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The Reveal

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"And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for you meddling kids and that Batman!"
The pivot in many plotlines is the Reveal. A character is revealed as another character's father, a god, or secret suitor or arch nemesis in disguise. More broadly, the audience is given new information which had been withheld to create suspense. The Reveal changes the nature of the plot, often pushing it from suspense towards action. A good reveal will also create a new set of questions and further suspense. On some occasions, The Reveal Prompts Romance.

A key moment in most Gambit Pileup plots, when the heroes or the audience discover how the villains have been manipulating everyone. Can also be used to make a cliffhanger more dramatic. Myth Arc and Mind Screw series love springing these; Jigsaw Puzzle Plots pretty much require them. Eventually necessary for a Mysterious Employer.

The Reveal is in fact a rather easily explained trope. A lot of mystery stories wouldn't work without either the criminal or the detective explaining how the crime was committed, and a lot of other plots would leave people with more questions than answers if they never bothered to explain the plot to other characters... and by extension, the viewers. It's easy to explain it off-screen, but doing so would confuse the viewer and make them think they missed something.


If you're set up for this but it's then subverted by not revealing it, it's The Un-Reveal. When made too obvious ahead of time, it's The Un-Twist or a Captain Obvious Reveal (depending on how it happens). If it comes out of nowhere and serves no purpose other than to be a twist, it's a Shocking Swerve and/or a case of The Dog Was the Mastermind. If the thing revealed is named in the title, then it's The Namesake. If a Driving Question is involved, this is where it's finally put to rest. If it happens in the first episode of a series, it's probably a First-Episode Twist. Can overlap with Remembered Too Late, Wham Episode and Wham Line.

Compare Internal Reveal when the audience was in the loop all along and only characters in-universe are taken by surprise.

Aristotle referred to it as anagnorisis (generally translated as "discovery" or "recognition") in his Poetics, making this one Older Than Feudalism.



Warning: Expect every example to be a spoiler for something. Since the title alone can be a spoiler, proceed at your own risk.


