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Playing With / Locked Out of the Loop

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Basic Trope: Everyone knows a deep, dark secret about a character... Except the character themselves.

  • Straight: Alice has a dark past - ten years ago, she unknowingly slaughtered a bunch of innocents, then later forgot due to Laser-Guided Amnesia. Bob and the rest of the Five-Man Band keep this from her.
  • Exaggerated: Everyone in the Five-Man Band has some deep, dark secret - and each member is the only one who doesn't know their own secret.
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  • Downplayed: It is mentioned that Alice was involved in a Noodle Incident a number of years ago, but no details are given.
  • Justified: Bob is afraid that if Alice found out about her past, she'd recreate the massacre.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted: It seems like Bob is keeping the knowledge of the past from Alice, but that turns out to be incorrect - she knows what she did as well.
  • Double Subverted: ...To an extent. She knows she did something, but Bob didn't fill her in on all the details.
  • Parodied: The "secret" is something incredibly mundane, like Alice's real hair color. However, everyone keeps it from her with the strictest confidence.
  • Zig Zagged: Due to the magic of Laser-Guided Amnesia, what she knows and how much she knows all vary from time to time.
  • Averted:
    • Alice knows everything from the outset.
    • There is no secret.
  • Enforced: "We need some tension among this team, and I think there's no better way to have that than there to be some secret they're keeping from someone."
  • Lampshaded: "Why is it that when I bring up the Great Troperia Massacre of '96, everyone looks uncomfortable and changes the subject?"
  • Invoked: "Look, she caused that massacre, and if she ever learns she did it, we know she'll freak out again. She can't know."
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: Bob decides to sit down and tell Alice the truth.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: "You'd think that team would trust each other enough to where there wouldn't need to be secrets."
  • Deconstructed:
    • Alice finds out about the massacre, and proves Bob's fears right... She does recreate it, and he's the first victim.
    • Alternatively, she finds out about the secret anyway... Then leaves the Five-Man Band because she feels she can't trust them anymore.
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  • Reconstructed: She eventually learns about the secret, but realizes that it was kept from her for good reason, so no harm done.
  • Played For Laughs:
    • Everyone knows about this secret but Alice - including people who're completely irrelevant.
    • Alice's secret is so comical or miniscule that the fact everyone's keeping her Locked Out of the Loop is treated as a Running Gag.
  • Played For Drama: The secret was kept from Alice because if she finds out she woudl crash emotionally. And she does.

Back to Locked Out of the Loop - just don't tell your buddy over there about that trope.

Example of: