The Cutting the Knot version of Twist Endings. When this trope happens, it calls into question exactly how much of what you've seen was actually real or how to interpret what you have seen so far. A charitable creator (or one who wants to show off how clever the script is) might give you a Once More, with Clarity! montage to help you work it out. One thing that is for certain, it creates a very different experience when you revisit the story.
There are various associated tropes used in achieving this:
- Unreliable Narrator, when what we see is a deception on their part, possibly exaggerated due to "Rashomon"-Style.
- All Just a Dream (including Dying Dream), and by extension also Or Was It a Dream?.
- Through the Eyes of Madness, a Mind Screw with similar effects (we can't be sure how much of what we're seeing is true) but accomplished in a different way.
- Many tropes in the Gambit Index, where the true plan is revealed after it has already been accomplished. May be connected to a Kansas City Shuffle by one of the characters.
- Some specific tropes like Dead All Along or Tomato Surprise.
See also Commercial Switcheroo, where an advertisement presents itself as being for one product, then the ending subverts it and makes it an ad for something else. For when the very end of a work changes everything, see All There in the Stinger.
An associated term is "Paraprosdokian", where the ending of sentence or phrase changes causes the listener to reframe the meaning of the previous statement(s). The Other Wiki has more details and examples
Note: This is a Spoilered Rotten trope, that means that EVERY SINGLE EXAMPLE on this list is a spoiler by default and most of them will be unmarked. This is your last warning, only proceed if you really believe you can handle this list.
- Anime & Manga
- Films — Live-Action
- Live-Action TV
- Video Games
- Visual Novels
- Western Animation
- A nervous man goes to a corner grocery and fumblingly grabs several boxes of cereal as he glances around. When he gets to the front counter, he gives them to the lady, who glances at the boxes, one of which is a box of Trix cereal, and, laughing to herself, says, "Trix? Trix are for kids!" while a scare chord plays. The man leaves his money on the counter and takes off while she's ringing him up. Getting home, he throws away the boxes of Wheaties and Cheerios, going over to his table and pouring the cereal into a bowl before unzipping his head, revealing he's the Trix Rabbit. He grabs a quart of milk, pours it onto the cereal... only for the container to be empty. "Got Milk?"
- "I AM BORED" Really cute the first time...the second time, not so much. This PSA shows a young high school student trying to build up the courage to talk to a girl he's crushing on. We see him leave her a cute note, her friends whisper to her about him, and a generally sweet love story which ends with the boy finally approaching her in the school gym...and that's when the doors open and a student with a gun comes in, ready to open fire. Watching the PSA a second time reveals that the young man was in the background of all of the previous shots, with clues indicating that he was miserable: he's bullied in the hallway and, as a teacher passes by, he mimes "shooting" her with a finger gun. The idea is that people often miss "warning signs" of dangerous behavior, and given that many viewers were surprised by the ending, it certainly proved its point.
- All-New Ultimates: O'Reilly's group had orders to avoid the gangs, despite being a unit specifically made for fighting gangs. You could easily think that Police Are Useless, and that it was just an excuse to send the Ultimates to the action. Things are more complicated than that. Ecstasy has several cops under her influence, including O'Reilly's commanding officer, and she works for Hydra. SHIELD was working on it, but then the Galactus event and the break of SHIELD left the case hanging.
- The main character in Cinema Purgatorio is in Hell/Purgatory - that much is obvious. She reveals she killed "Geraldine" for stealing "Richard" away from her. The last issue reveals that Geraldine is her daughter, whom she blamed for driving her husband away.
- The final issue of Ex Machina shows Hundred is a ruthless man who did indeed fix the mayoral election. Thus, the entire series shows a man who was not a noble figure but rather manipulative and conniving for power.
