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Second-Person Narration

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Most of the books you've read are written either in the first person (narrated from the perspective of one of the characters, who is referred to as "I" and "me") or in the third (referring to all characters by name or with third-person pronouns like "he" and "she"). Occasionally, though, you run across something written in the second-person, where the subject of the narration is you.

You'll note that second-person narration is very rare. On one hand, like first-person narration, it has a very intimate feeling. On the other hand, while the intimacy of first-person narration is that of storytelling, the intimacy of second-person narration is that of telepathy: the book is telling you what you experience and how you experience it, which often includes directly telling you what you think or feel. You may find this rather presumptuous unless it's done carefully.

You'll often find it used in conjunction with a Featureless Protagonist. Both serve the same function: they attempt to identify you with the protagonist. For much the same reason, you'll also often find it keeping close company with Present Tense Narrative, to reinforce the impression that this isn't just happening to you, but it's happening to you right now.

If you look hard enough, you will discover indications that the second-person narrator is not supposed to be you the reader. You will likely want to ask why the author of such a work would dare try to make you identify that intimately with a second-person narrator who is, um, not you. But you'll probably never ask the question aloud because the person you want to ask isn't there. How can you speak your piece when you have no one to tell it to? Talking to yourself would make you look crazy, so you'll just have to leave it an internal monologue for now.

You've frequently seen second-person narration in Choose Your Own Adventure novels, Tabletop RPGs, as well as Interactive Fiction games — so frequently, in fact, that you shouldn't feel any need to list specific examples from these genres in this page. You can even make a convincing argument that all Video Games where you play a personified main character are narrated in second-person. In fact, now that you think about it, some examples are specifically trying to evoke the feeling of these media in you. You will almost never find second-person narration in works older than these.

You will also find second-person narration in a few literary novels, especially ones written outside America.

Special note on music examples: just because a song uses second person pronouns (you, your, yours, yourself) a lot does not make the song Second Person Narration. It's only Second Person Narration if the "you" refers to the character who is singing, not the character who is being sung to. If the song also has first-person pronouns—even many fewer than second person pronouns—it's almost certainly not Second Person Narration. ("You're so vain, I bet you think this song is about you" is not Second Person Narration; "I" is the person singing, and "you" is the person being sung to.) Imperative sentences—commands—directed at "you" are also a sign that it's probably not Second Person Narration. ("Eat your peas," is not Second-Person Narration, but "You eat your peas" might be.) The same is true of questions directed at "you"—if the singer is asking questions of "you," in most cases that means the singer is not "you" and the song is not Second Person Narration. (Unless "you" are just talking to "yourself" in which case it might be.)

Sibling trope of First-Person Perspective.


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    Comic Books 
  • The narrator of Marvel Comics's Dracula summarizing the previous issue: "Your name is Frank Drake and you are having a bad day. Your girlfriend has just been killed, turned into a vampire, and you had to kill her again (or something like that). You have came to the bridge to commit suicide."
  • EC Comics stories do this a lot:
  • The early Iron Fist stories from the 70s used second-person narration, starting each story with variations of "You are Iron Fist." This was started by creator Roy Thomas and continued with writers Len Wein and Tony,Isabella in the Marvel Premiere title and Chris Claremont in his own series.
  • Man-Thing has this due to his limited understanding of human ways.
  • Morpheus' wake in the "The Wake", the tenth volume of The Sandman (1989), is narrated in second person, and to great effect.
  • The Sentry 2000 and 2005 miniseries apparently use Second-Person Narration to represent the protagonist's internal monologue, which creates a claustrophobic effect: the Sentry is a character metaphorically and somewhat literally trapped in his own head. This is kind of weird when the perspective shifts to Reed Richards or the Hulk in the crossover issues, because it begins to feel like the author dictating to them the mental tongue baths they are giving the Sentry, but then becomes awesome again in The Sentry vs. the Void, which wraps up the 2000 miniseries, when it becomes apparent that the Sentry is supposed to be a Canon Sue:
    You're the last line of defense, arriving in the nick of time with one second left on the clock.
    You're better than Jesus. Tick.
  • Shade, the Changing Man, waking up the day after Kathy's death.
  • Spider-Girl, though they dropped it with the last relaunch.

