with card exposition. For example, Pot of Greed is used, and explained, in nearly ever single duel. Sometimes more than once.
      • And that's with a card anybody who's played the card game for some time already knows the effect of. Meanwhile, we only get skimpy explanations of more interesting cards' effects...
    • Rex Goodwin in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds. There's a reason fans of 5D's use the term "Rexposition"
    • ZEXAL really loves this, at least in the first few episodes. Everyone that isn't dueling is only present to explain the rules to the viewers. Even Yuuma gets this treatment in the first episode, when he sees Shark Exceed Summoning a monster. Yuma then proceeds to explain how Exceed Summoning works to Kotori, who already knows how it works (but the viewers don't since it's a new game-mechanic added in ZEXAL). Later in the next episode, Shark explains with almost the same wording how Exceed Summoning works, right after having summoned his Levice Dragon. And then there's all the other Game Mechanics... Needless to say, the duels in the first few episode almost use more time explaining how to play the game than actually playing the game.

    Comic Books 
  • Sera, best friend and love interest of Angela, is dreadfully prone to narrate and exposit, she is also Medium Aware enough to call it what it is: blatant exposition. Also what else could she do? Angela is way too stoic even for an inner monologue.
  • Professor Scruples from Bazooka Jules provides a lot information on Julie's powers and how they work. He's even able to explain abilities she's yet to use.
  • Black Moon Chronicles: After Haazheel's death, a clone/homonculi of the person appears whose only purpose is to inform Wismerhill of his creator's last plan to bring about The End of the World as We Know It through Colony Drop.
  • All the issues of Cable & Deadpool after #13 feature Deadpool doing a 4th wall breaking recap page in the beginning of the comic. His "Little Yellow Boxes" are also filled with expository dialogue, among other musings. In other words, he's crazy so when he starts rattling on about what came before, the other characters are just relieved he isn't shooting them.
  • Thaddeus Luken of Copperhead is the local schoolteacher. He starts a conversation by lecturing on the chemical properties of planet Jasper and drones about his history during his date.
  • In Death of the Family, Batgirl ends up being the one to bring the Teen Titans and by extension the reader up to speed on what's been going on in the storyline so far.
  • Doctor Strange: Several plots involving magic also involve Dr. Strange turning up to explain the nuts and bolts of how Magic A Is Magic A. Or just Deus ex Machina the heroes out of it.
  • In Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl, Kara explains how she showed up on Earth, joined the Justice Society and met Lex Luthor… giving much needed background information which everyone knows about In-Universe. Lampshaded by Batgirl:
    Supergirl: He was there for me from the day I reached Earth, you know...
    Batgirl: Everybody knows this story.
  • Lyssa Drak from the Green Lantern comics.
  • In a very egregious example, Mephisto spends the entire final issue of Infamous Iron Man explaining his motives and the plot directly to the reader. It's very clear that the plot was meant to play out across a longer amount of time, but writer Brian Michael Bendis had signed on at DC and was leaving Marvel. As a result, rather than organically revealing Mephisto's motivations for his actions or having Doctor Doom uncover his machinations, Mephisto just tells the reader what probably would've taken another 12 issues to play out.
  • The Inhumans in Marvel Comics (at least in their early appearances) are an entire race of Mr. Expositions. They also do recaps. A lot.
  • Batman plays this role in a lot of Justice League of America stories.
  • The Key, from DC Comics. Lampshaded and subverted in that opening up your entire mind to the universe has the side effect of causing a lot of monologuing.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (1992): In the Dark World, Link discovers a shrine where he can rest before going on. As Link begins to fall asleep, a nearby tree sprouts a face and begins to tell him the story of Ganon and the Triforce. The talking trees play a similar role in the game, while the gist of the tree's story appears in the ALTTP prologue.
  • Poet Anderson: The Dream Walker has Alan Anderson serve this role to his younger brother, Jonas, who he just introduced to the Dream World. He's still somewhat new to the Dream World himself, so he's also an Unreliable Expositor.
  • In Pride of Baghdad, the turtle that Ali and Safa conveniently run into shortly after their escape from the zoo is this. He exists to explain a ton of things to both the lions and the reader about the Iraq conflict and human behaviour. Despite his knowledge of humans, he is just as incapable of comprehending their actions as the lions.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics): Nate Morgan used to fill this role, offering pages upon pages of technobabble-laden exposition for the "benefit" of the reader.
  • Superman:
  • Swerve became this after being exposed to one of Brainstorm's inventions in The Transformers: More than Meets the Eye.
  • Ultimate Marvel:
    • Ultimate Galactus Trilogy: Wolverine doesn't know what had happened in Tunguska a century ago, so Colossus explains it to him.
    • The Ultimates: Kowalski explains the military stakes at the first issue, so we know (other than it being WWII) what is the fight about.