- Old Man Quill is a spin-off series of Old Man Logan, starring Peter Quill of the Guardians of the Galaxy. In this Bad Future, Quill must retrieve the Ultimate Nullifier to stop the Universal Church of Truth, but keeps whining about the loss of Spartax, until the other Guardians take him out of his stupor and force him to go to Earth to find it. Many issues afterwards, they face the Imperial Guard, who tell him that he can't expect to defeat them all alone. He turns to his fellow Guardians, but they are not there. Instead, he remembers a video of them asking for help, and then dying. Mind tricks? Reality warping? No. If the older comics are read again, it can be noticed that Quill is the only character who ever talks to or interacts with anyone else (barring interactions between the Guardians themselves), and other characters reporting the events only talk about him and not about a band of aliens.
- The final volume of Scott Pilgrim forces the reader to question the validity of the story the previous five told. Gideon Graves revealed to Scott that he has tampered with his memories as Scott's real ones were "boring" and the result is that it forces the reader to re-examine Scott as a character. The earlier volumes have him generally come off as an eccentric, pathetic hipster geek, but this image starts to crack and we get a better idea of why Scott's friends dislike him so much. It all builds up to the aforementioned final volume, where we see the innocent way Scott views himself is partially the result of Gideon tampering with his memories; it turns out, in reality, he was a major Jerkass to his friends and past girlfriends, and his breakup with Envy was apparently nowhere near as one-sided as it was made out to be. A recurring theme is Scott learning from his past mistakes instead of (literally) running away from them.
- The very first issue of Thunderbolts had readers shown what appeared to be a team of noble heroes making their big debut. On the final page, they were revealed to be the Masters of Evil in disguise, thus transforming the entire thrust of the comic.
- Being To Timelessness: The epilogue of To Make Much of Time reveals that the Master staged the entire Battle of Canary Wharf in an effort to get Rose out of the way, as he knew the Doctor would be stronger with her around.
- Best Served Cold ends with Matthew detailing how he murdered Lilly for doxxing him, then tricked and killed Richy as well.
- The Dexter fic Break Me Every Time is basically an alternate version of the show's last few episodes, which includes the revelation that Dexter and Debra's father Harry was killed by Doctor Vogel rather than committing suicide. This immediately throws the Morgans' views of their relationships with Harry into new focus, as it helps them realise that Harry did love them, rather than dismissing Dexter as a monster and deciding that Debra wasn't enough.
- Citadel of the Heart has quietly referred to Digimon Re: Tamers as taking place in the same Shared Universe as its fellow fics Reflection Code and Sword Art Online: Special Edition, specifically taking place almost a whole 20 years prior. A major plot hole existed for quite some time which seemed like it wasn't treated as such; Grandis was still in containment at the same facility Mirror M currently still is up until Reflection Code and especially during the entirety of Digimon Re: Tamers, and yet somehow Grandis is taking part in the events of the latter fic, but at the same time acting much differently from himself as seen in Sword Art Online: Special Edition. Then Chapter 16 of Digimon Re: Tamers reveals that the alleged plothole was completely intentional because there are in fact more than one Grandis; Grandis in Digimon Re: Tamers is subsequently Killed Off for Real in Chapter 16, which flat out confirms that the Grandis who would go on to appear in Reflection Code and Sword Art Online: Special Edition is not in fact the same Grandis who appears in Digimon Re: Tamers. Not only does this explain the drastically different characterization between the two versions of the character, but Grandis' Rage Against the Heavens rant in Sword Art Online: Special Edition takes on a whole new layer of meaning now that we know he's also referring to his alternate, deceased self from Digimon Re: Tamers and not just Ultima and Dragora Galaxia like what was initially assumed.
- Despair Island appears to be an Immoral Reality Show that's fully supported by the Canadian government. Then the final chapters reveal that the whole thing is actually an illegal, underground enterprise, with the show being recorded for distribution on the black market rather than broadcast.
