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Wrong Assumption

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"When you assume, you make an ass out of 'u' and 'me.'"

It's not that difficult for a character in a work to jump to conclusions. They might believe that they're a certain trope, that a different character is a certain trope, or at least that a certain trope is happening around them. But it turns out that they are very much wrong. And unfortunately, it will often take them until the end of the story to realize their mistake. In a Darker and Edgier story, they might not even realize the truth until it's too late for them to get a Happy Ending. In a Lighter and Softer story, only the villain will really be a victim to this and meet his/her downfall.

Some tropes in the The Wannabe Index (like Big Bad Wannabe, Casanova Wannabe, Prince Charming Wannabe etc) and Mistaken for Index are sub-tropes of this trope. There can be overlaps with Entertainingly Wrong, Hidden Depths, Horrible Judge of Character, Idiot Ball, One Dialogue, Two Conversations, and More than Meets the Eye as well. Compare also with Wrong Genre Savvy, where a character acts as if they're in a different genre than what they really are. Compare Tragic Mistake.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Asteroid in Love, since Mira acts like a complete ditz during the club's welcoming barbecue, Yuu assumes that Mira would completely follow that archetype and isn't expecting anything intellectual from her. The problem is, while Mira isn't the smartest girl around, she is uncharacteristically curious for The Ditz, and her impulsivity can turn into motivation to learn what's needed to sate said curiosity. Cue Yuu's utter surprise in the thirty-fourth chapter when she learns that Mira is seriously into asteroid discovery and is able to perfectly summarize the process...
    Yuu: Pigs don't fly!!
    Chikage: Nana-chan, you sure pull no punches.
  • In Aura Battler Dunbine, when Show Zama first came back from Byston Well along with Garalia and their respective Aura Battlers, the first explanation the muggles come up with is that Show was actually a shapeshifting alien who killed then took the boy's appearance. It didn't get better from there.
  • Bleach: In keeping with the theme of him being a luchadore who has cheering fans to please, Mask de Masculine views himself as the hero and the Soul Reapers as the villains that must be defeated, even though it's the Quincies who are threatening the balance between worlds.
  • In Captain Tsubasa, Genki Girl Kumi Sugimoto has a crush on popular Lovable Jock and her junior high's School Idol, Tsubasa Ohzora. So she applies to become the Cute Sports Club Manager of the soccer team he's already in, with direct intentions of getting close to him and then winning his affections. Well, such romantic deals often happen in sports stories... but why is she here? Kumi didn't count on how the main CSCM, Kumi's Cool Big Sis Sanae, was Tsubasa's Patient Childhood Love Interest with already two years ahead of her. Against a girl like her, Kumi simply could NOT compete.
  • In Date A Live, when Shido walks in on Tohka bathing, she freaks out. He's surprised and comments that given that she isn't human and was so ignorant of human society, he expected her to be an Innocent Fanservice Girl. He must have missed the part in the previous episode where she blushed and hid behind him after her clothes were erased.
  • In Doki Doki! PreCure, when Aguri/Cure Ace discovers that she and Regina were once the same person, she immediately assume that they cannot co-exist at the same time and that one of them must die. Not only is this not the case, as Mana shows them, but Aguri and Regina going all out during their deathmatch, along with the entire team having to step in to stop them, leads to them being weakened enough for Bel to start his assault on Earth without opposition.
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • Vegeta's whole complex is how he views himself as The Hero or even The Chosen One, and so constantly gets mad when Goku and Gohan continue to take center stage. It takes him until the fight with Kid Buu to accept his destiny as Goku's lancer.
    • Mr. Satan has basically everyone on Earth convinced that he is The Hero. In the end, he becomes a sort of lancer. To be fair, Goku doesn't hold it against him in the end - and it even works for the sake of the heroes once.
  • In Full Metal Panic!, Sousuke Sagara approaches every situation as a military operation. Since he is a Private Military Contractor, he's right about half the time. The other half he's at a normal high school playing bodyguard for his love interest, and he proves completely incapable of adjusting his behavior or his situation analyses to fit the undercover assignment. Someone has put something (a love letter) in your shoe locker? Follow standard procedure for dealing with suspected IEDs and blow it up. The gym teacher screams at you and treats you like scum? Clearly he is the local Drill Sergeant Nasty; salute and thank him honestly.
  • In Gate, when Emperor Molt starts taking the JSDF seriously, he orders his army to use Scorched Earth tactics to deny the enemy supplies to make their journey harder. However, that old kind of tactic won't work with a modern force that uses helicopters, tanks, Humvees, jets, and a well-established supply line... or rather, it won't work because of the speed and range that the JSDF forces can bring to the table. Without matching abilities, the JSDF can leapfrog over those positions rather quickly. He also has no real concept of the kind of demented warfare Japan can unleash upon his country, and still thinks war with them is winnable. After the Senate building gets bombed to rubble, he eventually realizes it's better to negotiate with Japan than to see more bullet-filled corpses of his soldiers and possible rebellion from his own people and neighboring countries. Too bad his batshit crazy eldest son doesn't see it that way.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya: Haruhi expects a student president, who runs the school and all the clubs like a dictator. There isn't one, so Itsuki hires some guy to play the part of a jerkass president. He's a jerkass in a different way entirely, though. Of course, since this is Haruhi he starts having trouble differentiating himself from the role he is playing, and will possibly end up exactly as Haruhi thinks he is.
  • In Heroman, Will refuses to believe Joey is the hero of the story. He rudely tells him this and decides to prove him wrong. He ends up being an Anti-Hero who ends up making things worse.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders, Polnareff is moments away from being killed by Vanilla Ice and tries to emulate the best possible scenario, which is either A) He will escape the attack. B) His allies will rescue him. C) He's doomed because life's a bitch. Despite wishing Option B to occur, he attempts Option A, only to fail and realize that Option C was his only option.
  • Mazinger Z:
    • Baron Ashura and Count Brocken hated each other. Big Bad Dr. Hell thought it would be a good thing since they would surely try to destroy Mazinger-Z harder to upstage each other. Or course, what happened was many operations and schemes went by the wayside because they constantly fought and got in each other's way, and they were unable to work together, ruining many joined missions, too. Hell's mistake was born of him believing he and his troops were heroes instead of villains.
    • In another episode, Count Brocken has one in which he took hostages, and used cheap tricks to defeat Koji, expecting Koji to be a straight, heroic, and honorable hero like pretty much most tv show protagonists at the time. This could have (and at times actually did) work well if not for the fact that this is Koji we're talking about. In fact, Brocken does mention it by complaining about how Koji's fans will cry because of that. Koji's reaction? Take it like a man.
  • In Mobile Fighter G Gundam, young Maria Louise from Neo France is a Rebellious Princess with a crush on the local Knight in Shining Armor, George de Sand. She's depressed because he doesn't fight for her but for her country. So, if she stages her own kidnapping and recruits Domon Kasshu, a rival that George spurned, he'll fight for her honor, right? WRONG! George does come for her, fully aware of her trick, and delivers a What the Hell, Hero? speech on how he's much more likely to be absorbed into fighting Domon than on Maria's honor as well as chewing her out for her recklessness. Domon's partner Rain has to bail Maria out, she's Put on a Bus until the second part of the series, and when she comes back she's learned from her mistakes.
  • In Moriarty the Patriot, after giving Sherlock a Secret Test of Character, William assumes the highest hurdle for Sherlock to clear, the one thing he certainly wouldn't do to get what he wants, is murder someone, and that he is committed to playing by the rules and following the laws. Well. Murder's not nearly as troubling to Sherlock as William thought.
  • In Muhyo and Roji, during an early case, Muhyo sees a photo of a ghost reaching out to Nana and assumes she's being threatened. Upon seeing the actual ghost, Muhyo tries to sentence it for "unlawful entry to a residence and attempted bodily injury," but the envoys he uses to sentence it turn on Muhyo because the ghost hadn't committed that crime. The ghost was Nana's father, and he was returning to his own home and giving Nana an Affectionate Gesture to the Head, making him merely guilty of "unauthorized posterial floating."
  • In a flashback in My Senpai Is Annoying, Futaba, then a middle schooler, assumes that by following Natsumi (whom she's just met at the time), she'll find her way to the school, as she who's wearing the school's uniform. Unfortunately for Futaba, Natsumi was cutting class, and Futaba only realizes this when Natsumi arrives at the arcade, not the school. Futaba ends up being rather late because of this.
  • In Naruto, the title character is told multiple times by several different people that he is the kind of person who could never be the main character in a story. Wrong.
  • Manhwa The Other Side of the Mirror has a side story called 99 Roses. A beautiful girl from a very wealthy family discovers a red rose in her mailbox. She ignores it at first, only for the roses to keep appearing in her mailbox, day after day. She is intrigued and after catching a glimpse of the boy who leaves the roses there, she slowly falls in love with him and decides to declare him her knight on the day when she receives the 100th rose. The 100th rose never comes though, and she is so heartbroken that she never marries. As it turns out, the boy was not in love with her - he took leftover roses from the florist he worked for and left them in the mailboxes of all the pretty girls in the city. He never delivered the 100th rose because a different girl was the first to declare her love.
  • In Puni Puni☆Poemi the eponymous character is convinced (apparently correctly) that she is the main character — and her voice actress. In the final scene ,the show's director (who is also a character) reveals that the main character is apparently her love interest.
  • Re:Zero: Subaru often makes wrong assumptions due to thinking in anime and video game logic, for example thinking that he's the hero and the world revolves around him. In the first episode, he gets threatened by a gang of thugs and then sees Felt approaching them. He thinks this beauty must be the one who summoned him and that she is coming to save him, only to be shocked when she ignores and goes past them, then the thugs beat the crap out of him.
  • In Slayers, Naga believes that she is The Rival when she's actually more of a sidekick. Lina often corrects her when presenting themselves to a new character. In the TV series, Amelia tries desperately to uphold Justice in a slapstick fantasy world.
  • In the The Twelve Kingdoms anime, Yuka leaps to the immediate assumption that being transported into a fantasy realm means she is The Chosen One, even though all signs point to her classmate Youko Nakajima. In the original novels, Yuka never even reached the Twelve Kingdoms in the first place, which should put things in perspective.