    Fan Works 
  • The Agents that work for Phoenix in Akatsuki Kitten: Phoenix Corporation Overhaul. Then again, Phoenix is literally ''the author'' under a shortened username, and they are the author's minions. Honestly, half their on-screen job seems to be explaining things to the canon characters.
  • In Avengers: Infinite Wars, while Steve Rogers is the one who tells the Jedi Council about the history of the Avengers, Scott Lang also plays a part as he has recordings of the Battle of New York on his phone to give the Jedi an idea about what the other members of the team are capable of.
  • In The Apprentice, the Student, and the Charlatan's earlier chapters, Celestia and Luna fill the role, and sometimes Twilight will chip in too. Usually they're explaining what's going on to Nova Shine, and usually in large chunks.
  • In Calvin & Hobbes: The Series, Calvin and the MTM tend to provide exposition about whatever supernatural element that's currently going on.
  • This role tends to be shared by various characters in Child of the Storm, if only to help the readers keep up with all the disparate canons when things get particularly complicated, but Loki and Harry Dresden seem to do this the most. That said, Odin and Thor have their moments, as does Doctor Strange, when he ever actually bothers to explain anything. And when they aren't doing it, the Lemony Narrator tends to cover things, with Word of God explaining further in the author notes.
  • Communication has Consensus, i.e. the players themselves, explaining the story and plot of what the hell is even happening to the characters of the stories they are in.
  • The Spectre is this in the Justice League/Naruto crossover Connecting the Dots. To be fair, it wasn't his only purpose, and nobody else had an idea of what was going on, but in the earlier chapters all he did was talk.
  • Yukari is employed as this by her own admission in Fantasy of Utter Ridiculousness.
  • Fate/Gamers Only: Rikku's specialty, often explaining concepts about the Servants the cast meets and their relation to the setting, such as explaining why Cu could be summoned as a Berserker.
  • In Fate/Starry Night, Ritsuka is pleased to be able to take this role for once, explaining what Saint Quartz is to Shinji while doing his best Holmes impression.
  • Dragon Ball Z fanfic Honor Trip: Usually Cell, but other characters get in on the act, too, especially when they're explaining the science behind some of what's taking place.
  • In Inner Demons, this seems to be the only reason that Lezard was included in the story though he later upgrades to Apple Bloom's Love Interest. He knows just about everything about the Queen of Darkness prophecy and ends up explaining everything to the protagonists.
  • Kara of Rokyn has Nasthalthia Luthor narrate the whole history of the Superman/Lex Luthor feud, which she knows because she has clashed with the former's cousin in the past and is the latter's niece.
  • The Karma of Lies: After Ladybug defeats and unmasks Hawkmoth, Plagg warns Adrien that he needs to patch things up with her ASAP, explaining how her Miraculous creates a karmic backlash whenever its holder achieves a major victory. He also warns that anyone who tries to prevent this karma from reaching its designated target runs the risk of suffering its effects themselves. This neatly sums up the main conceit of the story, which Adrien completely ignores.
  • The four encounter several Mr. Expositions in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World, much to their annoyance:
    • Most of the Guardians have this tendency, especially Spectrem.
    • When the four finally talk to the Pyar gods, Meddar Pyar spouts a huge amount of essentially worthless repetitive exposition:
      For beings with a limited amount of time to impart information, they sure were wasting a lot of it spouting rubbish.
  • In Kimberly T's Gargoyles fic "Faith, Hope and Love", MacBeth asks Brooklyn to meet with the newly-formed People for Interspecies Tolerance (a group of students interested in supporting equal rights for gargoyles) so that he can answer some of their questions about gargoyle culture and history; Brooklyn is chosen for the obvious reason that he's the least human-looking member of the clan and will help reinforce the idea that gargoyles aren't monsters, and the subtler reason that he's better at bending the truth or lying to conceal things that the gargoyles and their allies may want to keep quiet, such as Alexander Xanatos's magical potential or Demona's immortality.
  • The New Look Series has M4k30v3r, who is kind enough to explain to Sonic everything it'll put him through and why. Being a machine may justify this.
  • The Advisor from Perfection Is Overrated provides the Himes with most of the exposition about the SUEs.
  • Initially Shirayuki is Ichigo's most useful and constant source of information about zanpakuto and Soul Society in The Snow Has Stopped The Rain. The trope is played down after Zangetsu shows up and they get Rukia back, since then the job could be shared among more people.
  • Tamers Forever Series:
    • Daneel Randt and Takeru Takaishi provide the majority of the explanations for the mythology.
    • Despite her small role, Gabrielle reveals more information than the previous two characters combined.
  • Twilight for Phoenix in Turnabout Storm. Some of the stuff she explains to him are common knowledge for fans of the show, other times she explains elements that are new to the audience.
  • With Strings Attached:
    • Grunnel fills this role, but it's justified because he's bored to death and quite happy to chat with the four about anything.
    • Stal too.
    • "Beagle John" clarifies some of what's going on in New Zork.
    • The Hunter also starts out as a Mr Exposition, except that most of what he says is useless, and the four ignore him as much as possible.
  • Yugi Oh The Abridged Series: Kaiba served this role in Episode 47 when he explained the back story involving his adoptive father and himself.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Lindsay Brigman in The Abyss does a slightly lampshaded version of this in the early descent scene, as she explains the (plot critical) perils of prolonged deep water diving to a SEAL team that is thoroughly familiar with them. They end up finishing most of her sentences for her.
  • Airplane II: The Sequel McCroskey tries to get Johnny to do this, to his regret.
    McCroskey: I want you to tell me everything that's happened up until now.
    Johnny: Well, let's see. First the earth cooled. And then the dinosaurs came, but they got too big and fat, so they all died and they turned into oil. And then the Arabs came and they bought Mercedes Benzes. And Prince Charles started wearing all of Lady Di's clothes. I couldn't believe it. He just took her best summer dress out of the closet and put it on...
  • Alien:
  • Austin Powers: Basil Exposition (with British Intelligence) is an obvious send-up of this type of character.
  • M. Night Shyamalan is fond of this Trope, especially in such films as Lady in the Water and The Last Airbender, particularly Zhao and Kanna. In The Atlantic's review of the latter:
    Exposition has not merely vanquished mimesis, it has burned its homes to the ground and sown salt in its fields. It's really bad when Katara is describing what is happening on screen.
  • Back to the Future:
    • Lorraine McFly serves this purpose in the first two movies. In Part I, she explains the circumstances of how she and George McFly originally met and fell in love. In Part II, she explains Marty's problem with being called "chicken", and how it got him into a car accident which changed his life for the worse. She also filled Marty in on everything that had changed in the Alternate Timeline.
    • Doc Brown does a lot of this too, but he's so damn entertaining to watch ("ONE POINT TWENTY ONE GIGAWATTS!!??") that you don't even notice you're being infodumped.
  • Barbarella: The biggest exposition dumpers are the President of Earth (gives the background of Barbarella's mission), Professor Ping (explains the nature of the city of Sogo that Barbarella has to infiltrate and what the labyrinth is for) and Durand Durand (explains what the Eldritch Abomination known as Mathmos is).
  • The Water Works crew in Batman Begins during the train chase. They were not originally part of the script, but added in to further explain the danger of the situation, and perhaps for visual variety.
  • Big Trouble in Little China:
    • After Wang Chi's fiancee Miao Yin is kidnapped by members of the Lords of Death gang, he and Jack Burton follow them and end in a gang fight at a funeral. Later, Wang's employee Eddie Lee (who's been out gathering information on the streets of Chinatown) walks in and gives an infodump on what happened and why.
    Eddie: The Lords of Death were only on a joyride, not acting on orders from the Wing Kong. They just wanted a girl to sell and Miao Yin got in the way. Plus, the skirmish you guys stumbled into. Lo Pan, the word is, ordered the boss of the Chang Sings, Mr Lem Lee, assassinated. That was his funeral.
    • Would-be Intrepid Reporter Margo Litzenberger temporarily embodies this trope at one point:
    Margo: You mean the Lo Pan that's chairman of the National Orient Bank and owns the Wing Kong Trading Company, but who's so reclusive that no one has laid eyes on him in years?
    Jack Burton: Who the hell are you, anyway?
  • BloodRayne II: Deliverance: While in jail in Deliverance, Rayne meets a member of Brimstone in the next cell who is able to explain the details of Billy the Kid's scheme to her. Once he is finished explaining, he is executed.
  • Cannibal Girls: Mrs. Wainwright, owner of the motel adjacent to the cannibal cult's temple, is the one whole relates the story of the Cannibal Girls to newcomers, including the protagonists Cliff and Gloria.
  • In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the real history of the world from WWII to the present is explained by computerized Dr. Zola to our heroes. Subverted in that he's purposefully dumping useful info on them as a stalling tactic while he tries to kill them.
  • The World's Most Helpful Guard in the original Clash of the Titans. Perseus, a complete stranger, walks up to him, and he manages to go from surly hostility to explaining the complete social and political history of Joppa in under a minute. While swatting flies.
  • In Crimson Tide, real-life newscaster Richard Valeriani appears at the beginning and the end to report on the situation in Russia.
  • Dune (1984): Adapting the plot of the book was so complex and so much of it was cut from the movie that Miss and Mr Exposition were required: Princess Irulan before the credits, explaining the general setting, and after the credits, the secret report within the guild giving the context for the next scene.
  • The Thing in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
    "Okay. We're now officially enemies of the United States of America. Victor is out there somewhere with unlimited power. And we've got a giant intergalactic force that's about to destroy our planet in less than twenty-four hours. Did I miss anything?"
  • In Fatal Instinct, secretary Laura Lincolnberry explains the situation in great detail to her boss Ned Ravine.
  • Much of Dr. Serizawa’s screentime in Godzilla (2014) is devote to him providing backstory for Godzilla along with the Mutos, and how to potentially stop them.
    • In the 2019 sequel, this role is given to Dr. Ilene Chen. Being able to provide lengthy exposition dumps about Kaiju on a moment's notice seems to be a prerequisite for working with Monarch.
  • Gooby: The kid that sits next to Willy outside during his first lunch there just provides basic information about various kids in the school.
  • In The Great Muppet Caper, as Miss Piggy interviews for a job, Lady Holiday goes on at length about her prized jewels and her troublesome brother — both key plot points. This is then lampshaded by the following exchange:
    Miss Piggy: Why are you telling me all this?
    Lady Holiday: It's plot exposition. It has to go somewhere.
  • Most of Captain Elliot Spencer's role in Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth consists of telling Joey how Pinhead Unbound came to be, and providing instructions to bring him back to him.
  • Ariadne from Inception came off as improbably perceptive because of a somewhat borderline example of this trope.
    • Arthur is a more obvious example.
  • James Bond:
    • "M".
    • Tanner in some movies, notably Goldeneye.
    • In Casino Royale (2006), Mathis plays the role during the poker scenes, explaining what is going on to Vesper. Later, Felix Leiter briefly plays the role by offering to "stake" Bond and then promptly explaining what "stake" means when he looks confused.
  • Jurassic Park:
    • Donald Gennaro's first two scenes have him explain the reasoning for the visit to the park, one of which is done under the guise of him reminding John Hammond that the trip isn't a vacation, but an investigation. After this, he has relatively little to do.
    • Mr. DNA, an anthropomorphic cartoon strand of DNA who explains to the audience just how they were able to clone the dinosaurs from their DNA, as part of the park's in-universe welcome film.
    "A DNA strand, like me, is the blueprint for buildin' a livin' thing. And sometimes, animals that went extinct millions of years ago, like dinosaurs, left their blueprints for us to find. We just had to know where to look!"
  • Kindergarten Cop has a "Miss Exposition" delivering a very quick setup at the very beginning as the guy pushes her into a hiding place — he already knows what he's going to tell the Big Bad so there's no reason she should be saying this except to fill the audience in.
    Girl: I mean his wife took his kid and a couple of million...
  • In The Last Witch Hunter, Kaulder often provides information about the world of the film to Chloe and 37th Dolan, who are both new to the job.
  • The Matrix Reloaded:
    • In addition to providing keys when needed, the Keymaker provides a great deal of information to Our Heroes about the bomb-trapped office building with many doors (and how to break into it).
    • The Architect, who did almost nothing but spout exposition.
  • Midwinter Night's Dream has the teacher at Jovana's special needs school, who explains autism to Lazar.
  • Mission: Impossible: The nameless voice (presumably the Secretary) who provided the tape-recorded briefings.
  • Ardeth Bey in The Mummy Returns, which actually is quite at odds with his characterization in the first film. As Stephen Sommers says on the commentary track, "In the first film Ardeth Bey was this cool, mysterious character. Here he's just a chatterbox. Every chance he gets, it's just wave after wave of exposition." In fact, he refers to the character as Mr. Exposition. There's some exposition provided by him in the first one, too. For example, the very crucial fact that you can't shoot Imhotep. And the entire prologue.
  • The psychic in Paranormal Activity helpfully explains the whole plot up front. The other characters don't really pay attention to him.
  • Captain Steiger in Patton. He is a German officer assigned to research U.S. General George S Patton for the Nazi high command. Screenwriter Francis Ford Coppola said in the DVD commentary he invented the character as a way of giving out biographical information about Patton to the audience.
  • Mr. Gibbs in the Pirates of the Caribbean series seems to exist primarily to tell Will about Jack's backstory or pirate lore. He takes it very personally when Those Two Guys, Pintel and Ragetti, try to do his job for him.
  • Toward the end of Psycho a psychiatrist named Dr. Richmond shows up. He's a One-Scene Wonder whose only purpose in the story is to give a long monologue explaining the backstory and the various pathologies of Norman Bates.
  • Grave-Robber from Repo! The Genetic Opera. His song, "Zydrate Anatomy", introduces himself, Amber Sweet, Blind Mag, some Applied Phlebotinum in the form of zydrate, the veritable epidemic of surgery addiction, and reveals the first of Rotti Largo's many, many plots.
    • And before that, there's 'Genetic Repo Man' and '21st Century Cure,' both of which go over the basics of the world they live in, explaining the role of Repo Men and some facts about the circumstances that led to the Repo Men coming into existence.
  • Resident Evil: Degeneration: Since he's been in similar situations before, Leon S. Kennedy takes this role in Capcom's (Alice-free!) CG film. That said, he still gets to kick more ass than every other character combined.
  • Bob Hope in Road to Morocco when they are locked up in a jail cell:
    Hope: A fine thing. First, you sell me for two hundred bucks. Then I'm gonna marry the Princess; then you cut in on me. Then we're carried off by a desert sheikh. Now, we're gonna have our heads chopped off.
    Crosby: I know all that.
    Hope: Yeah, but the people who came in the middle of the picture don't.
    Crosby: You mean they missed my song?
  • Serenity
    • Mr. Universe to the point where Joss Whedon refers to him as The King of Exposition in the DVD commentary.
    • And River's imaginary/remembered/dreamed teacher explaining about Earth-That-Was and the Alliance and her class commenting on the Reavers.
  • Sinister features Vincent D'Onofrio as a daemon expert who informs the main character, played by Ethan Hawke, that the daemon who is giving him problems is named Bughuul. This has led to RedLetterMedia referring to him as "Skype Exposition Man" in several of their videos after their review of the film because he only exists on Skype, and only exists to give Ethan Hawke's character exposition.
  • In Siren (2010), the primary function of the man who rents the main characters the yacht is to explain the legend of the siren.
  • Stargate: Daniel Jackson is often this. He's used to translate the hieroglyphics that explain the basic plot, then explains how the gate targeting works, then later he explains to everyone the backstory of the uprising against Ra on Earth after Sha'uri helps him read the "writing on the wall".
  • Star Wars:
    • Ric Olié in The Phantom Menace has dialogue that consists entirely of exposition such as "That little droid did it, he bypassed the main power drive!"
    • Same thing with Admiral Ackbar in Return of the Jedi ("It's a trap!")
    • Obi-Wan Kenobi's main role in the original trilogy, besides dying dramatically, is to provide backstory on Anakin Skywalker, and even then he initially leaves out one very crucial detail.
  • The author in Stranger Than Fiction.
  • Tim (John's friend) from Terminator 2: Judgment Day exists only so John has a person to mention what happened to his mother to. Once he's filled that purpose, he vanishes off the face of the earth. John himself then somewhat nestles into this role, as he tells the T-800 (and by extension the audience) a lot of backstory and information.
  • Theresa & Allison: The vampire who orients Theresa after she's turned, Mary Solenz, serves as one to her and also the audience, explaining things about how vampires work along with their society.
  • Jetfire in Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen just does not shut up. His exposition after being introduced is a good portion of the remainder of his on-screen appearance. When he first meets Sam and Mikaela, he rants a solid 2 minutes about the most nonsensical old man banter, like his father being the first wheel made in the Stone Age, and his problems with his mother. Later, he explains almost the entirety of Cybertron's history before the Great War, and only stops when he sacrifices himself to become a Magic Mushroom to Optimus.
  • In Wayne's World, Wayne and Garth run into a security guard (played by Chris Farley) backstage at a concert who proceeds to give detailed info about a record executive that ends up being important later. Lampshaded immediately afterwards when Wayne says to camera, "You know for a security guard he had an awful lot of information, don't you think?"
  • Wes Craven in Wes Craven's New Nightmare serves to explain the entire plot to Heather Langenkamp (and by extension the audience). He tells her about the Entity that has taken on the form of Freddy Krueger, that it has been released due to the end of the movie series and is trying to cross over into reality, and that Heather is the only one who can stop him.
  • You Might Be the Killer has Chuck, who spends the movie explaining horror tropes to Sam over the phone. She even refers to herself at one point as serving as a source of exposition.

