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Tomato In The Mirror / Live-Action TV

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People who don't know the truth about themselves in live-action TV.

  • One episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun has Harry suffer a blow to the head, resulting in amnesia. The result is that he becomes alarmed that his family are aliens without realizing he is one as well. Crosses over into Dramatic Irony.
  • 12 Monkeys: In Season 4, Team Splinter learn of a story told by the Primaries which describes the true nature of their conflict, about a demon which drove a serpent insane and made it go in circles, which can only be stopped if the demon is destroyed. They realize that "the serpent" is Time and the "circles" are the Stable Time Loops which causality has been twisted into by the existence of time travel, and naturally assume that the "demon" must be the Witness. However, just before the Grand Finale, they learn that the "demon" is actually Cole, the first successful time traveller (whose existence made it possible for everyone else) who is also the result of a time loop himself.
  • In the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode "Human Interest Story", a reporter interviews a man who has begun having delusions that he used to be a Martian. It turns out, he is a Martian, and is merely one of thousands of invaders. Fortunately, the reporter is also one, and he's able to silence him before he can blow their cover.
    • It's actually an adaptation of a short story by Fredric Brown, though the resolution there was nonviolent (the reporter, without blowing his own cover, simply convinces the other guy that acting out of character for his host will be to no one's benefit).
  • Angel: in "Spin the Bottle", everyone's memory is wiped back to age 17. Wesley, who at that age was head of his class at vampire-hunting school, reckons it's a test: they've been locked in this abandoned building with a vampire, whom they must identify and kill. Angel (who at that age was a living human), in a private moment, looks at a mirror ...
  • Are You Afraid of the Dark?:
    • "The Tale Of The Thirteenth Floor''. The adopted Karin is invited to The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday on the 13th floor of the apartment building. The employees are soon revealed to actually be aliens with three fingers and no faces, and seem to be trying to abduct her. After she and Billy escape, and the ship leaves, Olga reveals to Karin through the TV that the aliens left her there ten years ago and were trying to rescue her. Billy then looks at her and sees that she has shapeshifted back into a faceless alien as well.
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    • "The Tale of the Dream Girl". Johnny, after putting on a girl's ring, is being pursued romantically by the ghost of the ring's owner. The girl in question has a backstory and death similar to that of the song Teen Angel, where she ran back into a car that's dead on the train tracks to get her ring when the train hit. Johnny eventually realizes that he was in the car with her (and her boyfriend). He ran back to pull her away but he didn't make it and died with her. This is why his sister is the only person who can see him and why his mother ignores him, why their boss looks guilty after NOT needing a mechanic due to Johnny's work and why his sister gives him a funny look when he tells her no he can't calm down, how would she act if she saw a ghost.
    • Another girl wanted know about the story of a ghost car that appeared every year at the corner of the cemetery. Her two new friends helped figure out microfilm and learn the sad story of the young man wanting to meet his date who was tragically lost. Now the girl knows the story she can reveal she is the ghost the car is waiting for and goes to meet the driver.
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  • The Arrested Development episode "Marta Complex" has Gob overhear a phone conversation Marta has with her mother where she says she no longer loves Gob and is in love with "Hermano". Gob asks Michael to find Hermano for him. At the end of the episode, Michael discovers that Hermano is Spanish for "brother". Marta was telling her mother that she was in love with Michael, Gob's brother.
  • Arrowverse:
    • Arrow does this in season 3 with Sara's killer. Roy/Arsenal has been having bad dreams ever since that night; in the dreams, he kills Sara by throwing three arrows into her chest. Since Roy was injected a while back with a super-serum whose cure was experimental, there seems a possibility that the dreams are real. It turns out they aren't. In season 2, whilst under the effects of said super-serum, Roy blacked out and killed a cop. Those suppressed memories are resurfacing and mixing with his feelings of grief for Sara.
      • Played straighter with the reveal of who actually killed Sara- it was Thea, drugged by Malcolm Merlyn. She's horrified and furious to discover what he made her do.
      • Played with again in season 5. The villain Prometheus has decided to play massive mind-games with all of Team Arrow, starting with convincing Quentin Lance that he is Prometheus. Due to Quentin's previous animosity towards Oliver (both his daughter's got involved with Oliver and both have died and come back to life, and Oliver has ignored/twisted the law for years), plus his relapse into alcoholism, we almost believe it. Until he goes straight to Thea and tells her what's been happening, and she sets him straight.