    Comic Books 
  • Deadpool: In Operation Annihilation, when the Hulk assumes that Deadpool is attacking him and that he was hired by somebody to provoke him into a trap. In truth, Deadpool is acting on his own trying to provoke the Hulk into killing him, but even when he tells Hulk that nobody hired him, the Hulk still assumes it's part of some more elaborate scheme. Later in the same story, some somewhat smart soldiers see the Hulk rampaging and guess that Deadpool is the cause of it. They guess right, but when they see Deadpool in a bus full of children, they assume he's taken them hostage when he was actually trying to rescue them.
  • DuckTales: The comic has two examples during the story "The Once and Future Warlock":
    • Launchpad assumes that Laird's influence on Doofus (who he's brainwashed) won't cause the young duck to make any moves against him, given that Doofus is a friend and fan of his. This nearly gets him zapped.
    • In the same story, Scrooge and the boys assume that Laird's brainwashing has completely wiped away Doofus' real personality. They're wrong, and the real Doofus is ultimately saved.
  • The Flash: Hunter Zolomon in his persona of Zoom is convinced that he's a Stealth Mentor / Anti-Villain that helps heroes grow stronger by making them experience personal tragedies. In truth, he's delusional to the point where he qualifies as legitimately mentally ill and is as much a danger to heroes as any full-blown villain is.
  • Judge Dredd: In one comic, a perp tries to escape from Dredd by jumping into what he assumes to be a laundry chute but ends up being a waste disposal unit.
  • Supergirl:
    • In Red Daughter of Krypton Lobo taunted Supergirl during their whole fight, thinking that she'd fight sloppily if she got angry. It turned out that blind rage makes her more dangerous instead of more ineffective.
    • During the events of Superman: Doomed, Supergirl, who was using her anger to protect the galaxy, assumes Superman's just "getting in touch with his angry side" and can use his SuperDoom form for good. So she goaded him... and it made things worse.
  • Superman: In many comics (especially Lex Luthor: Man of Steel), Lex Luthor thinks (or says he thinks) that he's The Hero and the Only Sane Man to most of humanity (who insist on putting their faith in a powerful, dangerous alien) and that Superman is a Villain with Good Publicity. Of course, the reality is that Lex is a jealous villain and that Superman is an Innocent Alien and All-Loving Hero.
  • Tales to Astonish: In issue #59, when Bruce Banner goes missing shortly before the Hulk is seen in the area, Betty Ross, Giant Man and the Wasp go searching and find a trashed jeep with Bruce's shredded clothes in it. They presume this to mean the Hulk has attacked and abducted Banner because they don't know one or two little details about the good doctor.
  • Watchmen: After discovering that the recently murdered Edward Blake was actually the Comedian, Rorschach assumes that a "mask killer" is targeting ex-costumed heroes and is seemingly proven right when an assassin attacks Adrian Veidt. Blake was actually killed for knowing too much by Veidt himself, who then staged the attempt on his life to keep Rorschach on the wrong track.
  • X-Men: This happened when the X-Men had to deal with Dracula. Yes, using a cross on Drac is a good way to keep him back. But, it really doesn't work unless you have the faith behind it, which the very Jewish Kitty Pryde and the oh-so-unrepentant Wolverine find out. Luckily for the former, her Star of David necklace is equally effective as a cross at repelling Drac.