  • Fighting Fantasy: The elderly wizard Gereth Yaztromo often fulfills this role in the gamebooks, most particularly those by Ian Livingstone, explaining the latest evil threat before asking the reader to try and solve it. The reason he can't do it himself, of course, is because he's just too old.

  • Erek King from Animorphs. Originally a one-shot Contest Winner Cameo, he evolved into an Ascended Extra and later into this. Years after the series ended, Applegate candidly admitted in interviews that she'd gotten too reliant on using Erek as an expository device.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia:
    • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: Mr. Tumnus, and later the Beavers, play this role for the Pevensies.
    • The Magician's Nephew: Uncle Andrew plays this role initially, until Jadis enters the story and assumes the role.
    • Prince Caspian: Cornelius, Caspian's tutor outlines how Narnia changed from the situation in the previous book to the current book, and the true nature of Caspian's uncle Miraz.
  • Colt Regan: Joseph Cin is a bog standard example, all things considered.
  • In C. J. Cherryh's Cyteen and Regenesis, the first Ariane Emory acts as Ms. Exposition for the second, via pre-prepared programs on Base One left for her successor. In Regenesis, the second Ariane Emory begins leaving records for her successor in a similar manner.
  • In Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising sequence, this role usually falls to Merriman Lyon: he explains their quests to the Drews in Over Sea, Under Stone and Greenwitch, and acts as Will's Mentor in The Dark is Rising. (In The Grey King, however, the job mostly falls to Will.)
  • The Da Vinci Code
  • In the Deryni works, just as there many people who take the part of The Watson at different times, the part of this trope gets split among many characters, justified by the various levels of experience they have, particularly with regard to the magic.
    • Morgan and Duncan share this role as they prepare the early stages of Kelson's empowering ritual, complete with a demonstration when Morgan attunes his gryphon signet ring to Duncan so his cousin can use it to retrieve Brion's written ritual verse.
    • Duncan explains to an anxious Nigel about the rules for arcane combat during Kelson's coronation duel with Charissa in Deryni Rising.
    • Arilan can be very forthcoming, and he is among the most highly trained of Deryni, since his family have successfully hidden their magic for over two centuries. However, his long experience with the Camberian Council (his elder brother Jamyl and his uncle Seisyll were members before him) means he's apt to keep things to himself. The night Morgan and Duncan arranged for Kelson and Dhugal to experience merasha under controlled conditions, Arilan produces the very flask of drugged wine used to in Brion's assassination four years previously, which Arilan retrieved that day. Kelson goes white, Nigel gasps, Duncan crosses himself, and Morgan goes for Arilan's throat, only just pulling up short to clench his fist near Arilan's face.
  • The Dinoverse books always have someone to spout off exposition about dinosaurs and contemporary plants. Bertram, a dinosaur geek fascinated by the Time Travel, makes sense; Janine, with only mild interest in the era, knowing about ankylosaurs and gas less so. Mr. London calling out exposition about big predatory dinosaurs while cringing in the mud is kind of jarring. Most of the other characters don't know a lot about these topics.
  • In Dragon Queen, the old man gives a fair amount of exposition. How much it can be trusted is up for debate.
  • In The Dresden Files this is the main role of the knowledge spirit Bob, with Harry asking "What was that thing that just attacked me?" happening roughly Once Per Book. According to the author, he made Bob inhabit a skull as a joke on a nickname possessed by characters who exist only to explain things — "talking heads". Harry himself also gets to exposit about magic a lot when he's around mundanes.
  • Durarara!!'s resident nerdy motormouth, Shinra Kishitani, is usually the first to offer any sort of explanation as of the weirder elements of the series such as "how can Celty see, hear and smell if she has no head" or "how can Shizuo be so damn skinny and so damn strong at the same time?" The only one whoever seems particularly interested in Shinra's hypotheses are Shinra himself, so his explanations are typically either ignored (by Celty) or interrupted with physical harm (by Shizuo).
  • The Empirium Trilogy: Most of Zahra's dialogue in Furyborn and Kingsbane is to explain to Eliana about the ways of the Old World. This is helpful, not just for Eliana (who thought the stories of the Old World where just that: stories), but also for the reader.
  • Tabitha's butler in The Familiar of Zero spends about five unbroken minutes spilling Tabitha's back story to someone he'd never even heard of before who just happened to show up with Tabitha at her mansion. He may be doing this to counteract Tabitha's tendency not to explain anything whatsoever.
  • In C.S. Lewis's The Great Divorce, one of the ghosts that the narrator meets on the bus tells him how Hell works and why it's so empty (Everyone arrives at the same place, but since nobody can get along with anyone else, they quickly move away, and spread through the town), as lead-up to his point about why he's going up (most things in Hell can be gotten simply by imagining them, so he wants to go to Heaven to get ahold of something that can be called a commodity and use economics to force people to stay together).
  • Harry Potter
    • Dumbledore fills this role quite a bit. From beyond the grave, at one point! He basically turns up in some inexplicable magical phenomenon that is barely even given a Hand Wave, and says 'Hi, here's a hastily thrown-together explanation to tie up ALL the loose ends so far, by the way, you're not really dead, go finish off the plot now, ya big ol' protagonist.'
    • Hermione does this on occasion, filling Ron and Harry in on some unknown magic they encounter — especially when it's information that can be learned from reading books or paying attention in class, which they tend not to do.
    • Ron usually fills Harry and Hermione (who were both raised by Muggles) in on aspects of Wizard culture that he learned by growing up in it.
    • Occasionally, Harry explains to the both of them some new info on the plot, but usually he just sums up Dumbledore's long speeches into neat little packages for the sake of the readers. This tends to distribute the buttload of exposition rather nicely.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya hangs a lampshade on this; Kyon, the sarcastic narrator, constantly tells Koizumi, the Mr. Exposition character, that he talks too much and no one cares what he has to say.
  • In J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf takes on this role in The Fellowship of the Ring, particularly in "Shadow of the Past" and "The Council of Elrond". (In the latter chapter, however, the role alternates between the various attendees.) Notably, as soon as Gandalf's research leads him to conclude that Bilbo and Frodo's little ring is in fact the One Ring, he goes straight back to Bag End and tells Frodo absolutely everything he needs to know about it.
  • Anos Voldigoad, the eponymous "Misfit" of The Misfit of Demon King Academy is very fond of doing this to allies and enemies alike. For context, he was an extremely powerful and infamous Demon King who died 2,000 years ago and after reincarnating in the present-day with his powers and memories intact, he has discovered that technology, magic, and much of the world's history have been lost or outright mangled. In combat, he is all too happy to explain to his opponents exactly why their countermeasures, ambushes, and attacks are having zero effect on him. Outside of it, he is all too eager to go into lengthy explanations about magic and the world to set the record straight and because he's also a proud, arrogant individual who knows he's objectively right all the time.
  • In Qualia the Purple, Tenjou is the one who introduces most of the physics concepts relevant for the story, which is understandable considering her position.
  • Seijirō Kikuoka/Chrysheight from Sword Art Online debuts in the Compilation Movie as a person as a government agent who actively demands an exposition and then gives ones in return. He and Kirito make a field trip over this trope whenever they're onscreen together.
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: The Professor Aronnax and Captain Nemo take turns at it.
  • Shizuno fills this role in the first episode for World Break: Aria of Curse for a Holy Swordsman, when explaining how the coliseum is in a different dimension than the school. Therefore any damage they suffer there doesn't transfer over when they go back. She also explains to Moroha about how summoning weapons works after Ranjou and Isurugi summon theirs.
  • The newscasters from In the Year 2050: America's Religious Civil War frequently break up the action to discuss events over 30-years-old.
  • Mike Hanlon in Stephen King's IT. Being the only member of the Lucky Seven who stayed in Derry, and therefore the only one who remembers anything at all about what happened when they were kids, Mike is something of an exposition god in the book. Not only does he provide exposition to his friends little by little, his journal entries provide exposition as to the history of It, and whenever another character gets to do some expositioning they generally turn to Mike and ask if whatever they just stated is correct. Interestingly enough, it works. Contagious amnesia can apparently be a wonderful exposition tool so long as someone is immune.
  • Looking Backward: Dr. Leete. He explains to Julian West everything that's changed so he'll adjust into the future US.
  • The Machineries of Empire: The story is dispensing exposition very grudgingly and in small packets, but what little we get usually comes from Shuos Jedao explaining something to Cheris.
  • Justified with Atsuko in My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!. Given that the story is taking place in the world of Fortune Lover (a game that she's played to 100% completion), she's able to fill in details for routes that Catarina didn't get the chance to play via flashbacks to her giving spoilers. Even her Big Damn Heroes moment boils down to her spirit giving Catarina spoilers about the secret route.
  • In Agatha Christie's The Mysterious Mr. Quin, Mr Satterthwaite has a talent for describing the backstory lucidly and with the occasional poetic touch, and is frequently called on to exercise it. Played with a bit in that this is also his main detective talent; in the course of describing the situation to another character (and to the audience), he will often notice a detail or correlation of details that points to the solution.
  • Noob:
    • Arthéon fills this role due to being the one the most interested in the game's background. Sometimes Omega Zell needs to get him to stop talking. Ivy and Couette fill this role in his absence and are better at only giving the information needed to understand the current situation and nothing else.
    • The setting being a fictional MMORPG, plenty of Non Player Characters are this.
  • Orion: First Encounter: Sam spends most of her time trying to explain how the universe works to the crew if the Orion. Usually this happens with a straightforward explanation, followed by Blank Stare, followed by some kind of Layman's Terms.
  • Ravelling Wrath: When Yali is chosen to be the Farseer, the Waiting God grants her access to all of the memories of dozens of previous Farseers. This gives her enormous amounts of information about the setting and history, which she doesn't hesitate to share.
  • Several characters in Redshirts. Lampshaded in that, whenever the Narrative takes control, random information about the plot at hand will pop into a character's head, whether or not they have any way of knowing that information, and they will even sometimes automatically say it out loud to their own surprise.
  • Snow Crash: The Librarian is an expensive computer program owned by the protagonist that is literally an anthropomorphization of all the world's collected information and knowledge, sort of like a talking 200x-size Wikipedia. Its sole purpose is basically to tell the protagonist the complicated plot. There are chapters nearly entirely filled with nothing but the Librarian expositioning.
  • Winter Celchu, Leia's aide in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, tends to fulfill this when she has more than one line of dialogue at a time. Why? Holographic memory.
  • The Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note series has each member of The Team provide exposition on one area, so as to fulfill its edutainment mandate. The anime downplayed most of these, but mainly as a side effect of Compressed Adaptation.
    • The only example of this trope being retained in the anime is that of Kozuka, who has the tendency to provide this on factoids that may or may not be relevant to the case on hand, particularly scientific ones.
    • Wakatake often provides information on law, particularly about what actions broke which clauses of the Japanese Criminal Code.
    • Uesuka is already Good At Numbers, but as the son of doctors, he's the one to provide medical backgrounders.
    • Aya, as the Cunning Linguist, exposits on different languages.
    • Nanaki, as the Techno Wizard, provides expositions on computer science.
  • In Those That Wake, the Librarian is this in the first book and its sequel.
  • In Simon Hawke's Time Wars books, this role normally falls to Moses Forrester in his initial mission briefings to the Time Commandos.
  • Scout, in To Kill a Mockingbird takes on this role. Even her brother Jem is more a part of the plot than she is.
  • Isaac Asimov's "The Ugly Little Boy": Dr Hoskins is both the Director of Stasis Incorporated and the person Miss Fellowes learns the most from. His narrative role is to provide answers, but the way several of these answers are provided round out his characterization and deepen their not romantic relationship.
  • Professor Sanft in Victoria, who explains a lot of the backstory of the setting to protagonist John Rumford (and thus, also to the audience). Later, Rumford himself echoes him when welcoming a new character to the masquerade.
  • Subverted in The Wheel of Time: Robert Jordan had stated that several times characters are guessing when giving exposition so you can never tell which Forsaken is the strongest (especially between men and women), or how the hell Mat's dagger actually works. The best example, is in Crown of Swords, where the Aes Sedai accompanying Elayne, and Nynaeve, tell her the Kin are a small group of women who help runaways, and the Aes Sedai use them to find the runaways. Later in the book it becomes clear that while the Aes Sedai are successfully using the Kin at least now and then, they are completely mistaken about the size of the group, when the leaders of the Kin explain that they number about 2,000.
  • Herman Wouk's massive two-volume Door Stopper, The Winds of War/War and Remembrance, includes excerpts from a history of World War II written by a fictional German general, who provides brief summaries of the war's major battles and events, so that the reader will know what is going on in the chapters that follow.
  • The World Inside Charles Mattern, in the book's first chapter, is this.

