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Playing With / Good All Along

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Basic Trope: A character initially assumed to be a villain is revealed to actually be a good guy later on.

  • Straight: Bob is at first though to be an underling of Emperor Evulz, but he's really a double agent pretending to work for Evulz as his cover so he can help bring an end to the villain's threat from the inside.
  • Exaggerated: The Big Bad is revealed in the final confrontation to actually be on the heroes' side the whole time, with his Evil Plan really being a ploy to help the heroes accomplish their goal without realizing that he's the one helping them.
  • Downplayed: The villain, previously assumed to commit their acts For the Evulz, is actually a Well-Intentioned Extremist but still represents a threat to the heroes.
  • Justified: Bob's methods looked questionable out of context, so it's understandable that the heroes mistake him for a bad guy.
  • Inverted: Evil All Along
  • Subverted: Bob claims that he's not really the bad guy, but it turns out he's lying to prevent the heroes from ruining his vile schemes.
  • Double Subverted: Bob's claim of being a bad guy pretending to be good was itself a deception intended to prevent the heroes from discovering he was on their side until they were supposed to.
  • Parodied: Even after it's clear Bob is actually good, the heroes insist that he's still a bad guy and is only pretending to be nice to stay in everyone's good graces.
  • Zig Zagged: Bob is thought to be a villain and turns out to be good guy. Only, his claim of being good was a lie. Later, it's revealed that he lied about being evil so that the knowledge of which side he's on wouldn't become a liability.
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  • Averted: No characters who seem villainous are later revealed to be good after all.
  • Enforced: They establish a character assumed to be evil as actually being good so there can be An Aesop on how things aren't always as they appear.
  • Lampshaded: "Dang. Had I known you were on our side the whole time, Bob, I probably wouldn't have screwed up your covert mission."
  • Invoked: Bob undergoes a mission that requires the heroes to target him, so he pretends he's the bad guy to give the heroes a reason to want to go after him.
  • Defied: Bob knows that the heroes assuming he's an enemy will only cause problems, so he makes it clear he's on their side at the first opportunity.
  • Discussed: "I know, you're probably confused hearing I've been on your side the whole time. Heck, I probably shouldn't have been so aggressive and secretive had I'd known it would make you suspicious."
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  • Conversed: "With how reclusive, antisocial, and brutal Bob's been, he only has himself to blame for the heroes assuming he was a villain."
  • Deconstructed: Even though Bob has turned out to be a good guy, his more aggressive and questionable actions still cause the heroes to distrust him.
  • Reconstructed: Bob's more outright hostile acts were merely to let the heroes know that they can't afford to keep their guard down, and the heroes understand that being good doesn't always mean playing by the rules or being open about which side you're on.

You mean to tell me this guy was Good All Along? Crap! That means we just screwed up his secret plan to take down the bad guys from within!

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