    Fan Works 
  • Sometimes this type of narration is used as a proper narrative device, with the narrator (whoever the narrator is) addressing whichever character the story happens to be about. The narrator and the "you" tend to be implicitly the same: in angstier fare, the fic is the character talking to/mentally berating himself, which makes it a prime device for fics fueled by angst. A non-angsty example of this can be found in most parts of the Agent Loki: International Man Of Mayhem 'verse.
    • eventually banned them, making stories written with the "you" as an actual canon character with a purpose other than romancing or saving the day something only supposedly found in the archives.
    • This is also common with "Reader x [insert character(s) here]" stories, where the second person narration is for the purpose for the reader to Self-Insert themselves into the story. Characterization Tags are often used to indicate the state of the reader or character(s) they're within the story such as "shy!Reader" or "Teen!Steve Rogers". Despite the use of the "x", quite a few Reader x Character(s) stories aren't actually shipping, some people just really want to hang with a character from/the cast of their favorite thing. Much like other examples, quality varies and it can fall into the Sue trap, though personal enjoyment mostly depends on whether or not you're keen on Wish-Fulfillment.
  • The Neon Genesis Evangelion fic And If That Don't Work? has a scene with 2nd-person Gendo Ikari.
  • A Champion in Earth-Bet is a Worm quest, reading from the perspective of the Mutants & Masterminds-styled character, the Avatar, placed into the Crapsack World of Earth-Bet to make it better.
  • The fanfic series Falling Is Like Flying is almost entirely written in second person, but 'you' look through the eyes of an established character (in the main four stories, they are: Taichi, Homare, Kazunari and Kasumi). Considering that this series also contains Demonic Possession and And Then John Was a Zombie happening to this character sometimes, it is supposed to feel more chilling then when one were to look at it through the lens of a third person.
  • The The Hunger Games fanfiction life a fact above all others gives a second-person narration to the enigmatic Foxface, allowing her to remain nameless, but by no means a Featureless Protagonist.
  • Given that it's a Homestuck fanfic, Moirailegiance is Science is written this way. It's basically the Author Avatar telling the story to the reader, who flips POV frequently, even on a couple of occasions to the "Detached Third-Person Fourth-Wall Observer".
  • My Huntsman Academia places the reader in the shoes of Izuku Midoriya and allows readers to vote in on what happens next, with the story's course being constructed like a game of GURPS.
  • Common among My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fics, often for clopfics where "you" (in pony form or otherwise) romance/seduce/bang a character from the show.
    • It has gotten to the point that a FIMFiction site-wide contest was held where writers had to use at least one of the "always bad" story tropes - second person perspective, alicorn OC, OC x major character romance, or human in Equestria - and make it into a good story, proving that a good writer can make anything work.
  • Rising Sun is written in second person and an example of this technique being used effectively.
  • The Sandman fanfic "The Taste of Honey" uses this kind of narration to great effect too.
  • Toward A Bright Future is a My Hero Academia fic, with the reader as an Amnesiac Hero with future vision who becomes the teaching assistant to Class 1-A.
  • Extremely common among Undertale fics. More than a quarter of the fanfics on Archive of Our Own pair one of the characters (with Sans being the most common) with the reader.
  • The Gintama shortfic Wafuku uses this.
  • The Persona 5 Continuation Fic Metamorphosis starts as a reader-insert, about an unnamed classmate who Akira befriends and eventually falls in love with after returning to his hometown at the end of the game. However, the story frequently cuts away from her perspective to show scenes she's not present for or wouldn't be able to understand even if she was (eg, Akira talking with Morgana), while still referring to her as "You" outside of dialogue. It also trips the reader up at some points by using "You" to refer to her Shadow.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Bribe: The first two-thirds of the film is an extended flashback in which Rigby addresses his own reflection in the mirror, as he berates himself for falling for Elizabeth's charms and neglecting his duty as a federal agent. He speaks to the reflection throughout his narration, saying that "you" sold out and "you" did this and that.
  • Brief Encounter is presented as Laura's confession of her affair to her husband who she refers to as "you" throughout the film.
  • The 1961 film Blast of Silence.
  • In 1945 Film Noir Detour, Al the narrator continually address the audience as "you", as Al pleads with us to believe that he isn't a murderer and he didn't mean to do anything wrong and he only stole that dead guy's money and car because he had to and when he strangled that woman to death it was totally an accident...
    "How many of you would believe it wasn't premeditated?
  • 1947 film noir Lady in the Lake starts with Philip Marlowe addressing the audience directly, saying stuff like "You'll meet the people, you'll find the clues...and maybe you'll solve it quick, and maybe you won't." This sets up the rest of the movie, which is almost entirely shot in P.O.V. Cam from Marlowe's perspective, with other characters looking at the camera and addressing Marlowe and the audience as "you".
  • The Memphis Belle: The narrator of this 1944 propaganda documentary about a B-17 bomber sometimes addresses the audience as "you", saying that you might have dozed off in high school but you will definitely be paying attention when the CO gives the briefing for the bombing raid. On other occasions, the narrator speaks of "we". The idea is obviously to make the viewers feel part of the mission and the war.
  • The 1972 film Poetic Justice by Hollis Frampton