    Live-Action TV 
  • At the beginning of every 'Allo 'Allo! episode, Rene breaks the Fourth Wall to explain to the viewer what's been going on. In one subversion he starts off by discussing the doings of some of the townspeople, before saying "You have never met these people, nor are you ever likely to. I am simply giving you the local gossip because with my own affairs I don't know where to start."
  • Hannibal on The A-Team would explain the bad guys' plot to the rest of the A-Team and the audience in every single episode. In the Season 2 finale, "Curtain Call," when Murdock gets shot in the shoulder, Hannibal spends the majority of a scene explaining why bits of cloth and such caught in the bullet hole were more likely to cause an infection than than the bullet itself. Then he explains what would happen to Murdock's body as the infection begins if they cannot get supplies in time.
  • In Auction Kings, the experts will usually give a detailed history of the piece they're looking at. If there's no history to be found, they'll explain why that is.
  • Babylon 5 : Delenn; whenever she begins a speech with, "As you know," expect a recap of the whole season thus far.
  • Dietrich in Barney Miller was The Smart Guy and a Renaissance Man, so when the squad encountered things like an amygdalectomy patient, a heart attack, or an atomic bomb, he was usually the one to provide relevant detail. It became a Running Gag; as soon as a visitor said an unfamiliar word, Barney would turn to Dietrich with resignation. (Also played with, such as the episode Tontine where Wojo pipes up with the definition — because Dietrich told him on the way over.)
  • Col. Tigh in Battlestar Galactica (2003) often performs the role of Mr. Exposition, although in one episode, President Roslin subverts this by annoyedly thanking him for his insight. Anders managed to be one of these for one episode, finally explaining what the deal with the Final Five was, as well as some background on the Cylons in general. This being BSG, everything was working against him, and only got about halfway through it. Cavil filled a somewhat similar role in the same episode, but he also didn't spill the beans completely.
  • On the reality television front, there are scenes on the show Billy the Exterminator that are clearly meant to explain things to the viewer but the way they are explained come in unnatural situations, such as explaining the consequences of not getting rid of a pest to his mother, who not only should already know this, but is the one giving him the assignment from the office. There are also times when Billy and his brother, who also works for the company, are explaining things to each other that they should already know.
  • Brass parodied this at every opportunity. Any character could and would exposit, usually ending the speech " you well know".
  • Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In the dream sequence episode "Restless" he even gets to deliver the exposition in the form of a song.
    • Which is exactly what he's trained to do for many years. Watchers are supposed to tell the Slayer how to kill the evil monster.
      • Ex-watcher Wesley filled this role on Angel, though the science stuff was shared with Fred.
      • Deconstructed with Andrew in an episode of Angel. He explains "vampyres" and the nature of Slayers to Angel and his team, much to their annoyance as they already know pretty much everything.
    • In later seasons, Willow, Tara, and Anya filled this role sometimes, especially if Giles wasn't around — Willow and Tara would exposit about magic, Anya about demons she met in her thousand-year lifespan.
    • Dawn was heading this way in Season 7. She even referred to herself as "Junior Watcher" in the finale.
  • Burn Notice practically ran on this trope, with Michael providing exposition via an 'as a spy...' voiceover explaining Team Westen's actions at least once every episode.
  • Charlie's Angels: The original bad boy of exposition, The Voice himself, Charlie.
  • On Chuck, this job most-often falls to General Beckman.
  • In Chernobyl, Professor Valery Legasov spends a lot of time explaining how nuclear energy works and the details of what went wrong in Chernobyl and why. Mostly he is explaining to Shcherbina, the Soviet bureaucrat who's been sent to supervise the response to the accident but doesn't know the technical details (much like the audience).
  • Dr. Reid does this often in Criminal Minds.
  • Captain Jim Brass, the Homicide detective from CSI has been affectionately nicknamed "Captain Exposition" by the fandom, even though all he does is deliver factual data on the victim du jour (such as name, occupation, family, circumstances of death...).
    • Many of the others as well,on all three shows.
  • In Doctor Who, the Doctor frequently has a traveling companion from modern Earth who would be in the dark if the Doctor didn't explain everything. That seems to be the main function of the cohort; a "Watson" to his "Sherlock".
    • Notoriously, the Seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy used to hand off the technobabble to his assistant, Ace, who would deliver the exposition in the form of a question, allowing the Doctor to a) avoid learning his lines, and b) nod wisely and say "That's right, Ace. You're learning."
    • This trope itself is mentioned by Missy in the end of Season 10 as she says that Bill and Nardol are her companions, Exposition and Comic Relief.
    • Lampshaded in the Peter Capaldi episode "Last Christmas", when Santa Claus starts explaining what is happening, prompting the Doctor to shout, "Line in the sand! I do the scientific explanations!"
  • Fantasy Island: Mr Roarke telling Tattoo the guests' backstories.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Jorah Mormont; at least in the first season, as a seasoned advisor and mentor, he mainly exists to inform Daenerys, who is a newcomer, and us about the customs of the Dothraki and other such things. He also takes on this role in Season 3, alongside Missandei. Fully aware of this, the producers even refer to him jokingly as "Jorah the Explorer."
    • Petyr Baelish is also a big vehicle for exposition.
      • Petyr really takes this role and runs with it like he's training for the exposition Olympics in S1E6, in the scene where he advises Ned about the Mountain, dropping As You Know and Captain Obvious statements left and right. He even feels the need to point out the sigil of Ned's wife's house to him, which, given the importance of heraldry in Westeros, and the prominence of House Tully in the social order would be like saying "The swoosh. That's the symbol of Nike. Doesn't your wife work there?"
    • Jojen explains Bran's powers in his second scene, after two whole seasons went with little to no explanation.
    • Salladhor explains Stannis's post-Blackwater situation to the recently rescued Davos in the Season 3 premiere.
  • Horatio Hornblower: The show used written text at the opening titles, explaining the political situation or the situation at sea. Additionally in "The Even Chance", Midshipman Archie Kennedy explains Horatio and the audience his view on The French Revolution and present situation in France ("Louis was captured just before Christmas. What do you think they'll do with him? You can't kill a King." — Oh, Archie!). He also informs us later that the French has killed their king.
  • Future Ted in How I Met Your Mother, usually in order to provide shortcuts to the main plot of an episode by pausing the action to explain a bit of essential backstory to his kids. Varies a lot in its delivery, sometimes segueing to a series of flashbacks or cutaway gags to explain something, sometimes tossing in a tidbit of relevant information (e.g., stopping to tell his kids that Marshall had a temporary filling put in that day, which wasn't seen in the episode, so that the story makes sense).
  • Winston in Human Target. Mostly justified, since there's a new mission every week, and someone's got to fill Chance in on the details. There is a certain amount of "Remember, once you get inside..." purely for the audience's benefit though. He's also usually working Mission Control, so it's not his only job.
  • iCarly: Wendy. Tells the gang that another TV show is stealing their bits. Explains that Freddie gave up a sea trip to get rid of Carly's old friend who was trying to break them up.
  • On Impractical Jokers, at times each of the guys will explain what's happening to the audience, especially when it involves in-jokes between themselves. However, Murr seems to take the role of Mr. Exposition on himself more often than the others, either speaking directly to camera or using thinly veiled "conversation" with the other guys, telling them things they clearly already know.
  • Gillian Foster in Lie to Me, usually to explain the academic aspect behind detecting emotion to Ria Torres, but to the extent that it often sounds like a textbook excerpt.
  • Loki (2021) has Miss Minutes, a cartoon clock that serves as the mascot of the TVA. When Loki arrives at their headquarters, a video is played for him where she explains the Time Variance Authority, the Time-Keepers and the idea of -- and dangers of -- branching timelines.
  • Lost:
    • Daniel Faraday fits the bill, though he doesn't quite know everything. Nor does he tell all that he does know. Nor does he think everybody else would understand if he tried. After the episode "The Variable", he becomes a posthumous Mr. Exposition once his journal outlives him.
    • In Season 5, his mysterious mother Eloise Hawking suddenly turns into this. "316" opens with a huge lecture by her about how the Island was found, why it's so hard to find the Island, what they need to do to return... followed by a shorter scene where she tells Jack even more detail about why he has to return...
  • Lost Girl has Trick, who is constantly consulting his collection of ancient books to explain what is going on.
  • Merlin has Gaius, the old court physician. He rarely ever has a line that isn't explaining something to someone. Sometimes the dragon gets in on this trope as well.
  • Joel and the Robots of Mystery Science Theater 3000 humorously pointed this out while watching a movie, labeling two cop characters "Sergeant Exposition" and "Captain Backstory".
  • MythQuest's Max Asher is one. He is a professor of either Egyptology or archaeology, but he explains to Brother–Sister Team Alex and Cleo anything they need to know about any myth they encounter.
  • Henry from Once Upon a Time is constantly spelling things out. At first, it made sense for him to be explaining things to protagonist Emma, but now it's just straight up talking to the audience.
  • Out of this World (1962): "Little Lost Robot": Mr Black and Walensky are more prominent in this adaptation, and the story uses this expansion to have Mr Black rant about more things, such as how terrible robots are, and how Dr Calvin thinks she's got a new test for the robots.
  • Some of the discussion about the history of an item or company on Pawn Stars is clearly designed to give insight to the viewer, particularly in situations where it seems both the broker and the customer should already know what they're being told about the item.
  • This was Zordon's role in the first few seasons of Power Rangers, summoning the Rangers in order to tell them about the Monster of the Week that they would have to fight.
  • The titular character of the kids game show Raven is this, seeing as he is the host.
  • Holly and Kryten in Red Dwarf. Note the redundancy; the producers did, and when they needed to get rid of a character for the sixth season, Holly was Put on a Bus with the rationale that the exposition could be given to Kryten. The writers later found themselves in the same position again, when the newly-introduced Kochanski became Ms. Exposition, and Kryten was relegated to the servile mother-figure that he'd grown out of over the course of the series.
    • They never really explained why a robot programmed to clean toilets was an expert on GELFs and time dilation in the first place; although this could (and Word of God says does) explain why Lister remembers the defunct timeline from "White Hole" in "Demons & Angels", when the former episode ends with Kryten explaining he won't.
    • Lampshaded in one of the show's "blooper" compilations where host Kryten testily responds to a viewer question about his getting a fact wrong in the episode "DNA", something along the lines of "I'm sorry, I must have been absent the day they gave the lecture on cellular genetics at Toilet University! In other words, I made a MISTAKE, OK?!"
  • All the main characters on Scorpion not called Paige Deneen or Cabe Gallo are this, for the benefit of the audience who otherwise wouldn't have a clue what they're up to that episode.
  • Alfred Gogh and Miles Millar cast Allison Mack as Chloe Sullivan on Smallville because of her "rare ability to deliver large chunks of expositionary dialogue conversationally."
  • Stargate SG-1 has a complete and energetic crew of Exposition People, ready to service your every plot related need. We have:
    • Samantha Carter, for technological and astronomical info;
    • Daniel Jackson, for historical, linguistic and cultural info;
    • In the earlier seasons, Teal'c for Goa'uld and Jaffa info;
    • And of course we have Jack O'Neill, for all your smart-to-layman translation needs.
    • Colonel Mitchell even got in on this, excitedly describing the relevant bits of previous missions when similar situations arise. The in-universe explanation is that he read all of SG-1's mission reports while he was in the hospital recovering from an injury acquired while saving SG-1's asses in the Season 7 finale. This is most definitely for the audience's benefit since the people he's usually talking to — Teal'c, Sam, and Daniel — were all actually there for those missions.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • Data was the main choice for any Technobabble plot exposition, although really nearly any character on the various Star Trek shows was at some time forced into that role.
    • Once she had been added to the show, Guinan became the mouth through which the writers often introduced backstory information, i.e. about the Q, the Borg, etc.
    • Usually, Data and Geordi did technical exposition, Worf what another ship is about to do/is doing/did, and Troi the emotional state or motives of whatever grouchy alien they ran into that week. In Real Life, exposition to the CO is what each section is supposed to be doing.
    • Subverted with Data sometimes in that for a long time, Data did not know when it was appropriate (or not) to do the infodumpage.
    • Data lampshades this in the second part of the very first episode, While reminding the crew of something they should already know, he interrupts himself to say "I'm sorry, sir — I seem to be commenting on everything."
    • Avoided entirely with Troi because her empathetic suggestions were universally uselessly vague. (e.g. "Troi, can you tell why they might be shooting laser death missiles at us?" "I sense... Pain. Pain... and anger.")
  • In Star Trek: The Original Series, Spock the Omnidisciplinary Scientist usually filled this role — including much knowledge about history. In the fourth movie The Voyage Home, he's aware of the "colorful metaphors" used on 20th-century Earth.
    • One exchange in the episode "I, Mudd":
      Spock: Whatever method we use to stop them, we must make haste. They have only to install some cybernetic devices aboard the Enterprise, and they'll be able to leave orbit.
      McCoy: How do you know so much?
      Spock: I asked them.
      McCoy: ... Oh.
    • In the episode "Balance of Terror", Spock gives an infodump about the history of the long-ago war between the Federation and the Romulan Empire and the current situation between the two governments.
  • All the Supernatural characters have been this at some point, although recently it's been mostly Bobby being the sensible one (most notably, Tall Tales and Dream a Little Dream of Me) and doing the explaining.
  • In Switched, Ukon is an "expert" on the red moon phenomenon. She keeps track of the moon's phases and how the "unique terrain" affects the phenomenon. She is the person who explains the Ayumi what has happened to her, as well as the fact that she cannot merely undo the switch by killing herself in front of Umine.
  • Lois Habiba in Torchwood: Children of Earth. The series attracted many viewers who were unfamiliar with the previous two series, and Lois served to explain the origins of the Torchwood Institute to these new viewers.
  • Trailer Park Boys: The character of Sara on the Canadian comedy series served this function in the early seasons, explaining many of the goings-on in the trailer park and putting things into context for the audience. Her doing this was justified by the series being framed as a documentary filmed by a camera crew following the main characters around, so it only made sense that the documentary crew would try and find a way to explain things to the audience.
  • CJ Cregg, the White House press secretary on The West Wing. She patiently reports every single piece of news, including those with not the slightest connection to the US Government.
  • Whose Line Is It Anyway?:
    Colin Mochrie: Finally, I caught up with you! I'm a mob hitman... They call me Jimmy the Exposition.