- Mercy mostly seems to be Circe's latest sadistic attack on Wonder Woman, using a Black Mercy to trap Diana in an illusionary world where she’s married to Bruce Wayne in a reality where his parents never died. However, at the end of the fic, after Diana has been released from the Mercy's influence, she and Bruce realise that the 'illusion' contained too many details about Thomas and Martha that Diana couldn't have known for it to 'just' be a product of her mind, such as Thomas always beating Bruce at chess or Martha's favourite perfume, with Bruce reflecting that his parents even sound the same when he's projected into the illusion by J'onn. As Bruce and Diana come together over the Waynes' graves, an epilogue reveals that Persephone worked with the Waynes' spirits to send them into the illusion and give them a chance to meet Diana and encourage Bruce to open himself up emotionally.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfics use this trope on occasion:
- The Many Secret Origins of Scootaloo has Twilight Sparkle trying to find out who Scootaloo really is, but everyone she asks has their own wild take (such as being a secret agent, a vampire hunter, several variations of time traveler, the last survivor of planet Colton, and the Mysterious Mare Do Well) until she gets the truth straight from the filly's mouth when Scootaloo herself shows up. ...until the Stinger, when it turns out that Twilight is just a foal having a bad dream, and Scootaloo is her beloved stuffed doll. Also, Discord and Nightmare moon are her parents.
- Ruin Value features Celestia scavenging through the ruins of a city After the End. The ending reveals that the city in question was Seattle, Washington, and that the whole story was a Stealth Prequel to the entire series, set in Humanity's Wake, and that Luna, Celestia, and Discord are all products of human genetic engineering.
- Trust has Trixie brought before Celestia and chewed out for her antics in attempting to impress everyone with her prowess, resulting in everyone relying on her. Celestia explains how it can trap you in a cage, and when you let ponies down, it can have horrific consequences once they have begun depending on you. She loses her temper with Trixie, despite the unicorn's cowering, and eventually banishes her from her sight, before summoning Shining Armor to ask him if he has begun training others in his shield spell, only to find he has been slacking off because he trusts that Celestia will keep everyone safe. She reiterates the need for him to train another in his magic before she heads outside for the daily sun lowering ceremony.
She took a deep breath, screwed up her face in a look of intense concentration, and once again pretended to lower the sun.
- The Weedverse: The Entirely Optional Ending of A Knight To Remember reveals that the whole plot was concocted by Luna and Dim to try and force Nuance to overcome his Control Freak tendencies.
- The Writing on the Wall: When the eponymous writing is deciphered at the end of the story, it is revealed that the Ancient Tomb that Adventurer Archaeologist Daring Do had been exploring wasn't a tomb at all, but a nuclear waste storage facility built by humans. Daring Do and the sick workers weren't suffering from any sort of pathogenic disease, but from radiation sickness. This turns the story into a Horror story in the realistic aftermath.
This is not a place of honor. No great deed is commemorated here. Nothing of value is here.
- Wonderful is about a day Ditzy Doo will have. It'll be a pretty nice day, on balance, even if there are things that seem odd about it. And then one word hits you in the feelings with the help of all those helping verbs.
- Of a similar disposition starts as a heartwarming recorded memoir by Falsworth to be kept confined to the highest levels of SHIELD's security, in which he discusses his experiences as part of a version of the Howling Commandoes where everyone is gay and Steve and Bucky were a couple. Then comes the Wham Line: the interviewer is Alexander Pierce, and he's going to use this information in 'managing [his] current operations'...
- The fanfic The Oldest Trick in the Book is essentially an 'post-credits scene' for Mission: Impossible which sees Ethan Hunt being visited by Cinnamon Carter at the funerals for Jim and Claire Phelps, where Carter reveals to Ethan that 'Jim Phelps' in the film was not the same person as the one from the original series. In reality, the 'original' Jim had a serious stroke in 1989 that made it too dangerous for him to continue acting as an agent even as a safely-removed observer, and so the Phelps of the film was officially given his name so that the IMF could continue to use Jim’s reputation, exploiting the fact that most of the people who knew the original Phelps were either retired or dead. Not only does this redeem the memory of the original Jim Phelps, but it also makes the fate of the Phelps in the film even harsher, as he lived his life and even died under the name of another man.