  • A book on writing, rife with examples, said that second-person rarely worked. The example used, which did, implied that there was an "I" which somehow never came up. Paraphrased:
    You walk about the cabin. Hearing a noise, you peer out the window, but you see nothing. Out loud, you say, "It's Probably Nothing," but your voice is shaky. The light silhouettes you perfectly in the window.
  • Same in How NOT to Write a Novel, but without examples.
    In fact, it was called the "second person" when McInerney became the second person to get away with it and it became clear he would also be the last.
  • French novel 99 Francs, a satire on the world of publicity by Frederic Beigbeder, is divided into sections in which the narration is built around the pronoun which is the title of the section: Je, Tu, Lui, Elle, Il, Nous, Vous, and Ils.
  • "...And it Comes Out Here" by Lester del Rey is structured as a monologue from a time traveler, telling 'you' what 'you' are about to do. In this case, 'you' is a distinct character, the time traveler's younger self.
  • In The Angel of Khan el-Khalili, "you" are Aliaa, a young woman searching through the eponymous Bazaar of the Bizarre for a self-proclaimed angel. Your goal is to strike a deal with this supernatural entity to save the life of your mortally wounded sister.
  • Georges Perec's The Art and Craft of Approaching Your Head of Department to Submit a Request for a Raise is a textual representation of a flowchart explaining all the ways you'll never get a raise, and consequently written entirely in the second person.
  • Carlos Fuentes' short novel Aura is written in second person, future tense. It gives you a sensation of inevitability on what the protagonist is going through, with it adds to the other themes of the book.
  • Isaac Asimov's "The Author's Ordeal": "You" are a Science Fiction writer, distracted from day-to-day things like conversations, traffic lights, and other cars by your new story. Getting caught up in the third-person perspective of the story, you cannot escape the obsession until after you've completed the outline, and you "wake up" in complete disarray.
  • Kage Baker's short story/Framing Device "The Hounds of Zeus", found in Black Projects, White Knights.
  • Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney is one of the more famous English-language examples.
  • The Broken Earth Trilogy has Essun written in the second person, both to distinguish her from other characters and to create a Sympathetic P.O.V. for a character whose actions and trauma are often unpleasant and unsympathetic. In the end the second person narrative is revealed to be a first person narrative by Hoa, educating a now amnesiac Essun about her past.
  • Bunker 13 by Aniruddha Bahal is a Stale Beer Flavored Spy Fiction, very much at the end of Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism. You are an Indian journalist conducting an investigation into covert intelligence operations of the Pakistanis. It keeps the second person perspective even after the reader unravels that he is actually a Pakistani double-agent.
  • Ann M. Martin's California Diaries books are mostly written in the first person, being fictional diaries, but Ducky's books are in second person. The explanation is that he doesn't feel comfortable writing about his feelings or whatever in first person, so he uses it to distance himself).
  • The first chapter of Circle of Flight is done like this, as Ellie comes home to find Gavin is missing.
  • Some chapters of Iain Banks's Complicity are written in second person in present tense. These describe the actions of a murderer. It really helps to hide the identity of the killer (even their gender) but the result is also very creepy.
  • The Crimson Petal and the White, where "you" is the reader as we're told where the characters are going, what they're thinking at the time, etc. This is often acknowledged by telling the reader to pay attention, hurry up so they don't miss something, and a moment early on when a character's daughter walks into the room and the narrative says, "all this time you were following him, you never would have thought he had a daughter."
  • Cut by Patricia McCormick is written in second person; the story is told by Callie to "you", her therapist.
  • Damage by A.M. Jenkins; it works extremely well as the protagonist is severely depressed and the writing style helps underscore his disconnection with himself and his feelings.
  • Dave Barry in Cyberspace contains a non-comedic, English-major-y short story written from this perspective of a housewife, new to the Internet, who starts an online romance.
  • Harry Turtledove's short story "Deconstruction Gang". In the compilation reprint he notes that this was partly as a Self-Imposed Challenge and partly to fit with the surreal nature of the story (that literary Deconstruction could actually be used to demolish old buildings and roads, and English majors are employed to do so).
  • Rosamond Lehman's Dusty Answer sometimes switches to this from third person, forcing the reader to closely identify with the heroine. Could this be why it was her most insanely popular novel, leading to multiple marriage proposals? Could be.
  • The first chapter of The Elric Saga is written in this manner, as a way of establishing the title character and his court.
  • A few chapters in Fight Club do this, in order to show that the narrator didn't live his life, but lived the life he was told to live.
  • The Frangipani Gardens by Barbara Hanrahan starts off like this. but it's dropped after the first chapter.
  • Several of horror writer Gemma Files' short stories are written using this tense, including "Rose-Sick", "Bottle of Smoke", and "Slick Black Bones and Soft Black Stars", although the latter two do in fact turn out to have named, gender-specific protagonists.
  • The Girls Guide To Hunting And Fishing, a series of related short stories collected into a novel, switches to second-person in one story/chapter for the female protagonist/narrator.
  • The Gospel of the Knife by Will Shetterly is also written in second person.
  • The Hungarian book Hajléktaland ("Homeless-land") is a documentary disguised as a tourist guide book. In the book you, the reader, are guided through Budapest and the surrounding areas with the assumption that you are homeless and you want to find safety, food, shelter, medical care, etc. The book never breaks Second-Person Narration to build the reader's empathy toward the homeless. It is an intentionally harrowing read.
  • Half-Asleep in Frog Pajamas by Tom Robbins, but completely not a Featureless Protagonist — information about "you" gets revealed slowly over the course of the book.
  • Halting State and its sequel Rule 34 by Charles Stross are written in the second person despite having multiple well-defined, named narrators, as an homage to text adventure gaming.