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    Fan Works 
  • Doing It Right This Time: When Asuka announced Rei was moving with them, Misato demanded knowing what was going on and why they were acting so out-of-character. The three Children figured out that she would find out sooner or later so that they told her they were time-travellers.
  • In Dungeon Keeper Ami, the Avatar is mentioned from time to time as a character that died long ago. That is until Marda, the mysterious female troll leader, puts on the Avatar mantle and returns to his original form as the Avatar himself.
  • In Kyon: Big Damn Hero, Kyon's aunt Rika Fuurude tells him about the events of Higurashi: When They Cry, hoping he'll reveal his story after that. Understanding that she'll believe him and keep his secret, Kyon tells his aunt afterwards about the SOS Brigade and the supernatural events he had lived though.
  • In the Back to the Future fanfic Homecoming, the reason Doc is acting so strangely is leftover guilt and angst from thinking Marty had been hit by a train because he gave the incorrect time to set. When he saw that Marty was all right, he "wanted to forget the whole thing."
  • In Hunting the Unicorn
    Blaine: I'm not a virgin.
    • And then in the thirteenth chapter, David tells a counselor that Blaine has a stalker.
    • In "The Cat," it turns out "Jerry" from the fourth chapter is Blaine's father-figure, Greg.
  • There are several huge ones in With Strings Attached:
    • The first comes when Jeft reveals to Shag and Varx that he, not the Dalns gods, was the force behind the Vasyn quest. He set the whole thing up just to see the four in action and ultimately to have them go up against his favorite gaming character, Jim Hunter.
    • The second comes when everyone learns there is no curse on Ketafa—even Jeft believed it—and the gods could see the continent all along, but told everyone there was a curse on it so they didn't have to spend money “godding” it. The actual effect of the Vasyn is to end the reign of the Dalns gods and turn the planet over to the Pyar gods. Whether this is a Good Thing will be explored in the sequel.
  • There is one enormous reveal at the very end of The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World: The C'hou that had been completely reshaped by the Pyar gods and is in danger of being conquered by the Black Tower... is actually a giant telepathic MMORPG. The consequences of this discovery will be dealt with in The Keys Stand Alone: The Hard World.
  • Calvin and Hobbes: The Series: Calvin's return after the previous season's cliffhanger that ended up killing Holographic Retro. Socrates faints!
  • Ace Combat: The Equestrian War: Chapter 16 (and, by extension, chapter 19) reveals that the entire conflict was orchestrated by Red Cyclone.
  • In The Owl House and Cthulhu Mythos crossover The Gods Awaken, Emperor Belos is revealed to have been created from a piece of Nyarlathotep that escaped being imprisoned in glass and burrowed itself into the ground for thousands of years before developing a more tangible form.
  • In Origins, a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands/Halo Massive Multiplayer Crossover, Jackie Jakobs is set up as a Rich Bitch sadistic self-absorbed young woman who has had everything handed to her on a plate. Then, it's revealed she grew up on the streets, earning keep in Mad Moxxi's bar by slinging drinks, only later finding out that she was really the heiress to a massive family fortune. To her, this is a huge improvement. Needless to say, such a backstory screwed her up, badly.
  • Pink Personal Hell And Altering Fate It becomes rather obvious later on that Nickel Steel is Dominic.
    This is not a place of honor. No great deed is commemorated here. Nothing of value is here.
  • Ruin Value is about Celestia scavenging through a ruined city for supplies After the End. The story implies that it is set in the future, well after the series ends, but it is actually a Stealth Prequel to the entire series, being set millenia before the start of the show, and the story is set in Humanity's Wake. The ruined city was Seattle, Washington.
  • The Pony POV Series has a few major ones in the Dark World Series. For starters Fluttercruel was born Discorded and remained such until Sparkler's memories (when she Body Surfed into her) undid it, explaining why, unlike the rest of the mane six, she's essentially not matured in the last thousand years. Another is that Discord has spent the last several hundred million years trapped in a "Groundhog Day" Loop, always ending with his and Fluttercruel's demise. And finally, the Nameless Passenger's identity: Nightmare Eclipse/Paradox, Twilight's potential future self and the true Big Bad who trapped Discord in his Ironic Hell as punishment for what he did, and has sense become even worse than he ever was.
  • In the Hunger Games fanfiction Some Semblance of Meaning, Lavinia Gilden is revealed to be from District Twelve. She stowed away to the Capitol after her older sister Violet died in the Hunger Games, and she eventually became an escort for her home district. This reveal actually comes even before the main characters are sent into the arena, but nonetheless, it may be the biggest Reveal of the story.
  • The pro wrestling story Taking It Back features a masked ninja wrestler who becomes Divas Champion and pulls off her mask to reveal she's really Lita.
  • The climax of Vinyl and Octavia Fight Ten Thousand Ninjas has the identities of the leaders of the ninja clan, who sent the ninjas to capture Vinyl and Octavia, revealed: Bass Drop and Octavius, their male counterparts from another dimension.
  • Mega Man Reawakened has the reveal that Wily rigged the explosion that killed Robert's father, and it was intended to kill Dr. Light.
  • Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race has quite a few.
    • Mr. Black's real name is Jonathan Barton.
    • Project G-2 is the Mad Grinder.
    • ProtoMan's weakness post episode 10 was partly due to Wily literally removing his positive traits.
    • Mr. Black's target is Dr. Wily.
    • Project G-2 is powered by Bassinium.
    • Episode 12 has the reveal of the Conduit's master plan, which involves a virus to destroy all robots' memory cores.
  • "The Hardest Part About Being a King" is an Alternate Universe fic set up to be just a simple Alternate Character Interpretation of King Candy. The first few chapters give him a Sympathetic P.O.V. behind him persecuting Vanellope, painting his actions as Necessarily Evil that he regrets having to do. Chapters one and two set up The Reveal as if it's going to be about King Candy's motivations for being so empathetic. Instead, there's an unexpected revelation about Vanellope as she crosses the finish line...
    Because, standing where Vanellope used to be, is a grey-skinned, yellow-toothed maniac in a white and red racing uniform.
  • Anthropology: Lyra spends much of the story trying to prove humanity's existance in Equestria. At the end of chapter 9, she learns two things that change the tone of the story. humanity went extinct and she herself is human. According to the author however, everything up to this point was the prologue.
  • In the Total Drama story, Legacy, Heather revealing her planned gesture of remembrance is the story's dramatic climax.
  • In Chapter 14 of Origin Story (entitled "RAGNAROK!"), Alexandra Harris discovers that she is not, in fact, Xander Harris somehow transformed into a woman and given Power Girl's powers. She is, in fact, a magically created copy of Power Girl who was somehow acquired all of Xander's memories. The realization causes a short Heroic BSoD.