- Peeking Through the Fourth Wall: "Hide and Seek" appears to be a lighthearted story about the Loud siblings playing together, only to take a sharp turn with the reveal that Lincoln was hallucinating his sisters the whole time.
- The Victorious fanfic Power Play centers around Jade West searching for her friend Sally Easterbrook, who mysteriously disappeared one day, and tracking her down to the Diamond Club, a BDSM club. She spends the whole story infiltrating it, pretending to be a sub, to discover what happened to Sally, and tells Tori of her memories with Sally. Chapter 55, aptly titled Sally Gone Home, finally reveals where she is and what happened to her- she is nowhere, because she never existed except in the mind of Jade herself. Jade used the name as an alias during her first visit to the Diamond Club, then went nuts and got injected with a drug that made her forget and dream of a girl called Sally.
- From Rest by janwithawhy, we have what appears to a genuinely sweet story of sisterly interactions between Satsuki and Ryuuko as they cuddle and tussle in bed, however, it's not, as the ending implies that Ryuuko was Dead All Along, leaving behind her ghost and a memory.
- Another fic, titled One Day by janwithawhy is done the same way. At first it seems like Mako is spending the day and reminiscing with Ryuuko but then it's revealed that Ryuuko had passed away some years prior.
- The Star Trek: New Voyages episode "To Serve All My Days", which involves Chekov undergoing Rapid Aging to the point where he may have died, has a final scene at the end of the closing credits that may suggest that most of the episode was All Just a Dream.
- The Girl Meets World story Ten First Meetings is ten scenes of Riley and Maya meeting each other for the first time in various standard AUs (coffee shop, hospital, etc.). The final scene reveals that it's been the same Riley and Maya every time, engaged in a series of roleplays where they're pretending not to know each other in order to act out their own Meet Cutes.
- The Professor Layton fic Tower of Hanoi becomes a very different story once you reach the end. The story follows Layton, Luke, and Flora through an unusual day, with a strange character observing them, but it's not until the end that it's revealed who this person is and why he's done the odd things he's done...which save their lives.
- Two Letters is set in a world where Marinette gave up being Ladybug, with Bunnyx attempting to force her out of retirement. Then the ending reveals that Marinette was so broken by how she was treated that she became her own antithesis, and deliberately engineered the whole plot to draw Bunnyx out of hiding and get her out of the way.
- The climax of Witness sets the stage for the rest of the Good Neighbors AU by revealing, in essence, that this is a world where Midoriya Izuku and his team helps provide Leverage to those who need it most.
- The Buzz Lightyear of Star Command pilot movie begins with Buzz's partner Warp Darkmatter being killed in action, causing Buzz to suffer a severe case of Survivor Guilt. Near the end, it is revealed that Agent Z was Warp in disguise, he had faked his death on purpose, and had always been evil and working for Zurg. This reveal turns Buzz's Survivor Guilt and refusal to take a new partner into major Dramatic Irony. It also explains a lot of Warp's behavior in the beginning of the movie, how Zurg found out about the Uni-mind even though the prisoners he was torturing about it didn't talk, and why Agent Z was so good at fighting Buzz.
- The world of The LEGO Movie is revealed to be a playset controlled by live-action humans.
- Pooh's Grand Adventure ends with the revelation that not only did the Skullasaurus not exist, but much of the movie was actually Through the Eyes of Madness, not a trope you would associate with Winnie the Pooh. After Christopher Robin finds them, they panic when they hear the unearthly sound of the Skullasaurus which had been stalking them throughout the movie. Christopher Robin just laughs and reveals that the only thing that makes a sound like that is Pooh's stomach. After they exit the skull shaped cavern, they notice that the cave looks entirely different than it did when they entered it. Christopher Robin explains that things can seem bigger and scarier when you're alone, or afraid, or someone's hurt. In the following song, we get to see what several of the scary locations they had been through really look like. There is also the revelation that Christopher Robin had just gone to school for viewers who are not literate enough know what S C H O O L actually spells.
- Winnie the Pooh (2011) inverts Grand Adventure, as The Stinger after the credits reveals that the Backson DOES exist... and he's actually a perfectly nice guy.