  • The Adventure Zone: Balance has both Avi and the Director provide a good deal of exposition to the Tres Horny Boys.
  • Live From Mount Olympus has Hermes, who narrates the tale and introduces the cast (and some spoilers on occasion), while Atlas tells Perseus about the Titanomachy and the downfall of Cronus.
  • The crew of Mission to Zyxx includes protocol droid C-53 who is responsible for briefing the crew on the specifics of the planets they're exploring and people they're meeting. Given the improv nature of the show most of this exposition is dispensed post facto.
  • The Pathfinder-based The Glass Cannon Podcast features an NPC named "Thomas Exposition".
  • Residents Of Proserpina Park usually has Sam or Dog be the one to explain the stories and lore behind the various inhabitants of the park.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • The announcers during a match exist to give exposition. They have to explain the holds being used, recap any pertinent information regarding the match, possibly hype any upcoming matches (usually the main event of the show), and be entertaining while doing all of it.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Amusingly, The Dresden Files role-playing game has a skill called Exposition and Knowledge Dumping, a sub-skill of Scholarship. On a successful use, the Game Master can "borrow" the Player Character in order to turn him into a Mr. Exposition about the relevant subject. This actually cuts the middleman out of the traditional RPG knowledge skill check, which usually amounts to "Player makes Knowledge check, GM Info Dumps, Player says 'Okay, I relate this to everyone else'."

  • The Narrator in Finale is a more philosophical version of this trope.
  • Cesare - Il Creatore che ha distrutto has Roberto explain everything about the important figures in Italy to Naïve Newcomer Angelo, which makes it justified. It also makes it so that Roberto is the person you might least expect to be the traitor who burned down the workshop.
  • The Notary in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Grand Duke. In the first dialogue he has a speech stating who the chorus are and what they're doing there, halfway through act 1 he has a song that explains the plot device on which the rest of the show hinges and in the final dialogue he facilitates the ending.
  • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat plays this trope pretty much straight; the narrator's only purpose is to tell the audience exactly what's going on at any given moment, vacillating between extremely obvious information and occasionally useful information about the action.
  • Gringoire in the French musical Notre Dame de Paris (adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame). He spends the majority of his songs singing about the circumstances of the time, only popping into the plot once to almost get hung by a band of gypsies and get married to Esmeralda after she saved him. As soon as that's done, we never see him interact with the other characters again.
  • In Richard Wagner's Parsifal, Gurnemanz spends most of the first act explaining the scenario first to four pages and then to Parsifal.
  • Parodied in The Real Inspector Hound by the play-within-a-play's Mrs. Drudge, who answers the phone, "Hello, the drawing-room of Lady Muldoon's country residence one morning in early spring?" and "I'm afraid there is no one of that name here, this all very mysterious and I'm sure it's leading up to something, I hope nothing is amiss for we, that is Lady Muldoon and her house guests, are here cut off from the world, including Magnus, the wheel-chair-ridden half-brother of the ladyship's husband Lord Albert Muldoon who ten tears ago went for a walk on the cliff and was never seen again." And then there's the treacherous fog.
  • Show Boat has in the boarding-house scene an Irish landlady who tells the Beta Couple the long-winded story of how Gay and Magnolia have been doing the last ten years. This exposition proves superfluous when Magnolia comes in and explains her situation in her own words.
  • The musical Urinetown, which parodies almost anything that moves, has Officer Lockstock, the narrator, reference this trope on several occasions. Not to forget Little Sally.
    Little Sally: Oh, I guess you don't want to overload them with too much exposition, huh.
    Lockstock: Everything in its time, Little Sally. You're too young to understand it now, but nothing can kill a show like too much exposition.
    Little Sally: How about bad subject matter?
  • Questenberg, servant of the Holy Roman Emperor, in Schiller's drama Wallenstein. Wallenstein lampshades: "Spare us telling us from the newspapers / what we witnessed ourselves in horror!"

    Theme Parks 
  • Steven Spielberg himself serves this role to a massive extent in the pre-show of Universal Studios' E.T. Adventure ride, where he literally explains everything that's going on. Though this can be somewhat excused, as in this case he literally is addressing the audience.

    • The Turaga elders, who relate old legends about the threats that rear their ugly heads in the first few arcs. Eventually deconstructed; the third or fourth time this happens, the heroes start wondering where they're getting their information and, more importantly, why they're not telling them these things ahead of time.
    • Whenua the archivist was this for the Toa Metru team, which was acknowledged in-story. When at one point an enemy appeared he knew little of, Vakama snapped at him for being useless.

