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The Unmasqued World

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"We used to have 'laws' in this town. Like 'gravity'. You remember gravity, right?"
A police officer after a run-in with Superman, Action Comics #1

The paranormal exists; it's just very good at hiding. The Masquerade has existed for centuries now, and the Things That Go "Bump" in the Night are just fine with that, thank you. They're not going to trouble humanity, and hopefully, humanity won't trouble them.


Then... something happens. Something so big, something so visible, that plausible deniability just won't cut it anymore. Maybe some young vampire walked into the sunlight in full view of a camera crewnote . Maybe two wizards got in a duel on Main Street. Maybe everyone's just decided to "come out of the coffin", or maybe the spread of technology made it notoriously difficult to keep things under wraps in a world where every interesting sight inevitably ends up on YouTube. Either way, there's no going back. Welcome to a brave new world.

The Unmasqued World is a world where the supernatural has, after years of hiding, revealed itself to the world, intentionally or otherwise. In many cases, this will lead to a lot of modern twists on the fantasy genre's usual formulas and/or the integration of the supernatural into society -- vampires on the police force, wizards in the hospital, werewolves in the park service. Expect much Fantastic Racism (and perhaps a group of Zombie Advocates opposing it), as not everyone's just going to accept that the traditional horror movie monsters have decided to move next door as roommates.


A common variant is a world like ours but where the supernatural exists and has always been known to the public. This will often involve Alternate History in which supernatural forces influenced historical events.

Compare First Contact, the science fiction equivalent of this; Cosmic Horror Reveal, where the existence of Eldritch Abomination is revealed and the story shifts to a Cosmic Horror Story; Mundane Fantastic, for when there is no segregation between the mundane and mystical worlds (and, in some cases, never was); and The Magic Comes Back for when magic stopped working some time in the past but started working again by the time the story takes place. When someone is trying to do this on purpose, see To Unmasque the World.

Spoiler warning: while this trope is a basic premise for most of the examples, it is the dramatic ending of others, in which case the series name alone is a spoiler.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • The sequel series UQ Holder!, set some 80 years after the end of Negima, shows a picture of the world in which magic has become general knowledge. In fact, the unmasquing lead to some radical changes in the balance of power across the globe, and the development of "magic apps" (basically spells you can buy rather than learn to use yourself) lead to some extreme class differences. Half of Tokyo is now seemingly a gigantic slum, with its inhabitants seen as "vermin" who need to be cleared out... by hiring mercenaries to raid the place and blow everything up, uncaring about the casualties or even deaths that result.
  • Most Digimon series end with a Mage in Manhattan scenario, which is a pretty good way to break the Masquerade.
  • In Darker Than Black, the first season's ending leads to a case of The Unmasqued World, in this case with the existence of contractors being revealed to humanity at large.
  • Mai-HiME:
    • This trope seems to be in effect at first during the final arc of the anime due to the rampant destruction across the island caused by the Childs and because of near-apocalyptic natural disasters occuring across the world. Thankfully for the Hime and those associated with them, the resulting Climactic Battle Resurrection in the final episode not only covers it up, but it assures that it will never happen again because all of the chosen HiME of the current generation destroys the source of it all, the Hime Star.
    • Averted in its manga adaptation where Himes in this case are both commonplace (there are twelve selected every several hundred years in the anime, while in the manga they are born by the hundreds) and known to the public.
  • In Guyver, the shapeshifting Zoanoids finally reveal themselves to normal humanity after millennia of hiding among us... on the day they conquer Earth.
  • Shingu: Secret of the Stellar Wars starts with the existence of aliens getting unmasqued by a giant robot acorn appearing in the skies over Tokyo, but The Masquerade stays otherwise intact (how The Masquerade got started in the first place, the fact that Earth's best defense against alien attack is a middle school Tsundere...) until the Space Diplomacy arc.
  • This is what happens at the end of the Yu Yu Hakusho manga, with the demons making themselves known to the humans so their worlds could start intermingling with each other. There are already Cute Monster Girl actresses showing up on TV. It's worth noting that the reveal is gentle enough that the reality has yet to be fully accepted by much of the populace. It helps that most of the ones crossing over are humanoid and quite reasonable; they know to play it cool and just want to see what all the excitement's about.
  • In Pom Poko, some of Tanuki go public to try plead their case to save their habitat and it turns out that after that appeal, human public opinion comes to their side and the developers bend a bit for more park land.
  • The human and "demon" worlds are merged into one at the end of Bakuen Campus Guardress, revealing the secret to everyone in both worlds.
  • Black Blood Brothers plays this straight and then subverts it. During the Kowloon Shock everyone became aware that there were vampires, but then the government convinced them that they were all exterminated.
  • The premise of Dance in the Vampire Bund revolves around vampire queen Mina Tepes building a vampire district on an island in Tokyo Bay and announcing the existence of vampires to the whole world during its grand opening.
  • Transformers:
    • For much of Transformers Armada, the characters felt it necessary to conceal the Transformers from humans (for some reason). However, in the sequel series, Transformers Energon, the Transformers' existence has been revealed to the people of Earth and the two races now live in harmony.
    • In Transformers Cybertron they're back to being urban legends again. This was due to some miscommunication between the American and Japanese promoters—in the original Japanese it was supposed to be an entirely different continuity.
    • Transformers: Robots in Disguise is an interesting case. While it's implied (though never stated) that the Transformers and their war are secret, and the general public does not know about the giant alien robots, it seems that every few episodes a random human involved with [insert plot-relevant group here] knows who Optimus Prime, Megatron, or at least one of said giant alien robots is and which ones are the good guys. The extent and existence of The Masquerade seems to depend on how necessary it is for humanity to know about the Transformers.
  • Bakugan battling was common before the masquerade fell, but everything changed when people learned that Bakugan were sentient.
  • In Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan's Hundred Tales Arc, the villains' main ploy consists of announcing that the main character is part Youkai, and that he will bring disaster unless he is killed. He's cornered into transforming once the entire city starts hunting him down, and shortly afterwards the villains send monsters out of urban legends to attack people in broad daylight. Although the manga never goes into detail on how the populace reacts after the incident, it's made abundantly clear that everybody remembers what happened.
  • Daily Life with Monster Girl focuses on various monster-folk living in human society as a cultural exchange program after revealing themselves to the world at large.

