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Out Of Character Alert / Anime & Manga

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  • Bleach: Rukia comes across who appears to be her Big Brother Mentor, Kaien Shiba, in Hueco Mundo. "Kaien" explains how he got to Hueco Mundo after Rukia kills the Hollow possessing him and seems ready to help, only to attack her instead and claim he has not forgiven her at all. Rukia seems all too willing to accept her fate, but is left confused when "Kaien" claims he was joking, before she finally realizes something is wrong when "Kaien" suggests she can earn his forgiveness by killing her friends, something the real Kaien Shiba would never say even as a joke. Indeed, it turns out the Kaien before her was actually the ninth Espada, Aaroniero Arruruerie, who assimilated Metastacia, and by extenstion Kaien, when they ended up in Hueco Mundo.
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  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Riza Hawkeye takes falsely implies this trope to trick Envy, who is disguised as Roy Mustang, as part of her Batman Gambit. She aims a gun at him, saying that Roy never calls her "Lieutenant" in private. Cue Envy immediately breaking the form, cursing his luck and shouting "I knew there was something going on with you two!" Her reply can effectively be summed up as, "Not really. Thanks for believing me, Envy." Cue epic beatdown.
  • Bakugan:
    • At one point in the first-season finale, Kato, Marucho's butler and occasional Mission Control of the team, tells each separate split-up part of the team to head back to base. Shun, however, notices that something is up. Of all minuscule details, Shun notices that Kato, the unfailingly polite Jeeves of the team, once only referred to Marucho by his name alone, as opposed to his usual "Master Marucho". He sneaks away from the team to investigate, and his suspicions turn out to be correct; it was actually Hal-G hacking into their communications, attempting to drive the team away.
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  • This trope is a key plot point in the Weiß Kreuz OAV Verbrechen ~ Strafe. During a mission briefing, when asked if she's well, Weiss's handler Manx replies that she's having trouble with her allergy to black lilies. Much later, when Weiss finish springing their trap on the villain who was holding Manx hostage, they reveal that "black lily" is a codeword indicating "lies," and that Manx's comment had alerted them to the fact that the orders given in that mission briefing were fraudulent.
  • Naruto:
    • In the Chuunin exams arc, Sasuke proposes using a Trust Password in case of enemy ninjas using doppelgangers to imitate one of them (again), and makes up a long poem as the passphrase. A few scenes later, Naruto excuses himself to pee, and when he returns he is quizzed for the passphrase, and successfully gives it. Of course, Sasuke knows that the real Naruto would not have remembered such a long passphrase, and that he was being spied on when he made it.
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    • Also during the Sasuke Retrieval arc. After defeating Jirobou of the Sound Four, Shikamaru disguises as him and catches up with the other three. When he does, Tayuya cusses him out and asks what took him so long. Shikamaru, still disguised, quietly apologizes. The other three immediately realize he's not Jirobou, as Jirobou always chastised Tayuya for using unladylike language.
    • Used again much later by the Mizukage to tell that when they found Ao he was being controlled by someone else's technique by the fact that he agreed when she said she would remove the seal around his Byakugan (when none of them could) and apologized to Chojuro (who he had previously been Drill Sergeant Nasty towards).
    • When Zetsu clones are infiltrating the allied forces in disguise, Sakura realizes Neji is one when he refers to Tonton as if she were a person, rather than Tsunade's pet pig.
  • A peculiar example from K — the Silver King Adolf K. Weismann has lived alone in an airship for decades with no contact with anyone. How, then, does the Blue King Reisi Munakata realize that something has been strange with him and that this should be investigated? Well, for the entire time he's been around, Weismann has flown his airship in "curiously repetitive" flight patterns that always correspond to the optimal path, based on the weather. Since the night of the murder the characters have been investigating, though, the airship has been moving in erratic patterns, completely unlike anything before. Sure enough, it is connected...
  • Towards the end of Gonna Be the Twin-Tail!!, Souji ends up trapped in a Lotus-Eater Machine in which his various female comrades are throwing themselves at him. It's not until Twoearle starts to tie her hair in twintails that Souji realises something is wrong: the real Twoearle had vowed never to do that again. The fake world swiftly unravels.