  • Harrow the Ninth is written in an intimate second person about Harrow, though the Flashback B-Plot is written in traditional third person. The unusual narration seems to reflect Harrow's fragile mental state and prolonged Heroic BSoD. At least, that's what we're led to believe for the majority of the book. The second-person point of view is actually narrated by Gideon's consciousness trapped inside Harrow. Even as her point of view becomes more and more first-person in Act 5, she continues to address Harrow as "you."
  • Orson Scott Card's novel Hart's Hope is written in the second person, but the "you" in the story is not the same as the "you" reading it; rather, it is being narrated to someone else, whose identity only becomes clear at the end.
  • House Made of Dawn, to help give some clarity with the extremely non-linear narrative, describes all of Abel's childhood in this fashion, though it's blatantly obvious the "you" is just Abel.
  • Gene Wolfe's "The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories": in this case, "you" is likely the writer's younger self.
  • If on a winterís night a traveler by Italo Calvino has a frame story (about "the Reader") as well as descriptions of the novels the Reader is reading. The Reader is referred to as "you"; the narrators of the internal novels are referred to as "I". Then there's an interesting section where the Other Reader (the love interest of the Reader) becomes the "you" for a brief while.
  • If You Give a Mouse a Cookie tells "you" all about what will happen if "you," well, give a mouse a cookie.
  • Bob Leman's short story "Instructions" - a set of instructions from unnamed aliens to humans they send through a Deadly Training Area "to alleviate boredom".
  • Jeff VanderMeer likes to use this trope:
    • Veniss Underground is divided into three parts, the second of which is told via second-person narration (the first via first-person and the third via third-person narration). The "you" in this case is Nicola, the first narrator's twin sister and the third narrator's ex-girlfriend.
    • In Acceptance, the third book of The Southern Reach Trilogy, the chapters dedicated to the director are written in the second person and present tense, with the director being the one adressed as "you".
  • At least two short stories by Neal Shusterman, "The Body Electric" and "Loveless" used second-person narration.
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern has short, page-long portions in second person, which allow you to experience the circus "first hand."
  • Dr. Seuss's Oh, the Places You'll Go! is written in the second's right there in the title! Even more uniquely, it's written in future tense.
  • "The Parable of the Shower" by Leah Bobet is written in the old style second-person singular familiar—that is, "thou." The effect is used to evoke a King James Bible-style of speaking.
  • Tim Waggoner's Portrait of a Horror Writer.
  • Half of Ann Leckie's The Raven Tower is written this way, with the narrator telling the story of Eolo through a 'you' perspective. The other half is a first-person narration by said narrator, eventually revealing how he came to be involved with the half he narrates second-person.
  • David Brin wrote a story, "Reality Check," in which you really are the main character. You're supposedly in a Lotus-Eater Machine, and the narration gets increasingly frantic as you fail to snap out of it. A clever experiment in writing, but one that can be easily defused by reading the story backward.
  • Used to very good effect by Matthew Stover in the novelization of Revenge of the Sith. While most of the book is written in third person, Stover breaks out the second person present-tense narration when he moves into an in-depth character study, which he always signals with the phrase "This is what it feels like to be X."
  • "S", by Doug Dorst has a section in the Interlude written in second person narration. However, rather than have the 'you' be a featureless protagonist, the 'you' is simply another character.
  • Lorrie Moore's collection of short stories "Self-Help" contains a few examples of second-person narration. Stories like "How to be an Other Woman" and "How to Talk to Your Mother" exemplify the second-person style.
  • The last part of the novel Some Other Place. The Right Place by Donald Harington is written like this, but the "you" is not the reader but the first-person narrator of the previous chapters, whose "eye" has been confiscated by a new narrator who speaks in first person plural.
  • In The Stand, by Stephen King, Fran at one point muses about Harold's very unusual fiction writing style: second person, present tense.
  • In 2014 novel This Is the Water, you are Annie, a middle-aged suburban swim mom with a daughter on the swim team, and you contemplating having an affair... while a Serial Killer stalks your town.
  • The Paul Jennings story Thought Full is done like this, part of the narrator's (somewhat unnecessary) attempt to put the reader in his shoes.
  • A Visit from the Goon Squad, which shifts the perspective of the narration in every chapter, uses this for chapter 10.
  • Several stories — or the narration between the stories - in the Warrior Cats guidebooks are written this way. Occasionally it will be as if the reader is a cat interacting with the characters. Other times, it will be from one character speaking this way to another specific character that appears in the books. At times — notably the "so-and-so speaks" portions — the identity of the "you" isn't necessarily clear.
  • The first chapter of Winnie-The-Pooh uses a Framing Device in which A. A. Milne tells Christopher Robin a story about himself and Pooh, so in the story, Christopher Robin is constantly referred to as "you." This is only used for the first chapter, however, and the rest of the book uses conventional third-person narration.
  • Roald Dahl dips into extended uses of this at times, notably in the nonfiction chapter "Lucky Break" from The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More, when he describes what it was like to be caned at his school.
  • Austin Grossman's You is mostly written in first person from Russell's perspective, but when he's playing a game or the narrative is describing games and gaming, it dips into second-person. Since the book is partially about being a gamer, this makes sense. There's also a segment at the beginning that is directly written in Interactive Fiction format, commands and all.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The introduction to most episodes of The Twilight Zone is in the second-person; this, along with the hypnotic visuals (which include a floating eyeball, a swinging pendulum, and a hypnosis spiral) and the weird snake-charmer music, are intended to bring about a real or simulated hypnotic state in the viewer. "You are entering a dimension not only of sight and sound, but also of the mind..."