    Fan Works 
  • Played for Drama in 221. When he catches Watson trying to break into the desk for his checkbook (rather than asking for it), Holmes caustically warns him against gambling so close to the holidays. Watson snaps that he needed it to go Christmas shopping for Holmes. Before the detective can recover, Watson has already stormed out and slammed the door.
  • In Accidental Successor, Shigaraki assumes that All Might has been cutting back on his Pro Hero work because he was gradually weakening. In reality, Toshinori was taking classes to earn his teaching license.
  • Androgyninja's A Drop of Poison:
    • Played for Drama with Sakura's situation. While she had already noticed the natural advantages those from clans held over civilian-born shinobi like herself, after Sasuke coldly insists that she'll never amount to anything more than a 'paper ninja' with a desk job or Cannon Fodder, she becomes increasingly convinced that the majority of people around her feel the same way. Though there is bias and classism at work, Sakura tends to assume the worst, cutting herself off from potential allies due to Poor Communication Kills.
    • This is possibly best illustrated in her relationship with Kakashi, whose questionable teaching methods leave her convinced that he considers her completely expendable and won't lift a finger to help or protect her. Kakashi does care about her, but is terrible at showing it.
  • Advice and Trust: When Gendo fired Shinji and Asuka he was not concerned because he thought the Dummy Plugs would be an adequate substitute, and otherwise neither Shinji nor Asuka would leave or refuse pilot again because Shinji yearned for his approval and attention and Asuka's self-image was utterly tied to be a pilot. Oh, and he also thought Shinji's feelings toward Asuka were unrequited infatuation. However: the dummy plugs were NOT a good substitute; Shinji and Asuka's relationship was of the Belligerent Sexual Tension nature, and it had been resolved when he was not paying attention, so neither of them cared for or depended on his approval anymore. Cue freaking I-eat-Evas-for-breakfast Zeruel, easily destroying the Evas piloted by Dummy Plugs, nearly killing Rei, storming the Geofront and very nearly killing everyone because Gendo had been idiotic and suicidal enough to fire his best pilots.
  • Cheat Code: Support Strategist:
    • Following Chapter 44, most of the cast believes that Uraraka was kidnapped, unaware of what actually happened to her: namely, her Quirk evolving in an unexpected fashion.
    • During the mall attack, Todoroki quickly realizes that Shigaraki didn't know about the attack and isn't an enemy; however, Hitoshi assumes that his classmate has become a traitor and is working with his streaming buddy.
  • In Doth Thou Even Steal Hearts?, many of the adults trying to help Joker think that he's lost or misguided. In reality, Ren is trying to expose the flaws in the Pro Hero system while helping those in need, all while searching for a way back to his own world.
  • In A Few Angry Words Pain seems to think he's Julius Caesar marching into Rome. He's more like the Antichrist marching into the Jezreel Valley.
  • Hell Is a Martial Artist:
    • When Ranma comes across Belldandy, Urd, Skuld, and Hild together, he assumes the first three are bullying the latter since they're confronting her three-on-one.
    • Everybody initially mistakes Urd for yet another one of Ranma's "fiances", and react accordingly, ignoring her protests to the contrary.
    • Due to their similar appearances, many wind up confusing Urd and Hild, thinking that both women are the same person.
    • Played for Drama when Akane makes clear that she will never give Ranma the benefit of the doubt, spelling out for him that she will always assume the absolute worst of him in any given situation no matter what.
    • Soun and Genma believe that Hild is just "some witch", dismissing Cologne's warnings that she possesses a power they don't want to mess with.
  • In Hunting the Unicorn, Blaine's attempt to be Kurt's Knight in Shining Armor is the result of a Wide-Eyed Idealist meeting the Wrong Guy First and just having a shitty life in general. And Alex thinks he's the Dogged Nice Guy who'll end up with Blaine after he breaks up with his selfish, demanding tyrant of a boyfriend, but Kurt is Blaine's Second Love while Alex is the stalker they don't even know about.
  • In If I Die Young, an AU where the last words your soulmate will say to you are tattooed on your skin, soulmates Betty and Veronica assume that their respective words (Betty's "I love you." and Veronica's "No, don't close your eyes, please don't leave me!") mean that Veronica will die violently and in pain and Betty will be left alone. While this turns out to be true, Veronica is only clinically dead for a few minutes and once she reawakens, both she and Betty receive new words that foretell a peaceful death together.
  • In If You're Alone Onstage, Oprah assumes that Otis helped his Archnemesis Dad Dementia break into one of their Headquarters, and fires him.
  • In Imperfect Metamorphosis, Team 9 is full of idiots, and they are also misinformed about what is actually going on. Yukari, though, has no excuse, as she seems convinced, against all evidence, that she actually can take on Rin Satsuki, who already defeated her, Reimu, Eirin, and some of Gensokyo's other powerhouses and possesses the power of a freakin' ARCHANGEL OF DEATH. Oh, and she apparently doesn't have any problems in trying to screw things over while she already has to deal with Yuuka, who placed a bounty on Rin Satsuki's head. If she had actually spent TWO SECONDS listening to what Eirin said, or, failing even that, had tried to find a peaceful solution, she wouldn't have ended up playing Yuuka's game. If Rin actually WAS the Omnicidal Maniac she believes her to be, Gensokyo would have been ANNIHILATED by now.
  • In the pilot for JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Sunshine is Unbreakable, when Koichi Hirose sees Chika Takami and You Watanabe running towards Josuke Higashikata, he thinks that two are Josuke's fangirls like the trio of girls that talked to him earlier in the first episode of Diamond Is Unbreakablenote . Chika and You are actually Josuke's Childhood Friends.
  • Throughout The Karma of Lies, Adrien assumes that Protagonist-Centered Morality ensures that his happy ending is guaranteed, since he's clearly one of the good guys... despite being a Secretly Selfish Nominal Hero who chooses to let Lila scam his classmates since he's not personally affected and clearly won't be falling for any of her schemes. Until he does.
  • The Lament Series (ChaoticNeutral): Chloé's Lament has her making several after Wishing to switch places with Marinette:
    • She mistakenly believes that Marinette will be a Spoiled Brat Hated by All just like she was, and that she must bully and belittle others the same way she did. In reality, the new reality's Marinette is a Spoiled Sweet girl whom Chloé still tried to bully, to little avail since she was no longer protected by her father's position.
    • Since her father was Mayor before, Chloé presumes that Marinette's father Tom is in the same position, only to learn that it was actually Sabine who was cast into that role.
    • She also assumes that Marinette became the Class Rep, only to find that Sabrina took that job instead.
    • She also assumes that she'll now be this universe's Ladybug. Turns out she failed Master Fu's Secret Test of Character without even knowing it. Oh, and the new Ladybug hero is Sabrina, under the alias Red Queen.
  • The main character of Life Ore Death has this almost as a character trait due to learning English during the story. Usually it's Played for Laughs, such as when Ferris believes Kaldur'ahm to be a clone instead of Conner, but it's Played for Drama in the second season when Ferris is under the impression that Dr. Fate is consensually sharing Zatara's body, and still taking days off for him to see Zatanna, which isn't the case.
  • Maria Campbell of the Astral Clocktower: Upon seeing that one of the school's tests resembles a Temple of Doom, Maria immediately assumes that everything in it is genuinely designed to be lethal. She's astonished when all of her classmates survive.
  • Mastermind: Strategist for Hire: Overhaul assumes Mastermind hates Quirks due to being Quirkless himself. Izuku corrects him, telling him that he sees Quirks as tools and really doesn't care about them otherwise, nor does he hate others for having Quirks.
  • Minion has the Author Sue being a young woman who realized that the Laws of Narrative actually controlled their universe. She even deduced the existence of the comic-book Sliding Time Scale. Using that knowledge, she got herself as a job as a minion of Doctor Doom, eventually becoming his wife and seeking to destroy the Laws of Narrative so all these super-geniuses and super-beings will quit wasting their time in dramatic nonsense.
  • My Hero School Adventure Is All Wrong As Expected: Neito Monoma already thought that all Class 1-A students were a bunch of stuck-up posers, so him seeing the whole lot of them stare down and not even verbally acknowledge a General Course student who asked if any of them wanted to team up just confirmed his beliefs. The student in question? Hitoshi Shinso, whose Compelling Voice Quirk requires the target to verbally respond to him. Monoma's assumptions come back to bite him when he tells the student his name later in the cavalry battle after a bit of flattery only for Shinso to subsequently force him to hand over all of his and Setsuna's headbands.
  • OrangeLemon's Sannin Swap: Shikamaru takes Naruto's invention and usage of the Sexy no Jutsu as evidence that a full team of kunoichi will have the best possible chance of bringing him home. Sakura remarks that Naruto created that jutsu out of a desire for attention, not girls.
  • In Origin Story, the Avengers assume that Alexandra Harris is a mid-level superhuman about the same power-level as Spider-Man, and thus no real threat to their team. When they go to arrest her for violations of the Metahuman Registration Act, they treat her accordingly and assume that they can overpower her easily. Turns out she's a Kryptonian, with all the powers and abilities of Superman. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Phoenix's Tear: Reignition: In Protectorate of the Color Pandora, C.P.'s village had little experience with how Muu's forces work beyond the raids Naga and Stone Dragon conducted. As a result, he initially mistakes the Searchers for working with the villains, assuming that Genki and Holly are both 'handlers', completely unaware that Muu doesn't employ any humans at all in his armies. Hare complains about this, unintentionally reminding Genki of how Allan originally intended to join Muu due to his own inaccurate assumptions.
  • A Signal of Hope: A young Jason Todd was so traumatized and mistrustful of human dealings, he thought Bruce Wayne adopted him because he wanted something illegal of him. The misunderstanding was only cleared right after Jason came to Bruce's room to sexually propose to his horrified guardian.
  • In solidarity (was the movement that turned the direction of history), Nedzu and Aizawa learn about Midoriya's habit of analyzing Quirks, confiscate his notebooks, and conclude that he must be the traitor they've been searching for. They promptly kick him out of U.A., causing the rest of Class 1-A to rebel upon learning about this Miscarriage of Justice and plunging the academy into a massive scandal.
  • In Star Wars vs Warhammer 40K, the Imperium of Man is an oppressive Evil Empire that thinks they're the anti-heroic La Résistance fighting to liberate humanity, the Galactic Republic is a Vichy Earth-style False Utopia oppressing humanity, and the Jedi are a malevolent Ancient Conspiracy of Sorcerous Overlords secretly ruling the galaxy through Mind Control (the Jedi Mind Trick). Of course, the Imperium has got it completely wrong as the Republic is a human-dominated democracy and the Jedi are galactic defenders of peace and justice.
  • A Thing of Vikings: King Adalwin ua Imair (real identity Alvin the Treacherous) tries to send an envoy to apologize for the attempted theft of Meatlug and attempted murder of her rider Fishlegs and to plant a spy in Berk to feed him intel and information on Berk and their dragon-taming skills by giving the tribe a whole ship's worth of thralls. Unfortunately, they did not count on the fact that unlike most of the rest of the world, Berk is fervently anti-slavery. It also does not help that Fishlegs was far from the kind of viking who would use a pleasure thrall, and is so tender-hearted that their spy Heather would eventually fall in-love with him and lead to Berk invading his city. Also they mixed up Fishlegs and Meatlug's names.
  • Think Before You Speak (MHA): Aizawa believes that everyone will allow the Malicious Slander he spread about Izuku to build up so that Izuku can be forced out of heroics to protect Bakugou, who he judged to have more potential. Luckily for Izuku, the public, several heroes (including All Might and Endeavor) and even the HPSC not only disagree with Aizawa's claims, but all of them view Bakugou as having little potential or as a future villain in the making, while viewing Aizawa's actions as unjustified and downright idiotic.
  • In Transformers Meta, Barricade had successfully deduced that Bumblebee had been trying to trick him into letting him go by lying about finding mermaids which would grant him wishes, but still fully believed that mermaids were real and declared he would "find them by himself." He proceeded to list the things he would wish for upon his success.
  • In Ultimate Sleepwalker: The New Dreams, the Ax-Crazy Psycho for Hire Bullseye revels in his supposed A-list status and looks down on C-List Fodder like the billiards-based 8-Ball. When they're hired by rival crime bosses who are fighting a Mob War, Bullseye and 8-Ball end up fighting. The cocky Bullseye thinks that, as the A-lister, he'll have an easy time against the C-list 8-Ball. However, Bullseye ends up impaled by a huge piece of metal and gets his head severed and knocked into a garbage can by 8-Ball, just to add insult to injury.
  • What Goes Around Comes Around: After Marinette is revealed as Ladybug by her Final Battle with Hawk Moth, both her parents and Adrien assume that's the reason why she previously claimed to be crushing on Chat Noir. Marinette explains that no, that was a panicked lie to protect her Secret Identity. Notably, both Sabine and Tom accept this, though Tom laments that this means he got akumatized into Weredad for nothing. Adrien, however, clings to the misconception because it better suits his personal fantasies of forcing her into a Relationship Upgrade.