  • The Next Frontier makes the reader wait until nearly half-way through the story bewfore they find out what it's a crossover with, and there's absolutely no foreshadowing whatsoever. Intentionally so; it was intended to be a Shocking Swerve, but in a good way. Oh, and the crossover? Firefly.
  • The Havoc Side of the Force has Harry Potter learn from Anakin that he wasn't accidentally sent into the distant future, but the very distant past. "A long long time ago" indeed.
  • In the Soulsborne (Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, Dark Souls II and Bloodborne) fanfic Hotspring Souls!, it turns out that there's a Humongous Mecha hidden under the inn and the ten vouchers the inn gave to the gang are actually the keys needed to pilot it! This marks the shift from Hot Springs Episode to GIANT ROBOT ANIME.
  • In The Familiar of Zero fanfic, The Steep Path Ahead, Chapter 30 reveals that the day Luise was kidnapped, Cattleya was assassinated at the same time and the very Church she loved hid who she was the entire time to break Karin's will and make her lose hope. She learns this as we do and promptly starts to cry.
  • In The Story to End All Stories, this occurs when the heroes discover who was behind the Nothing all along.
  • The Second Try:
    • In chapter 5, Shinji and Asuka reveal that before going back to the past, they had a child. And since she didn't follow them, she's gone now.
    • In the second-to-last chapter, Kaworu reveals that he was the one sent Shinji and Asuka back to the past, and then he hints that their daughter has been sent back too, and they'll meet her again very soon.
  • In Glass, chapter 19 reveals why Pegasus imprisoned everyone. It's "revenge" for Cecelia's death and Duelist Kingdom; since they kept her dead, he's keeping them there as payment.
  • This Bites!: Of the fact that Cross is from another world.
    • The first one, incorporating Luffy, Zoro, Nami, Usopp, Sanji, Chopper, Vivi, and Carue happens in Chapter 14.
      • Offscreen, the other Straw Hats inform Cobra, Igaram, and Lassoo, and they subsequently inform Chaka, Pell, Kohza, and the Supersonic Duck Squadron.
    • The second one, incorporating Boss, the TDWS, Conis, and Su happens in Chapter 38.
    • The third, incorporating Robin, Franky, Iceburg, Zambai and Paulie happens in Chapter 43.
  • In Neon Metathesis Evangelion, Rei eventually reveals to Shinji and Asuka that she is a clone and angelic in nature. She later also reveals the former to Misato.
  • The Return-Remixed has one early on when the seven masked women who attacked all the Divas during a match remove their ski masks, revealing the returning members of DEAR.
    • Later, there's another when John Cena knocks on the door of the Divas dressing room and says he has someone there they're going to want to see. They unlock the door and Cena enters with Edge, who goes on to have an important role in the story.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell:
    • Chapter 28 officially reveals, both in-universe and to the reader, that Page Turner is and always has been a Changeling/unicorn hybrid named Lamella.
    • Chapter 31 further reveals to the reader that Page isn’t just any Changeling - she’s the Changeling Queen and the eight-times-great-granddaughter of the late Queen Chrysalis.
    • Chapter 39 reveals, via the new Bearers figuring it out and the originals confirming it, that Balance is actually an alternate identity of another spirit, Harmony, who assumed a new form suited for an as-yet-unidentified mission.
    • Chapter 42, when Xvital puts on her Element, has her visit with the Magi of Stars... and learn that she's alive, but not well, being held captive by their enemy.
    • Chapter 43 reveals Xvital's past as having been engaged to the prince-king of the Cuanmiztl Kingdom until his mother found out about her being a thief and manipulated her into running away before the wedding.
    • Chapter 44 reveals their enemy's host: King Well Banded, the ruler of Equestria. And he knows they're there.
    • Chapter 45 - the Big Bad's true identity is finally given: It's the Nightmare, a Power whose Role and Purpose is to scare those who stray back onto the right path.
    • Continued in the sequel, Picking Up the Pieces: Chapter 3 officially confirms what was heavily implied before - when Page confesses her full origins to Matron Hush Tone and Wind Breaker, she states that not only is she the current Changeling Queen (something only her friends, including Tizoc, and fellow Changelings knew before), she's descended from Queen Chrysalis and Shining Armor, something her friends did not know yet. She gives the same information to the rest of their friends in chapter 10.
    • In chapter 39 of the original story, Fluttershy whispered something to Page. In chapter 10 of this story, Page shares what she said with the rest of the group: That the original Bearers know her ancestry, and don't blame her in the slightest for what Chrysalis did.
    • A minor reveal comes in chapter 15, namely the contents of the note Memorizing gave to Violet Lulamoon in chapter 2 - he was informing Violet that Page is a fan of the book on amulets that she wrote and they'd probably enjoy talking about it together at some point.
  • Guardians, Wizards, and Kung-Fu Fighters has had a few major examples:
  • During the course of The Stronger Evil, the world becomes affected by erratic storms and earthquakes due to the awakening of a mysterious entity that has Creepy Blue Eyes and intimidates Shendu. He reveals in the 15th chapter that the entity is his mother Tiamat, the goddess of primordial creation.
  • The 20th chapter (appropriately titled "Realisation") of Heart of Ashes, the second part of The Heart Trilogy, reveals the name and identity of the mysterious villain who has been around since the ending of Heart of Fire: Fankil, a demon and lieutenant of Morgoth. It's also revealed how Kathryn could be used in freeing Morgoth from the void. The 23rd chapter drops another bombshell on Fankil's reasons for wanting to release Morgoth: he's Morgoth's son.
  • Principal Celestia Hunts the Undead: Sunset discovers that Fluttershy is a were-manatee in chapter 17. The rest of her friends find out in chapter 30.
  • Loved and Lost: King Jewelius reveals to the disgraced and imprisoned heroes in the eleventh chapter that he set Queen Chrysalis to invade Equestria on his cousin Princess Cadance and Shining Armor's wedding day in order to get rid of Cadance and their aunt Princess Celestia, both of whom he has hated for their superior popularity. However, once he decided he'll gain more by making Twilight Sparkle his pawn, he betrayed the Changelings by helping Twilight stop them before tricking everypony into blaming all the other heroes for the invasion. During the week the disgraced heroes were in exile, he wiped out all the injured royal guards who hadn't sworn loyalty to him and manipulated Twilight into losing all trust towards her exiled loved ones as well as accepting his marriage proposal, having every intention to get rid of her if he happens to find a more powerful unicorn mare as the mother of his legacy.
  • The Ranma ½ fanfic Akane revolves around Akane waking up one day to discover that not only has she lost six months worth of her memories, she has been accused of killing Ranma. The penultimate chapter reveals that Akane IS Ranma - the real Akane was killed during a battle between Ranma and Ryoga, so Ranma took her body and threw it into Spring of Drowned Girl before jumping in after her, thus overwriting the original curse with one that caused him to take on HER form, then stole the Locking Ladle and got himself locked in that form - however, the incident was so traumatic that he developed amnesia and came to think of himself as Akane herself.
  • The Eye of the Storm: Clancy isn't Sadie's father. Her "father" is actually Kay, a Ruby, meaning Sadie is half Gem.

