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Resemblance Reveal

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The character long established as The Unseen or hitherto always masked is finally revealed and turns out to look like (but not to actually be) someone famous or otherwise important in the story, with various implications (from blood relation to supernatural connections).

Subtrope of The Reveal. Compare/contrast Stranger Behind the Mask.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Scrapped Princess, "Lord" Celia Mauser looks exactly like Pacifica Casull, only her hair is lighter blonde.
  • This is done with Hohenheim and Father in Fullmetal Alchemist. There's initially some Plot-Based Photograph Obfuscation of a photo of Hohenheim, and even when Father himself is sort of obscured, there's enough shown of him to suggest he and Hohenheim are the same person. Even though the two turn out to be separate people, they do look pretty much identical.
  • Near the end of Fullmetal Alchemist (2003), Ed is fighting Envy who keeps shapeshifting into his loved ones. Eventually Envy decides to reveal his true form which looks a lot like Hohenheim, his and Edward's father.
  • One Piece has a character named Duval who is introduced masked, and it turns out that he looks almost exactly like one of the protagonist's Facial Composite Failure "Wanted!" Poster, which lead to a lot of grief for him and is why he started out as an antagonist.
  • Fairy Tail: The Fairy Tail mage Mistgun not only concealed his face, but also made a habit of casting blanket sleep spells on any room he walked into. He was that paranoid about being recognized because he is eventually revealed to look just like Erza's childhood friend Jellal. Justified since Mystogan is actually the alternate universe/Edolas version of Jellal.
  • Nove of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, whose face was hidden in shadows when she was first introduced, is revealed to look just like Subaru, except with different hair and eye colors, due to her being the third clone of Quint Nakajima.
  • In season three of Kyo Kara Maoh!, Geneus's cloak is eventually torn down to reveal that his features match almost exactly that of The Great Sage.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2016), when the Hero's Shade comes to snap Link out of his Heroic BSoD, he appears In the Hood rather than his skeletal guise. During their chat, Link catches sight of what's under the hood and is shocked to see his own face—or rather, the nigh-identical face of his predecessor, the Hero of Time.

    Films — Animation 
  • Played With in Meet the Robinsons. Early in the movie, Wilbur lies that his father looks like Tom Selleck. By the third act, we already know that Wilbur's dad is actually Lewis' future self, but it's still a little surprise when we get to see him.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The 1937 film adaptation of The Prisoner of Zenda plays the trope straight, with English gentleman holidaymaker Rudolf Rassendyll getting off a train in Ruritania and wondering why everyone keeps looking at him funny. Eventually, the camera lingers on a painting on the wall of the customs house bearing the likeness of King Rudolph the 5th, to whom Mr Rassendyll bears an uncanny resemblance save for his facial hair... Turns out his great-grandmother had an affair with a previous King Rudolph. Averted completely in the novel, where both the resemblance and the reason for it are laid out in the first chapter before Rassendyll ever leaves England.