  • What If Krillin Became a Saiyan?: During the Saiyan Arc, Krillin isn't worried about running out of time to make the trip back down Snake Way, as he figures that Kami and the others gathered up the Dragon Balls so that they could wish him and Goku back to Earth directly from King Kai's instantly. When Kami admits that they hadn't considered making that kind of backup plan, Krillin immediately panics.
  • Where We Don't Belong: Since the Ouroboros have no knowledge of their own homeworlds, they jump to quite a few incorrect conclusions.
    • Mio and Sena don't realize there's anything weird about people with core crystals walking around openly, and so make some assumptions about Driver/Blade teams that turn out to be ... misinformed.
    • Mio hears the name "consul" and immediately gets the worst possible impression of Mor Ardain. The consul in question is actually a minor bureaucrat, certainly not the secret master behind the throne.
    • Mio has a dream of playing with Dromarch as a child, and specifically calling him her mother's Blade. Since they don't know they're in the past until Chapter 17, she assumes her parents were Dromarch's drivers before Nia, and are dead now.
    • Noah assumes that Alvis is a consul (which, in fairness, Alvis plays up), and is immediately antagonistic to him as a result.
    • Eunie doesn't know what half-Homs/half-High Entia are, nor what racism is, and it takes her a bit to get used to the idea that she's not considered the same as everyone else.
    • Eunie is surprised to see the Queen of Keves, and reflexively calls her first by name, then by "Your Majesty." But Melia is a princess now, not a queen, and she practically kicks herself for not looking further into Melia's family tree when confronted with Prince Kallian.
    • Lanz, while calculating his own age, assumes it would be normal to go by City growth rates. Except he's supposed to be a Machina, who age at a rate literally two orders of magnitude differently.
    • With the exception of his preconceptions of Blades being challenged by the appearance of Adenine, Taion is the only one who avoids any major incorrect assumptions, taking the time to learn as much as he can before doing anything drastic.
  • In White Devil of the Moon, Luna mistakes Fate for a villain on the basis of her costume. While Fate used to be an antagonist, Dark Is Evil does not apply in Lyrical Nanoha, and as such, Luna ends up needlessly antagonizing Fate.
  • With This Ring: Xalitan Xor was convicted of murdering Jaggar Ton's wife without it being properly proven, and exiled. He in turn assumed that Jaggar's false accusation must mean that Jaggar had killed her himself. When Paul eventually finds out about it, he points out how unlikely it would be for Jaggar to kill his own wife when there was no sign of friction between them, and Xor concludes that he needs to go and find out the truth.
    Xor: I would want to kill him for his lies, for what he has done to me. But... If he were... Truly ignorant. That would not be right. Before I kill him, I must know. I must know why he did it, what he believed.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Frozen, everyone assumes that the "act of true love" needed as a Curse Escape Clause is True Love's Kiss, but it's not romantic love that ends up breaking the curse in the end, but sisterly love. What's more, the act isn't done for Anna, but by Anna, to keep Elsa from being killed by Prince Hans.
  • In Beauty and the Beast, Gaston thinks he's the hero and that Beast is a monster, who wants to get his claws on Belle. But in the end, it is clear that the opposite was true.
  • In Kung Fu Panda, Tai Lung grew up thinking he would be The Hero instead of the Big Bad. In fact, the entire story is a stereotypical action Hero's Journey when seen from his perspective. Set up to become The Chosen One, he is betrayed by his mentor and spends a long time in captivity. Then he breaks out of the predicament they put him in. He overcomes obstacles and beats up a whole lot of Mooks led by The Brute; then he beats up a Quirky Miniboss Squad led by his counterpart/Shadow Archetype by revealing an 11th-Hour Superpower he developed after his initial defeat; then he beats up the Big Bad, who was responsible for the things that happened to him at the beginning; then the Dragon Ascendant powered by an Artifact of Doom is revealed as the True Final Boss, He manages to wrest control of the artifact from the Dragon Ascendant, prepares to use it, and... his story crumbles around him because he does not have what it takes to be The Hero. The Dragon Warrior title he wanted so badly brings nothing with it. Being a true Dragon Warrior requires understanding that there isn't anything that can make you special beyond your own effort. His design also includes a Stealth Pun on the topic. According to creator commentary, the color gold throughout the film symbolizes heroism. The only gold in Tai Lung's design is his eyes because he's only a hero in his own eyes.
  • In Megamind, Megamind thinks that Hal will be the perfect person to train as a hero once he's seen him: he thinks he's a complete nobody who can realize his true heroic potential with his help. Unfortunately, Hal fits a different set of tropes...
  • Two wrongful assumptions are made in Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas: 1) the tribune of Syracuse is certain that the pirate Sinbad is responsible for the theft of the Book of Peace. Sinbad's boyhood friend Proteus defies this assumption and puts himself in Sinbad's place on Death Row to allow Sinbad to recover the MacGuffin. 2) Eris, the goddess of discord, presumes Sinbad to be such a vain, selfish brigand that she wagers the Book of Peace that Sinbad would not likewise forfeit his life to save Proteus. Both the tribune and Eris are proven patently wrong because Sinbad is really a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • In Starship Troopers: Invasion, Ice Blonde is just as surprised as the audience is about who survives the film. She survives the film, of course. She's surprised Mech survives, completely inverting Black Dude Dies First, and likewise Ratzass averts Big Guy Fatality Syndrome. Trig dies, as does Bugspray, and the not-so aptly named Hero.
  • The Sword in the Stone: The little girl squirrel who upon meeting Arthur in squirrel form, desire to have him for a mate, much to his annoyance. She assumes the reason he isn't falling in love with her as fast as she did for him is just shy and playing hard to get, and thus continues to get close to him to get him to accept her. When she finds out he's a human, and likely realizes he didn't have any interest or attraction to her, it broke her little heart.
  • In The Boxtrolls, Mr. Trout and Mr. Pickles are convinced they're the good guys fighting the forces of evil, but as the movie goes along they begin to doubt this perspective.
  • In The Princess and the Frog, Naveen mistakenly thinks that being kissed by Tiana will turn him back into a human. Later, he accuses her of falsely wearing the tiara, deceiving him into thinking she was a princess. They turn back into humans after they get married, as Tiana has really become a princess then through her marriage to Naveen.
  • In Zootopia, Judy jumps to the conclusion that the Timber Wolf mercenaries that have been capturing the missing mammals as they go savage are the "Night Howlers" that Mr. Otterton was yelling about. Turns out she was mistaken and later learns that Night Howlers are the nickname of a flower being used to create the Chemically-Induced Insanity turning predator animals savage.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • At one point in Babe, Farmer Hoggett believes Babe to be a sheep-killer, because he found one of his ewes lying dead in his pasture with a gaping wound, and fresh blood on Babe's snout. Hoggett takes Babe to the barn and prepares his shotgun to terminate the killer pig. Fortunately, Hoggett's wife announces that local police are seeking armed sheep rustlers in the area. She then notices her husband cradling his shotgun.
    Esme Hoggett: What on Earth are you doing with that gun?
    Farmer Hoggett: Oh! [looks at firearm, befuddled] Nothin'.
    Esme Hoggett: [rolls eyes and waddles away]
  • The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course: When the agents find the Irwins' truck, one of them picks up the container on the seat, thinking it's takeout. He learns otherwise when he releases the bird-eating spider.
  • Desperados (2020): After Jared seemingly disappears from Wesley's life after they slept together, she and her friends assume he's ghosting her and send him a elaborate hate email while drunk. But it turns out he was in a car accident instead, causing Wesley to freak out about the e-mail.
  • In Doom, Sarge thinks that he's The Hero and main character when it's actually Reaper. At one point, he even says "I'm not supposed to die!" when he's dragged off by a monster. He ultimately turns out to be the villain of the movie and Final Boss.
  • In Enchanted, talks with her young friend Morgan, who is nervous about her father marrying Nancy, having read plenty of stories involving a Wicked Stepmother. Giselle assures her that most stepmothers are actually very nice people, a true lesson, that proves its worth when Giselle becomes Morgan's stepmother. Unfortunately, Giselle uses her own stepmother-to-be Narissa as an example, unaware that Narissa actually is a wicked stepmother who is trying to kill her.
  • Fish Tank: Mia practices her dance moves in the hopes of landing an audition. She does not realize the audition she is preparing for is meant for exotic dancers, only learning this at the audition itself. Conor, her mom’s boyfriend, also turns out not to be a single man as Mia and her mother believed.
  • The Fugitive:
    • Almost everyone believes that Doctor Kimble murdered his wife, especially the jury at his trial. They heard the recorded 9-1-1 call, with the dispatcher asking the victim if anyone else is there, and the distinct reply, "Richard, he's trying to kill me!" Surely, this was deathbed testimony as to her killer; in fact, it was a warning to Kimble that the murderer was still loose in their home. The most unswayable character is federal marshal Sam Gerard, who is determined to stuff the escaped Kimble back into prison or into a grave.
    • When Kimble escapes through the storm drains and comes to a point where they bisect, he tosses his jacket down one tunnel and goes down the other one. The pursuing US Marshals aren't fooled for a second, they simply split up in order to check both passages. Later, when calling his lawyer, Kimble lies and says he's in St. Louis, correctly suspecting that the cops might be eavesdropping, but not that their equipment would determine that Kimble's in Chicago.
  • In Iron Man 3, Tony deduces that Aldrich Killian is selling the Flawed Prototype Extremis technology to the Mandarin to use in suicide bombings. Considering that this is almost exactly how his antagonists teamed up in the previous two Iron Man films (the Ten Rings and Obadiah Stane with the prototype Iron Man suit, and Whiplash and Justin Hammer with Whiplash's arc reactor), he'd be forgiven for jumping to that conclusion. However his assumption is wrong: the "bombings" are all accidental and Killian used the Mandarin (not the real one, but a fake one) as a scapegoat to explain them, leading to a plan to overthrow the President of the United States and install a puppet to in effect control both sides of the War on Terror.
  • MonsterVerse:
    • Admiral Stenz thinks that things work like in the more classic kaiju movies, where the monsters will overthrow humanity if the military don't put them down ASAP, and gambling the fate of humanity on trying to keep them alive for ends aimed at benefiting humanity is not worth the risks. Unfortunately, where Stenz could be a near-perfect military leader in any of the older and more cynical kaiju movies' settings, in the MonsterVerse, his skepticism of Monarch's pro-Titan attitude and limited thinking end up making a bad situation even worse in both his appearances; where his efforts to kill the Titans instead make the bad ones even stronger and place even more people in immediate mortal peril.
    • Stenz' above assumptions also apply to most of humanity initially in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, after the world discovered that monsters were real five years prior, massively fueling the movie's entire plot from behind the scenes.
  • My Name is Bruce has this from two angles: Jeff kidnaps Bruce Campbell, expecting him to be a real-life badass like Ash, and hoping that he can cure Gold Lick's monster problem. Bruce, on the other hand, is oblivious to the horror because he thinks that the whole thing's a prank.
  • In Outlander, the priest mistakes the moorwen for a demon and tries to exorcise it. The moorwren mauls him in the middle of his chant.
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Elizabeth thinks Barbossa's crew are standard pilfer-and-loot pirates who would hold her for ransom if they found out she's the Governor's daughter, so she gives them a false last name: Turner (the last name of her secret love, and probably the first name to pop into her head). Unfortunately, they're not after something so mundane as money; in fact, one of the things they're looking for is a kid about her age with the last name of Turner. Oops. She also expects pirates to honor the Code of the Brethren as if it were a binding rule of law, not realizing that Barbossa is a Rules Lawyer who sees the Code more as "guidelines."
  • In Star Trek (2009), the "new" Kirk assumes that a Romulan from The Future would know what the Enterprise crew will do, so they should be unpredictable. His Vulcan shipmate more accurately recognizes that the Romulan and his ship are a Timeline-Altering MacGuffin, causing a new chain of events (though nonetheless failing to prevent the assemblage of the same Enterprise crew). Later, old-Spock takes advantage of Kirk's ignorance to falsely "imply" that Never the Selves Shall Meet is a rule of this particular Timey-Wimey Ball.
  • In Troy, Paris believes that The Power of Love can motivate him to defeat Menelaus in a duel. The old but incredibly strong and experienced warrior beats the shit out of him.