      • Prometheus then tries to make Oliver into the villain by showing him his past brutality with a recreated crime scene. Oliver in season 1 had no problems killing anyone that got in his way. At this particular scene, he left a trail of largely unnecessary bodies about a mile long. The topper is when Prometheus dresses up his hostage (Felicity's current boyfriend and a good man) in his costume and sends him out for Oliver to kill. The fact that Oliver didn't realize the trick in time makes it all the more worse.
    • Season 2 of The Flash gives us Zoom, from Earth-2, who murders cops left and right and nearly kills Barry a couple of times. Who is he? Well, his real name is Hunter Zolomon; but we know him better as Jay Garrick, the Flash of Earth-2, friend of Barry, Caitlyn's boyfriend, all around good guy. All the more shocking because his introduction comes on the heels of him murdering his own time remnant.
      • The show pulls another one with The Man in the Mask, a prisoner of Zoom's whose identity was a 'shocking secret' for about half the season. The season finale shows that not only is he the real Jay Garrick, from Earth-3, but he's a doppelganger of Barry's dad. Who was just murdered by Zoom.
      • Barry Allen has a moment of this in the Season 3 episode "I Know Who You Are", when Savitar kneels, removes his armor, and reveals himself to be Future Flash. The very last scene of the episode is a side shot of Barry and Future Flash staring at each other.
    • Supergirl (2015): Samantha Arias seemed to be a completely average single mother raising her daughter Ruby. Then she starts developing powers like super strength and durability. She meets her own mother, who explains that she found her as a baby in a spaceship. When she goes on a journey and forms the Fortress of Sanctuary, the Fortress' AI tells her she is a genetically engineered being from Krypton, but her Teen Pregnancy with Ruby delayed her development, which is why her powers are only emerging now instead of in her teens like it normally goes with Kryptonians. She becomes excited, thinking she can become a great hero like Supergirl, but the AI informs her she was designed to be Supergirl's enemy and then burn the world of man down. Horrified, Samantha tries to reject it, but the AI forces her to revert to her "true" self, Reign, the Worldkiller. Eventually, Samantha manages to kill her Reign personality, at the cost of her powers.
  • Battlestar Galactica has done this with five characters. Boomer spends the first season wrestling with the slow realization that she's the Tomato in the Mirror. Moreover, as of the Season Three finale, Tory Foster, Galen Tyrol, Sam Anders, and Saul Tigh are "triggered", and realise they're Cylons.
    • Boomer literally has a bad experience with her locker mirror, on which someone (herself? - even her Cylon personality isn't sure) has written the word CYLON in big yellow letters.
    • Starbuck goes through her own version of this trope after finding her own dead body and crashed Viper. Turns out she's just a literal angel.
    • And in the series finale Head!Baltar and Head!6 explain in the final scene set hundreds of thousands of years later that Mitochondrial Eve is actually Hera (the Human/Cylon infant that both sides have been desperately trying to protect or kill) thus making Us the descendants of three species: the Cylons, the "Alien" humans and the "Native" Humans. WE ARE THE TOMATOES!
  • Being Human (US), Sally Malick is first hunted by a ghost calling himself the Reaper, who claims that it is his duty to destroy ghosts who, like Sally, have stayed on earth too long or who have become destructive in some way. Then the Reaper starts trying to recruit Sally to become a Reaper, and then starts destroying innocent ghosts, increasingly seeming like a psychopathic serial killer. Yet, for some reason, everyone seems to be blaming Sally for the killings, even though she is desperately trying to stop the Reaper. Until the reveal that she is the Reaper.
  • In the Black Mirror episode "White Bear", the reason why Victoria is unable to remember who she is and what is going on around her is because the White Bear employees are keeping her in an Amnesia Loop, psychologically breaking her down through a Trauma Conga Line again and again. The reason why this is happening is because the little girl she saw in a photograph she thought was her daughter was actually her and her boyfriend's victim, and she recorded the six year-old's torture and death at her boyfriend's hands.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • The Buffybot, in her premier in the episode "Intervention". Not only did she think that the real Buffy looked like her, but so did everyone else. Also parodied, in that the Buffybot is quite overtly a heavily Flanderized version of Buffy herself; Buffy is, not entirely surprisingly or unreasonably, a bit pissed that her friends were completely unable to tell the difference. Especially since "s/he's a robot" as an immediate explanation for the Monster of the Week was almost a Running Gag for the season up to that point — and everyone pegged April as a robot just a few episodes earlier.