  • This happens in Fushigi Yuugi when the mirror-Miaka tries to seduce Hotohori to overpower both him and Tamahome, while keeping the real Miaka trapped inside a Magic Mirror. Before she can kiss him, though, Hotohori lifts his sword to stop her. When the mirror-Miaka asks what's going on, Hotohori tells her that Miaka would never behave that way.
  • A variant was used in S Cryed: Kazuma, trapped in Unkei's Lotus-Eater Machine Alter, is challenged by that world's Ryuho to a friendly sparring match. They draw, and Ryuho offers him a hand up. This so badly clashes with Kazuma's memory of him that the illusion cracks, and he pulls out his Alter. The illusory Ryuho panics and begs for his life... at which point Kazuma destroys the illusion — the Ryuho he knows would just summon his Alter and counterattack.
  • In Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-, Princess Sakura is seemingly trapped in a bubble and Syaoran is warned that if he fights back, she'll get hurt. He takes the blows, but when 'Sakura' calls out "Syaoran!", he knows she's a fake because she lost her memory, so she is now polite with him and says his name with the -kun honorific.
  • In the Devil's Trill arc of Descendants of Darkness, Hisoka figures out that Tsuzuki is possessed by Sargatanas very simply: first, Tsuzuki doesn't take up an offer to go out to eat, something he would never do. Second, Hisoka mentions that he bought their boss salted cuttlefish since he hates sweets, which doesn't get commented on by Tsuzuki. In fact, the boss is infamous for his Sweet Tooth.
  • In Eyeshield 21, at the start of the second half of the Devil Bats' game with the Shinryuji Nagas, Hiruma says their chances of winning are almost 0%, and that the team shouldn't do anything drastic as to harm their future careers. Turns out it was all an act; everybody knows Hiruma would never tell them to give up unless the odds were exactly zero, so everyone (and we do mean everyone) silently went for an onside kick as to not let the enemy know they were changing plans.
  • One Piece:
    • Vivi begins to suspect that there's something wrong with Usopp when he tells her to abandon the injured Carue, referring to him as "that bird." The real Usopp not only knows Carue's name, but is fairly close to Carue. In fact, it was Mr. 2 (Bon Clay) impersonating him in order to trick her.
    • Another example occurs post-Time Skip with the Impostor Straw Hat Pirates, who try to take advantage of the real Straw Hats' infamy to recruit powerful pirates for their journey into the New World; the leader, Demalo Black/Fake Luffy, does so by using Luffy's reputation (especially his rather colorful heritage) to do what he wants. His doing so ends up being one of the main reasons the Marines are able to tell that they're not the Straw Hats, since the real Luffy would never take advantage of his reputation to bully civilians.
  • In the Mai Hime manga, Haruka begins to suspect that she is in a Lotus-Eater Machine when her rival Shizuru humbly says that she should never have competed with her. Haruka points out that she finds Shizuru to be quite arrogant, and that she could never be this happy.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • After Cell absorbs Android 17 in Dragon Ball Z, he tries to persuade 18 to "join" him by using 17's voice. As he talks about how amazing the power feels, 18 looks uncertain... but when Cell refers to their creator, Dr. Gero, a little too glowingly, 18 sees through it and snaps that she and 17 actually hated Gero for turning them into cyborgs, and 17 would never care about his plans.
    • At one point in Dragon Ball GT, Goku knew immediately that a mind-controlled Vegeta is Not Himself because he was calling him "Goku". The real Vegeta always made a point of referring to Goku by his Saiyan name, Kakarot.
    • In Dragon Ball Super: During the Tournament of Power, it appears as though Frieza has turned on Universe 7 when he helps Frost attack Gohan. However, Gohan, who has fought Frieza in life-and-death battles in the past, immediately realizes that Frieza isn't being serious in his attacks, which is very strange given Frieza's level of hatred for the heroes; if he really was fighting to kill, he'd be going all out. It turns out to be a charade to get Frost to lower his guard, as he believes Frieza has turned to his side... only for Frieza to immediately knock Frost off the ring without even a fight, and then leave Gohan alone.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • In Sailor Moon R, one of the Monsters of the Week disguise themselves as Chibi-Usa's dear mom (Neo-Queen Serenity, a.k.a. Usagi's future self) and calls to her using the name "Rabbit". Chibi-Usa is at first fooled, happy to see her mom again, and runs to hug her... but then she suddenly stops and asks the monster "Who are you?!" When the monster replies that she's her mother, Chibi-Usa says she's lying because her mother never calls her "Rabbit", which is what the Black Moon Clan refers to her as. (Chibi-Usa's actual mother uses "Small Lady" instead.) In the dub, this is reversed: "Small Lady" is what the Dark Moon calls her, and how she finds out her mother is a fake.