    Video Games 
  • Bayonetta subverts this; on the way back from a job, Enzo decides to speak out loud about Bayonetta's nature of having to kill angels every day or she'll be dragged down to hell while she figures out her lost past. A mildly annoyed Bayonetta snaps at him for telling her her own life's story. He talks about her backstory again at the beginning of the the second installment, but she ignores him.
  • In BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm, a decent-sized chunk of the worldbuilding comes from the descriptions Eddie gives when you use his Enemy Scan skill.
  • In The Coma: Cutting Class, this is Yaesol's initial function in the plot. She calmly explains to Youngho that he is not dreaming, there really is a killer on the loose, and how to escape the nightmare world.
  • Diablo: Deckard Cain is the only character besides Diablo himself who will appear in all three. His role is always the same: talk in a monotone voice about the backstory nobody's interested in.
  • Dragon Age:
    • As is standard for BioWare games, very nearly any speaking character, and especially companions, can be persuaded into launching into huge conversations about themselves, their people, and the current situation at the drop of a hat.
    • Dragon Age II: Varric is a bigger example than normal, because not only is he the only party member native to Kirkwall (meaning he has a lot of relevant exposition), he's a bard, a writer, and is telling the story of the game to Seeker Cassandra.
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition:
      • Solas loves learning and teaching people new things, so he greatly respects a curious mind. He's the only party member to earn minor approval bonuses just from asking normal questions. He's also the party member who knows the most about what's going on... though he's not afraid to lie by omission about stuff that he doesn't want you to know.
      • In the Trespasser DLC, Solas appears at the end to explain the plot of the DLC — and much of the plot of the entire franchise, really. While the player already knows some of these answers, the character knows almost none of them. "You must have many questions." You do, however, have the option to skip it all by choosing the option "No, not really." Solas, annoyed, summarizes a fifteen minute conversation in thirty seconds, solves your malfunctioning mark in the most painful way possible, and leaves. You don't even get a chance to ask any more questions.
        Inquisitor: Solas, have I ever wanted to hear one of your endless explanations?
        [Solas scowls]
        Inquisitor: Ever?
        Solas: Well, then, briefly: I am the Dread Wolf. I fought the false elven gods, created the Veil, and destroyed my people. I intend to restore them. Doing so will likely destroy your world. Also, your mark is getting worse.
  • Verdelet the hierarch from Drakengard, though he is also the most useless party member and tends to repeat himself a dozen times per mission. He has only one spell — a "hold" spell, which is only ever used in cutscenes and allows him to turn Caim's pact partner Angelus into the Goddess of the Seal. When Caim tries to make him release Angelus later on, because the seal causes both of them immense pain, Verdelet refuses (along with the entire Union) because doing so would cause The End of the World as We Know It. Caim's reply is to cut him down in between games.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Arena plays it straight with the spirit of Ria Silmane, who appears in your dreams and guides you toward finding the pieces of the Staff of Chaos.
    • Daggerfall distributes the exposition over a large number of NPCs.
    • Morrowind subverts it in the main quest, as the game gives you several Mr. Exposition type characters (Caius, Azura, Vivec, Dagoth Ur, the Temple giving a different account than you can do your own research with some in-game texts) all of whom offer contradictory accounts of When It All Began. There are strong hints that Azura, Vivec, and Dagoth Ur have their own motives for lying (or at least not being entirely truthful) and you're never told outright which one was right. A lot is left to personal interpretation.
    • Skyrim, much like Daggerfall, distributes exposition over a number of characters, including the guardsman at the Western Watchtower (who tells you about the legend of the Dragonborn after you kill your first dragon), Farengar (who tells you about the Dragon War), Jarl Balgruuf (who tells you about the Greybeards of High Hrothgar), the Greybeards themselves (who tell you about the Voice), and the Blades (who fill in details about the Great War and the Thalmor).
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Unusually for an FF game, Cloud, the player character, is this in Final Fantasy VII. This was done intentionally — one of the main conceits for the game was that Cloud should appear as an experienced character and an active driving force in the plot (to contrast with the usual Pinball Protagonist Idiot Hero characters of the genre), meaning he had to know what was going on before anyone else did. This extends to him explaining the game mechanics to NPCs instead of having them teach him, narrating playable flashback sequences and occasionally summarising the story so far to party members struggling to follow what's going on. This even continues after it's revealed that he's not experienced and was doing everything he did out of Mind Control, when he explains the magic mechanics of his personality crisis.
    • Bugenhagen shows up early in the game to teach the characters how Lifestream works, which is apparently a mindblowing experience, and then to explain Red XIII's father's history to him. He later turns up to explain to Cloud what Holy is and the risks of unleashing it, which Cloud counters by explaining to him what Aeris must have been up to.
    • Final Fantasy X:
      • Maechen from . The difference being the fact he doesn't explain the plot. Instead, he goes in long-winded description of the areas you visit for the first time. Nicknamed "Exposition Man" on VG Recaps.
      • Auron and Lulu from the same game are guilty of this at certain points, but Auron's a badass so of course you'll listen to whatever he says, right? Right?
      • Tidus is the game's Watson, and Lulu knows a lot about the world, having gone on two (failed) pilgrimages before accompanying Yuna, and Auron is actually the only character (maybe, aside from Seymour) that actually has any clue what's really going on.
  • The Game of the Ages makes little sense until you meet The Sage who explains the nature of the world.
  • In Gamer 2, Kora's main job is to appear in cutscenes and inform Hailey of her goal throughout the upcoming level.
  • Nameless scientist (possibly Dr. Kleiner) in the beginning of Half-Life, immediately lampshaded by another nameless scientist (retconned to be Dr. Vance). Gordon doesn't need to hear all this, as he's a highly trained professional, so it's all for the benefit of the audience.
  • Homeworld:
    • Fleet Intelligence in the original game has this role largely to himself in cutscenes, but in subsequent games the player-character provides some of their own.
    • The 10 minute Info Dump in the beginning is apparently narrated by the Bentusi, as is the Final cutscene.
  • Laura Sorkin often acts as this in Jurassic Park: The Game. It becomes a plot point later when she reveals information about an otherwise mysterious toxin, hinting that she knows something about the dinosaurs that Gerry couldn't identify.
  • This is the sole purpose for the existence of Travis in Killer7. As you go through each mission, he informs you why you're there and what's happened thus far. Since the Killer7 are only called in once things have degraded to where someone has to die, this is essentially Late to the Tragedy embodied in a character. And you can never be sure if Travis (who openly despises you) is telling the truth, either...
  • Namine gets this role in Kingdom Hearts II, explaining to Roxas (and the players who haven't played Chain of Memories) just what the heck is going on in the Prologue. Once Roxas is out of the picture, Master Yen Sid from Fantasia serves this role to Sora. Finally, at the end of the game, Ansem the Wise picks up the role.
  • King's Quest: Mask of Eternity: The half-petrified wizard in Daventry.
  • Knights of the Old Republic:
    • Trask, Carth, Bastila, the Jedi, Atris, Atton, Kreia, HK-47, T3-M4, the player character, that guy you run into on Nar Shaddaa...
    • Kreia gets points for being the main provider of exposition and a Consummate Liar at its worst. The second game in general tended to give the role to people you should never, ever trust.
  • Legacy of Kain. Almost every character gets a turn in LOK but none more so than Janos Audron. Every scene with him is part history lesson, part Shakespearean monologue, and part Grandpa's Neverending War Stories.
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past:
    • Every time one of the Seven Maidens is rescued, they tell a little more about the backstory of the game and what Agahnim's plans are.
    • Sahasrahla, as the descendant of the old sages, would give Link a bit of backstory regarding to the Imprisoning War and the nature of the Dark World.
  • Pick any character with a speaking role in Mass Effect. Any character. However, most of the time you can just not ask them stuff. ME2 makes this process even more clear-cut; much of the game's extra exposition is on the crew's personal backstories, and they provide those details if you ask. As far as the main plot goes, exposition tends to come from the Illusive Man and the various Cerberus crew members, and occasionally Mordin on questions of science. There's also Vigil from the first Mass Effect. Explains everything in the game up to that point; what the Conduit is, what Saren wants with it, the fate of the Protheans, and how to stop Sovereign before it's too late.
  • Any character who can be communicated with via CODEC in the Metal Gear series.
    • Dr. Naomi in the first Metal Gear Solid goes into in-depth detail explaining the back-stories of all the FOXHOUND members Solid Snake faces, whereas Drebin does the same with the B&B Corps in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Ironically, Solid Snake himself serves this role to Raiden in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.
    • The Colonel, Otacon, and Mei Ling. and once Slippy all serve this role in Snake's codec conversations in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, explaining information on Nintendo characters that Snake doesn't know about.
    • Nastasha Romanenko from the first Metal Gear Solid is notable for being a CODEC contact who serves no story or gameplay function whatsoever (the player can go through the entire game without contacting her once,) existing soley as an exposition dispenser about various weapons and equipment and giving random factoids about nuclear warfare.
  • Monkey Island: This is the main purpose of the Voodoo Lady in the games. Occasionally she'll do some actual voodoo, but usually she's there to tell you what you're supposed to be doing right now.
  • In the final chapter of Mother 3, it's revealed this was the entire reason Leder did not have his old memories erased, in case anything corrupts their lives again. His monologue is so big, a stinkbug helpfully memorizes most of what he's revealed if you happen to forget.
  • The Neverhood: Willie Trombone's tapes are there to help the audience understand the game's basic story. Just make sure you collect them all, or else you won't be able to complete the game.
  • Ni no Kuni Plays this straight with Drippy. Because Oliver knows nothing about the world and characters Drippy spends most of his time infodumping Oliver regarding almost any possible subject.
  • Nosferatu: The Wrath of Malachi: As you explore the Castle, you find notes by someone named Grimvald Vorius, which conveniently explain the plot.
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door:
    • Professor Frankly serves this role, and Merlon fills this role in Super Paper Mario. The first game of the series, having a simpler plot, seemingly doesn't need one.
    • In the field, Goombario and Goombella have actual powers related to exposition, able to tell you about your surroundings, people and enemies.
  • Most of Serena's dialogue in The Persistence is spent explaining stuff. You get a new item, she explains it. You're on a new deck of the ship, she explains it. You die, she explains why you aren't staring at the Pearly Gates.
  • Upon joining the party, Naoto Shirogane in Persona 4 serves this role primarily.
  • Pilgrim (RPG Maker): The Giant Cat, once Akemi starts threatening him, spills the beans on the situation — what the castle and Other World are, who Master Alice is, and where Inago is.
  • Rhinehart in the FMV game Privateer 2: The Darkening. Played by a perfectly cast David Warner, Rhinehart's sole purpose (and only scene) near the end of the game is to explain everything to the main character Lev Arris (played by Clive Owen).
  • Marvin in Resident Evil 2 tells the player character a brief synopsis on what went on in Resident Evil and how it led into the mess that is currently happening. He then turns into a zombie the next time you see him. The remake drops the exposition part and has Marvin telling the player character to escape city.
  • Morris O'Dell from Splinter Cell gives exposition in cutscenes at the beginning of missions. Justified, as he is a news anchor.
  • Guy from Tales of the Abyss is often forced into this role by Jade. So much that it was a Running Gag.
  • Raine and Kratos (being the experienced adults of the party) filled this role early on in Tales of Symphonia. Raine — being a teacher — would even occasionally force her students (Lloyd, Genis and Colette) into this role, making them rattle off info about a location they just arrived at as a pop quiz. Once Te'thealla is introduced (which was beyond the knowledge of anyone in the party at that point besides Kratos,) Sheena would step in to fill this role, with Zelos occasionally helping out. Remiel's sole purpose in the narrative is to give Colette her Cruxis Crystal at the start of her Journey of Regeneration and then pop in at each seal to grant Colette another angel power and point her to the next seal. Also to tell her that he's her father. Except that he's not; he's actually an arrogant Manipulative Bastard who's slowly suppressing Colette's humanity with each angel power, and the party ends up killing him at the Tower of Salvation.
  • Early in Tokyo Beatdown (a Beat 'em Up from Atlus), a character shows up literally named "Plot-Progressing Officer".
  • Patchouli does most of the explaining in Touhou Labyrinth. She seems to enjoy it too as she acts rather displeased when Eirin takes over the role for one scene.
  • In Uncle Albert's Adventures, almost every time the player discovers a new page, the radio-suitcase plays a message from Uncle Albert giving information related to the page.
  • Undertale:
    • Parodied at first, it seems like Undyne will start explaining the backstory of the Underground... until she realizes that it doesn't really matter if she does, as she will have to kill you anyway. Though if you befriend her on a pacifist run and call her in that room, she admits the "screw it" was because she forgot the speech she was actually supposed to give.
      Undyne: I shall tell you the tragic tale of our people. It all started, long ago...
      Undyne: ...No, you know what?
      ''[NGAHHH starts playing]
    • Played straight later. In the final walk up to the final boss, the monsters of the Underground will tell you the greatest tragedy of the underground, the death of the first human to fall and the monster prince's death at the hands of humans when he left to fulfill his sibling's last wish. On the No Mercy run, this is replaced with Flowey giving a chilling account of how his lack of empathy and compassion turned him into the sociopathic monster he currently is.
  • Until Dawn: Flamethrower Guy, who reveals himself towards the end of the game to explain what the Wendigo are, and how they can be defeated. Once he has served his purpose he is almost immediately killed off to establish just how dangerous the creatures are.
  • In A Witch's Tale, the Wonderland characters often provide exposition. Lampshaded by the Dormouse, who asks if it's Exposition Day.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Reshef of Destruction:
    • Ishizu dumps the plot on you in the first 2 minutes.
    • If you examine a painting of Shadi in Pegasus's castle, Shadi himself appears and explains what happened in the backstory.
  • ZanZarah: The Hidden Portal:
    • Rafi the goblin is the first being that Amy meets in Zanzarah. He is the one who hid a teleportation rune in her home, so he provides some information regarding why he summoned her to this world.
    • The talking owls were sent all across Zanzarah for the sole purpose of providing advice to Amy.