  • In A Civil Campaign, Miles Vorkosigan's a masterful Guile Hero, who always succeeds through his cleverness. But then he attempts to apply his military strategy to wooing his love interest, despite all of his family and friends trying to warn him that this is a terrible idea. Sure enough, when he proposes, she feels emotionally manipulated and walks out on him.
  • Agatha Christie:
    • In Easy to Kill, Brigit wanders off on her own. When Luke, the main character, finds her, he warns her to be more careful because he doesn't want her to get killed. Brigit says that it's okay because the heroine is never killed in these types of stories. Luke objects, not because This Is Reality, but because he doesn't believe that Brigit is the heroine. She is. Luke is the one who was wrong.
    • A similar example occurs in another Christie mystery, Crooked House, where a young girl tries to fake a near-death experience by setting up a statue to fall on her head when she walked through a certain door. When one of the other characters says that she could have easily been killed for real, the detective points out that it probably didn't occur to her because she thought she was the heroine, and the heroine never dies.
  • Emma: The title character sees herself as the wise matchmaker with a keen insight into people and all their thoughts and feelings who can make the narrative play out exactly as she wishes and end in happy weddings for everyone. Every single one of her brilliant ideas fails horribly, many grave misunderstandings are created and exacerbated, her perception of situations is often completely wrong, and at times she can be outright insensitive. It is only once she stops meddling that everyone is able to resolve their romances, including Emma herself, entirely on their own.
  • In The Dresden Files, when Harry's apprentice-of-sorts Kim comes to him with a major summoning/binding circle that she wants explained, he refuses to give her any more information than what the thing basically is, apparently thinking that he's the Wise Mentor dissuading his overly reckless student from meddling in stuff that she'd regret. It turns out that she was friends with the Loup-Garou Macfinn, and she needed that circle to stop Macfinn's wolf form from going on a rampage. This wasn't something that she could just put off, because for every full moon she failed to put up the circle, people would die. So, she does the circle anyways, but she doesn't have the know-how to make it work properly. It fails, and Macfinn kills her. When he found out, Harry was completely horrified with his mistake, realizing (and pointing out) that he was actually the self-important authority figure that refused to help the hero because the hero "wasn't ready yet".
  • Grent's Fall: Because Simon Lyle forged himself a suit of plate armor (solely for personal safety), Anthony Tyndale wrongly assumed that he was in charge.
  • In Howl's Moving Castle, the root of Sophie's problems is that she thinks that being the eldest of three children she will be doomed to a boring life without glamour or success. As such she completely fails to see that she has the ability to ensure a happy ending for herself as well as everyone around her.
  • In Madicken, Mia believes that Madicken is a stuck-up Spoiled Brat. But even though it's true that Madicken is the richest kid in their class, she also is very nice. And because her father is a Bourgeois Bohemian, she has been taught to care about social justice. And in the end, she and Mia can even become friends.
  • In Mansfield Park, Henry Crawford honestly seems to believe he's the Prince Charming character, who will marry the Cinderella-esque heroine and rescue her from her depressing life with her neglectful family. Thus he feels completely confident after she rejects his proposal that they'll still inevitably be married, and both he and his sister still consider the marriage a sure thing. Unfortunately, he's actually the Handsome Lech character, who only passes himself off as Prince Charming to seduce women for fun, which he can't give up even after supposedly falling in love with Fanny Price. He came so close to being the romantic hero he wanted to be... and he blew it.
  • In Överenskommelser, Beatrice assumes that Seth is a Casanova, who doesn't care more for her than for any other woman. The truth is though that while Seth has had many meaningless affairs with many different women, he does have genuine feelings for Beatrice. Seth assumes that Beatrice is a shallow Gold Digger, who only sees him as a fun fling before she gets married to an old aristocrat and becomes a countess. The truth is though that she has been threatened into her betrothal to Count Rosenschiöld by her abusive uncle, and that her heart belongs to Seth... But several unfortunate circumstances (including her cousin completely screwing them over) only makes them even more sure that they can't trust each other. Of course, all of this could have been solved if they only had talked to each other, but it takes them twenty months to actually reach that point...
  • In Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle, Inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard often misreads the clues in a case, and has at least twice detained an innocent party. Fortunately, the Baker Street detective usually deduces the particulars and rightly names the culprit within a day. This cements the civil rivalry between Lestrade and Holmes.
    • This actually happened to Holmes himself in one story where he and Watson are following tracks in the woods only for all of Holmes's deductions to be proven wrong when they find something completely innocent at the end of said tracks. Holmes offers this event to Watson as a way to chastise him if he ever becomes overly confident in his deductive powers.
  • How Skar became a bridgeman in The Stormlight Archive. He wanted to join the elite Blackcaps, and they told him that they'd accept him if he could get the necessary equipment. Since he couldn't afford the gear, he thought that they were giving him a Secret Test of Character to see how he would overcome this challenge and tried to show his ingenuity by robbing the quartermaster. They sold him into slavery the moment they found out.
  • In The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Mr. Hargrave thinks he's the selfless, gallant Prince Charming, who will rescue Helen from her misery, ignoring how miserable his own predatory persistence makes her.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 30 Rock:
    • Half the time, Jenna is convinced she's a beloved star and worries over her public image when even people who watch the show don't recognize her. The other half, she's terrified of becoming a has-been, not grasping she's a never-was.
    • When she attends her high school reunion, Liz looks forward to showing up the kids she remembers always putting her down as a nerd. However, it turns out that what Liz remembers as self-defense humor instead came off as horrific insults, and thus, as far as her classmates are concerned, she's just the school bully grown up.
  • Merlin:
  • Mimpi Metropolitan: In episode 36, Melani and Mami Bibir assume Concussions Get You High is happening to Bambang because he acts really weird today and got hit in the head yesterday. What actually happens is Bambang is love-struck since he is tricked into believing that Melani has asked him out.
  • On The Nanny, C.C. Babcock spends much of the series convinced that she's the Betty to Fran Fine's Veronica with Maxwell Sheffield, but she's not even in the equation, instead coming off as a Stalker with a Crush, with borderline Yandere tendencies. She doesn't realize it until after Max and Fran are already married and Fran is pregnant when Niles, having reached his limit with her, delivers a "The Reason You Suck" Speech that finally makes it clear.