    Comic Books 
  • This is standard operating procedure for most superhero universes, including the DC Universe and Marvel Universe. Sometimes there are "Year One" type stories that take place before everybody accepts that a man can fly or that there are mutants, but those are the exception.
  • The comic series Bite Club features a world where vampires are just a variant of humanity who are exceptionally long-lived, incredibly resilient, and gain strength from blood. After centuries of hiding from stigma, they reveal themselves to the world sometime in the early 20th century, and by the time the story opens, they end up assuming positions in organized crime, business, even the priesthood.
  • The Mirage-published Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic featured a rare intentional unmasquing when the alien Utroms reveal their existence to Earth and offer to share their technology; within months, Earth's technology level has been increased tenfold, and the planet has been opened to alien travel and commerce. (This leads to a slightly ironic situation where the turtles themselves are free to walk the long as they tack on a few prosthetics and claim to be alien visitors.)
  • In Rom Spaceknight, the eponymous hero initially has a tough time hunting down his shapeshifting enemies, The Dire Wraiths, who have infiltrated Earth so thoroughly that they have little trouble convincing everyone that Rom himself is the menace. However, when a new faction of the Wraiths takes over, they pull the big blunder of openly attacking SHIELD at their helicarrier base; and suddenly the Earth governments have all the evidence they need to know that Rom was telling the truth after all. They throw their full military and intelligence resources behind the Spaceknight.
  • Superman: Secret Identity ends with the society accepting the existence of superhumans like Clark, leading to scientific advancements.
  • This is now well and truly the case for the Buffyverse what with LA being transported to hell and back and vampires having reality TV shows.
  • In one of the early volumes of the Franco-Belgian Comics series The Scrameustache, the eponymous uplifted humanoid cat and his buddies, the benign Galaxians, reveal themselves to humanity, which reacts uncommonly reasonably: while they are the focus of media and tourists for a while, after a few months nobody bats an eye and they're treated as nothing more than slightly unusual neighbours or travellers.
  • In the Hellboy comics, this happened offscreen. The masquerade was broken when Hellboy was found and revealed to the public instead of kept hidden away. Immediately after which the existence of the supernatural was confirmed by the government and several religions.
  • Fables: When Bigby Wolf is resurrected as a monster, his magical monster form is so unstable that his presence causes magical side effects, including undoing the spells that hid Fabletown from the rest of the world. Since the Fables are heading back to the Homelands anyway, they decide to leave it for the humans to figure out. Epilogue issues reveal that humans have since discovered magic and portals to other worlds and are branching out.
  • Arrowsmith is set in Alternate History where, at the forging of the Peace of Charlemagne (the Pax Nicephori in the real world), the various hidden magical races of the world decided to make their existence openly known to humanity, also joining in the peace treaty. The United States of America is actually the United States of Columbia in this series, which takes place during this world's version of World War I. Dryads, trolls, dwarves, etc. live among humanity, magic co-exists side-by-side with technology. The Industrial Revolution is causing a magical revolution, as spells become mass-produced for the first time in human history.
  • Some DC stories et in possible futures treat superheroes' secret identities as common knowledge;
    • In the 29th century, all identities are known except Superwoman. When Kristen Wells goes back in time to investigate this, she ends up using futuristic technology to become Superwoman herself.
    • In Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?, Toyman and Prankster announce Superman's identity to the public after torturing it out of Pete Ross. By the end, Superman has De-Powered himself and faked his own death then marrying Lois Lane with a new identity.

    Fan Works 
  • Old Man Henderson: In the final session, the cultists have given up completely on the masquerade, and start a magic-fueled, abomination-riddled, zombie-raising civil turf war right on the streets. It's explicitly mentioned the military and police start flipping their shit "due to all the blatant WIZARDRY going on", and have hell trying to keep it all under control.
  • In To the Stars in the Post-Madoka future, the magical girls had to reveal themselves to help the save humanity from the Alien Invasion. Further complicating things afterwards is the acknowledgement by the magical girls that they manipulated the human society for the past five hundred years (ever since Madoka's changes to the world let them become a powerful world-wide organization instead of scattered bands of demon hunters). Given that the world ended up a nicer place for that, the public is generally understanding - but some fringe elements view them with utmost distrust, either as haughty superhumans or the puppets of the Incubators that made them what they are.
  • While many Danny Phantom fics go with the belief that following the Grand Finale, the entire world knows Danny's secret, the Facing the Future Series averts this with besides Danny's parents and Valerie, only those present at the South Pole know. Word of God believes they keep other things secret besides what a teenager does in his spare time.
  • Harry Tano has this happen due to an attempt by the Big Bad to conquer the world. He briefly succeeds, but the act of breaking his control spells cannot be covered up and leads to Earth developing advanced starships.
  • The Heroes of the Storm fanfic Heroes of the Desk has had this on-and-off throughout its Alternate History. During the time of the Romans it's implied there was no Masquerade...until something happened. Whatever that "something" was, it resulted in organizations like the Strategic Prevention, Extraction, and Ablation Regiment trying to rebuild/keep the Masquerade against an unready world. However, the Heroes characters blow the lid right off by appearing in the middle of BlizzCon 2015.
  • Lulu's Bizarre Rebellion, a Code Geass/JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Fusion Fic: The main plot of the first act is kicked off by a group of stand users revealing themselves on live television and attempting to conquer Area 11.
  • Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness: During the climax of Act IV, Hokuto deliberately exposes monsters to the world with the intent to prove to Moka that his nihilism is justified and that humans and monsters could never possibly co-exist; the unmasking is cemented with Alucard's subsequent rampage. The next two acts largely center around Tsukune and co. trying to prove to the humans that not all monsters are evil.
  • In Sluagh, the Masquerade is already seriously cracking in Ireland, where wizards are openly working for the militias. And this is the ultimate goal of Diabhal Dubh, who wants to take over Ireland by building up a united muggle and magical army.
  • The Rurouni Kenshin crossover fic Blood and Revolution is about youkai and vampires (which most of the main characters have become). The masquerade is shattered in the 1940s for some reason.
  • Some fanfics for Axis Powers Hetalia imagine what would happen if the the world at large learned the truth about the Nations. Usually, it doesn't go very well for them.
  • In the Young Justice fanfic, With This Ring, despite the fact that places like Atlantis and heroes like Doctor Fate were around, very few people believed in magic. Then Klarion became responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths and they couldn't ignore it. Then Orange Lantern reveals to the world that the afterlife and gods are very real in an interview with Cat Grant, citing how Teth Adom was resurrected from the dead and given his power. This is notable after Wonder Woman (made from Olympian Gods) had been around for ages and a literal Hell on Earth scenario.
  • The Hogwarts Exposed Timeline, a Harry Potter fanfic/alternate history on, revolves around the Statute of Secrecy being irreparably breached and the Wizarding world deciding to cut their losses and come forward to the non-magical world, and the repercussions of this such magic now being allowed to influence Muggle society while the majority of witches and wizards are exposed to electronics and the like for the first time.
  • Doctor Who Regenerated:
    Daisy: It's 2012. A lot of things have happened to the Earth. First contact, invasions... Everyone knows about aliens.
  • In the Aftermath of the Games universe, one of the major subplots is the human world eventually getting wise to the existence of magic and Equestria itself. The various magical battles that have taken place have been written off as fancy special effects, but Sunset realizes that people will put 2 and 2 together, and so they must prepare a controlled first contact. With the Humane 7 starting to gain magical powers of their own, and a criminal syndicate gaining interest in magic itself, the window of controlled first contact only gets smaller and smaller by the day.
  • In Violence Inherent in the System Harry and the Sailor Scouts decide to reveal the existence of the wizarding world, due mostly to the publicity involved in his and Sailor Moon's impending wedding.
  • After a massive attack on London (involving Giants and Inferi) in For Love of Magic, the International Confederation of Wizards are doing their damnedest to keep a lid on things despite Harry clearly spelling out that there are thousands of live witnesses who uploaded videos on pictures online creating millions more in hours. As he put it, "The Statute of Secrecy is irreparably broken. Suck it up and move on."
  • There's a local example in Silencio- when Coil is brought down, he releases a broadcast detailing the civilian identities of all of Brockton Bay's capes, hero and villain alike. Massive chaos ensues.
  • Book Two of The Last Son ends with Mutants revealed to the world, and Superman making his first public appearance confirming his rumored existence.