    • Dawn's among the last to learn that she's only six months old.
    • A long sequence in "The Replacement" follows "real" Xander watching Xander doing various errands and "hypnotizing" people. This convinces the "real" Xander (and the viewers) that the other Xander is a robot or demon. Eventually, "real" Xander discovers that he is Xander's weaker points, and the other Xander is Xander's stronger points. The coin he's using to "hypnotize" is merely a nickel he found squashed by a train that he plays with in idle moments.
  • Played for laughs in Chappelle's Show, which had a sketch featuring a rabid member of the KKK who's blind so he doesn't realize that he's black.
  • Charmed: a group of mysterious beasts attack magical creatures during the ultra-rare second blue moon in a year. The Charmed Ones set up a trap to catch them... only to wake up and find themselves in the trap. Turns out the blue moon turned them into those beasts. It Makes Just as Much Sense in Context.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Human Nature"/"The Family of Blood": The Doctor turns himself into a human teacher in 1913, through use of a device called a Chameleon Arch, which looks like a pocket watch. Of course the viewer knows who he really is, but the Doctor doesn't and once he finds out he's pretty shocked and doesn't want to go back.
    • The climax of "Utopia" revolves round the revelation that the kindly human Professor Yana is, unbeknownst to him, the Tomato in the Mirror, a "sleeper" personality and biological disguise created by the Doctor's archenemy the Master, previously thought dead. His original personality and biology is contained in a Chameleon Arch pocket watch, and released when Yana is tempted into opening the watch.
    • "Turn Left": The time-beetle on Donna's back counts, considering that while the audience knew about it, Donna didn't, and anyone who stared at her back, knowing something invisible was there, was instantly met with Donna telling them off for acting so strange, only for her to find out there was something (horrifying, too) there.
    • "The Next Doctor": The Doctor finds another person who claims to be the Doctor, who he takes to be a future version of himself. This other Doctor is investigating a series of deaths beginning with the disappearance of one man. It turns out the new "Doctor" is that vanished man — he'd had info about the Doctor overwritten over his mind.
    • "Victory of the Daleks": Professor Edwin Bracewell believes he is an Allied scientist who created a new form of unmanned weapon. He is actually an android, powered by what is effectively a bomb, created by the Daleks as part of their cover.
      Bracewell: But I created you!
      Dalek: No. We created you!
    • "The Pandorica Opens":
      • Rory and the Roman Legion, who are actually Autons.
      • At the end of the episode, the Doctor discovers that an alliance of all his historical opponents has joined forces to fight and imprison what they consider to be the most dangerous, monstrous and terrifying being to ever exist: him.
    • "The Almost People": Amy is in fact a Ganger avatar, with the real Amy in a medical-looking tube thing and about to give birth.
    • "Asylum of the Daleks": Oswin Oswald helps the Doctor from her crashed escape pod. When he finally reaches her, it turns out the Daleks had captured and converted her into a Dalek long ago. Her human body and escape pod were a delusion she used to forget what had happened.
    • "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS" has a subversion in Tricky, who is told by his superiors that he's an android. After he is proven to feel pain, the Doctor knows he is not only human, but the superiors' youngest biological brother. The brothers told him he was a robot after suffering a traumatic injury to gaslight him and get away with abusing him.
    • Intentionally invoked by the 10th, 11th, and War Doctors in "The Day of the Doctor". The Doctors use a memory erasure beam to force the members of UNIT and the Zygons impersonating them to forget if they're human or Zygon. This forces them to negotiate a peace treaty fair to both sides because none of them (with the exception of the two Osgoods, who keep quiet) know whether it will turn out they were really human or the alien imposters when they get their memories back.
    • "Extremis": Over the course of the episode, the Doctor, Bill and Nardole discover they aren't the real deal, but in fact simulants in a computer simulation created by the villainous Prophets of Truth in preparation for invading Earth. The simulated Doctor manages to get a warning to the real Doctor before the Prophets can shut him down.