    Puppet Shows 
  • In "History, Herstory, Bearstory" from Bear in the Big Blue House, Jeremiah Tortoise tells Bear, Ojo, and Tutter the story of his Great Grandfather Hephaestus Tortoise, who founded Woodland Valley over 200 years ago and who owned the old house that they found. They are so inspired that they go back and tell Treelo, Pip, and Pop about it, then decide to install a dedication plaque at the old house. Jeremiah is touched, then states that he can't wait to tell Hephaestus about it when he gets back. Given everyone's reactions, they clearly assumed that Hephaestus was dead.

    Video Games 
  • ANNO: Mutationem: After his previous encounters with Ann ended with him getting whooped, Silly Swine returns for the last time at the Ship Level, claiming that he's a Stone Wall. He's not and receives a quick Curb-Stomp Battle from Ann.
  • After the protagonist of Double Homework sees Tamara for the first time since retreating to his room after the avalanche, the awkward nature of the encounter makes him think Tamara hates him. Little does he know what she's after.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Skyward Sword: Groose thinks he is the hero who will save Zelda and Link is just a sidekick who did most of his dirty work for him. He's hit big time during the first battle with The Imprisoned that it couldn't be further from the truth.
    • A Link Between Worlds: Osfala thinks that he's the destined hero who will save Hyrule for Princess Zelda from Yuga. He's immediately captured by the villain and, once rescued, is forced to accept his role is to aid Link, the real hero.
  • The title character of Melody avoids seeing or talking to the protagonist for a few days after she sees Bethany in his apartment, thinking that there’s still something going on between the two exes. Bethany does everything to further this assumption, referring to herself as his fiancée rather than his ex. It’s only an intervention from Sophia that keeps the two of them from drifting entirely apart.
  • Reader Rabbit: In the second grade game, Sam believes he's the brave friend who rescues Reader Rabbit from the evil dragon. In reality, the dragon is actually Reader's friend as well and Sam's just picking up the widgets the dragon needs to finish a rocket ship.
  • Super Lucky's Tale: Based on his dialogue with Lucky, Mittens seems to be under the impression he's the dashing martial arts hero and the young fox is just his rival. This despite the fact that he's rendered the inhabitants of the world he's stranded on Brainwashed and Crazy to serve him and helped his father Jynx attack Guardian HQ. Of course the game hints there might be more to this than meets the eye.