    Films — Animation 
  • At the end of Hotel Transylvania, the monsters that have been in hiding from humans for centuries finally reveal themselves at what just so happens to be a festival populated by monster-loving nerds, who all immediately cheer in celebration at finding out monsters actually exist. By the second film, the entire world has come to acknowledge and accept monsters, even thinking of them as celebrities.
  • After the original Spider-Man died in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, it was announced on the news that he and Peter Parker were the same person. The only real consequences were fans turning up at Aunt May's house and Mary Jane becoming a celebrity.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The vampire-dominated world of Daybreakers is heavily implied to have originated from this: the vampire politicians speak of having sent emissaries to humanity to negotiate a peaceful coexistence with it back when vampires were in hiding, but the emissaries were rejected and the vampires persecuted. Then the vampires' numbers grew so great that they outnumbered humans, and discretion and diplomacy no longer mattered. At the start of the movie, it's the humans who are in hiding.
  • Occurs in Hellboy II: The Golden Army, first when Hellboy is blown out a window and lands in the street in the middle of a group of reporters, and then when the Big Bad summons a forest elemental to kill him on a city block below one end of the Brooklyn Bridge.
  • Neo claimed this as his mission at the end of The Matrix and it eventually came to pass at the end of the third movie, with anyone who realizes the illusionary nature of the world offered a conscious choice to continue living in the Matrix or join Zion in the real world In The Matrix Online continuity, this was snapped back to the Machines no longer reinforcing the Masquerade (beyond basic damage control), and limiting their jurisdiction within the Matrix. Sheer inertia seems to keep a lot of the populace (maybe willfully) in the dark. This goes along with what Morpheus said in the first movie, where he said that adults pulled from the Matrix have trouble letting go.
  • This is implied to happen sometime after the ending of Big Trouble in Little China, as the film opens with a lawyer questioning Egg Shen about what caused the giant green fireball that appeared over San Francisco's Chinatown (and Egg Shen casually whipping out some lightning to convince the lawyer that yes, shit just got real).
  • The Island does it very literally: the technology that displays an illusionary world around the inhabitants (clones bred for organs) of the shelter is broken and the masquerade is broken.
  • Subverted at the end of The Howling, when the werewolf-bitten news reporter engineers her own transformation and silver-bullet demise live on national television. It's a subversion because everyone not already in on the werewolves' Masquerade dismissed it as a hoax. Played Straight in the sequels, especially the third one, even The Vatican declares that the werewolves are humans.
  • At the end of They Live, after the hero sacrifices himself to unmask the alien invaders.
  • Transformers Film Series:
    • In Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the Fallen decides to reveal their existence to the entire human race, breaking the government cover-up. By Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the Autobots are subjects of news coverage, Sentinel Prime is able to contact the UN to order them to kick the Autobots off Earth, and Simmons debates with Bill O'Reilly on whether or not the US should support the Autobots (poll results show that the US would feel safer without them).
    • Transformers: Age of Extinction has the government outright murdering Transformers and making their own.
  • In Underworld: Awakening, Selene wakes up In a World... where the humans have discovered the existence of immortals and are systematically hunting them down, vampire and lycan alike.
  • In Beetlejuice, the Maitlands are roundly criticized by their caseworker for letting the living get solid evidence of ghosts, while the Deetzes look to find a way to capitalize on their haunted house. However, it apparently didn't work out. By the end of the movie, the Deetzes are the same as ever, and while Otho apparently published the Handbook For the Recently Deceased as his own work, it seems to have been dismissed as just another crackpot New Age occult thingy.
  • In Ted, when the title character comes to life, the Bennett family alerts the media about an actual Living Toy and he instantly becomes a celebrity for a while. But after a while, as Patrick Stewart explained the best, "nobody gives a shit"
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Thor's (and subsequently the Destroyer's) appearance on Earth in New Mexico confirms to SHIELD, and certain civilians, that aliens exist. This sparks the need for SHIELD to pursue higher forms of weapon technology to combat extraterrestrial threats. To that end, they hijack leftover Tesseract-powered HYDRA weapons from World War II and are in the process of reverse-engineering them when Loki shows up. While the rest of the world knows about bits of the weird stuff already, they get a rude awakening to the scale of it when New York hosts an alien invasion.
    • This becomes a running theme of "Phase Two" of the MCU. Everybody knows who the Avengers are, that aliens exist, and that the Norse Gods live on a Magitek city floating in space.
    Killian: Anyway, the point is, ever since that big dude with the hammer fell out of the sky, subtlety's kinda had its day.
    • And at the end of Black Panther (2018), the world's most advanced nation - that has taken great pains to keep its technology hidden - is revealed to the broader world after thousands of years.
  • By the end of Man of Steel, Earth is alerted to the existence of extraterrestrials and superheroes.
  • In X-Men: Days of Future Past, the existence of mutants was already known within some government organizations (in fact, they had Magneto in prison), but the world at large ignored it. Then, the peace talks for Vietnam were interrupted when a blue woman that could shapeshift jumped from the window, followed by a man that controlled metals with a gesture and a blue feral man. And, as if that was not enough, this mutant levitated a stadium across a state, hurled it against the White House, extracted the panic room from it, and gave a New Era Speech for the television. Now, absolutely everybody knows about mutants.
  • Before the events of Independence Day, the existence of aliens (revealed when a scout ship had crashed in Roswell in 1947) had been kept a secret to everyone, even the president, which was effective until said aliens came to destroy humanity. By the next movie, everyone knows about the aliens, and their technology has inspired a human technological revolution.
  • Very nearly happened in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, where a massive fight between a Obscurus and several dozen of wizards completely makes it impossible to mind wipe every No Mag in New York... Until Newt remembers that a specific potion he has has an Obliviate effect and a thunderbird can create storms.
  • If anyone was skeptic about the existence of ghosts and the supernatural, probably the giant walking Stay Puft Marshmallow Man changed that in Ghostbusters (1984).
    • Yet the beginning plot of the sequel, Ghostbusters II, is that the city has forgotten about the ghosts and the founders of the company are put on trial for "massive fraud" alleged during the original movie.
  • In the MonsterVerse, MONARCH has been covering up the existence of Kaiju for a very long time, at least back to 1954, including Godzilla, Shinomura, the MUTOs, and Kong. This Masquerade gets shattered when the male MUTO awakens from hibernation, kicking off a chain of events that leaves several major cities in ruin and ends with a brawl in the middle of San Francisco, all of which was caught on national news.
  • Queen of the Damned: The other vampires are pissed off at Lestat for exposing their kind to the world by choosing to live out in the open by becoming a rock star.