  • "Baker Street" by Gerry Rafferty.
  • "Ballad of a Thin Man" by Bob Dylan, for the purpose of disorientation: "Something is happening here, and you don't know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?"
  • The Beatles:
    • "For No One". ("And yet you don't believe her when she says her love is dead, you think she needs you.")
    • "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." ("Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly.")
  • "Creepy Doll" by Jonathan Coulton.
  • "Dancing Queen" by ABBA seems to be of the perspective of a dancer singing this song to themselves, the dancing equivalent of looking in the mirror and saying "Damn, you're looking good today!"
  • After a Newhart Phone Call intro, "Dead End" by becomes a rather effective Second-Person Narration.
    • SPN is fairly common in their songs. It also appears in "Take My Soul", "Between Worlds", "Fear", "What Used to Be", and parts of "Certainty".
    • In spite of using First Person Narration, parts of "The Dream" seem to be in second person, as well.
  • One example of second person ''narration' is the third vocal section of tool's "Disgustipated."
  • "Drunk Girl" by Chris Janson:
    Take a drunk girl home
    Let her sleep all alone
    Leave her keys on the counter, your number by the phone
    Pick up her life she threw on the floor
    Leave the hall lights on walk out and lock the door
    That's how she knows the difference between a boy and man
    Take a drunk girl home
  • Taylor Swift's "Fifteen" uses mostly second-person narration despite clearly being an autobiographical song.
  • "High on Your Own Supply" by Apollo 440:
    Been building glass houses
    When it's raining stones
    There's crap on your doorstep
    Now you're all on your own
    You gave it no quarter
    Now you're treading water
    Bartender rang time, it's too late for last orders
  • Iron Maiden's "Killers" starts with a Second-Person Attack, before going into the killer's point of view.
  • Everclear's "Like a California King" is a song in second person written by Art Alexakis to himself as a reminder that he needs to never be "that guy".
  • The song "Mineshaft 2" by rapper/singer Dessa.
    He knows how bad he acted, knows he can't have you back
    But the fact is he can't be happy when you're angry
    And you're so angry...He says you stayed so mad
    And he heard it on the street that you moved back in with your dad
    You were drinking something awful and that makes him sad
    Then he says it's good to hear your voice again
    And that it's hard to ask it, but he's calling with a question...
    • The chorus and first two verses are entirely in second person, with only the last verse switching to first person in a way that makes it clear the song is about Dessa herself.
  • "Once in a Lifetime" by Talking Heads. "You may find yourself... living in a shotgun shack..."
  • "One of Those Nights" by Tim McGraw:
    She slides in and you rode down Main Street
    You turn right when that red light turns green
    Sun sets now, you're half way to heaven
    She picks a song, you turn it up to eleven
    You say "do you wanna?" and she says "hell yeah"
    So you hit the party, all your buddies are jealous
    Someday you'll be looking back on your life
    At the memories, this is gonna be one of those nights
  • Shia LaBeouf by Rob Cantor:
    You're walking in the woods. There's no one around and your phone is dead. Out of the corner of your eye, you spot him...
  • Pink Floyd's "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" the "you" referring to Syd Barrett.
    • From the same album ("Wish You Were Here"), "you" in "Welcome to the Machine" refers to a young musician, who is being addressed by a seedy record company executive.
  • Ricardo Arjona's "Si usted la viera(el confesor)" recounts to you a conversation between the narrator and a priest during confession, the whole discussion is about you ("you" being a woman of doubtful reputation).
  • "Sometime Around Midnight" by The Airborne Toxic Event, which could be described as a poem or very short story set to music:
    And it starts sometime around midnight
    Or at least that's when you lose yourself for a minute or two
    As you stand under the bar lights
    And the band plays some song about forgetting yourself for a while
    And the piano's this melancholy soundcheck to her smile
    And that white dress she's wearing, you haven't seen her for a while...
  • Leonard Cohen's "The Stranger Song".
  • "Sultans of Swing" by Dire Straits. "You get a shiver in the dark/it's raining in the park but meantime/south of the river you stop and you hold everything"
  • Many of the songs on Swans' first few albums (Filth through Holy Money) were intentionally written to resemble political slogans, resulting in a good number of them being entirely in the second person. Cop in particular is filled with abstract mini-narratives and decidedly creepy character studies, all framed solely with the word "you."
    • Swans frontman Michael Gira's other major project, Angels of Light, has a few of these, most notable being the song that gave the band their name: The seven-minute "Angels of Light", which seems to describe an out-of-body experience.
  • "Tertinggalkan Waktu" by Peterpan completely lacks an "I" in its lyrics and instead narrates about a "you" ("kau") who have wasted their time.

