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Playing With / Unsettling Gender Reveal

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Basic Trope: A character's sex turns out to be different than what someone thought it was, squicking out that suitor.

  • Straight: Alice and Bob meet. Bob falls for Alice. Then Alice turns out to be "Andy". Bob is upset.
  • Exaggerated: Alice and Bob meet. Alice has large breasts and a skimpy outfit, but is still a guy. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Downplayed:
    • Alice wears a plain T-shirt and Jeans. Only her face and long hair were the reason Bob though she was a girl. When Alice turns out to be "Andy", Bob could not look at her the same way.
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    • Alice and Bob meet. Bob thinks Alice is kind of cute. Then Alice turns out to be "Andy". Bob is surprised.
  • Justified:
  • Inverted:
    • Bob meets Alice thinking that "Alice" is a Drag Queen, only to be distraught when she's revealed to be the real deal. (Only an inversion of the basic version: The actual trope is not concerned with which gender Alice actually is, just if the reveal upsets Bob)
    • Sweet on Polly Oliver
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    • Even though Bob was right from the beginning thinking that Alice is a man, Alice manages to convince Bob to falsely believe he is a she.
  • Subverted:
    • Bob thinks Alice is secretly a guy, gets upset, but Alice is the genuine article...
    • Alternatively: Bob is shocked and flustered... But it turns out he's bisexual (or is only gay for Andy) and is just upset that Andy didn't trust him enough to tell him the truth.
    • Also alternatively: Alice was assigned male at birth, but Bob still loves her anyway.
    • Bob finds out Alice used to go by Andy and, instead of puking his lunch out, his reaction is, "...Huh. Well what do you know." And doesn't say anything else about the subject.
  • Double Subverted:
    • Bob thinks Alice is a guy, gets upset, but Alice isn't actually a guy... Unfortunately, Bob's spent all this time talking to Alice's Half Identical Twin.
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    • Also: Alice used to be a man, but Bob still loves her. That is, until Bob realizes that Alice said "I used to be a man", not "I'm from Iran."
  • Parodied:
    • Alice and Bob meet. Alice is blatantly a man dressed as a woman, but Bob falls head over heels for "her" anyway. Later he is shocked to find out "she" is is a man.
    • Andy is muscular; has a prominent chin, facial hair, and short hair; and does absolutely nothing to hide the fact that he's male. Bob is still surprised to find out that his crush, Andy, is a guy.
  • Zig Zagged: Alice and Bob meet and fall in love. Alice turns out to be "Andy". Then Bob turns out to be "Betty".
  • Averted:
    • Everyone is the gender they appear to be.
    • Alternatively: Upon finding out that Alice is actually a guy, Bob is surprised but not disturbed.
    • Alternatively: His outward appearance notwithstanding, Alice is quite open about being a man, and tells Bob this when they first meet.
    • Bob mistakes Alice for a girl but never learns the truth through the course of the series.
  • Enforced: A work that explores gender identity issues will inevitably feature a situation where someone misidentifies a person's gender, and hilarity (or tragedy) ensues.
  • Lampshaded: "Of course, the person I finally fall in love with turns out to be a guy."
  • Invoked: Andy intentionally dresses up as "Alice" in order to trick Bob.
  • Exploited: Carla knew all along that Alice was Andy and films the moment Bob finds out to put it on Youtube.
  • Defied:
    • Bob "checks" every female he meets very thoroughly to ensure he's not trapped in this way.
    • "She's cute. Think she'll give me her phone number?" "That's a guy, Bob." "Oh... He's cute. Think he'll give me his phone number?"
    • Andy tells Bob that he is male once he realizes Bob has mistake him for a woman.
  • Discussed: "This chick I'm going out with right now is pretty cool. She knows sports, likes watching Baywatch... uh, Jeff is a girl's name, right?"
  • Conversed:
    • "I don't know if I'm going to bother watching tonight's episode, TV Guide says Bob finds out his girlfriend Alice was born male and we all know his reaction is going to be so insensitive and horrified that it'll make pretty much every transgender or trans-friendly viewer cringe."
    • "Don't forget us viewers who hate a certain trope..."
  • Implied: Bob is shown following Alice around with hearts in his eyes. After Alice turns out to be Andy, Bob stops speaking to him.
  • Deconstructed: The reveal puts a heavy strain on (or outright breaks) Bob and Andy's relationship. For one thing, Bob cannot forgive him for having lied to him about something so important, and Andy ends up heartbroken because he just wanted to get close to Bob, not even as a romantic interest, but as a good friend, and now he just hates his guts.
  • Reconstructed: However, after the dust has settled, Bob realizes that, while being lied to wasn't a nice thing to do, otherwise, Andy has always been a great person, and that he has really enjoyed the moments they spent together. So, he decides to make amends with him, and from that day on they either become great friends, or they decide that they would really like to get romantically involved.
  • Played For Laughs: "Alice" and Bob walk into a room together, the implications are clear, but seconds later we hear Bob scream "OH MY GOD! DUDE! YOU'RE A DUDE!" and see him run screaming right through the door trying to get away from the newly-revealed Andy.
    • Additionally, Andy finds himself in trouble later on, to which Bob comes to the rescue, proclaiming "Hands off my girl!"
  • Played For Drama: Bob can't handle the truth and goes insane, kills himself, or kills Andy. Andy is the victim of intense persecution for his habits.
  • Plotted A Good Waste: The author uses this trope as commentary about transphobia.

Back to the very girly Unsettling Gender Reveal... WHAT!? IT'S A DUDE TROPE!?

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