    Film — Animation 
  • Coco: Ernesto de la Cruz is not Miguel's great-great grandfather and only became a musician after poisoning Hector and stealing his music. Hector is the true great-great grandfather.
  • Frozen:
    • Hans never really did love Anna and only wanted to marry her so he can marry into Arendelle, stage a "little accident" for Elsa, make himself look like a hero for bringing back summer and seize the throne.
    • It never had to be a True Love's Kiss that would rescue Anna. It was just any act of true love, such as sacrificing yourself for your sister.
  • Monsters, Inc.: Mr. Waternoose is working in league with Randall in the plan to kidnap children and extract their screams to stop the energy crisis.
  • Wreck-It Ralph:
    • Vanellope is not a Dummied Out character or a Glitch Entity. Her image is on the side of her game box, meaning that she's a legitimate character who was meant to be part of Sugar Rush from the beginning, but was made into a glitch after the fact.
    • Sugar Rush's ruler King Candy is actually Turbo, a character from an older game who's an arcade cautionary tale about why not to game-jump, as his doing so led to his game being unplugged. He escaped to Sugar Rush, and he shoved himself in in place of Vanellope, the game's true ruler, who he made a glitch.
  • The LEGO Movie: The entire movie has taken place in the mind of an imaginative boy named Finn, who snuck down into his basement to play with his father's LEGO collection. Lord Business is actually based on Finn's image of his overly strict father (aka "The Man Upstairs"), who insists on building a perfectly ordered LEGO world with no room for playing or experimentation.
  • Big Hero 6: Robert Callaghan is Yokai and Abigail was his daughter.
  • Zootopia: Assistant Mayor Dawn Bellwether is the true mastermind behind a massive conspiracy involving poisoning innocent predators with Night Howler pellets, turning them savage with the goal of inflaming historic predator/prey tension and using the resulting civil unrest to rise in political power.
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: We see the researcher that created Fisk's Super Collider at several points early on; a thin, bespectacled, shaggy-haired woman who habitually wears a lab coat. It is only when Peter B. realizes that she is far more personally invested in observing his horrible demise from being in the wrong dimension than would be expected from the usual pathologically ethics-deficient researchers that he asks her name... at roughly which point Dr. Olivia Octavious's lab coat comes off, her glasses are swapped out for goggles, and her tentacles come out.

  • In Cirqus Voltaire, completing "Unmask Voltaire" reveals that Ringmaster Voltaire is actually Madame Voltaire, who was also the Announcer throughout the game.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • The reason masked wrestlers used to be popular in 1930s USA wrestling and why mask vs mask remained a staple of Mexican lucha libre is that a good deal of the masked wrestlers never reveal their public identity until they are unmasked. El Santo never revealed his face until a week before his death. When a luchador is forced to unmask per stipulation, he/she also tends reveal much about their personal and professional history to the audience (as Konnan, turning him into a giant sympathetic baby face in CMLL.)
  • The shocking revelation of the identity of the Outsiders' Third Man in WCW's 1996 Bash at the Beach: Hulk Hogan.
  • The very long awaited reveal of the identity of The Undertaker's "higher power". It was revealed to be Vince McMahon himself all along.
  • Or the true horrific reveal about Pro-Wrestling itself? It's scripted. Dun Dun Dun. GASP!
  • In WWE, the man who drove a car and ran over "Stone Cold" Steve Austin at 1999 Survivor Series was revealed to be Rikishi, as well as the mastermind HHH.
  • Can't wait to find out who the mystery RAW GM is in the WWE. Unfortunately, the Mystery GM was Put on a Bus and never mentioned again when Triple H took over as COO. Turns out it was Hornswoggle.
  • Leading up to the 1990 Survivor Series, a giant egg was displayed at WWF shows and it was implied that the egg would hatch around the time of the card. During the show, Mean Gene Okerlund listened to the egg, said it was about to hatch and out came ... The Gobbledy Gooker, credited as one of Vince McMahon's stupidest ideas. He and Mean Gene danced for a little bit while fans booed. That same night, Ted DiBiase's team had a mystery member. After the rest of his team was introduced, DiBiase brought out his fourth man, a new WWF wrestler managed by Brother Love named ... The Undertaker.
  • Back in the 1980's, Paul Orndorff was slated to face Don Muraco and Mr. Fuji in a tag team match at Madison Square Garden with a mystery partner. For a few weeks, Orndorff would do promos with a large cardboard box jostling around, saying his partner was inside. The week before the match, Orndorff used a power saw to cut the box open and reveal the Junkyard Dog.
  • At the end of the Black Scorpion storyline in WCW, Sting defeated him at Starrcade 1990 and removed his mask to reveal Ric Flair.

