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Realization Index

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This is a list of tropes concerning a character having a realization about something.

See also Surprise Tropes.


  • Alertness Blink: A chirping sound effect played when a character realizes something.
  • Baby Fever Trigger: Seeing a happy family or cute child makes someone realize they want kids.
  • Beam of Enlightenment: Bright light on a dark background symbolizes a moment of realization.
  • Beautiful All Along: A supposedly plain or unattractive character is revealed to be beautiful.
  • Being Watched: Realizing someone has been secretly watching you.
  • Belated Injury Realization: It takes a character a long time to realize that they are injured.
  • Belated Love Epiphany: A character only realizes they love another after their loved one is no longer available (they've met someone else, moved far away, died, etc.).
  • Closet Key: A character makes another character realize they're gay/bisexual.
  • Confirm Before Reveal: A character asks a quick question about something they're about to reveal before revealing it.
  • Dangerous Interrogative: A character realizes that they are about to enter a world of hurt when being asked a question.
  • Delayed "Oh, Crap!": It takes a moment for someone to realize they're in trouble.
  • Delayed Reaction: It takes someone longer to realize something than they should.
  • Epiphany Comeback: The hero gets a power-up after having an epiphany.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: A sudden epiphany which allows someone to solve a complicated problem or figure out the reason for something happening.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Someone talks about something and then gets shocked once the implications of what they're talking about hits them.
  • Face Realization: A character realizes they're not as evil as they initially thought.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Realizing something causes a person to go insane.
  • Green-Eyed Epiphany: A character realizes they love someone because they get jealous if someone else shows interest in them.
  • Hands Looking Wrong: Realizing your body looks different infront of you.
  • Heel Realization: Someone is ashamed to discover that they have been the bad guy.
  • Ignored Epiphany: A villain considers redeeming themselves, then decides not to.
  • Jerkass Realization: Someone realizes that they've been a jerk.
  • Late to the Realization: A character realizes something very late.
  • LGBT Awakening: Someone realizes that they're not as straight and/or cisgender as they thought.
  • Love Epiphany: The moment a character realizes they love another character.
  • Love Revelation Epiphany: A character falls for another character after hearing that the latter has feelings for them.
  • Lured into a Trap: Character goes to a seemingly innocent location only to realize they've been lured into a trap.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": A whole bunch of people react badly to the realization that they are screwed.
  • Mirror Reveal: A character who's been transformed realizes their fate when they look in a mirror.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Someone becomes horrified and ashamed of the realization that they did something very bad.
  • "No More Holding Back" Speech: The hero makes a speech about the problems they've experienced and how they overcame them.
  • Noticing the Fourth Wall: A character discovers that they're in a work of fiction.
  • Oh, Crap!: A character is shocked at the realization that they are in big trouble.
  • Personal Horror: A painful betrayal of one's self-image, self-loathing, internal conflict, personal failing/flaw or guilt.
  • Placebo Eureka Moment: Someone figures out a solution by themselves just by explaining the problem aloud to another, yet still gives the listener credit.
  • Post–Wake-Up Realization: Someone who just woke up is oblivious to the situation until they fully wake up.
  • Powering Villain Realization: A protagonist realizes that they are giving their enemy power and does something to cut it off.
  • Self-Care Epiphany: A character who otherwise always looks after others learns to prioritize their own well-being, too.
  • Something We Forgot: Just after all is taken care of, the characters realize something they neglected, and the scene shifts to such.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: A character realizes something bad is going to happen and acknowledges it in a calm or deadpan manner, rather than freaking out.
  • "We're Live" Realization: Someone says something they shouldn't say on live TV, but then realizes they're on live TV.
  • What Have I Become?: Someone realizes that they've become something non-human (literally or metaphorically).
  • Who Is Driving?: A character realizes that no one is driving the vehicle they are in.