  • In Perelandra, the King of Venus is revealed to Look Like Jesus.
  • Arthur C. Clarke did this in Childhood's End, where Karellen reveals himself to look exactly like the Devil.
  • In The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, Grimnir (an antagonist who is until the very end of the book always cloaked and hooded, hiding his face), looks exactly like the good wizard Cadellin when the hood comes off, to the point where the other protagonists think Cadellin was Grimnir all along. Until Cadellin arrives on the scene and it is revealed that they are brothers.
  • In Wylder's Hand, the climax occurs when an inquest attempting to determine whether Mark Wylder is still alive is interrupted by the arrival of Mark Wylder himself — or rather, of a man who looks remarkably like Wylder, but identifies himself as Jim Dutton, another character who had been mentioned several times earlier in the novel as an acquaintance of the villain without receiving a physical description. It is then revealed that he has been assisting the villain by impersonating Wylder, including in several earlier scenes of the novel where the viewpoint character thought they were interacting with Wylder and the narrator didn't tell the reader any different. The reason for resemblance is not explicitly resolved, but is implied to be the result of an indiscretion by Jim's mother and a Wylder of the previous generation.
  • In Anne McCaffrey's short story "The Greatest Love," a new implantation technique makes it possible for Pat Kellogg to carry children for her brother Peter and his wife Cecily, who has a defective uterus. (The story was written and published before surrogacy became possible.) However, Cecily's mother, refusing to believe the children are her biological grandchildren, has Pat and Peter charged with incestuous fornication and reproducing within the limits of consanguinity. When the case comes to trial, the doctors involved produce all of their records of the procedure. What really makes their case, though, is a little detail not revealed until the very end of the story: the infant twins have an uncanny resemblance to Cecily's mother, thus demonstrating decisively that she is their biological grandmother, and therefore Cecily is their biological mother.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Cliffhanger of Season 4 of Star Trek: The Next Generation was that the unseen Romulan Commander was Tasha Yar's daughter, played by the same actress.
  • The reveal of Java and Siva, Ebony's sisters in Series 4 of The Tribe. The sisters unmistakeably look like Ebony, with a similar figure, facial features, poise and long, thin braids (and are in fact related in real life). Prior to the reveal, they spent several episodes wearing robot-like masks.
  • A borderline example in The X-Files episode "Jose Chung's 'From Outer Space'", there is an Man In Black who keeps to the shadows throughout the episode, but is eventually revealed to look like Alex Trebek (because he was played by him). Trebek is not particularly important in-story, but the fact that a Man In Black looks like a popular TV host further discredits Roky Crikenson's account of the encounter.
  • In the episode of The Avengers (1960s) that writes out Mrs. Peel, her husband (a pilot who was lost in a plane crash some years before her entry into the series) turns out to be still alive. He doesn't appear in person until the final scene, at which point he is revealed to look exactly like Steed. (What this might imply about Mrs. Peel's reasons for hanging around with Steed is left as an exercise for the viewer.)

    Video Games 
  • All too common in Kingdom Hearts. In the second game, Xemnas removes his hood revealing his face to be very close to the villain of the first game (fittingly, because they are two halves of one evil person) and in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep Vanitas's facial mask melts away revealing his face to be identical to The Hero Sora's but with black hair and gold eyes.
  • At the end of the first BlazBlue it's revealed that Noel and Nu-12 both look alike...because Noel's a Prime Field Device. Then, in the sequel it's reveal that all the PFD look the same because they're clones of Ragna and Jin's sister. Makoto's story mode has an in-universe version when she looks at the "failed" devices near the cauldron (which shunted her into an alternative universe where Noel was never "born") and finds that they all look like Noel (her best friend).
  • In various games in the Kirby franchise, breaking Meta Knight's mask reveals him to be a creature looking almost identical to Kirby. The implications of this have never been fully explained.
  • In Hyrule Warriors, Midna knocks Cia's mask off, revealing that Cia looks very much like a mirrored, palette-swapped version of Lana. This sets up the reveal that Lana is a Literal Split Personality of Cia's.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 
  • Tarquin from The Order of the Stick, who looks like Elan, because he is his father.
  • The Oracle Hunter in Dominic Deegan has a spell cast on her so that no one can remember the details of her face... which turns into Glamour Failure when she targets people who know her sister Luna. Though lacking the tusks, the family resemblance between the two is strong enough that people can remember thinking she looks like Luna.

    Western Animation 
  • Gravity Falls: At the end of "Not What He Seems", we finally see the long-lost Author of the Journals in person... and as he removes his protective eye-mask and face wrappings, we see he looks just like Grunkle Stan, confirming Stan's claim that the Author is his brother.
  • The Simpsons: In "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?", Homer learns that he has a long-lost half-brother named Herb, but every scene featuring him keeps his face hidden until the moment the two first meet. This leads to a memorable reveal where Homer looks at his reflection in the window of Herb's limo, which then lowers to reveal that he looks great deal like him (except with a lot more hair).