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Playing With / Masquerade

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Basic Trope: The existence of the paranormal/supernatural is hidden from normal people.

  • Straight: Vampires exist, but they keep their identity secret from humans.
  • Exaggerated: 90% of the population consists of vampires, werewolves, ghosts, etc., and the human 10% is still kept in the dark about it.
  • Downplayed: The vampires are only hidden from those whom they think will work against them. A lot of people still know they exist, even if they don't openly talk about it.
  • Justified:
    • The last time someone found out that vampires existed, they set out to hunt them down. The vampires aren't eager to repeat this.
    • As for how the Masquerade is maintained: whatever paranormal/supernatural phenomena exists in this world, it's an extremely rare occurrence that only happens in remote locations where very few potential witnesses are even around to see it.
  • Inverted:
    • Normal, non-powered humans keep their existence a secret among a vampire society.
    • Everyone is aware of the existence of vampires except the vampires themselves, who are kept in the dark of their true nature.
  • Subverted:
  • Double Subverted:
    • ...Until their memories were wiped to prevent the conflict from reappearing, and the vampires continued living in secrecy.
    • ...until a vampire bares his fangs during The Stinger.
    • There seems to be a vampire masquerade, but it turns out vampires don't exist... however, werewolves do exist, and theirs is the true masquerade.
    • Ghosts, however, are still hidden from the public.
  • Parodied:
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  • Zig Zagged: No human knows that the vampires exist... until we meet Alice. Then, however, it turns out that Alice is completely delusional, and although she thinks there are vampires, her beliefs are completely unfounded. Until we find out about the second group of vampires that exactly matches Alice's descriptions, of course. Then, however, it turns out that these vampires are actually just humans pretending to have supernatural powers. It turns out that this was a smokescreen to conceal the masquerade the werewolves are upholding.
  • Averted:
    • Vampires exist, and the humans know it.
    • There are no vampires.
  • Enforced: The show was originally plotted to be about a human vs. vampire conflict, but the script was rather bloody, and after some Executive Meddling the writers had little choice but to remove the conflict entirely by having the humans not know about the vampires.
  • Lampshaded: "Can't we just tell the people that we're vampires? I'm sure not everyone would freak out about it."
  • Invoked: As Bob and his vampire family move into a new town, Bob insists that this time, they aren't letting anyone know about their supernatural status, because past experiences have been largely negative.
  • Exploited: Alice, a human, realizes that if there were vampires, they probably wouldn't let humans know about it, so she makes sure to vampire-proof her house just in case.
  • Defied: Bob actively breaks the secrecy of the masquerade and reveals himself as a vampire to the humans.
  • Discussed: "Oh crap, I'm a vampire. Does that mean I'm supposed to hide it from my family or what?"
  • Conversed: "I swear, half of the episodes' plots could be resolved if the vampires would just man up and reveal themselves to the townspeople!"
  • Deconstructed:
    • The vampires' refusal to show themselves to humans is a sign of their elitism and snobbery; they see themselves as better than typical humans. This leads them to refuse to ask for human help when crisis strikes them all, and they suffer greatly because they will not let themselves integrate into the thriving normal society.
    • A vampire breaks the masquerade, and the resulting consequences are significantly worse than the sacrifices made to uphold it.
    • The masquerade is actually bad for humanity, since it prevents them from knowing how to protect themselves from supernatural threats and prevents any checks on the power of whoever is keeping the supernatural a secret. Those who are in the know have an effective monopoly over all interaction between the human and supernatural world, which not only lacks any form of transparency, but also restricts any scientific or economic benefits humans may gain.
    • The development of information technology, such as the Internet and mass surveillance, breaks the masquerade since there is no way to keep anything a secret anymore.
    • Supernatural beings try to keep their existence secret at first, however their general carelessness about actually keeping secrets (i.e. having loud fights with each other in the streets of New York City) leads to their cover getting blown anyways.
  • Reconstructed: The masquerade exists for the benefit of the supernatural world, who are terrified of humans hunting them down. They'd rather live inside a prison of secrecy than risk what might happen if their existence was made public.

Back to Masquerade.

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