    Web Comics 
  • CK of Commander Kitty believes himself to be The Hero and Ace is The Rival. Of course, Ace turns out to be a genuine Nice Guy with no ill will toward CK at all.
  • Darths & Droids: Corey falls for a form of it when he reaches Dagobah in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back arc. He goes in with no active sensors to avoid detection by the native population (for security reasons, assuming they're all Imperials). This leads to him faceplanting in a swamp because he couldn't tell what kind of planet he was actually landing on (he thought the fog was smog).
  • In El Goonish Shive, Magus, the Mirror Universe counterpart of Ellen, is convinced that Ellen is a trans man just like him, and is simply being forced to hide her feelings of dysphoria. In a conversation with Elliot later on, Ellen explains how Magus may have reached that conclusion based on misinterpreting and projecting onto her Clone Angst from earlier in the series, and sets the record straight by pointing out there is nothing stopping her from using magic to change her sex if she actually wanted to.
  • Fire Emblem Heroes: A Day in the Life:
    • In Chapter 18, Xander catches wind of the fact that a number of women in the army have been complaining about someone harassing them. Assuming that it must be his womanizing retainer Laslow, he marches off to lecture him again... only to find that it was actually Gray who was harassing the girls, and Laslow's been on his best behavior.
    • In Chapter 78, Mikoto gives her granddaughter Kana a closed envelope as a gift, telling her if she's going to eat delicious food, she can use this. Kana's father, Corrin, assumes that Mikoto just gave her money and is spoiling her. When he gets his hands on the gift and opens it, however, he finds out that Mikoto just gave her chopsticks. Despite this misunderstanding, he is happy about this and goes out with his daughter to eat.
  • Girl Genius:
    • Ottvar Tryggvassen, Gentleman Adventurer, is convinced that he's the leading man, Baron Wulfenbach and Gil Wulfenbach are the diabolical mastermind and the mastermind's fiendish right-hand man respectively, and Agatha Clay is the leading man's beautiful young sidekick (even if she's not the Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter like he originally thought). Unfortunately he's completely insane and doesn't realise that he's wrong on all counts, so his plans are almost always inappropriate.
    • Once he realizes that Agatha is a Heterodyne, he changes on the last part and treats her as the Hero of Another Story (possibly with himself as some manner of Mentor Archetype) — which doesn't solve his problem, since he's still completely insane, and Agatha knows it and wants nothing to do with him. Word of God is that he's re-cast his delusion slightly, Agatha is now the tragic love interest (he's going to kill her last, in some sort of love-suicide pact).
    • One of the radio plays questioned whether Othar really is delusional — after all, having Sparks in charge has been almost always catastrophic for common Europeans, and it's not at all clear that the heroes will be able to break that cycle.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Elan gets this sometimes. For example, the first time they defeated Xykon he activates a Self-Destruct Mechanism in order to invoke a Load-Bearing Boss situation. And then won't escape the castle until the last possible second to be more dramatic. On another occasion he correctly predicts the current villain will try the old abduct-the-love-interest ploy...but doesn't realize that he's the abductee
    • Tarquin appears to have cast himself as the Big Bad and Elan as The Hero, unaware that it's Xykon and Roy respectively. Eventually Elan crushingly tells him that he's "not the real villain", and lets him drop off an airship, refusing to confront him in the epic showdown Tarquin wants. It is implied that Tarquin would be quite content being killed by Elan in a battle (the hero always defeats the villain, after all) but the anticlimax of being left in the desert causes him to lose both the plot and his cool, and he's left shouting "This is a terrible ending!" at his retreating son.
  • Sluggy Freelance:
    • Commander Clown and his allies think he's the good guy. While that's standard for a Well-Intentioned Extremist, it's not usually discussed in such a meta fashion.
      Torg: He's hanging from a helicopter's rope ladder while laughing maniacally and triggering explosives.
      Dart: OK, that sounds a little bad-guy-ish.
      Torg: It'd be OK if he said something witty, but the laughter pegs him.
    • In "The Sci-Fi Adventure", the otherwise-nameless Captain of a starship believes he'll be the sole survivor of an alien rampage because he's the "handsome masculine lead", but Torg questions the logic he used to reach that conclusion, calling him a "shallow, one-dimensional stereotype" and suggesting that Riff and Torg will be the sole survivors instead because they have the more interesting backstory. The captain shouts "What is this? A sci-fi thriller or a goofy buddy movie?" The alien promptly answers his question.
  • Swords: In this strip, a troll invites an adventurer to take one sword from his collection, but warns that many of the swords are enchanted with terrible curses. The adventurer assumes this is a Secret Test of Character to see if he is greedy enough to choose the flashiest-looking sword out of the collection, which is guaranteed to result in Death by Materialism or worse. He instead picks up a humble wooden sword thinking it's safe... only for his arm to turn wooden as well, much to the troll's amusement.
    Troll: *snort* It wasn't a test, you dumb idiot.
    [The Adventurer's whole arm is now a tree]
    Adventurer: Oh... Is it too late to pick again?

    Web Original 
  • The TV Tropes page on Rick Astley plays on the expectation that the link to "Never Gonna Give You Up" will lead to the expected Rickroll. Instead, it links to a Chinese song. The real link is listed with the rest of his music videos.

    Web Videos 
  • In Atop the Fourth Wall, Linkara in one of his Comic Book Quickies episodes assumes that reading a text box that says the location of a story is the world's largest flea market, that the giant flea in the panel is the world's largest flea and assumes that the comic's creator doesn't know what a flea market is. The real answer he found was much more, surreal. The flea is the giant flea market eating flea.
  • Ten Little Roosters:
    • Adam teams up with Gavin, only to find out Gavin's clone (long story) is in trouble. Gavin and the clone die horribly by mousetraps. When Barbara confronts Adam and suggests they team up, Adam refuses because of what happened. The killer is later able to ambush him and strangle him to death.
    • Miles believes that he can be the hero of the story by dressing up as Ruby Rose and trying to think like her. Even more, he believes that beating Skyrim eight times and getting all of the Chaos Emeralds makes him even more suitable for surviving. It doesn't. At all. The one time he tries to take action, fighting a puma, he freaks, drops his weapon, and runs.
  • In this ''Swedish Chef'' YouTube video, two talking pumpkins try to use Briar Patching, advising the Chef to use increasingly bizarre/dangerous implements to smash them, on the assumption that he won't have them. However, this is the Swedish Chef we're talking about, who can always pull a sizable arsenal out of hammerspace.