  • A trope-worthy twist on the source novel turns up at the very end of the 2013 stage adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Remember the tramp at the junkyard, who met and conversed with Charlie at the start of the show and later encouraged the boy to buy that Wonka Bar that turned out to have the last Golden Ticket? He was Willy Wonka in disguise.
  • Dear Evan Hansen has this near the end. Socially awkward Evan repeatedly tells everyone else of an accident that involved him climbing a tree and falling, leading to one of his arms being broken. Come the middle of the second act, it's revealed that the fall wasn't an accident, but a botched suicide attempt due to his social anxiety. Evan had been denying that to himself for the whole play and subconsciously used that experience to console a bereaved family with a Snowball Lie.
  • The Mrs Hawking play series: In part IV: Gilded Cages, the crime boss known as the Kingmaker is revealed to be Elizabeth Frost, nee Danvers, Mrs. Hawking's childhood governess and friend.
  • In Sophocles' Oedipus the King, Oedipus searches for the man who assassinated King Laius, only to find that he himself killed the king. As the seer Tiresias tells him, "You are the murderer you seek." This is one of Aristotle's examples of anagnorisis in the Poetics.
  • National Theatre's 2014 production of Treasure Island uses a small one near the beginning: During the scene where Squire Trelawney is hiring crew for the voyage, a man seated nearby engages him in conversation, offers advice on who to hire, and ends up signing on himself as the ship's cook. At the end of the scene, the departing Trelawney asks his new friend's name, and the man twitches aside the cloak that was covering his legs, revealing a deficiency in that area, pulls a crutch from under his seat, and introduces himself: Long John Silver.
  • Wicked has a few:
    • The Wizard and those working for him are the ones responsible for the Animals of Oz losing their power to speak. Elphaba and Glinda learning this changes the course of the entire story, as Elphaba goes from idolizing the Wizard and wanting to work for him (and in fact, came to see him partially because of this very issue) to instead beginning a rebellion against him.
    • The lion cub that Elphaba and Fiyero saved grew up to become the Cowardly Lion.
    • Arguably the biggest one of the whole play: Elphaba's real father, her mother's mysterious lover we only saw in shadow at the beginning, is in fact the Wizard of Oz himself. Elphaba being the product of two different worlds—Oz (via her mother) and our world (via her father)—is the reason her powers are so potent.
    • At the very end of the play, we learn that Elphaba did manage to save Fiyero's life earlier (she believed she had failed) by turning him into the Scarecrow. We also see that Elphaba faked her "death" at Dorothy's hands. She and Fiyero end up leaving Oz together, letting everyone else think they both died.

    Visual Novels 
  • The Ace Attorney series, being all about very dramatic trials, has some major reveals:
    • In the second game's final case, your client, Matt Engarde, turns out to be not the killer, but the man who ordered the killing. The reveal is so awesome because he smoothes back his hair to reveal some nasty scars on his eye, changing his appearance and expression extensively, and then he pulls a glass of brandy out of Hammerspace. In a holding cell.
    • The ending to the third game: even after Big Bad Dahlia Hawthorne has been defeated for good, there still isn't an actual suspect for the murder. After some further testimony and debate, Phoenix accuses Prosecutor Godot. What makes this a surprise is that so far there's been absolutely nothing to even suggest that person was anywhere NEAR the murder as it happened. But it's not out of nowhere; because the player has to prove they've actually been paying attention by answering "Who do you think the witness saw?" just before the Reveal.
    • The first game's final case has two of them, in sequence. Lana Skye has already admitted guilt as your defendant, leading to a lot of suspicion as to: Why would you do that? When investigating a very obviously related incident referred to as SL-9, you must go through the testimony of her younger sister, Ema Skye, to find out what happened. Many players here expect this murder gives the proof and motive to put the real culprit behind bars. The result? You accidentally find proof positive to the real killer in that incident: Ema. This sets up for a bigger reveal later on.
    • Throughout Ace Attorney Investigations the question we've been building up to is whether the Yatagarasu is Kay's father Byrne Faraday, as Kay claims, or Calisto Yew, as Yew claims. In the penultimate challenge of the game, it's told that the answer is neither option. The Yatagarasu was actually three people—Faraday, Yew, and Faraday's partner Detective Badd, putting their respective skills together to commit the thefts. Compared to that the reveal of the Big Bad is almost minor.
    • The sequel to Investigations has, in its final case, the victim being the president of Zheng Fa from the very first case. The reveal is that he's actually a body double who formed a conspiracy with the killers of cases 2 and 4 in which he assassinated the real president and took his place. However, unlike the first game, the Reveal of the game's actual Big Bad - the one who masterminded the death of the body double, the first case's killer, and the capture of the body double's co-conspirators - is just as huge as the preceding reveal. It's Souta Sarushiro/Simon Keyes, the seemingly harmless clown you helped out in the second case and the supposed best friend of the first case's killer. Up until you have to deduce he's the mastermind, he never comes under suspicion, and the game needs to give you huge hints to his identity.
    • In the final case of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies, it is revealed that the spy known only as 'The Phantom', who sabotaged the HAT-1 rocket, blew up the HAT-2 rocket and courtroom 4, and killed Clay Terran and Metis Cykes, has spent the entire game masquerading as Detective Bobby Fulbright, followed by the reveal that the actual Bobby Fulbright was killed before the game began.
    • In the final case of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice, Apollo learns that Dhurke has been dead all along.
  • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc: The corpse found in Chapter 5 is Mukuro Ikusaba's... except she's been dead for weeks now. She and Junko switched places for reasons unknown, and it was Mukuro who attacked Monokuma in Chapter 1 and was killed for it. Her corpse was re-used to make it seem as though she has been recently murdered. And the person behind Monokuma? The real Junko. Making this even funnier is the fact that the followers of the Something Awful Let's Play had been joking about Junko being the mastermind since the end of Chapter 3.
  • Fate/stay night. In the Fate route Saber is revealed to be King Arthur (or Arturia), the Holy Grail is actually an Artifact of Doom Jackass Genie and that random priest at the very start is the Big Bad. In Unlimited Blade Works route Archer is actually a Future Badass version of Shirou. In Heaven's Feel route Sakura is Rin's younger sister who was given to the evil Matou family and was subjected to horrendous domestic abuse and Training from Hell for eleven years in order to become a vessel of the Holy Grail.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry has Miyo Takano being the Big Bad, and the reason why there are so many arcs. There are other reveals though, but most are in the sound novels.
    • The reason everyone goes crazy.
    • Also for the viewer/reader (and Keiichi during Atonement chapter), the big reveal of unreliable narration during the question arcs. Go watch Onikakushi-hen knowing Keiichi is delusional and the girls really are just trying to help. So many little things suddenly make sense. Plus, Rika's dimension-jumping and Hanyuu's existence.
  • Zero Escape:
    • Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors has its first major reveal during the Safe Ending, where you find out that Ace is Gentarou Hongou, the CEO of Cradle Pharmaceuticals and the perpetrator of the first Nonary Game. Except he isn't Zero. Zero, as revealed by the True Ending, is June, and that you've actually been playing as her, not Junpei, the whole time. It Makes Sense in Context.
    • There are also plenty of reveals in the endings of Virtue's Last Reward, but also a dramatic one that occurs when triggered as a result of player action. The first time you restore your game and switch route to change your answer in the Nonary Game, but your opponent also changes their answer, you might feel cheated; the second time, Sigma yells at them for cheating in-character, revealing that he's aware of everything you are, including restoring and restarting the game.
    • Then there's Zero Time Dilemma. Fuck, is this a doozy. Well, the most mundane one is that Phi dyes her hair. But aside from that, Zero, real name Delta, is more commonly known as Brother, the leader of Free The Soul, a cult/terrorist group responsible for the Apocalypse Wow situtation of VLR that Sigma, Phi and Akane are trying to prevent. He's a time traveller as well who is trying to ensure the birth of both himself and his sister... who just happens to be Phi, who's parents are Sigma and Diananote .
  • Sekien no Inganock: Your name is 《Kikai》Porshion, one of forty-one unborn lives.
  • EP7 of Umineko: When They Cry has the series' most important reveal. Basically, Lion is an alternate universe counterpart of Beatrice. They are known as Yasu, and their gender is unknown, which unlike most examples of that trope is actually a plot point brought up in the series itself. The game facts don't seem to apply, until you consider the fact that 17 people isn't clarified by multiple identities, allowing for a murderer to exist among a population of 17 fully recognized people.
  • War: 13th Day builds up to these beautifully. First, with a healthy dose of Foreshadowing, it leads you to think that it's All Just a Dream. Then, you discover that it's not. Just wait until you reach the ending...
  • The story of The House in Fata Morgana is meticulously crafted. As such, each reveal bears an immeasurable weight for the characters:
    • First door: The White-Haired girl is Mell's half sister. This revelation breaks both siblings.
    • Second door: Bestia is, in fact, a man. A man who has completely lost his humanity, but a man nonetheless. And that other beast, which appears during the story? It was in fact Pauline, who ends up slaughtered by the very man she loved.
    • Third door: Maria is a conniving and treacherous woman who plays both sides in order to make Jacopo's life as miserable as possible.
    • Fourth door: Nothing was real. The entire story is a pure fabrication. The Maid is not the Witch Morgana, the White-Haired girl is not named Giselle, and ??? is not the White-Haired girl.
    • Michel was born intersex and thought to be female until his body developed into one of a man, except for the lack of male genitals.
    • Jacopo, "the Lord", wasn't the same lord as the one who initially bought Morgana as his property and used her in his sabbats: he was in fact the very slave who helped her to escape and who lived with her for a few years immediately after. And he is the same man who would later usurp the position of lord and order her capture. When he realizes he captured the girl who he wanted to make happy in the first place, he finds himself unable to talk with her, as she doesn't recognize him, her traumatic experiences leading her to jump to the conclusion that he must have been the same person who bought her years ago.
    • The White-Haired girl, who share so many characteristics with Michel, including his name, is not him.
    • The painting's identity: it is Georges, Michel's brother, whose soul came to the mansion out of his sheer desire to apologize to his brother.