    Visual Novels 
  • The Ace Attorney series has the various assistants that go around to assist or comment on the action, and to give general plot recaps at the beginning of each chapter. Most often, it has been Maya Fey, though Pearl Fey takes her place a couple times during the second and 3rd games and she is replaced entirely by Trucy Wright in the 4th. Then Athena Cykes gets the role sometimes in the 5th and the 6th.
  • Kirei Kotomine takes up this role in the Heaven's Feel scenario of Fate/stay night, to the point of multiple lampshadings by the protagonist, who in the narration, complains about the priest's lengthy talks every single time he drops by the church.
    • Unlimited Blade Works puts Rin in the expository role, while Fate mostly splits it between the two (Kotomine for history, and Rin for the technical side of magic).
    • The same roles in Tsukihime are filled by Ciel and Arcueid, mostly on the history and nature of vampires in the Nasuverse. None of them are anywhere near as bad as Kotomine, though.
  • Spirit Hunter: NG:
    • Kaoru's an expert of the occult and the supernatural, and provides Akira with information on the various ghostly happenings in the first chapter.
    • Rosé takes over the role of the spiritual expert after Kaoru leaves, and helps Akira learn more about Kakuya, ghosts, and his own powers.
    • D-Man's collectable cards either exposit on various ghostly tales, or summarise information that Akira has gleaned about Kakuya and his general situation.

    Web Animation 
  • Broken Saints has Raimi Matthews, who also functions as Non-Action Guy, Deadpan Snarker, Sad Clown, and The Smart Guy. A man of many hats indeed.
  • Dreamscape: Keela takes this role in the flashback in Episode 7, where she explains the exact mechanics of the curse Melinda inflicted Dylan with. She says she knows a lot about curses due to her relationship with The Master of the Dammed.
  • Homestar Runner: Parodied in the Strong Bad Email "best thing". On the Show Within a Show Limozeen: But They're in Space!, manager Teeg Dougland's dialogue mostly served to set up plot points by having him come in and say a setence starting with the phrase "I'm afraid I have some bad news, boys..."
  • In If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device, pretty much everyone takes up this mantle, depending on the topic.
    • The Emperor explains things considering the Warp, the War in Heaven and human history.
    • Kitten talks about the current Imperium and xeno races.
    • Magnus gives a long lecture about the nature of the Warp and the Chaos gods.
  • Red vs. Blue: Reconstruction:
    • Agent Washington dispenses all sorts of information about Project Freelancer and the AIs it uses. According to the DVD commentary, Church served in this role for plot recaps in the original series.
    • It wasn't nearly limited to plot recaps. Burnie (voice of Church and creator of the series) admits in the commentary that he always gave Church most, if not all, of the exposition necessary to move the plot forward since it was always a large number of lines and if necessary, he could always just redo them himself rather than call everybody back in again to do their voices for the ninth time to fill in another plot hole he just noticed. The entire rest of the cast (until Washington's appearance) was merely there for comic relief, while Church had the sole duty of carrying the entire plot around on his back. It's no wonder he was always so damn irritable.
    • Andy, being the only one who can understand the Alien, serves this role in Season 4.
  • RWBY:
    • Dr. Oobleck is the history teacher for Beacon Academy. His primary role is to educate the students, and therefore the audience, on the world of Remnant. Even when he's leading Team RWBY on a field-trip, he scatters lectures throughout their mission to explain the setting to the audience. Through him, the students and audience are introduced to the existence of a series of Faunus Wars between humanity and Faunus because the Faunus struggle with racism and equality; he explains the history of Mountain Glenn, and introduces the concept that the Grimm gain intelligence and patience as they get older and more experienced. During the Vytal Festival, he acts as one of the tournament commentators, introducing the in-universe and out-of-universe audiences to the students taking part in the competition and their abilities.
    • The World of Remnant episodes are a series of very short episodes scattered through Volumes 2-4 that give background information on the World of Remnant to explains such things as Aura, Dust, Grimm, the CCT global communications, Faunus, the different Kingdoms, the Great War and the global dominance of the Schnee Dust Company. Each volume has a different narrator who explains the information to the audience in a completely in-character manner. Salem ominously narrates the Volume 2 information on Aura, Dust and the Grimm and implying these things are connected to a dark history that humanity has been forced to forget. Ozpin gives a more optimistic narration in Volume 3 of the achievements and limitations of humanity, such as the CCT, and how endeavour brings humanity together. In Volume 4, Qrow, who stands in for Ozpin when the headmaster goes missing after Volume 3, narrates the history of the Kingdoms and the SDC, with his usual cynicism and occasionally pausing to swig alcohol. His personal animosity towards the SDC during that narration implies he might possibly be an Unreliable Narrator in places.
    • In Volume 6, this gets justified as the expositer in question, Jinn, is the spirit of the Relic of Knowledge with the ability to answer any question to the best of her ability. As a result of her ability, she answers a question that leads to a twenty-six minute long exposition on the origins of Remnant and how Ozpin and Salem became arch-enemies.
  • Sonic for Hire: Throughout a few times, Sonic brings up on how Tails constantly narrates their current situation.
    Tails: Mario must have sent these guy to get you. They'll probably come back with another crew, we should probably bring in some help of our own.
    Sonic: Thanks, Narrator.
    Tails: [deadpan] Cut to a new scene.

    Web Comics 
  • Red Mage usually does this in 8-Bit Theater, although Thief took the role when the Light Warriors were in Elfland.
  • Agents of the Realm has Jade, who talks about the nature of Agents, and Paige, who explains the local legends and the part the Agents have in the greater picture.
  • Castoff isn't one for Info Dump, but every now and then, somebody needs to explain the theory and practice of magic. Most of the time this someone is the team mage, Arianna.
  • In Darths & Droids, Darth Maul serves this role, here portrayed as a private investigator telling Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon about how Senator Palpatine intended to get the Jedi to look for the Lost Orb in the Trade Federation's territory (I.E. what the GM originally planned for how his campaign would develop before Jim brought it Off the Rails), among other things.
  • Debugging Destiny has Mercury, whose Storied special ability means he knows a little bit about everything. Naturally, he spends a fair amount of time dispensing useful information.
  • In Distillum, this seems to be Sidney's job. Jamie has shades of it in the beginning, but he's The Narrator.
  • This is lampshaded relentlessly in DM of the Rings, a LOTR parody, in which Gandalf is made to be Mr Exposition in every way, even more than he is in the books and films. He is even referred to as Mr Exposition on a number of occasions.
  • Dragon Ball Multiverse:
    • Piccolo offers a lot of information on the battles while watching from the sidelines.
    • The South Kaioshin fills that role for a while during his fight against Majin Buu.
    • King Kai's usual role as this in the series is lampshaded in page 952.
  • Dream Catcher so far seems to have two. Ooji who really failed to be helpful, AT ALL, and Mr. Relecross who seems to know more.
  • In Dubious Company, this job was originally Walter's for the pirates and Sue's for the Imperials. After the cast expands, this gets officially dumped on Sal and Leeroy.
    Marty: Hey babe, summarize Queenie's speech for me when she finishes yapping.
  • El Goonish Shive:
    • Mr. Verres once exclaimed "I am an endless barrel of exposition!". As the creator explains, Mr. Verres, Grace and Tedd are the main barrels, but since Tedd and Grace learned most of their information from Mr. Verres, he's directly responsible for most of the expositions in the strip. Also, there are Exposition Fairies, but not in the usual sense.
    • Mr. Verres was mentored by another barrel, Adrian Raven. Being a son of a human and an immortal, he probably picked up that exposition from his parents... and experience.
    • The Whales reveal portions of how the very fabric of the universe operates. The fact that Mr. Verres (and presumably Raven) didn't even know about the existence of the Whales is noted to be a big deal.
  • Various characters from Eon's Comic have filled this role, but SSTV News anchor, Charlene McFaire is by far the most prominent example; indeed, her sole purpose has been to provide exposition on plot developments, either in the form of a recap or a condensed way of informing the readers of government decisions. Often no one in the story is even watching the news!
  • In Freefall, Florence realizes she overdoes it when she notices that the robot's eyes glazed over.
  • Claire lampshades her own expository speech in the last panel of the first page of The Fuzzy Five.
  • In Godslave, as Edith knows next to nothing about Egyptian mythology, Anpu is forced — to his dismay — to assume the position that this trope fulfills.
  • In Holiday Wars, the character of Earth Day is basically there to only give exposition at the Act I turning point.
  • Homestuck:
    • Nannasprite fills both John and the audience in on things like "why meteors?". In-universe, the Sprites as a whole were meant to be this, but Nannasprite is the one who most consistently fills the role out-universe.
    • About 6000 pages in, Calliope seems to have made it her job to, in between cryptic Foreshadowing, explain how the reality-warping game at the center of the story is supposed to work when everyone isn't going out of their way to break it.
    • Aranea gives very lengthy history lessons to everyone in sight. This is regularly pointed out and mocked by the other characters. Hell, in the Act 6 Act 3 Intermission she starts PAYING people to listen to her Info Dumps. The fact that she's never been a "playable" character in Homestuck note  could suggest that she was only created to be a walking exposition dump.
    • Rose took on the role to explain to Dave about the Scratch, Null Sessions and what they're plan is when they get there. She and Kanaya researched it and compiled all the data about their experiences (and how the game works) into a tome which winds up in Calliope's hands, edited by Gamzee, which is the source of her information.
  • I'm the Grim Reaper: Satan explains a lot about the grim reapers, their rules, and how hell works to Scarlet, since he is her boss. Doesn’t mean he tells her everything though...
  • Princess Voluptua tends to fill this role whenever she shows up in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! As the most prominent alien character, she tends to appear in stories involving alien threats, and so usually knows more about what's going on than the Earthling cast. Has been lampshaded repeatedly that it's hard to shut her up once she starts rolling.
    "I don't lecture. I exposit."
  • Agneta gets lampshaded as Miss Exposition in Mot Jorden (Towards Earth).
    Agneta: Welcome to another sunny day on Mars... our delightful planet.
    Raymond: So it looks like we don't know what planet we're living on, Agneta?
    Agneta: For all I know, you may have become idiots overnight.
  • Rainer from MSF High is this, combined with being a Handsome Lech. He's getting more and more lampshade hanging.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • The bard Elan even has a spell called "Summon Plot Exposition" which creates dramatic illusionary pictures that accompany Elan's voice-overs. He also cries when someone else pulls off a good plot recap.
    • Redcloak often fills this role on the villain's side, with the help of a series of short-lived, lower-ranking hobgoblins (or the Monster in the Darkness).
    • Wrecan plays this roll for a while, to the point where Belkar calls him the "Sacred Knight of the Expository Aside".
  • One of Julie's powers as a bard in Our Little Adventure.
  • In Questionable Content, Momo fills this role in regards to the history of A.I.s in the QC universe. Jeph clearly has some pretty clear ideas about the universe, and Momo is often used to share them with the audience.
  • Sluggy Freelance:
    • Parodied with Dr. Viennason. His DVD series "A Visual Guide to Timeless Space" gives pretty much all the exposition during the "Oceans Unmoving" arc... and he does it so poorly most characters consider it a form of torture.
    • Exposition in Sluggy is as natural as breathing to the characters. They don't think anything is wrong when it happens.
    • Old-Riff in the 4U City Red arc spouts exposition for weeks.
  • In Star Impact, given that boxers never explain their glove powers, physical attributes, or boxing strategies to their opponents, various characters take up this mantle when these things need to be explained to the reader. However, this duty frequently falls on Puck, who even acted as Aster's second in her Chapter 2 fight against Phoebe.
  • Any of the time travelers from TRU-Life Adventures.
  • Eugene from Weak Hero is one of the most knowledgeable when it comes to information about the various gangs, and is usually the one to get Gray up to speed on their backgrounds and workings.