  • In Timothy W. Long's At The Behest Of The Dead, not only has the supernatural been revealed, the necromancer main character, Phineas, is the one who made it happen. He is the sole entity responsible, and is held as such by the rest of his kind.
  • In the Anita Blake series, the existence of the supernatural has been known throughout all of history. Vampires and lycanthropes are commonplace (and the object of some fascination), and Anita herself is a licensed necromancer. There is still the social upheaval described by the trope but it is caused by the recent granting of legal personhood to vampires.
  • In Matthew Laurence's Freya Series, the only supernatural elements in the world are gods - all of them. They don't exactly try to hide their divinity at street level, but they're not very keen on straight-up announcing themselves, either. This is because their power is tied to belief, and the world's gotten very cynical - tell the average citizen you're Sekhmet, for instance, and they'll know exactly who to disbelieve.
  • In Justina Robson's Quantum Gravity series, an accident with a particle accelerator has reduced most of the continental United States to a series of islands and revealed parallel realities housing dragons, elves, demons, faries, and other such creatures. This is news to Humanity, but these other worlds claim that Earth (which they call Ootopia), and themselves, have been there all along. This difference in POV is never reconciled, but most people don't care and simply think Elvish rock stars are cool.
  • The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries (and its HBO adaptation, True Blood) take place in a world where vampires have revealed themselves to the world following the invention of synthetic blood that takes care of all their nutritional needs. Other supernaturals slowly follow in their footsteps
  • The Kitty Norville series stars a werewolf who hosts a late-night radio show. When she's attacked by a werewolf hunter on the air, she ends up revealing that she's a werewolf — but instead of running from it, she decides to parlay it into power, and ends up becoming a celebrity and figurehead for supernaturals across the country. Shortly after that, a government agency publicizes the existence of werewolves and vampires, up to and including DNA tests. By the time Kitty's forced into shapeshifting on live television, the matter's well enough known that the worst she suffers is an FCC fine for flashing the audience.
  • The Hollows series by Kim Harrison is set years after a virus from a genetically altered tomato wiped out most of the human race — 'supernatural' people, like witches, vampires and weres, were immune or less affected, so ended up revealing themselves when they realized their combined numbers nearly outnumbered humans in an event called The Turn.
  • The Mercy Thompson series features a world where The Fair Folk came out of the closest years ago, albeit intentionally and in a far more controlled method than the typical Broken Masquerade. It didn't end well, with religious conservatives and bigots railing against the fae and eventually creating voluntary reservations for them. (Which is actually exactly what the fae leaders wanted them to do in the first place.) After the events of the first book, the universe's werewolves decide to reveal some of their population as well, with a bit more success. Stefan the vampire anticipates the day when his people will come out of the coffin. He's working on ways for vampires to cure blood-borne diseases in order to gain some public good will and hopefully smooth over the whole "feeding on humans" bump. So far no one else has come out publicly, but with first fairies and now werewolves unmasqued, people are starting to question what else is out there.
  • In Kim Newman's Anno Dracula series, vampires have been hiding in the shadows for centuries. Then Dracula becomes Queen Victoria's consort and everything changes.
  • Mike Carey's Felix Castor novels depict a Britain where the existence of ghosts is becoming recognised as a fact with lobbying groups and parliamental debates weighing in on the issue.
  • In Elizabeth Bear's Blood and Iron, a dragon reveals itself to humanity and the existence of the fey can not be denied.
  • F. Paul Wilson's The Adversary Cycle of novels ends with a global revelation of the reality of the supernatural. Having the sun nearly go dark forever, releasing godawful monsters to stalk the increasingly-long nights, while bottomless pits open up and start eating the landscape, would sure convince me.
  • Sunshine by Robin McKinley is based on this, centering around a human protagonist who lives a fairly mundane life in the world post "Voodoo Wars" where protective talismans are the norm, certain geological areas can make you go insane if you enter them, magic users work for the government and everybody knows if the vampires get you, you're dead. Said protagonist encounters said vampires...
  • In Peter Watts's novel Blindsight, vampires used to exist, but a genetic defect that causes them seizures when they see things with too many right angles (like buildings... and crosses) led to them being wiped out centuries ago. Modern genetic engineers have recreated them and made them useful to society, or at least to society's corporate and military overlords, who have found all sorts of applications for highly intelligent and ruthless creatures kept under control by antiseizure drugs. Obviously nothing could possibly go wrong with reconstructing a super-intelligent predator that already nearly wiped out the human race once...
  • Towards the end of Animorphs, the Yeerks become increasingly careless about covering up their invasion, starting around book 45 with the ousting and execution of Visser One, who developed the plan of slow infiltration in the first place. By the last book, they're openly occupying the ruins of an unnamed city in California, enforced by Kill Sat. Also, at the end of the series it's stated that peaceful aliens now live openly among humans.
  • Poul Anderson's Operation Otherworld series is set on an Earth where Einstein's Theory of Relativity and at least one other scientific theory from the same time period were put together and used to negate the effects of Cold Iron on supernatural beings and magic. This results in brooms and flying carpets instead of cars, photo flashes specifically designed to mimic the light of a full moon so were-creatures can transform outside of a full moon, and unicorns as cavalry mounts, among other things.
  • In Devon Monk's Allie Beckstrom novels, magic has been known to the general public for about thirty years before the story starts.
  • While it doesn't happen in Sergey Lukyanenko's Watch series, Geser reveals that it was the strongest possibility for a world where Communism prevailed (it was originally conceived as a perfect social system). Of course, the humans would then quickly hunt down and kill all Others. Which is why he convinced a witch to sabotage the experiment. In another book a member of "The Last Watch", Edgar, describes his version of Utopia he's trying to build: a feudally-organized Magitek world where Others are rulers and public servants. Apparently this was an older plan of the Watches and the Inquisition, scrapped in favor of keeping on with The Masquerade.