    • In the Sailor Moon SuperS Movie, Sailor Moon gets trapped in a dream world while trying to rescue an abducted Chibi-Usa. There she meets Mamoru, but suspects something wrong when Mamoru suggests she abandon her mission and her team to stay with him. Her suspicions are confirmed when she baits him by asking who he likes better: Her or Chibi-Usa — and he easily picks Usagi. This is a Call-Back to earlier in the movie when real Mamoru could not answer this question since he was being asked to choose between his future wife and daughter, both of whom he loves dearly and deeply.
  • In The King of Fighters manhua by Andy Seto, Vice attempts to seduce and then brainwash Kyo Kusanagi while disguised as his girlfriend Yuki. Kyo blows her cover when she's about to kiss him and he stops her; he then says that, due to the context they're in, Yuki would actually be upset at him, not throwing herself at him for a kiss.
  • In Cardcaptor Sakura, Sakura was confused and hurt because the ghost of her mother Nadeshiko led her to a Death Trap (trying to drown her in the manga, getting her to walk off a cliff in the anime); she asks Yukito about it and he says that a mom would never want her child to be in danger. Later, when the "ghost" tries it again, Sakura remembers this and confronts it, saying "You're not my mom! TELL ME, WHO ARE YOU?!". It turns out it was a Clow Card, more exactly The Illusion, trying to avert being captured. The real Nadeshiko's ghost had actually SAVED Sakura from death via either pulling her out of the pool (manga) or slowing her fall enough for Yukito to catch her (anime).
  • In Fresh Pretty Cure!, Love Momozono's mom gets captured and duplicated by a monster. Setsuna, who by that point had been Happily Adopted into the Momozono family, figures it out first, but Love is fooled and gets in a fight with Setsuna because she thought Setsuna was being ungrateful to their mother. Later, Love figures it out because the monster-mother keeps mentioning Chiffon — who Love had never mentioned by name to her parents before. She then tests the fake by putting on a red bracelet that the real Mrs. Momozono had made for Setsuna; the monster-mother tells Love that it looks good on her, which confirms Love that the monster is a fake and allows her to properly confront her — her real mother would know that the red bracelet was made for Setsuna and there was a pink one for Love.
  • Saiyuki: When Chin Yisou creates a fake Goku, the team catches on almost immediately, and Sanzo promptly shoots it in the head. When Chin Yisou asks what gave it away, Gojyo explains that Goku would have asked for food the moment he showed up (though Sanzo's dialogue suggests he may have sensed something on a more instinctual level). The scene immediately cuts to the real Goku complaining that he's hungry.
  • K-On!: This is one of the things that blows Ui's cover when she's pretending to be her older sister Yui while the Light Music Club are practicing for the second school festival when the latter is sick. The whole club is fooled because of how close they look visually and Ui is really good at picking up things like her sister, so at first they practice without anyone the wiser. But then the band members notice "Yui" keeps time too well. In the ensuing discussion, she calls Azusa, Ritsu, and Tsumugi the wrong honorifics ("Azusa-chan", "Ritsu-san", and "Tsumugi-san"; Yui uses "Azu-nyan", "Ricchan", and "Mugi-chan"), and when challenged Ui could not produce Yui's nickname for Azusa. Astute viewers can also catch "Yui" wearing the wrong color Inside Shoes when she first walks into the scene, something which all the members miss. Likely the others were so relieved at seeing "Yui" after missing several days they weren't paying attention.
  • In Natsume's Book of Friends, everyone does notice Natsume is acting strange when Nyank-sensei impersonates him but assumes he just wasn't feeling well. However, knowing his involvement with youkai, Tanuma does figure out it's not him and gets Sensei to reveal himself, much to Natsume's dismay.
  • Happens in Gunsmith Cats when Becky is being held at gunpoint to lure Rally into an ambush over the phone. Rally realizes there's a serious problem when she notices she didn't send Becky her fee and Becky made no comment whatsoever.

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