- The music video to Alt-J's "Breezeblocks" is done in a Back to Front format. It seems to be about a Villain Protagonist who murdered a woman. As it goes on though it turns out he killed her in self-defense. She tied up his wife and attempted to kill him.
- "The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane" by the Ames Brothers makes it sound as if a lady of ill repute has moved into a previously calm neighborhood. Everybody is talking about her. She makes a lot of noise and will let just anybody pick her up. But the things they're trying to pin on her won't hold much water. She only needs someone to change her, and then she'll be as nice as can be. The last line reveals that the lady in question is in fact a nine-day-old baby. Now read those words again, and they take on an entirely different meaning.
- After listing all of his attributes, The Bonzo Dog Band's eponymous "I'm The Urban Spaceman" announces at the end of the song that he doesn't exist.
- A well-known example is Brotherhood of Man's "Save All Your Kisses For Me", the winner of the 1976 Eurovision Song Contest. It sounds like it's addressed to a loving housewife, but the final line - "Won't you save them for me, even though you're only three?" - reveals it's actually addressed to the singer's young child.
- Gilbert O'Sullivan's "Claire" uses exactly the same twist. Some years after the song's release, Alexei Sayle snarkily joked, "does he still wanna shag his three-year-old niece?"
- christocakes' version of "The Day They Hanged Black Robin" (a song mentioned in A Song of Ice and Fire) seems to be just a sad song about an outlaw receiving justice for his crimes. Until the very last verse:
I'll never mourn Black Robin
He killed my girl of four
The day they hanged Black Robin
My son came home no more
- Common's "I Used to Love H.E.R." tells the story of a girl going through different phases in her life, and Common's relationship with her over time. The last line of the final verse reveals that the "girl" he's talking about is actually hip hop. The entire song is an extended metaphor for the decline of conscious rap and the commercial rise of gangsta rap in the early-to-mid 90s.
- "Harper Valley P.T.A." is about a small town widow calling out the other women of her town on their hypocrisy: Sending her an anonymous letter complaining about her "inappropriate" dress and behavior (given that she had a teenage daughter to be an example for), while many of them had habits just as bad or worse. The last line of the song ("The day my Mama socked it to the Harper Valley P.T.A.") reveals that the narrator was the aforementioned daughter; flipping the song from "relating the events of a minor scandal" to "Daughter bragging about her mom's Moment of Awesome." Now that last line is so well known (arguably the best known line of the song), many don't even realize it was a twist.
- The song Královna z Dundrum Bay ("Queen of Dundrum Bay", Czech version of Star of the County Down) has the audience believe that it is about a man who has fallen in love with the farmer's daughter, who then tragically fell ill and died. Near the end of the song it's revealed that "the Queen" was a mare rather than a woman.
- Lady Gaga's "911" video shows a strange white world where she dons Unlimited Wardrobe while interacting with several bizarrely-dressed people, some of them doing strange things (such as a guy who constantly bangs his head onto a pillow on the ground and a white-dressed lady holding a mirror); in other words, a Surreal Music Video, something she is well-known for. But then the ending shows an accident scene in reality with Gaga, addressed as Stefani, being one of the injured, and suddenly it transpires that the white world is Adventures in Comaland symbolic of everything that is happening in reality (e.g., the man banging his head is an accident victim whose head currently rests on his car's airbag, and the lady with the mirror is a paramedic flashing light to Stefani to check her consciousness).
- Napoleon XIV's "They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!" seems to be about a guy spiraling into madness because his girlfriend left him, but the last line reveals it's actually about his dog running away.
...Well, you just wait, they'll find you yet, and when they do, they'll put you in the ASPCA, you mangy mutt!
- In the music video to The Pierce's "Secret" a woman killed her friend for telling her secret. The video has her dressing up the body, and possibility trying to make it look like she wasn't murdered, however in the final seconds it turns out her 'dead' friend was pretending. She goes up behind the singer and strangles her.