    Web Original 
  • Brennus: The title character himself is prone to exposition, explaining the intricacies of the setting super-power system, and the background for various hero/villain groups to his fellow rookie-heroes (and by extension, the audience). It gets lampshaded more and more as the story goes on.
    Brennus: Pretercognitives are a particular sub-category of espers—
    Hecate:What did I say about exposition, Brennus!?
    Brennus: Two sentences or less...
  • In Crossing Kevin's Crossing most of the characters serve this fuction for the Constantly Curious narrator.
  • Gubaru from the web fiction serial Dimension Heroes, while serving a purpose as mentor and part-protector of the multiverse, serves the majority of the series as an exposition machine.
  • Captain Exposition from Protectors of the Plot Continuum has been known to appear and deliver some information on an Agent's past when said Agent is in a Heroic BSoD because of the bad Fan Fic. The information pertains in some way to why the Agent is in a Heroic BSoD.
  • Impro Fanfiction's Do-Gooders's Sailor Exposition is a parody of this; she defeats monsters by talking to them.
  • In the Whateley Universe, a lot of the teams at Whateley Academy seem to have them. Ferret of the Good Ol' Boyz, Stopwatch of the Masterminds, Foxfire of the Whitman Literary Girls (well, it's not really a superhero team). This makes sense, because Ferret is the information-finder and inventor for his team, while Stopwatch is the information-collector and inventor and obsessive control-freak leader of his team. Foxfire has the problem that several members of her group are much bigger expositors than she is, so she has to cut them off just to get in her own exposition. And Phase, for Team Kimba. If there's an answer to be given, especially in a class, you cannot shut him up.
    • In the Bad Seeds, there's Jadis Diabolik, who will frequently exposit — but generally, only after everything happens, in the denouement. (One can't, after all, be a successful child of a supervillain without knowing how to shut up for a little while.) That she also went to Montressori with Phase makes a great deal of sense.
  • Any and all contributors to TV Tropes Wiki. You could just watch these shows to see the tropes in action. But no, you want someone to explain them to you.
  • Played with in zOMG!; the expositional character who mysteriously disappears at the beginning is actually The Dragon. He reappears near the end of the game to provide more exposition, this time in the form of Just Between You and Me.

    Web Videos 
  • Hans Krebs, the Wehrmacht general in the Youtube Downfall Parodies, although he leaves the really bad news for Jodl to announce.
  • In KateModern, Sophie's main purpose is to compile recap episodes and discuss plot events with the viewers.
  • Petscop: "Tool" is the closest thing to an expositor we have.
  • Doctor Insano serves as this at the end of To Boldly Flee to explain what happened to the Plot Hole and give a heartwarming speech. When Film Brain expressed incredulity that Insano came all the way there just for a plot dump, he admits he was really there to hold them up and get the stuff they stole back.
  • Eric in TV Tropes Will Ruin Your Life serves as this in the second episode by simultaneously warning James and explaining to the audience what will happen to him over the course of the story.

    Western Animation 
  • In American Dad!:
    Barb: Hi, Barb Hanson, Exposition Realty. Let me bring you up to speed. Your virus scare prompted [your neighbors] to put their house on the market. Any questions?
    Francine: No, that was very concise.
  • Slappy Squirrel on Animaniacs would sometimes mention this by name.
    Skippy: Doug the Dog?! But he hates you, Aunt Slappy! He's been trying to eat you for years!
    Slappy Squirrel: (dryly, to the camera) Thank you, Mr. Exposition.
  • In Barbie: Video Game Hero, Cutie the cloud is the in-game tutorial and tells Barbie the objective for each stage.
  • Summer Gleeson in Batman: The Animated Series. Justified as she's a news reporter and she's usually shown on a TV screen, where she's supposed to be addressing the Fourth Wall. This is not an Idiot Lecture: there must be quite a few people in her audience who are interested, else her ratings would tank and the station would have her doing something else.
  • Jérémie Belpois of Code Lyoko often ends up in this role, with generous heaping of As You Know and Technobabble. The two-part prequel, "XANA Awakens", even starts with him registering a video diary of how he discovered the Supercomputer.
  • Danny Phantom:
    • In both his appearances, Frostbite ends up explaining the current item/dilemma in order to advance the plot. He doesn't do much outside of expositions after, despite his combat-savvy skills.
    • At times, Sam Manson often covers this ground, too.
  • Family Guy:
    • Brian oftentimes, making an observation to advance the plot (often political in nature) to overlap with creator Seth MacFarlane's views.
    • Used In-Universe in a Cutaway Gag where Peter narrates his life:
      Peter: I walked into the kitchen and sat down at the table. I looked with a grimace at the questionable meal Lois had placed in front of me. Of course I'd never tell her how disgusted I was with her cooking, but somehow I think she knew. Lois had always been full of energy and life, but lately I had begun to grow more aware of her aging. The bright, exuberant eyes that I had fallen in love with were now beginning to grow dull and listless with the long fatigue of a weary life. [Lois knocks Peter out; hours pass] I awoke several hours later in a daze.
  • In Freakazoid!, when Freakazoid notes that his mentor Roddy has a lot of lines in this episode, Roddy goes into a rant about being... well, Mr. Exposition.
  • Whenever there's a story in Hey Arnold!, Gerald is always the one telling it, and Sid always helps.
  • Dib on Invader Zim — or at least, Zim must think he is, since he goes into Exposition Mode when pretending to be Dib.
  • Dr. Drakken in Kim Possible.
    Drakken: Shego, at last! Pure nanotronium is mine! The smallest, most powerful energy source known to m—
    Shego: Are you for real? I was with you. I know what it is, Dr. Exposition.
  • Let's Go Luna!: The Magic Globe, who provides the kids with information about the country they are visiting in each episode.
  • Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (2023): Starting in episode two, there is a narrator who explains the backstories of the various villains who pop up in each episode. In episode six, it is revealed that the Beyonder is the narrator, and he continues to do this following the reveal.
  • In Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins, Raiden spends much of his time explaining the backstories of both the tournament and their future opponents. Justified in that as a god he is ineligible to enter the tournament directly.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic:
    • Zecora the zebra sometimes acts like this. Whenever something strange happens and none of the ponies in Ponyville know what to do, not even Twilight Sparkle, Zecora is often the one to tell the Mane Cast what's going on.
    • Spike often does this for Twilight Sparkle.
    • Twilight herself tends to grab the Exposition Ball whenever she appears in an episode but isn't the mane focus of it.
    • Celestia herself plays this role in almost every major episode she's apart of, to the point where that is basically her only role in The Movie. Ironically, the only major two-parters where she didn't slip some sort of exposition were the ones where either she was kidnapped or when she actually took matters into her own hooves... not that the latter actually helped.
  • The Simpsons
    • Mocked in the episode "Itchy and Scratchy Land":
      Lisa: The flash must have scrambled their circuits!
      Homer: Who are you, the narrator?
    • Mocked in "Treehouse of Horror IX":
      Lisa: Of course — the transplant! Somehow Snake's hair must be controlling—
      Marge: Oh please, Lisa, everyone's already figured that out.
  • South Park:
    • Parodied in the episode "Asspen" when Stan is challenged to a ski race down the K-13.
      Teen: (steps into frame) The K-13? But that's the most dangerous run in all of America. (steps out of frame)
    • Parodied when Morgan Freeman himself shows up to fulfill this role. When Stan asks him why he's always showing up to explain convoluted things, Freeman answers that every time he does so, he gains a freckle.
  • Lampshaded in Spongebob Squarepants where a glowing "Exposition!" sign appears over Spongebob's head when he says "And look! Mr. Krabs is back from his vacation!"
  • Star Trek: The Animated Series episode "How Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth". The sole function of Ensign Walking Bear is to provide background information on the ancient cultures he's an expert on.
  • Steven Universe has a lot to learn about Gem history, which the Crystal Gems (and sometimes Greg) are there to provide. Pearl seems to revel in this job, complete with holograms as a visual aide, while Garnet steps in when Pearl's not around or for subjects she has more experience in, like her future vision powers or in-depth discussions of fusion. Amethyst's contributions mostly involve blurting the occasional Awful Truth.
  • Princess Ariel from Thundarr the Barbarian often explains where they are and its historical significance to Thundarr and Ookla (and the audience).
  • Time Squad: Otto, being a history whiz, usually provides context and facts about who the Time Squad is going to visit in an episode. This was lampshaded in "Billy the Baby", where it's Tuddrussel who gives the facts (since he loves Western outlaws).
    Otto: Man, I never realized how annoying that is.
  • Transformers: Prime:
    • Appears to be Optimus Prime's primary function, explaining the writers' "it stands to reason" justification for the events that are already in motion or are about to follow.
    • Ratchet, usually from a historical context.
  • Wakfu:
    • Nox, the Big Bad in Season 1, provides plenty of exposition... mostly by soliloquizing. Or through his own "clockwork puppet show". Which is still perfectly in character, considering that he's insane. And damn creepy while doing so.
    • Ruel Stroud, being the oldest and most well-traveled of the Five-Man Band, otherwise fulfill this role for the heroes about the various places they visit or people they meet. And he's doing it mostly for free!
  • In WordGirl, there is a nameless character with the sole purpose of alerting the heroine of criminal misdeeds in other parts of town. (He is usually looking for the police station and just so happens to stumble across mild mannered Becky Botsford.
  • In Wreck-It Ralph, Fix-It Felix Jr. acts as this for Sergeant Calhoun since her game was only plugged in the past few days, and doesn't yet know what "Going Turbo" means or what's at stake if he doesn't get Ralph back.

Alternative Title(s): Mister Exposition, Miss Exposition, Ms Exposition, Mrs Exposition


Bugs explains

Bugs Bunny tells Michael Jordan why he was brought to their world in great detail.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (22 votes)

Example of:

Main / MrExposition

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