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Playing With / As You Know

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Basic Trope: A character explains the plot to characters who already know it so the audience can understand.

  • Straight: Alice tells Bob that they're on a quest to recover the MacGuffin.
  • Exaggerated: Alice tells Bob the history of the MacGuffin in the question, how it was stolen, and then that they're on a quest to recover it.
  • Downplayed: Alice reminds Bob that they're on a quest to recover the MacGuffin when she suffers an injury and Bob asks if she wants to go home to recuperate.
  • Justified:
    • Bob isn't taking the mission seriously, so Alice reminds him of it and how important it is.
    • Bob is an idiot and needs constant reminders or else he'll never get the details straight.
    • Alice doesn't care that Bob already knows everything, she just likes hearing the sound of her own voice.
    • Alice and Bob are on multiple quests, and Alice clarifies that they're fighting Big Bad Charlie because he has the MacGuffin, not because he kidnapped princess Emily.
    • Bob brought people who weren't given the details of the quest.
    • Alice has new information about their quest, so she leads off by reminding Bob of what he knows before introducing what he doesn't yet know.
    • Alice is nervous, and is just babbling obvious facts to relieve it.
  • Inverted:
    • Bob doesn't know what the mission is, but Alice refuses to tell him.
    • Bob doesn't know some information which Alice doesn't want him to know, and just to be on the safe side, she uses a memory-erasing gun on him.
  • Subverted:
    • Alice is cut off by a gunshot noise.
    • Turns out Bob didn't know, despite what Alice thought.
  • Double Subverted: When the danger is over, she resumes telling Bob.
  • Parodied:
    • Alice tells Bob every little detail about the entire universe.
    • Alice tells Bob in multiple languages.
  • Zig Zagged: Sometimes Alice explains the plot to Bob even though he already knows, but at other times, he doesn’t know.
  • Averted: Alice doesn't tell Bob things he already knows.
  • Enforced: "The characters know, but we need a way for the audience to know."
  • Lampshaded: "I already know this, why are you telling me?"
  • Invoked: The villain, Charlie, slips some truth serum into Alice's coffee.
  • Exploited: Charlie hides in waiting to eavesdrop on Alice and Bob.
  • Defied: Debbie (Alice and Bob’s boss) gives them strict instructions not to talk about the mission in case someone else hears.
  • Advertisement:
  • Conversed: "Doesn't it just break your suspension of disbelief when characters tell each other what they already know? Why not just have a caption explaining that information?"
  • Implied: The scene starts with Alice telling Bob, "...and as you know, that's the mission."
  • Deconstructed: Bob gets annoyed with Alice and takes her reminders of things he already knows as an insult to his intelligence and competence.
  • Reconstructed: In a Leaning on the Fourth Wall moment, Alice says she's explaining it so "other people" can hear, which Bob accepts.

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