- The video for "Smack My Bitch Up" by The Prodigy, filmed in an Unbroken First-Person Perspective as the unnamed protagonist enjoys a night of drunken, violent, drug-fueled debauchery in the city, ends with a shot of a mirror revealing that it was a woman doing all of this the whole time.
- The music video for "Molly" by Rites of Ash seems to be telling the story of a guy who goes to a strip club, starts fixating on one of the strippers, follows her when she leaves and abducts her, though she manages to break free and flee through a forest. Until the ending, when the video shows the guy being chased and the stripper standing over him with a knife in her hand. We then get a flashback that shows us that everyone who works at the club is working together to abduct chosen victims from the people who go there, and the video ends with the real victim, either dead or unconscious, being dragged off.
- Sia's "Butterflies" seems like a cute Silly Love Song, but the final line comes off as surprising and affects the songs meaning: "'Cause we came from the same cocoon".
- Tally Hall: "All of My Friends" starts by detailing the protagonist's life, and how he feels way too pressured to be confident and upstanding despite how often he loses hope. However, he feels better because "all of his friends" reassure him that it's all in his head, and that he can count on them. Towards the end of the song comes the Wham Line from his "friends": "we might assist, if we'd really exist". It turns out they were actually imaginary, not his problems, and they've now left him behind ("there's no room left for you"). Although he says "everything will be fine", the song ends on a frustrated piano smash.
- Tom Petty's "Into The Great Wide Open" has an optimistic tone and lyrics about an up and coming musician who learns guitar from a friend and starts getting into the big social scene and spending a lot of money. The future is limitless, nothing in his way... and then his producer flatly tells him his music isn't good enough. Know what else wasn't in his way? A safety net to catch him on the way down and now he has no idea where to go from here.
- "Weird Al" Yankovic uses this in the song "Since You've Been Gone." The song humorously describes how miserable he has been since somebody left him (presumably a lover) using a lot of over-the-top similes to illustrate the pain he is. But the final line of the song is "I feel almost as bad as I did, when you were still here!"
- "The Troublemaker" is a song written by Bruce Belland and Dave Somerville and recorded by Willie Nelson about a long-haired unemployed troublemaker who refuses to join the army, instead wandering the country with his motley group of friends, stirring up the young people and turning them against the establishment. By the end he's arrested by the authorities and sentenced to death...by crucifixion.
- Big Finish Doctor Who: The end of The Natural History of Fear has the Censor tell the Doctor that the Doctor, Charley and C'rizz only stayed in Light City for one day and the Doctor gave his memories in exchange for them being set free. The character who thinks himself the Doctor has only been given the Doctor's memories to cause a social revolution.
- The majority of Ebenezer shows how Jacob Marley was a toxic influence in Ebenezer Scrooge's life, and how that plus the various crimes he committed changed him into a cold-hearted, selfish man—Marley impregnated and murdered his sister, taught him to only love money, convinced him his fiancee Emily was cheating on him, and foreclosed her orphanage on Christmas Eve, killing her and everyone else. The reveal that Scrooge knew what he was doing all along and didn't care, feeling there was no goodness in the world, changes the content of the entire play and Scrooge's entire character.
- The opera The Golden Cockerel has a Downer Ending followed by an epilogue which suggests that only a couple of the characters were real.
- During the Finale of Pippin, the Lead Player encourages the audience to take Pippin's place and says "Why, we're right inside your heads," implying that the players are Pippin's mental constructs, the personifications of his self-destructiveness. Even before that, the previously "helpful" players, including those that played Pippin's father and grandmother, encourage Pippin to find fulfillment in suicide.
- Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures has a mild version of this in Matilda's prequel story. Matilda as an Unreliable Voiceover tells the story of how she was banished from her tribe for killing her abusive brother, but the comic shows that her brother wasn't abusive at all; his death was actually suicide, but she was so angry with him for committing suicide that she lied to her tribe that she killed him for being weak. It seems at first that she is either lying or misremembering because she still hates her brother for killing himself, but the ending reveals that the voiceover is actually her telling her story on a talk show where she was pressured into changing her story to make herself sound better, which she now deeply regrets doing because it made everyone unsympathetic to her tribe and she now understands that her brother suffered from depression.
