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Playing With / Everybody Knew Already

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Basic Trope: A character has a secret. Everybody already knows, but he/she isn't aware that they know.

  • Straight: Alice is a Troper, and she's extremely embarrassed about it, keeping it to herself and not talking about it with anyone. But then Bob finds out the truth, so he questions Charlie to be sure if that's the case.
    Charlie: "Uh, Alice is a Troper? Yeah, that's true! We know... We have known for quite some time already."
  • Exaggerated:
    • Bob figured it out figured it out five minutes after meeting Alice, and Charlie made posters for it. Davis had a betting pool going for when Alice was going to come clean. Ellen thinks that Alice believing her secret is safe is just hilarious. Frank is hurt that Alice hasn't come clean yet, etc.
    • Alice repeatedly asserts that she is not a troper, bringing up details of events that "most certainly never happened". When Alice reveals that she is a troper, her friends are shocked, not because of the revelation but because they saw her statements as jokes and never realized that she thought she was fooling them.
  • Downplayed: One or two sharp-minded friends of Alice had known about the secret, a few others had a vague idea, but everyone else was unaware.
  • Justified:
    • Alice has some serious trust issues, and is flat-out terrified of talking with her friends about her secret, for fear of ridicule or rejection.
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    • Alice did a terrible job keeping it a secret and didn't realize how transparent she was.
  • Inverted:
    • Bob knows a secret about Alice, but neither she nor anybody else does.
    • Alice reveals a secret, thinking everyone already knew it.
  • Subverted:
    • Alice was afraid that everyone knew, but when she talks about her secret, everyone reacts with shock...
    • Everyone knew Alice was a troper, only because they were snooping on her.
    • Everyone claims to already have known Alice's secret, but when she leaves, they reveal that they were bluffing and really did not know.
  • Double Subverted:
    • But the second she leaves the room, everyone immediately goes "I Knew It!!"
    • They knew before that, and snooped because they just needed proof.
  • Parodied: Alice has a ton of TV Tropes posters, says the titles of several tropes during conversations, and even has a "Troper Girl" alter-ego, and she still thought nobody knew about it.
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  • Zig Zagged: Some of Alive's friends knew, others didn't know and pretended they knew to be polite.
  • Averted: Nobody knew.
  • Enforced: "Alice's secret was a big twist in the original, but everybody knows about it now. In our remake we can have Alice's secret known from the beginning, but add a new twist of everybody knowing."
  • Lampshaded: "Is there anyone who doesn't already know?! What, was there a memo or something? Acknowledge my shocking revelation, damn it!"
  • Invoked: Alice acts incredibly obvious about a "secret" to deflect attention from a real one.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: Alice figures out that everyone knows her secret, and doesn't make it a reveal.
  • Discussed: "Alice has no idea that we already know, does she?"
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed:
    • Alice's refusal to come clean drives a wedge between her and her friends.
    • Alice is hurt that everyone knew and was okay with it, but no-one told her. She became depressed that she spent years angsting over nothing.
  • Reconstructed:
    • When she finally does come clean, she's instantly forgiven.
    • Her friends admit they didn't realises it was supposed to be secret in the first place, and apologize for not pointing it out sooner.
  • Played For Laughs: "I'm sorry, Alice, but this is like telling someone Darth Vader is Luke's dad, or spoiling the big surprise that Clark Kent is really Superman. Everyone knows, and anyone who doesn't has some serious catch-up to do."
  • Played For Drama: The refusal for Alice to spill her guts makes for some serious angst, and she develops some serious issues due to it.

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