    Web Animation 
  • A Day With Bowser Jr: Bowser Jr. didn't inherit the throne despite being Bowser's youngest son— he inherited it because he's Bowser's only son. The koopalings are actually the children of Bowser's deceased brother, Morton Koopa. This information was hid from them to prevent them from feeling excluded, but this ends up making Ludwig feel Junior stole his title from him.
  • Played for Laughs in Boys Night Out. Young Limburg is babysat by his stepfather while his mother goes to bible study. His stepdad takes him to a strip club and warns him not to tell his mother because she wouldn't understand. At the end of the video Limburg spots his mother among the dancers and she asks him not to tell his stepfather because he wouldn't understand.

  • All Roses Have Thorns: After 400 years of being presumed dead, Mirna, Faylin's daughter, is revealed to have been alive all this time. At Eanwulf's castle.
  • There are several big ones related to the backstory in Avalon.
    • At the beginning of the second year, Ceilidh finds out from Ryan that Joe, Alan and Phoebe were all friends until Helène arrived and took Alan away from Joe, then Phoebe started dating an abusive douche named Todd, who eventually dumped her and started spreading rumours that she was a lesbian, pushing her to the breaking point and causing her to beat him up. In the end, Joe never spoke to Phoebe again and while Alan came back to him after having had enough of Helène, their friendship was already damaged.
    • Later in the same year, Joe eventually reveals that it was actually Alan who took Helène away from him, as Joe immediately fell in love with her but was too timid to ask her out, and Alan took advantage of that to make a conquest of her, reeling back when she wanted an actual relationship. He also reveals that it was him who caused Todd's injuries, pushing him down a set of stairs out of frustration and anger at hurting Phoebe, who he was also originally in love with. Afterwards, he simply never had the courage to go up to Phoebe and start their friendship up again.
    • Even later, Phoebe tells Ryan that Joe actually asked her out, but she got scared and broke his heart, then got together with Todd because Joe going after Helène made her feel like he was lying to her before. She knew what he was like all along, he even physically abused her, but she couldn't bear to admit that she was wrong, and the whole experience just convinced her that nobody could care about her. This eventually lead to her lashing out at Ryan at the start of the actual comic, when he tried to help her.
  • Bittersweet Candy Bowl revealed why Jessica and Rachel held so much animosity towards Tess. Lucy's confession to Mike is an in-universe example.
  • Guilded Age: Following the Bolivian Army Cliffhanger at the end of Chapter 8, Chapter 9 begins with a shift of focus to Payet, summoned to a new quest. Then the perspective zooms out to reveal a man watching him on a computer monitor. The watcher turns out to be the CEO of a MMORPG company.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court: Antimony and Renard's first real argument quickly devolved into them throwing extremely painful revelations at each other. Specifically Surma never loved him, and Antimony was the cause of Surma's illness.
  • Sarda was Onion Kid!!!
  • At the climax of an earlier plotline of The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, it's revealed that every detail of the plotline was all part of an elaborate publicity stunt orchestrated by FOX News, or an attempt by a disgruntled weatherman attempting to keep his own report from being upstaged.
  • YU+ME: dream - when the reader finds out that everything in Part 1 has been a dream.
  • Mortifer, being more or less a Wham Series in later chapters, has plenty of these. The most notable, however, is chapter 18. William Aussek, Sam's Ensemble Dark Horse new CO, is actually Joey Von Krause in disguise. And Joey is actually a demon, with flame powers. And his eyepatch hides a gaping wound with a small light deep inside instead of an eye. And then he kills Sam, who's a viewpoint character. There are several other examples, such as the reveal that Vlademyre Hynner, Joey's old boss who was introduced in the first chapter, then forgotten, is the new leader of the southern black market, or the reveal that Badass Preacher Zebidiah is actually a demon under Vlad's control, or the reveal that Joey's hallucinations are actually Rashnu trying to get him to redeem himself, or the reveal that Joey's plan thee whole time has been to use his William Aussek identity to eliminate Sintec and the black market for good — more or less the opposite of what the audience thought he was planning, etc. etc. And what's better, all of them manage to make perfect sense in retrospect — well, except for the whole Zebidiah = demon bit.
  • The Phoenix Requiem: The spirits are the bad guys.
  • Homestuck:
    • The narration states that the most important character in Homestuck is... Gamzee Makara, the stoner juggalo? This reveal and its general absurdity become a Running Gag, as it turns out Gamzee has been involved in some ridiculously plot significant events... that all happened off-screen. Even when he does do something significant on-screen, it's all undercut by his strange vernacular, religious devotion to Insane Clown Posse and tendency to be drawn incredibly poorly.
    • Also, the purpose of Sburb, the reality-warping video game which kicks off the plot, is only revealed after four and a half Acts. Completing the game allows the players to create a universe. And the internet trolls who heckled the protagonists created ours.
    • Halfway through Act 5, a mysterious demon appears and forces the trolls to hide while he destroys everything they've built. The demon's identity is implied, but it's not until the flash animation "Jade: Enter" that it the demon appears on-screen and his identity is made explicit. It turns out to be Jack Noir, an antagonist who lived a universe away from the trolls, who managed to gain omnipotence through a fluke in Sburb's mechanics.
    • The End of Act 5 Animation shows the character's attempt to destroy the Green Sun, the source of the villains' power, using a giant bomb known as the Tumor. Everything more or less goes according as planned until the character's actually arrive at the site of the Green Sun, where the whole scheme gets turned on its head by one thing. The Sun's not there. And as the Tumor explodes, the Green Sun forms out of it. Meaning, the characters got tricked into creating the very thing they meant to destroy, unwittingly helping create their enemies.
    • Intermission 2, which lies between Act 5 and Act 6, shows the true form of the elusive Lord English and establishes his relationships with important characters like Doc Scratch, Lil Cal and Gamzee Makara.
    • The 06/17/12 update reveals the true nature of the mysterious character who was only known by their screen name, UranianUmbra. UU's real name is Calliope. She will fall asleep and her brother will wake up if she hears her brother's name, and vice-versa. She is a Cherub, a species of sociopathic loners by nature, to the point that UU pretends to be a Troll because she finds them preferable to her own species in every way possible. And finally, her face is shown. She looks like a young female version of Lord English.
    • Reveals happen pretty often in Homestuck, to the point where the author has a tendency unveil them pretty anticlimactically whenever a twist was guessed by too many in advance. For example:
      But the fact that he's a slob was never exactly breaking news to anyone.
      Neither is the fact that you both share a body.
  • In Impure Blood, Dara drops her knowledge on Caspian.
  • Why is Yehuda Moon hated so much by Sister Sprocket? How did he get involved in the Kickstand in the first place? It's because he's a Soapbox Sadie, right? Actually, his work on a housing development inadvertently destroyed the forest, taking with it the Shakers' way of life with it. Selling their bikes is his way of paying penance.
  • Ctrl+Alt+Del had a Running Gag involving Ethan trying to get into Scott's bedroom to see what was such a big secret that he spent most of his time there & refused to explain what he was doing, yet failing every time. And then, when he finally got inside by tricking Scott into leaving, he was stunned to find... a perfectly normal room, and got bitched at by Scott for the inasion of privacy, before Ethan accidentally knocked a lamp which opened a hidden panel in the wall hiding several computer monitors, with Scott's pet penguin, Ted, sat at them. Scott then explains they're going to release a virus that destroys all Microsoft software, because they experimented on Ted & Scott rescued him from the lab. Oh, and that made Ted super smart, and he developed a way to give himself telepathic control over Scott, with Ted being the dominant one of the two.
    • Even better though - Microsoft probably wasn't responsible for the experiments. The only reason Ted thinks they are is because he saw the Windows logo on a nearby computer screen - and HOW many people use Windows OS?
  • morphE starts with two people in a cavern escaping from a madwoman with a knife and a second person. 115 pages later the reader sees a dream sequence which shows the cavern and one of the two escapees. Dead. The camera pans up and reveals Tyler, holding a bloody knife.
  • Daughter of the Lilies has several:
    • Whom Thistle really works for: the One Who Is Three. Might also be an Internal Reveal, since Thistle claims not to have any idea what the One is.
    • When Thistle is seen without her hood, she's revealed to be a cave elf.
  • In El Goonish Shive, after much suspense about what happened to the hammer artifact to make it stop working including such red herrings as it supposedly falling off its pedestal due to an earthquake or other means and jokes about it being eaten it is finally revealed to be the work of an Immortal. Specifically, it is part of said Immortal's preparation for his reset.