  • The narration sequences of It Could Happen Here are like this, discussing how your character manages to get by during the war.
  • Central gimmick of the Pseudopod episode "It's Easy to Make a Sandwich." It alternates between deep immersion and a narratorish, hectoring tone reminiscent of radio's The Whistler:
    "You make minimum wage and you smell like tuna all the time."
  • Twilight Histories is told using this style of narration.
  • Several narrator sequences and in one case an entire episode ("A Story About You") of Welcome to Night Vale.
  • The narration of Within the Wires Season 1's Relaxation Cassettes addresses the Institute's patient as "you" and feigns impartiality as a purely instructional, pseudo-omniscient figure in those exercises that mimic a typical guided meditation, but as her instructions deviate to become peculiarly specific, she eventually drops the façade to refer to herself as "I" at the end of the first cassette, and addresses the patient with increasing directness in subsequent installments.

  • Used in the World War II radio series The Man Behind the Gun.
  • Dragnet uses this in the opening narration: "You're a Detective Sergeant working out of Robbery Division..."
  • Yandere Heaven puts the (presumedly) female listener in various roles trapped between two Yandere love interests.
  • "Beebop-a-Reebop Rhubarb Pie" sketches on A Prairie Home Companion are always narrated in second person by Keillor. It makes sense because the sketches always lead up to the in-universe radio ad for Beebop-a-Reebop ("Nothing gets the taste of shame and humiliation out of your mouth like a piece of rhubarb pie!")