- The final strip of It's All Been Done reveals that the main character's Living Toys weren't actually alive, his talking tiger kitten was a regular housecat, and his best friend was actually his late wife. After she died, he had retreated into a dream world.
- Never Mind the Gap goes out with Mary, one of the central characters and half of the Official Couple, being revealed in the penultimate strip to be a Ridiculously Human Robot. This changes the context of much of her interactions with other characters, many of whom are also sentient A.I.s (but not as completely human-looking as Mary).
- Countless Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal comics have a final frame or text under the comic that provides completely new context.
- Alphabet, for a majority of the runtime, is about F terrorizing the other 25 letters of the alphabet, their futile efforts to stop him, and N in particular trying to overcome his cowardice. Then the two-part finale (nZ...) comes out and reveals why F went as far as it did—what looks like random, senseless violence turns out to be a very hurt and grudge-holding F lashing out at all the people he perceives as either bullies or Accomplices by Inaction. He hurts the alphabet because in his youth he was bullied by L and O, made to spell the forbidden word "frick", and got pummeled mercilessly by some of the other alphabet members for it.
- In season two of Carmilla the Series, our heroes seem to run into trouble at every turn, even now that the Big Bad the Dean is ostensibly out of the way. Then one of the heroes has the camera to herself in the season finale...and the Dean gloatingly reveals that she possessed Perry all the way back at the end of season one, and has been running the show this whole time.
- Not Always Right:
- The Not Always Legal section includes this story, which chronicles a tale from the submitter's childhood, where a bully steals things from other neighborhood kids. The submitter gives him a minor injury in the process of preventing the bully from stealing her bike, and the bully's mother calls the police on her for it, at which point the submitter's dad gives them security footage of the bully's misdeeds. The submitter ends the story by saying that they later found out that his mother had been forcing him to steal to fund her drug addiction. The submitter admits that as a kid, they were just mad that the bully was sent to live with his aunt instead of being punished, but looking back on the situation they hoped that he was able to reform when removed from his abusive home.
- The Not Always Working section has a couple:
- This story has a manager start disciplining an employee in front of the company director for not delivering their reports on time. When the employee reveals three months' worth of reports stacked up on the manager's messy desk, the director turns the meeting around and disciplines the manager for ignoring them. In the last paragraph, the manager quits, whereupon the employee is offered his job...and discovers the manager was actually having a breakdown from overwork-induced stress for which the director was abusing him.
- This story in a recording studio focuses on the studio manager having locked the submitter and their friends into the studio at night, despite having been told to not start locking up because they were still there. The studio owner and his wife aren't very happy about the locked-in people and the resulting fire brigade appearance, including being reprimanded by them. They also aren't happy that this has resulted in them not being able to take a flight they had planned for that day. The last line reveals that the flight in question was Pan Am 103, which crashed after a bomb on board exploded.
- One memetic post has a man complaining at length about his coworkers: the stoner and his huge dog, the ditz, the Butch Lesbian...and the final line reveals they solve mysteries.
- There is a greentext story about a Game Master who pulled an epic Batman Gambit on his players in order to prove that he could. He told his players one day that he knew them well enough to predict what they would do but they didn't believe him. So he started a game of Dungeons & Dragons that started to get very strange. The players figure out that the D&D world is actually illusion. The GM then starts a game of d20 Modern with the same players where they have to figure out a way to save humanity from an apocalyptic scenario and has the players alternate between the two games each week. The players find out that the D&D world was actually built by humans and at the conclusion of the last session the GM tells them that they begin to regain memories but doesn't tell them what the memories are. In the D20 Modern game, the players decide to save humanity by Brain Uploading them into a virtual reality. When they come to the decision of how to design the virtual world one player says "Let's make it a game, like D&D." And then the realization hits them.