    Web Original 
  • In TOME, Zetto is really Kirbopher, and the leader of the hackers (alongside Kizuna). This would make Kirb the Big Bad were it not for the double reveal that the hackers are not evil.
  • Broken Saints has quite a few, but the most memorable comes in at the end of the penultimate chapter. Palmer is found dead, and in a storm of Mind Rape the face of the real Big Bad is shown. The hobo Raimi encountered by the alley, AKA, Lear Dunham.
  • Ruby Quest has several moments that would qualify, but one of the biggest is the following, which is important because it shows that Ruby and Tom's attempts to escape have been going on far longer than they thought:
    Bella: Today is October 31st.
    • For sheer Wham Shot-iness, there's also the second-to-last-panel reveal that the 'extremely dangerous' Subject #6 was not Tom Nook, the prisoner in Upper Lab B, like the players thought he was. Tom Nook was really Subject #5. The real Subject #6? The other Tom, the cat who'd been Ruby's companion since almost the beginning.
  • In Red vs. Blue's Reconstruction series, the fact that Church is the Alpha AI would definitely qualify.
    • Another reveal in Revelation: Tex is destined to fail at every single thing she tries - no matter what she does - because that's what she's based on.
    • Season 10 reveals that the AI Sigma used to belong to Carolina, and it was her decision to give him to Maine that set off the entire Recollection trilogy.
    • The very end of Season 10 ups the ante by revealing that several major characters are in fact family, which dramatically changes the events of the previous 40 or so episodes.
    • Season 12 has two for the price of one! First, Locus is working for a third party to kill everyone on Chorus. Second, Felix is revealed to be Evil All Along and working with Locus.
    • Happens again in season 12 with the reveal of Control's identity.
  • The finale of RWBY Volume 1 had a pretty big one, with Blake Belladonna accidentally blurting out her Dark Secret that she's a Faunas and a former terrorist, and her team-mates, most notably Weiss, trying to cope with the startling new revelation. They're able to resolve things in the end, by vowing to keep her identity a secret and making Weiss bury the hatchet. Worth pointing out that it got a lot of Foreshadowing and the fans (correctly, as it turns out) speculated it for a while.
  • In the Whateley Universe, "Christmas Elves" has Fey and Generator in a trap, and they then find out that Don Sebastiano did not make Cavalier and Skybolt into his mind-slaves with his psychic powers but instead, Hekate did it with black magic.
  • In If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device, the first episode of second season reveals that Kitten is actually the Captain-General, leader of the entire Adeptus Custodes. Played with in that it doesn't affect his status in the second season.
  • In Wormtooth Nation, it's revealed that wormtooth gas, an invisible, odorless gas that causes permanent Easy Amnesia and has caused numerous problems for the protagonists, actually causes people to live forever in small doses. The entire population of the City moved down to the subterranean world in order to gain immortality, but after an unknown but presumably very long period of time everyone had been "nixed" so often that no one remembers this fact, nor the way back to the surface.
  • Andria was really Magnum of Encyclopedia Dramatica the whole time.
  • In Doom House, Officer Cop, who was initially thought to be a kind civil servant who is regarding Reginald's safety and well being as a top priority, reveals himself to be a terrorist who was only pretending to be a cop to try to get Reginald to leave the house so he could take it back from him.
  • Marble Hornets Entry #35 reveals that the Masked Man who has been stalking Jay is Tim, one of the actors from Alex's film Marble Hornets.
  • In Worm, Chapter 19.7 reveals that for the first sixteen entire story arcs, the main motivation for Tattletale's actions was to save Taylor from committing suicide.
    • A much bigger one occurs in the Interlude to Chapter 26, where it is revealed that Scion is an alien, the source of parahuman powers, and the cause of The End of the World as We Know It.
  • A recent arc on Cerberus Daily News involved a strange quarian signing up on the boards, causing everyone to suspect that she is actually one of the many psychopaths that used to frequent the website before the Reaper Invasion. But it's actually a volus trying to lure that quarian out.
  • In Strange Aeons, Nick and Arron have been friends for at least a decade.
  • In the second part of the last episode of Web Animation/Eddsworld , fittingly titled "The end", Tord is revealed to have had a secret bunker in his room where he kept a giant robot, which he proceeds to use in an attempt to kill his friends and take over the world. Not only that, but he's indirectly responsible for the events of both "The Snogre" and "Fun Dead". Kudos to the creators for putting in clues to both.
  • Starting in Volume III, the ongoing audio drama The Adventures of Captain Strong - Scourge of the High Seas is often built on a series of dramatic revelations. Although some of them are so telegraphed they may qualify as Captain Obvious Reveal
    • Episode 14 - Gordon Ambler, the mysterious stranger who knows more than he says, is really the missing Prince Geoffrey!
    • Episode 15 - Queen Amanda is actually an imposter!
    • Episode 16 - Rhoda, the cleaning girl, is actually the real Princess Amanda, in disguise!
    • Episode 20 - The leader of the pirates who are attacking Captain Strong's ship is the previously-thought-to-be-dead Duncan the Fierce!
    • Episode 23 - The mysterious prisoner is really the previously-thought-to-be-dead First Mate Lavender!
    • Episode 25 - The crew is suddenly attacked by a huge-aggressive ape-like creature! (Also, Captain Strong's pet Rusty is actually a cat)
    • Episode 26 - First Mate Lavender is really a madness-driven villain intent on vengeance against Captain Strong!
    • Episode 28 - Crewman Stickelbrain is engaged to Greta the Chambermaid!
    • Episode 30 - Greta the Chambermaid was previously married, and has a child that she gave up for adoption!
    • Also, in Episode 30 - Rudolph the messenger from Flurdland is really an assassin! The guys she beat up is the real Rudolph!
    • Episode 33 - The feeble old lady is really Veronica Rhubarb in disguise!
    • Episode 39 - Dogwood the pirate is actually Greta's first husband, and the father of her child!
    • Episode 43 - Commodore Bold, Captain Strong's hero, is really out to destroy the Northern Tribes!
    • Episode 45 - The cow that's been following Randy the Cabin Boy around is really Veronica Rhubarb in disguise!
    • Episode 46 & 47 - Marlin, the amnesiac bartender, is really Percy Aquavelvit, who is not as dead as everyone had thought!
    • Episode 50 - King Guber's spy, who had infiltrated Captain Strong's crew, turns out to be Yeoman Dawgins!
  • The Adventure Zone: Balance has quite a few from the end of The Eleventh Hour onwards:
    • The epilogue of Eleventh Hour reveals that Magnus, presumably along with the rest of the THB, created the Grand Relics.
    • In the next episode, Lunar Interlude IV, Magnus discovers that the Voidfish has a child in the employ of the Director.
    • It is revealed in the final episode of The Suffering Game that the Red Robe that's been tailing the party for months is actually Barry Bluejeans, a seemingly irrelevant mercenary from the first arc who was presumed dead in the destruction of Phandalin.
    • Lunar Interlude V: Reunion Tour features a series of reveals that completely change the context of the entire series. "Lup" is the name of Taako's twin sister, the spirit of whom is trapped in the Umbra Staff. Taako, Magnus, Merle, Barry, Lup, Davenport, and Director Lucretia were all once Red Robes. The Red Robes weren't mad sorcerers, they were astronauts - originally from another universe, they were tasked with exploring other planes of existence using a powerful energy source known as the Light of Creation, but were pursued by the Hunger, a malevolent force bent on using the Light to consume the multiverse. The Grand Relics are actually fragments of the Light of Creation, split up by the Red Robes to keep the Hunger from locating their current world. The reason that the THB don't remember any of this is that Lucretia, not agreeing with this plan, used the second Voidfish to make them forget about their mission (and anything related to it, such as Barry and Lup) so that she could reclaim the Relics, reform the Light, and use it to destroy the Hunger once and for all.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time has a page for it. The biggest one so far is generally agreed to be Lady's revelation that she's pregnant.
  • American Dad! loves spoofing this. One example, from "The Phantom of the Telethon":
    Stan: Give it up, Roger!
    Roger: I'm not Roger, I'm the Phantom!
    (Stan pulls off his mask and gasps.)
    Stan: Roger!
    Roger: Well, yeah, I... what?
  • Three in Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • First one: Zuko and Azula's maternal great-grandfather is Avatar Roku.
    • Second one: Azula for once, wasn't lying about something important. Ozai was going to kill Zuko to get the throne. However, their mother intervened and killed her father-in-law, somehow making the death look natural, and was banished because of it.
    • Third one: the reason why Katara and Sokka's mother was killed was she claimed she was the last Waterbender of the South Pole, thus protecting her daughter.
    • The comics are no slouch in this department. In The Search, at the end of the first novel, it is revealed that Zuko is not Ozai's son, but in fact Ikem's. But then Ursa reveals in the third that everything in that letter was a lie meant to mislead Ozai. Zuko really is his son.
  • In the Futurama movie Bender's Big Score, the reveal is that Lars is Fry's time paradox duplicate.