    Video Games 
  • The chapter-opening narration in Baldur's Gate uses this, as do the dreams- not surprising, given the provenance of the game.
  • The epilogue to Bioshock 1 is like this.
  • The mission briefings in Command & Conquer are always presented as being spoken directly to the player by a variety of characters, such as a GDI Commanding Officer or the Big Bad Kane.
  • The narration of Disco Elysium refers to the main character — a hard-boiled detective with amnesia — as if he's you. Not only that, but the various systems of this character's brain also speak to you as if you're that character. The detective does have an identity that you can find through the story, but you can choose to accept this identity, reject it, or carve your own.
  • Doom: The narrations at the end of each episode are in second person.
  • Duncan from Dragon Age: Origins provides some opening narration and at the end of the game in this style.
  • In Dragon Cave, a lot of text is written in second-person, since you're the adventurous human who's taking care of dragons and exploring the wild. Evidently, you're not a blank slate because some of the flavor text describes how you feel about some eggs and some of your actions around hatchlings.
  • Etrian Odyssey: All mainline games in the series employ this type of narration, since the characters you play as are part of a guild you've built from scratch, including customization in name and class. The Story Mode of the first two games' respective remakes use the monologues or dialogues from the pre-built character guild, however.
  • The Fallout series has this in spades during Ron Perlman's opening and ending narrations.
  • Kingdom of Loathing, although it takes itself less than seriously. West of Loathing and Shadows Over Loathing are narrated in the same way.
  • The Last Sovereign: For much of the prologue, the game uses this along with present tense narration. This is despite Kai, the protagonist, being a total idiot and asshole. Once Kai dies and the perspective switches to Simon, the true protagonist, the narration also switches to third-person past tense. This was done stylistically to mimic the style of other lower quality H-games.
  • In The Legend of Zelda games, with a few exceptions that can be written off as typos, the narration always refers to Link as "you", e.g. "You found ten rupees!". The instruction manuals for A Link to the Past and Link's Awakening are written entirely in second person.
  • Monster Prom: The game's Lemony Narrator refers to the current player character as "you" at all times.
  • You might have played roguelike games of yonder, in which case, you notice the ubiquity of this style of narration. Upon reading this entry, you might recall the days you played NetHack:
    You fall into a pit! You land on a set of sharp iron spikes! —More—
    The spikes were poisoned! The poison was deadly... —More—
    Do you want your possessions identified?"
  • Omikron Nomad Soul is not about your character - it's about you. The player's soul is supposed to inhabit the bodies of the game characters.
  • Planescape: Torment, much of which is dialogue and narration, tells the story this way. Like Baldur's Gate above, it's a Dungeons & Dragons game.
  • Roadwarden is told in second-person, allowing the main character to embody the person they play as and to slowly define their backstory as they journey across the peninsula.
  • RuneScape delivers a significant amount of its narrative through text messages in the chatbox that appears when you do a certain action, is affected by something, or when you examine something. A small amount of this text is first-person, but most of it is in second person. One classic example is the "You have been frozen!" message when you are hit by Ice Barrage spell, as demonstrated by Prezleek Comics here.
  • The game Shadowgate is told entirely in this form.
  • The entire Shin Megami Tensei franchise, wherein the main protagonist is the quintessential Blank Slate (and a Heroic Mime and Hello, [Insert Name Here], at that). You do get quoted dialogue options, but one chilling case involves the narration describing your Evil Laugh instead.
  • Undertale uses this for the normal narration. The narrator will even sass you if you do certain things. The narration will switch to first person in the No Mercy route, something that has caused a lot of argument and speculation.
  • Warlords: Heroes uses this for its entire storyline, placing you in the minds of the characters themselves.

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Alternative Title(s): Second Person