  • This happens in the eighth (and final) book in the Artemis Fowl series, The Last Guardian. Opal Koboi had her past self killed, creating a time paradox that destroyed every bit of technology created or influenced by her in the last five years. This means about 75% of all machines, both on the surface and underground had catastophic failures. While one would think this would help the masquerade, since cameras and other such equipment are now completely destroyed, this breaks the masquerade wide open since a large part of The People's tech was hiding themselves from "the Mud Men" (their name for humans).
  • In the world of Kevin J. Anderson's Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I., a supernatural event known as the Big Uneasy took place several years ago, causing all manner of spooky creatures to reappear or begin rising from the grave. It's implied that such beings had previously existed, but were extremely rare and either dormant or in hiding.
  • In The Laundry Files it is increasingly fraying and by the time of The Annihilation Score it has become public knowledge that people are appearing with superpowers, though it's still kept secret why this is happening.
    • While badly fraying at the edges at the end of The Annihilation Score, by the end of The Nightmare Stacks it has been well and truly broken by the invasion of The Host of Air And Darkness while The Delirium Brief deals with the immediate aftermath.
  • Before the events of "The Stones Are Hatching" began, everyone had long since dismissed magic and mythology as mere superstition. With the hatchlings now rampaging around Britain and presumably, Europe, this is no longer the case.
  • The Detective Inspector Chen series is set at some point after the creatures of Chinese Mythology became public knowledge. There is official communication between the mundane government and the Celestial Bureaucracy, which even leads to a Strange Cop in a Strange Land plot where the strange cop is an enforcer from Hell.
  • Vampirocracy: The world had The Masquerade until the vampires decided that humanity definitely needed to be supervised, and conquered the world, ripping the mask to shreds.
  • In The United States of Monsters, the vampires held The Masquerade until the 2008 Financial Crisis when they proceeded to bail out the United States in exchange for legal citizenship. It's a relationship which has many ups and downs.
  • Magic Ex Libris introduces us to a world with a masquerade in the first book, which starts to unravel by the end of the second. The third book has a running commentary on the meltdown in the background while the protagonists struggle desperately to survive and win, and the fourth book shows a world where magic is universally known, and there's a charitable foundation researching all the ways magic can benefit ordinary people.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
    • A lot of time is spent dealing with the fallout of the unmasking that occurred in The Avengers. The show reveals that the Avengers and their supporting characters are not the only superhumans in the world, and that S.H.I.E.L.D. has a massive index of every known human with paranormal abilities. In the episode "Girl in the Flower Dress", it's also shown that S.H.I.E.L.D. actively suppresses this information to prevent the public from panicking. After the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, all of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s secrets, including the Index, are now available to the public, meaning the world is now aware that the Avengers aren't an isolated example.
    • An example occurs within the series: until they were forced into the open, no one (except possibly a few high-ranking HYDRA leaders) had any idea about the existence of the Inhumans, thinking the odd one they ran across was simply some random superpowered human. Following the events of Season 2, knowledge of Inhumans and that aliens were involved with them is widespread (if not completely understood) around the world.
  • The last scene of the Season Finale of Season 1 of Alphas is Dr Rosen announcing the existence of Alphas to the world.
  • American Horror Story: Coven ends with the new Supreme revealing witches to the world, in order to open up communications between humans and witches, and find more witches. This leads the witches to have a new, golden era.
  • Doctor Who: Aliens become common knowledge. When the Broken Masquerade happened isn't clear, though it seems that the world was unmasqued some time during the course of the 2005 revival and its spinoffs Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures. The Doctor says it happens during the Sycorax invasion, but the earlier Slitheen invasion seems just as likely. note 
  • Dollhouse explores the unmasking of a technology that is originally thought to be an urban legend.
  • Heroes's season four/series finale features Claire Bennet revealing her power in front of a live television audience.
  • Ultimately used in Kamen Rider Kuuga. While at first the police are willing to cover up Grongi incidents, when the gravity and fatality of the situation is considered they decide to tell the truth.
    • And again in the new Reiwa Era's premiere series Kamen Rider Zero-One: Humagear androids are a whole facet of life, so the CEO of their primary manufacturer Hiden Intelligence, Aruto Hiden (Zero-One himself), decides very early on that a cyber-terrorist cell that uses hacked Humagears to attack the city, would be easier to deal with if the company isn't also trying to cover it all up.
  • One Season 3 episode of Misfits has someone go public with his powers.
  • Done very, very subtly in Power Rangers ever since the finale of Power Rangers in Space. They never actually focus on the changes because of the lack of focus on continuity, but in Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue there was a government program that was quite open and public about being set up to combat a specific group of demons, Power Rangers Jungle Fury implies the ability to buy morphers on the black market ("I know a guy who knows a guy who has an uncle"), and Power Rangers Operation Overdrive casually refers to universities having courses on Galactic Myth And Legend. By the time of Power Rangers S.P.D. in 2025, Earth is a major intergalactic transit hub and the Rangers themselves are officers in an interplanetary police force.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • In "The Road Not Taken", a disposable alternate universe in which Anubis' attack on Earth caused The Reveal of aliens and the Stargate Program. The United States and the world became a rough place under plebiscite-powered President Landry. This alternate universe is The Unmasqued World.
    • The episode "2010" takes place in Next Sunday A.D., depicting an Earth that has made peaceful contact with an alien race after years of covering up the existence of hostile aliens. The aliens have shared their technology with us, and turned Earth into a peaceful paradise. It turns out at the end of the first act of the episode that the aliens have sterilized over 90% of the population so they could turn us into docile, backwards yeoman farmers to feed their empire.
  • In Supergirl, Superman has been a public figure for many years by the time the show starts, so the existence of aliens is common knowledge. While in season one there were still some deniers by season two they began using this to provide social commentary on immigration over time going into subjects like its effect on businesses, politics and the rise of hate groups.
  • The premise for True Blood is just this trope: Vampires exist! And this girl's telepathic, and there's a werewolf/shapechanger man-thing, and other stuff, though the general public only know about vampires.