    Western Animation 
  • In Beware the Batman, Magpie is the Dark Knight's Stalker with a Crush with psychotic tendencies. Apparently, since she's the show's equivalent of Catwoman, she seems to think she and Batman are in love and want to be together. She reacts violently when she's told Batman was just being nice to her because she was in prison and he hopes she can be redeemed.
  • In one episode of Bonkers, the titular cartoon cop must deal with a zany prankster-type character, who has been going on a crime spree. At first, Bonkers thinks he's unstoppable because the type of character always wins in his cartoons. But then, Bonkers comes to the realization that this is his cartoon, and so is able to defeat him.
  • Danny Phantom:
  • In Darkwing Duck, Gosalyn believes that Darkwing Duck and Taurus Bulba are "sworn enemies". Darkwing regretfully admits Taurus Bulba doesn't even know he exists, though he's slightly off; Taurus Bulba does know he exists, but only sees him as a nuisance.
  • In an episode of Drawn Together, Hero is excited when he hears that Greeks are moving in next door, thinking the new neighbors are from a frat house. He tries to join in by wearing a toga at the house but finds out that it's really a family from Greece.
  • DuckTales (1987), "Hero For Hire". Launchpad assumes he's new talent who's been discovered and is going to be a big-time actor. He's actually the Fall Guy who's been duped by the villains. Fortunately, halfway through, he realizes what's actually going on and makes another role switch into the episode's hero — to the surprise of the Beagle Boys, who had made the false assumption that Launchpad was too dumb to pose a threat and hence missed the transition.
  • In Futurama, Fry's Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe when he thinks he's a robot counts as this:
    Fry: Fear not, for I shall assist ye!
    Hermes: Robots don't say 'ye'! ...Quit thinking you're a robot!
    Fry: I'll show ye...
  • The Gravity Falls episode "Sock Opera" has Mabel setting up a huge puppet show to please her latest Guy of the Week, who has an unearthly fascination with puppets. When Mabel sets off a bundle of pyrotechnics and destroys the whole stage when trying to take down the episode's villain, she assumes that the audience will think it's All Part of the Show. In reality, they're less than pleased with the ending.
  • Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus: When Clembrane successfully keeps Dib from stopping Phase Two of Zim's plan, Gaz thinks he's exaggerating the severity of the situation and that Zim's plan will fail on its own like usual. When he successfully teleports the Earth into the Massive's flight path, Gaz admits she was wrong this time.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In "The Ticket Master", the Grand Galloping Gala is introduced as a huge party, which Twilight Sparkle and each of her friends want to attend due to their grand ideas about what it'll be like. Come the episode "The Best Night Ever", and each of them realizes they made very wrong assumptions:
      • Applejack wanted to set up a stall selling snacks to raise funds to help her family. She didn't think the event would already be catered, or that the high-class ponies who'd attend such an event would consider themselves above eating commoner food.
      • Rainbow Dash wanted to meet up with her idols, the Wonderbolts, who'd be special guests, and hang out with them. She didn't think that the other guests might also have the same idea, making them too busy to actually talk to her.
      • Pinkie Pie wants to have wild, crazy fun, and assumed the biggest party in Equestria would be the perfect place for this. The party is actually a formal affair whose guests don't appreciate Pinkie's rowdiness.
      • Rarity thinks Prince Blueblood will fall in love with her. Turns out he's actually a jerk who doesn't care about her.
      • Fluttershy, being a Friend to All Living Things, is excited about the exotic creatures that will be present in the event's garden and thinks that since the animals of Ponyville love her, the Gala's will do the same. The animals are instead scared of her since they don't know her, frustrating her until she falls into an extreme rage.
      • Twilight Sparkle just wants to have a chat with her mentor, Princess Celestia, who is too busy greeting every guest.
    • "Power Ponies":
      • The villain Mane-iac knows that Humdrum is the Plucky Comic Relief Useless Sidekick to the titular characters and doesn't bother to incapacitate or capture him. Normally she'd be right, but this time around Humdrum is actually Spike, who is far from useless. Surprise surprise, it bites her hard in the rear end.
      • Spike makes the same assumptions about himself that the Mane-iac does before he manages to realize otherwise.
    • In "Triple Threat", Spike assumes that Ember and Thorax won't get along and conspires to keep them apart with Two-Timer Date shenanigans. Not only do they notice very quickly what he's doing, but when circumstances end up having them meet anyway, they end up bonding and giving each other good advice as rulers.
  • In the first episode of the obscure series The Puzzle Club, main character Alex is investigating some recent thefts and witnesses an Asian girl and a redheaded Caucasian woman having a conversation, during which the girl, whose name is revealed to be Corina, refers to the woman as "Mom". Alex immediately assumes that Corina and the woman are part of the group of thieves since they look nothing alike and therefore, in his mind, can't be related, only to be proven wrong when he, future teammate Christopher and mentor Tobias find Corina Bound and Gagged in the thieves' hideout. Then he's further proven wrong when, upon hearing his theory, Corina angrily informs him that she has every right to call the woman he saw her with "Mom" and that it makes perfect sense they don't look alike as Corina is Happily Adopted.
  • In Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer, Krys suffered under the delusion that he was the hero who would save the day, despite not having any powers and Rainbow Brite being way more badass than him. He eventually manages to save the day when he is given a powerful weapon and finally lets go of his pride to work together with Rainbow Brite.
  • She-Ra: Princess of Power: In Reluctant Dragon this occurs twice with new character Sorrowful the Dragon. At first the heroes assume Sorrowful to be attacking the village he's found in in retaliation for being woken up (he was asleep in a cavern under their well that got accidentally blown up). In reality, Sorrowful is a very timid dragon who was clumsily trying to escape what he thought was an attack before he could be hurt. Once the dust settles, the Rebels decide to take advantage of the fearsome reputation dragons have and set Sorrowful up as a Fake Ultimate Hero for the village in order to protect it. The nearby Imp overhears the plan, though, and reports back that Sorrowful is a coward, prompting Leech and Mantenna to attack and get the upper hand. They even goad Sorrowful by telling him how his new friends will all soon be slaves and he'll probably end up a circus pet for the Horde. This turns out to be a mistake as Sorrowful is in fact a Cowardly Lion, and while he won't fight for himself, he will defend his friends. And he's still a powerful dragon. Cue three villains running off with their collective tail between their legs.
  • The Simpsons: In "Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy", Bart becomes paranoid of bizarre conspiracies and believes the adults are spending most of their time indoors by day because of some hare-brained conspiracy he cooks up. But the reason was they were into Grampa's special tonic which gets them really horny.
  • In the animated MonsterVerse series Skull Island, Charlie assumes in the third episode that the firearm-wielding shady human bad guys who are on the same titular Isle of Giant Horrors as him and his friends must be poachers of exotic creatures... which would have been on the mark in some of the earlier King Kong cartoons and continuities, but isn't so here.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Mr. Krabs in the episode "Born Again Krabs" thought that the Flying Dutchman's visit is All Just a Dream, when it turns out it's actually real. It also turns out that by screwing around like everything is a dream, Krabs has driven the Krusty Krab into bankruptcy.
  • One episode of Superfriends by Hanna-Barbera has an inventor named Goodfellow create a series of robots run by a master computer that could supplant almost all human activity. No one would have to mow the lawn, restock supplies, or pilot vehicles; the Effort Eliminating Computer would do it all. Goodfellow presumed that humanity, freed from drudgery and tedium, would embark on a new Renaissance. By the episode's end, Goodfellow gets the disturbing news that people grew bored at having nothing to do, and began fighting, looting, and general mayhem to stave off ennui.
  • In Wander over Yonder, Wander believed that if he can get Hater to see Lord Dominator's face, the two will instantly fall in love (Sylvia disagreed as hooking up two villains will lead to even bigger chaos). He's right as far as Hater's side is concerned, but Dominator is an aromantic who abhors Hater's affections.


Video Example(s):


Parallel World Pharmacy

When Pierre brings his daughter to Parallel World Pharmacy, the proprietor Lord Farma de Medici brings them both through the rear entrance. Pierre thinks that its' Class Segregation due to him being a Commoner, only to learn that it's actually to keep his daughters sickness from potentially spreading to the other customers if its infectious.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / WrongAssumption

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