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Playing With / Beneath the Mask

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Basic Trope: A character has a side they don't normally show to those around them.

  • Straight:
  • Exaggerated: Bob is the nicest guy you'll ever meet, but deep down, he's pathologically homicidal.
  • Downplayed: Bob acts more together than he is, but no more than the average person.
  • Justified:
    • If people knew Bob was hurting deep down, they wouldn't have nearly the same level of respect for him that they do.
    • Bob is a very gentle person, with a Berserk Button explained by his past.
  • Inverted: Bob shows the side he wants to hide to the world, while the mask only shows in private.
  • Subverted:
  • Double Subverted:
    • ...Except his hidden side is hidden much deeper than anyone thought.
    • But after he's sober, he's back to normal stoic, quiet, loner, Bob.
  • Parodied: Bob acts sarcastically cheerful and everyone buys it then he turns to the camera and stated how he truly feels; nobody notices this.
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  • Zig Zagged: Bob reveals deep sadness under a stoic mask, but then it is discovered that the drama was another mask and he really is not that upset under it all. Except Bob turns out to have been hiding his pain so deeply that even he was not aware of it.
  • Averted:
  • Enforced: "We need to give Bob some depth. Let's have him hide a breaking heart under his normal act."
  • Lampshaded: "I'll bet you that there's something hidden under Bob's cheerful face. Like he's still angsting over the death of Alice."
  • Invoked: "I am really not like this at all on the inside, it's just for show."
  • Exploited: Drake knows what's under Bob's mask, and uses it to put Bob into a full-on breakdown.
  • Defied: Bob has a mask available, but doesn't use it.
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  • Discussed: Bob writes a song about his inner feelings, but cleverly disguises it so it seems like a harmless tune to those not in the know.
  • Conversed: "Wow, I wouldn't have guessed Bob was so messed up."
  • Implied: A lack of any emotional response to something horrific is the only indication that Bob is not as happily normal as he appears.
  • Deconstructed:
    • The man beneath the mask comes out and destroys everything he's ever worked for in one fell swoop.
    • Bob's friends are seriously hurt that he didn't trust them enough to reveal his true feelings. Worse, it turns out that Bob's inner personality isn't really the kind of person his friends want to hang out with.
  • Reconstructed: The man beneath the mask comes out, allowing his friends to empathize with him, and help him get over his issues.

Back to Beneath the Mask

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