  • A major element of the later, newer story arcs in Eternals. The trope comes into play in an alternate version of the year 2011, when the Eternals reveal their existence to the rest of humanity, creating an increasingly Alternate History version of our modern present day world of the 2010s (and beyond).

    Tabletop Games 
  • Seeing as it was the Trope Namer, it's not unexpected that this would happen. Two of the proposed endgames for Vampire: The Masquerade involve the Masquerade breaking in two right before the world goes to Hell.
    • Confirmed In 5th Edition the Masquerade has been cracked notably but not completely broken by a similar situation to the proposed endgame The Crucible of God. Human intelligence agencies stumbled on to the information leading to the discovery of Vampires. But instead of revealing it to the public and the politicians in charge, they decided to wage a covert war with the help of the Vatican's re-canonized Society of Leopold to form what the Vampires know as the Second Inquisition. In the first 5 years they wiped out nearly the whole of the Sabbat & the Vienna Chantry, where Tremere the founder of the clan worked.
      • The Masquerade cracking has caused the Camarilla to form a tighter knit, secondary masquerade community where the only only allow membership to those they view as elite. They abandoned the SchreckNet & modern technology completely, due to that being how the intelligence agencies found them. They now use carrier pigeon,Graffiti and Dead Drop (sometimes in the form of a hypontized human) to communicate.
      • Anarchs are more operating in the sense that the Camarilla formerly were being the most open and welcoming sect still around, gathering members from all clans & walks of life. They also share some methods with the Camarilla, but vary on how they organize.
  • Mage: The Ascension had several endings that relied on getting the mortals to 'wake up' to a particular view of reality, thus allowing [Insert Faction Here] to win the day, since mages/technomages basically run on mass-scale Clap Your Hands If You Believe.
  • One of the Changeling: The Dreaming endings had this as well.
  • Hunter: The Vigil's Network Zero pursues this outcome through the power of the internet.
  • The New World of Darkness Sourcebook "Mirrors" presents options for Unmasquing the world, such as a massive Awakening, the Gauntlet partially dissolving and allowing spirits free reign, or a vampire rock star becoming famous enough to the point where people notice he doesn't show up on cameras.
  • The PDF-only "Infinite Macabre" assumes this has happened already, since the supernaturals decided that if you can literally put a star system between you and the Torches and Pitchforks, there's really no point in hiding.
  • The Shadowrun RPG is set in an Unmasqued World: when the background level of magic finally rose high enough, elves, dwarves, trolls, dragons, and other assorted mythological beings spontaneously reverted to their true forms. A relatively benevolent ancient dragon immediately ran for President, and almost won, but got assassinated before he could take office.
  • Rifts, in a manner similar to Shadowrun. Although it is set After the End, the moment the titular rifts opened and awakened the world to magic, psionics, cosmic horrors, etc is pretty well described. In some ways, the Coming of the Rifts is the polar opposite of the Awakening in Shadowrun. While life kind of went on like normal in Shadowrun (albeit in a Cyberpunky way), the Coming of the Rifts wiped out 90% of humanity, and left the remainder too busy fighting for survival to do things like keep society going. The game takes place about 300 years After the End when humanity has finally started clawing its way out of the chaos.
  • In the Witchcraft expansion Armageddon, the supernatural gets unmasked after centuries of Masquerade... right in time for The End of the World as We Know It.
  • CthulhuTech straddles the line on this one; magic was made public quite a while back in the form of "arcanotech," and the government hands out licenses to sorcerers. On the other hand, since it's that kind of setting, the government's keeping mum about the really bad stuff...
  • Warhammer 40,000, the Imperium was a scientific atheist empire under the rule of the Emperor. Even psychic phenomena was explained in mundane terms rather than treated as magic. That all shattered during the Horus Heresy, when Horus brought the legions of Chaos to Earth. Now the Imperium is a theocratic, Luddite empire where people believe in magic, gods and daemons, because they really are out there.
    • Actually zig-zagged. There is still a masquerade of sorts going on for most of the Imperium, since a lot of information about things like Chaos, daemons, and the Horus Heresy is actively suppressed by the Holy Inquisition, although it is now religious rather than secular. If an average citizen knows anything about these things, it will either be so heavily sanitised and draped in religious symbolism that it barely resembles the real thing, or they will eventually be silenced for knowing too much. If they are somehow important or valuable, they may get away with being mind-wiped instead. Exactly how intact the masquerade is, and what information it applies to, depends on the author, and presumably where in the Imperium you are as well.
  • Warhammer Fantasy played with. The Old World is already supernatural, everyone knows that magic exists as soon as they see a Bright Wizard burn down the local watering hole. That stuff and the occasional Daemonic invasion is mundane for Warhammer Fantasy. The real hidden knowledge is the presence of Skaven and the Underblight, an entire empire of Chaotic ratmen underneath the Empire and other human countries. The Old World governments actively suppresses the knowledge of the Skaven, even when one of their Emperors was assassinated by Skaven centuries ago. The masquerade eventually falls away when Skaven invade the Empire in force during Warhammer: The End Times.
  • In Tech Infantry, early in the backstory, a centuries-long Masquerade was broken by the Bug invasion of Brazil, and the existence of Mages, Vampires, and Werewolves was revealed to the masses in the ensuing War of Gehenna. For the rest of the story, magical and non-magical humans live alongside each other and jointly battle aliens, although only the magical ones are subject to compulsory military service.

    Video Games 
  • In Alone in the Dark (2008) game, giant demonic "living" fissures open up and swallow New York City. Try explaining that away. Or the various horrors that accompany it, such as swarms of demonic bats, or the fact that any water the touches the cracks becomes living darkness.
  • Shin Megami Tensei:
    • The first two games happen in this kind of world, since demons are running free, a demon summoner canonically ruled Tokyo between Shin Megami Tensei I and Shin Megami Tensei II, and angels and demons act like heavily militarized political parties.
    • Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey eventually becomes this. The Schwarzwelt Joint Project tries to keep the existence of the Schwarzwelt (and the demons pouring out of it) a secret by claiming it's a particularly violent ferromagnetic blizzard, but eventually this Negative Space Wedgie expands too far, and far too many demons come out, for it to be hidden from the public eye. The fact the Project eventually resorted to firebombing the entire thing with nuclear warheads (which did pretty much nothing) also might have left them in pretty hot water and with many explanations to give.
    • The world of Persona 3 also becomes de facto unmasqued as the game nears its conclusion. Officially, the governments admit to nothing beyond the existence of Apathy Syndrome (and likely really don't know anything), but unofficially, a cult devoted to an Eldritch Abomination and praising its impending arrival and The End of the World as We Know It quickly comes to dominate society and the media. Thankfully, there's a Reset Button available for the right price...
    • Some of the endings for Devil Survivor definitely result in an unmasqued world (Yuzu's ending and Naoya/Kaido's ending) while others leave some room for interpretation (Atsuro's ending and Amane's ending).
    • This trope is a huge plot point for the franchise as a whole. Before Shin Megami Tensei I, the masquerade was strong enough that it wasn't broken until the world ended and demons poured into it. But thanks to Hazama launching an entire school into the demon world during the events of Shin Megami Tensei if... both undiscreetly and prior to the events of the first game, more people have awareness of the demons and an entire alternate timeline is created, leading to the events of the Persona games. We later discover that the awareness of demons led to the ICBMs being stopped because the events of the Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha games prevented them from being launched.
  • In Dragon Ball Online and possibly its Spiritual Successor Dragon Ball Xenoverse and its sequel which take place a few centuries after the events of Dragon Ball Super, Gohan wrote a book called "Groundbreaking Science" where he explains Ki Manipulation for the general public, essentially starting a Magical Martial Arts revolution. By the year 1000 many humans are capable of using ki attacks and flight as opposed to the select few seen in the series.
  • The powers of Alchemy and its derivative Psynergy, which were secrets kept by the Adepts in Golden Sun and The Lost Age, are much more common knowledge in Golden Sun: Dark Dawn after the rise of the Golden Sun and The Magic Comes Back. Adept soldiers are coveted by warring nations, and more than a few kings hope to recruit the player characters for their armies, willingly or otherwise. However, since non-Adepts can't see Psynergy in action, they still generally don't understand how it works, that it follows rules, or that Adepts usually come from certain bloodlines.
  • The Secret World takes place in a setting that is gradually shifting in this direction, since prior to the bombing in Tokyo most of the occult world was kept relatively hidden and everyone tended to like things that way. It let the Illuminati stay in power, it let the Dragon work their calculations undisturbed, and it helped the Templars deal with occult threats quietly and more easily prevent outbreaks of crazy wizards and monsters when occult information was kept under lock and key. However, when the Morninglight cult triggered a massive bomb spraying the Filth everywhere in Tokyo, the entirety of the Kaidan district in Tokyo had to be locked down, and several other major events erupted across the globe: a mysterious fog sweeping over an island in Maine, an army of mad sun-worshiping cultists rampaging in Egypt, and vampires emerging in Transylvania, along with running battles with eldritch monsters in downtown Tokyo and Manhattan. These events are rapidly pushing the ability of the secret societies to keep things hidden to their breaking point, and it's only a matter of time before even their ability to suppress the secret world is overwhelmed.