  • Gargoyles:
    • The episode "Future Tense" ends with the revelation that the Bad Future seen in the episode was an illusion created by Puck to trick Goliath into giving him the Phoenix Gate. He knew that Oberon was about to call the Children back to Avalon, so he wanted to get his hands on something valuable that he could use to trade for his continued freedom on Earth. To get it, he tried to convince Goliath that the worst possible future had come to pass, hoping that he would be scared into using the Phoenix Gate to travel back in time to reverse it.
    • And in the "Avalon" story arc, there's the revelation that the gargoyle hatchlings saved from Castle Wyvern are still alive, as are the humans that raised them.
    • "The Gathering" story arc has a two-fold one, where it turns out that Titania is Fox's biological mother, and Owen Burnett is actually Puck disguised as a human.
  • Gravity Falls:
    • The biggest mystery was who wrote the strange journal that Dipper found in the woods (and the other two journals preceding it). In the season two midseason finale "Not What He Seems", we find out it's Grunkle Stan's twin brother, who had only been vaguely hinted about through background clues.
    • The reveal of Bill Cipher in season one's penultimate episode, "Dreamscaperers". A dream demon with "big plans" who before had only been seen as a Freeze-Frame Bonus in the title screen and backgrounds.
  • The Hollow: The setting the kids are in is a video game on a game show called The Hollow.
  • The Justice League episode "Epilogue" contains a belated one for Batman Beyond, revealing that Terry McGinnis is Bruce Wayne's biological son, thanks to Amanda Waller subjecting his father to an experiment that secretly overwrote his reproductive DNA. Apparently, this was all part of a plan to create a successor to Batman by duplicating the circumstances that led to his birth; they even hired Andrea Beaumont to kill Terry's parents in front of him, though she got cold feet, and Warren McGinnis' later death was a coincidence.
  • In Kim Possible: So The Drama, Eric is a synthodrone sent by Drakken to distract Kim from thwarting his plan to Take Over the World.
  • In the Mr. Bean: The Animated Series episode "Double Trouble" it's revealed Bean is part of a race of identical aliens.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • The 2-part second season finale, specifically the point where Cadence, who at this point has seemed to grow from a sweet, kindly foalsitter to a grade-A Alpha Bitch, is an evil fake in disguise.
    • Cozy Glow, the seemingly innocent newbie who enrolls at the School of Friendship, turns out to be the Arc Villain of Season 8 in the finale.
    • Grogar, the most powerful villain who united the Mane Six's past enemies, turns out to be Discord in disguise in the Grand Finale, having brought them together to test Twilight to see if she's brave enough to become the new ruler of Equestria.
  • Operation: Z.E.R.O. has several, all within the same period of time; Numbuh 1's Bumbling Dad Monty Uno is in fact the fabled Numbuh 0, who founded the current Kids Next Door organization. Father, the series' Big Bad, is Monty's brother, Benedict Uno, Numbuh 1's uncle (Also making Grandfather, the special's Big Bad, Numbuh 1's grandfather). The Delightful Children From Down the Lane are Brainwashed and Crazy KND operatives, Sector Z, who were permanently 'delightfulized' by Father.
  • A few big ones in Rick and Morty:
    • Season 1's "Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind": Evil Rick was actually being controlled by Evil Morty—the true mastermind of the duo's plans and actions—all along.
    • Season 2's "The Wedding Squanchers": Rick, BirdPerson, and Squanchy are all considered terrorists by the Galactic Federation for opposing it in the past. Furthermore, BirdPerson's fiancée/new wife, Tammy, was actually a spy for the Federation all along.
    • Season 3's "The Ricklantis Mix-up": The newly-elected president of the Citadel of Ricks, President Morty, is really Evil Morty.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated has a ton, relating to the show's overarching story arc about "The Curse of Crystal Cove".
    • The biggest one, set up in the very first episode, is Mr. E's true identity. As revealed late in Season 1, he's really Ricky Owens.
    • Fred's true parentage. Fred Jones Sr. took him away from his real parents when he was a baby. His real parents are Brad Chiles and Judy Reeves.
    • Angel Dynamite's true identity. She's really Cassidy Williams.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil:
    • Star Butterfly was born on Stump Day, but she doesn't celebrate it that day as it will anger the Stump. In other words, it wasn't really her birthday when she received the wand.
    • Ms. Heinous' real name is Meteora Butterfly, and is Eclipsa's daughter.
    • Meteora would've been the next queen of Mewni, but King Shastacan refused to have a monster rule the throne, so she was swapped with a peasant girl who will later become Festiva the Fun. As a result, all later Butterfly members (Star and Moon included) were illegitimate.
    • Festiva was from a race known as Pie Folk, and Star and Moon are part of them.
  • Star Wars Rebels: "Fire Across the Galaxy" reveals that the mysterious ally to the Rebels, Fulcrum, is actually Ahsoka Tano.
  • Star Wars Resistance: In the season 1 finale, the heroes discover that the Colossus is actually a hyperdrive-equipped Space Station. This revelation leads to a change in their plans, as they escape the First Order by launching the Colossus into space.
  • Steven Universe:
    • "Ocean Gem" has several reveals about the Gems: The Crystal Gems are not the last of their kind. All the monsters the Gems have been fighting are corrupted Gems themselves. And the biggest one: Gems are from space.
    • "On the Run" explains why the Crystal Gems are so scared of Gems coming back to Earth: Gemkind as a whole are parasitic invaders, and attempted to construct "kindergartens" to suck the life force out of the Earth in order to make more Gems. Amethyst is revealed to have been made in this manner, and not unexpectedly has quite a bit of baggage about it.
    • We finally get the truth of what actually happened to Pink Diamond in "A Single Pale Rose": Rose Quartz was actually Pink Diamond the whole time, and Pearl, who turns out to be Rose Quartz/Pink Diamond's Pearl, disguised herself as Rose so the two of them could fake Pink Diamond's assassination. By extension, this also means that Steven is the reincarnation of Pink Diamond herself.
    • "Change Your Mind" finally reveals what happens if Steven is separated from his Gem: the gem forms a new Hard Light body in Steven's image. The human half is left very emaciated and weak without it, and implicitly would die if the two were kept apart long enough.
      • Also answered is a running theme over the last two seasons: is Steven really Rose/Pink in a new form? He gets his answer alongside White Diamond when she pries out his gem and it reforms not into Pink Diamond or Rose Quartz, but into a pink-hued version of himself. He's more than just Rose Quartz's Reincarnation... he is Steven Universe and always has been.
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender:
    • When Pidge turned out to actually be a girl named Katie.
    • In season two, Keith finding out he's part Galra.
    • Allura finding out Haggar is Altean.
    • The revelation that Zarkon was the original Black Paladin.
    • When we find out that Haggar is the corrupted ghost of the younger Zarkon's wife Honerva, and, by extension, the mother of Lotor.
    • The cliffhanger reveal of Keith finding out Krolia is his mother.
  • The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald, despite being a whimsical, lighthearted series of romps through McDonaldland, has a pretty big one for its first video (which was somewhat Darker and Edgier than the other videos). The scary mansion is just smoke, mirrors, and holograms coordinated by a kid named Franklin, who's more or less lured Ronald's group into a big puzzle video game.
  • Winx Club has hundreds of reveals, given its seasonal overarching arcs.
    • Mike and Vanessa are not Bloom's parents; they found her protected from a fire and adopted her. She is also not from Earth.
    • Bloom is the last remaining heir of the kingdom of Domino, and its princess. Daphne is her sister.
    • Bloom's Enchantix is incomplete, because she didn't earn it the traditional way through sacrifice but by pure force of will.
    • Bloom's biological parents are alive and imprisoned in an unknown dimension.
      • Marion was absorbed into Oritel's sword when he got pulled into Obsidian, and was petrified not long after.
    • Destroying Mandragora and the Obsidian Circle didn't destroy the Ancestral Witches; this instead freed their spirits, and are now looking for new hosts to possess.
    • Roxy is the last fairy on Earth.
    • Morgana is Roxy's mother.
    • Daphne was the last fairy to earn Sirenix, and by then, the Ancestral Witches put a curse on her power. When she used it, it turned against her and turned her into a spirit without a body.
    • Selina was Bloom's childhood friend.
    • Bloom didn't actually destroy Valtor when she used her fairy dust to extinguish his fire.
    • The Trix are not actually sisters. Icy's only actual sister is Sapphire, who was turned into a fox cub by a shaman witch, and they were Princesses of the kingdom of Dyamond. Icy became the witch she is today to avenge her sister's curse.

    Real Life 


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Reveal


The black rocks revealed

Zhan Tiri reveals the reason why Rapunzel's hair grew back; when she touched the black rocks, a fragment of their Moonstone powers went into her hair, making it long and indestructible to protect her.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheReveal

Media sources:

Main / TheReveal