  • In It's Walky!, Head Alien uses a Martian warship to attack SEMME's home city, forcing them to reveal their secret to the world.
  • Corner Alley 13 has fantasy creatures suddenly appearing everywhere within a week as its basic premise.
  • Last Res0rt plays with this: the Celeste, supernatural angels/demons capable of talking anyone into doing anything, are out in the open. It's the vampires, djinn, zombies, and other miscellaneous monsters that are still forced into hiding thanks to the Celeste, even though people are aware they can and do exist.
  • The world of Sorcery 101 at first appears to be a straight example of this trope. Then you find out that most people think that it's a stunt and that there are groups still trying to keep the masquerade going. But more of the supernatural people are being more open and things are changing. At one point a guy comes out as gay to his best friend and his best friend accidentally revealing that he's a werewolf. They're portrayed to be about as shocking to each of the friends.
  • The first book of Fans! slowly breaks the Masquerade, as the main cast goes from thought insane to folk heroes. Later books take place more-or-less entirely in The Unmasqued World, even though the FIB try so hard to hold on to at least some secrets for another four, until the heroes take them over, too.
  • This occurred in the backstory of The Dragon Doctors, when a magical society dedicated to saving victims of magic decided the best way to do it was to reveal to the public the existence of magic. There were many powerful puppet masters in charge at the time who abhorred this idea, and there was a civil war between them in every country of the world.
  • In Apple Valley some 10 years before the start of the comic the normal "human" world was merged with a "fantasy" world full of elves, goblins and magical humans. In the time since, the two worlds have successfully integrated mainly due to the fact that they were originally one world, split into multiple parts by an ancient spell, and now Kentucky Fried Unicorn is a popular, if incredibly disturbing, fast food chain.
  • In the Funny Farm version of The X-Files' Mulder and Scully managed to uncover the conspiracy. Now they issue parking tickets to UFOs. Funny Farm characters remark that the show got boring after the unmasking.
  • In Sam & Fuzzy, the Committee is forced to go public on the existence of vampires after Sam forcibly exposes them to the world. They still keep a whole lot of other things under wraps, however.
  • In Harry Potter Comics, the English Wizards are forced to act openly in a mass Protegro Maxima spell to stop a nuclear missile aimed at London. The next panel pages show various newspaper articles showing Harry and other wizards, with the headline "Magic Is Real."
  • In The Glass Scientists, the unmasquing has apparently happened a few decades back, when Dr Frankenstein's creation went wrong and by the time the story starts, existence of werewolves and Mad Scientists is common knowledge.
  • In the "Sister III" arc of El Goonish Shive Pandora, who has been attempting to create this situation for years, finally succeeds. It had previously been revealed that when this happens the "Will of Magic" must decide whether or not to reset everything so the rules are once again unknown to the vast majority and everyone has to start learning magic all over again. The Will of Magic bases its decision on whether or not to allow the world to remain unmasqued, on advice from extremely rare wizards called seers if any exist.note  Only those seers who have used magic and don't know they can advise the Will of Magic in this situation are eligible to (so they can't game it). This time, the eligible seers manage to convince magic to leave things more or less as they are which finally ends the cycle of the Masquerade periodically being broken and restored over and over again for millennia.
  • Grrl Power: a bit of a Zig Zagged Trope, as the revelations about the existence of superhumans - and of the Archon unit - was a key factor in the series' first major Story Arc. On the one hand, evidence of superhumans had been documented publicly since the 1980s, though up until the 2000s most people dismissed them as hoaxes. On the other hand, few were aware of how many there were, and even ARC Light were caught ff-guard by the number of villains which attacked the team after the Archon announcement. They initially tried to keep the existence of aliens a secret after this, with Dabbler using illusions to disguise herself as human, but this was quickly scuppered when an Alari refugee ship landed in the African country owned by Deus and publicly requesting assistance from the UN. Whether the Veil of the Supernatural (which was created by a coalition of wizards, vampires, were-folk, The Fair Folk, and other magical beings, and probably helped hide supers and aliens as well) will hold up in the face of all of this remains to be seen.

    Web Original 
  • In the Paradise setting, humans are randomly, permanently Changed into Funny Animals (and occasionally gender-changed) by causes unknown. However, the changes were Invisible to Normals, who would still see Changed individuals as their old human selves (and genders). However, the Weirdness Censor that prevented normal people from seeing the Change started to break down in 2009. Post-2009, Changed have become widely-known—and by and large commonly accepted thanks to the Law of Conservation of Normality.
  • The Whateley Universe is the post-unmasking world. Now that mutants are out in the open and their numbers are increasing, things are getting tense. The Mutant Commission Office is a Men-in-Black organization that deals with them. The Goodkinds are funding the Knights of Purity, power armor 'heroes' to take out rampaging mutants. Humanity First! is a worldwide group of mutant-haters who want to stop the mutant menace. The future is no longer clear.
  • Trayen Kelly's Phaeton fits this trope, the existence of various Differently Powered Individuals, yes they are actually called that, being revealed around 1995.
  • SCP Foundation has the story hub Broken Masquerade, devoted to a scenario where a particularly major incident destroys North Korea, and in the process the existence of the anomalous artifacts and the organizations dealing with them is revealed to the public. It's also Played for Laughs in "Everybody Knows", where the Masquerade didn't break so much as it slowly fell apart to nothing without anyone noticing; it's officially broken in a broadcast because everyone realizes every person in the world was a part of an anomalous group in one way or another. Except for one guy, who at the end remarks to himself that he totally knew the whole time.
    • SCP-4991 is a series of social media posts from an Alternate Universe where the Foundation and the other groups of interest either stepped out of the shadows a long time ago or were never a secret to begin with; the Foundation's O5 Council are all public figures, Deer College has a Twitter account, and Marshall, Carter, & Dark offer their products to the general public. Unfortunately, this also means the public knows exactly who to blame when said universe is being torn apart by man-eating anomalous insects.

    Western Animation 
  • Gargoyles ends its second season with the revelation to the world that the Gargoyles exist. In the Expanded Universe comic book, this results in the creation of a NYPD task force for investigation into Gargoyle matters; as well as a hate group that targets anything supernatural (they are also the main antagonists in the third season).
  • Men in Black: The Series ends with a two-parter Grand Finale, where an Alien Invasion of Earth results in the MIB being forced to reveal the existence of aliens so that the whole world can fight for survival. But it's ultimately subverted in the ending, when the MIB agents are being awarded for saving the planet, they take the opportunity to neuralize everyone on Earth and make them forget the entire truth about aliens. Status Quo Is God indeed!
  • In the classic continuity of Ben 10, The Plumbers had kept the existence of aliens secret for centuries, with the organization going into hibernation a while before the start of the first series due to drastically reduced alien activity. The Plumbers are reinstated after Ben's alien fights and hijinks begin to gain public attention, and by Omniverse, Earth is an "open system" in which the Plumbers are operating publicly on Earth since many aliens are living and working on Earth without hiding.
  • In Danny Phantom, the public is eventually forced to acknowledge the existence of ghosts, with various individuals and groups springing up to deal with them. Danny's ghost-hunting parents are still seen as ridiculous regardless of this development.
  • X-Men: Evolution: The second season's cliffhanger is a massive brawl with a Sentinel that spills out of an underground base into a crowded city, and soon the fact that super-powered Mutants exist is broadcast live to the world. Even with the Reset Button pressed enough for the X-Men to return to high school in the next season, nothing's ever the same, and All of the Other Reindeer takes center stage (not unlike the source material).
  • While the actual unmasking happened during the movie, The Real Ghostbusters took place in a world where ghosts, demons and ancient gods have all been proven real and are common knowledge. Things haven't actually changed much: when faced with a supernatural problem at the start of an episode, civilians typically throw up their hands and say "call the Ghostbusters, let them deal with it."
  • Transformers:
    • The third season of the original The Transformers makes the jump from 1984 to 2006, where the Autobots are common knowledge to humanity. Though the masquerade lasted until the end of first episode when Megatron attacked an oil rig and the Autobots stepped in to stop him. Shortly after governments of Earth throw their support behind the Autobots.
    • Averted in Transformers Animated, where the Autobots are common knowledge to begin with, and are treated as the superheroes of 22nd century Detroit.
    • Played with in Transformers: Prime. With the exception of the lead humans, no other civilian is aware of the Cybertronians on Earth. However, the US government is aware, and regularly sends an agent to check on Prime and his crew.
    • The fourth season of Transformers: Rescue Bots has the Rescue Bots dropping their facade of being non-sentient robots when previously only a select few of Griffin Rock's citizens were in on the secret.
    • Transformers: Cyberverse begins with a relatively small number of Autobots and Decepticons covertly operating on Earth. This ends with first episode of season 2. Transformers are the subject of viral videos, battles between Autobots and Decepticons regularly make the news, and Optimus Prime has publicly announced his intent to defend Earth for as long as Decepticons threaten it.
  • In the third season of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003), Triceratons stage a very public invasion of Earth. After it is repelled, things return more or less back to normal, with some subtle differences, such as anti-alien militias, a new black market for alien weaponry, and a world more ready to accept subsequent weirdness. While the turtles are still not free to show themselves on the streets, when they do, they're immediately classified as aliens.
  • In the second season finale of Rick and Morty, the Galactic Federation initiates First Contact with Earth and offers them membership in order to leave Rick (a fugitive for unspecified crimes against the galactic government) without a safe haven to hide in. A news broadcast mentions that the Federation has opened the planet to alien tourism, and when the family returns to Earth at the end of the episode, they pass through intergalactic customs and are greeted with several alien tourists peacefully walking the streets.
    • And then in the season three premiere, Rick ends up toppling the Intergalactic Government along with damaging the Government of Ricks. This causes virtually all alien activity to cease on the planet as they all proceed to leave. Despite this, humanity continues on and not as phased by stuff. A later episode had a psychologist unphased by the fact Rick turned himself into a pickle (though also had a clandestine foreign government group be initially skeptical on Rick) and the President called on Rick and Morty to help with some "X-Files shannigans" as seen in the Season 3 finale.
  • Gravity Falls has slowly become this after "Society of the Blind Eye", as the titular society is no longer acting as a Memory-Wiping Crew; In "Northwest Mansion Mystery", Dipper's encounter with a giant bat makes newspaper front pages, leading him to be hired by Pacifica to exorcise a ghost. The final episode hints that after Bill Cipher is destroyed and Weirdmageddon stopped, the citizens have learned to integrate the abnormal into their daily lives; Farmer Sprott is seen chasing eyeball bats out of his barn, ("Git outta there, you ornery critters!") and zombies slowly rise from their graves outside the Valentino funeral home, which Robbie's parents take in stride, even casually asking Robbie to "Fetch us the sawed-off shotgun". Granted, this is still contained with the titular town due to a metaphysical barrier of weirdness, and in the final episode, Mayor Cutebiker passes the "Never Mind All That" Act that forbids town citizens from discussing the events of the finale with the outside world.

    Real Life 
  • The gay rights movement could be considered a downplayed example. People knew that homosexuality existed, but society at large was pretty ignorant about the topic. Moreover, members of sexual minorities tended to stay in the closet to avoid bigotry and persecution, meaning other people were unaware of just how many gay people there actually were. The common societal perception was that all gay people were creepy perverts, so some straight people assumed they'd never met a gay person even though they probably had. Even straight people who did know — say, if they were familiar enough with a close friend or relative to figure out that that person was gay — often still treated that person's sexuality like an Elephant in the Living Room. But after the gay rights movement entered the public eye, the masquerade was broken and people became more aware of the gay community. Later on, the transgender rights movement was a more extreme example of this trope. People several decades ago didn't necessarily know what transgender and transsexual even meant, but nowadays transgender topics are all over the news (although there's still plenty of ignorance about the trans community).
  • For practitioners of Wicca, this is exactly what happened in real life when the Wicca movement became public in Britain around the '50s thanks to Gerald Gardner and later it became a popular religion in the Western world. It must be taken into account that, for Wiccans, magic does exist as a real thing in the universe as the existence of some magical beings like Elementals.
  • A similar case is the general Magick Revivalism that started around the late 1800s and early 1900s with the foundation of several new Esoteric schools and others that went public like the Theosophical Society, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and the Ordo Templis Orientis. Personalities like Aleister Crowley or Helena Blavatsky, disregarding what a lot of people thought of them at the time, made “public” the existence of magic and the Occult. Crowley founded several ceremonial magick schools. For many Occult enthusiasts and magickians this was making public in modern times what was known in old times and become a secret in pre-modern era. Of course, skeptics would disagree.
  • Professional Wrestling, for most of the twentieth century, existed behind an elaborate charade known as Kayfabe, hiding the fact that it was a staged athletic exhibition rather than an actual, competitive sport. Eventually, said secret came out, and, as it turned out, most fans of the "sport" didn't really care too much. Or already knew.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): The Unmasked World, Unmasqued World


The Interspecies Exchange Bill

A TV report providing exposition.

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