    • "The Doctor Falls": Bill, who we last saw converted into a Cyberman, appears to be back to her old face, with only the chest unit that she's gotten used to after ten years still remaining. Yet she's left out in a barn, and everyone acts afraid of her. It isn't until she literally sees herself in a mirror that we see she's still a Cyberman physically, and we've only seen her as human because we're seeing her point of view.
    • "Fugitive of the Judoon": Ruth Clayton is not a normal human woman. She's a Time Lord under the effects of a Chameleon Arch. And not just any Time Lord, but an incarnation of the Doctor — an incarnation who Thirteen doesn't recognise, and who doesn't recognise her either.
    • "The Timeless Children": It turns out that the Doctor is not actually a normal Time Lord, or even originally from Gallifrey. She was actually found as a child by a Negative Space Wedgie untold eons ago by the first Gallifreyan space traveller, and it is from her that every other Time Lord that has ever existed derives the ability to regenerate. As a result, she has vast swathes of past lives that have been erased from her memory (the above-mentioned Ruth being one of them) before becoming the First Doctor we know.
  • Dollhouse:
    • In the episode "Omega" we find out that Dr. Saunders is actually a former Doll, Whiskey.
    • Later, after seeing Senator Daniel Perrin investigating and campaigning into the Dollhouse, we find that Perrin's wife is his handler, and he himself is a Doll. The whole purpose of his zealous investigation into Rossum Corporation's mind-wiping activities is so that he can discover evidence exonerating them at the end and place them above suspicion.
    • Played for Laughs in a scene where a programmed Sierra (played by Dichen Lachman who is ethnic Tibetan on her mother's side) doesn't want to get her treatment from Ivy because "I'm not comfortable with, uh, orientals."
  • In the final episode of the short-lived series Do No Harm, Jason, who has spent the entire series trying to rid himself of his dubiously moral second persona, Ian- supposedly his long-dead twin brother- learns that, in fact, young Ian killed young Jason. HE is the double, invented by Ian. Worse, he learns this just as the doctor he thinks will be destroying Ian, but who has actually double-crossed him, injects him/Ian with a chip that will eliminate him forever. Cue "Goodbye Jason" and the end of the series.
  • The Fear Itself episode "New Year's Day". A young woman wakes up during a Zombie Apocalypse and tries to get to her friend's apartment. At episode's end, it's revealed she committed suicide the previous night and is now one of the zombies.
  • In The Haunting Hour episode "My Imaginary Friend", a preteen boy named Shawn is being influenced by a Jerkass bad boy named Travis who tries to help him become popular. Unfortunately, he does so by continually getting Shawn into trouble. Shawn's older brother David is very worried by this, particularly since Travis is Shawn's Imaginary Friend. Things go from bad to worse when Travis becomes visible to David and tries to kill him as he keeps getting in the way of his and Shawn's "fun." Shawn prevents Travis from killing David by imagining Travis away but he is hurt by a lifting hook in the process. When he regains consciousness, his dad presents him with a get well card from his classmates and he realises that he has many more friends than he thought. David tells Shawn that this means that he no longer needs his imaginary friends. Shawn agrees with this and it is revealed that David is likewise a figment of Shawn's imagination, something which David didn't know. In spite of his pleas that he does not want to go, he vanishes out of existence.
  • In The Haunting of Hill House, Eleanor "Nell" Crain is among the worst-affected of her siblings by her childhood from living in the titular haunted Hill House, with one particular spirit that she calls the "Bent-Neck Lady" showing up in her nightmares, and then appearing in front of her multiple times after the death of her husband. In an attempt to gain closure and stop the haunting, she drives back to Hill House to prove to herself that the spirit only came from an unrelated corpse. This turns out to be an elaborate lure from the Hill House spirits, particularly from her dead mother, who tricks her into hanging herself from a staircase bannister. Through a montage of moments where Nell was haunted, it's revealed that Nell was the Bent-Neck Lady. She understandably does not take the news well as she dies.
  • The core premise of Invasion!. Set in a small Florida coastal town, several characters return from unremembered experiences in the water feeling not quite themselves. At first they appear to have been altered by mysterious glowing creatures, who may or may not be aliens, in the water. But it's soon revealed that they are in fact altered copies, and their originals were killed in the duplication process. Since they have the same memories, emotions, and personality as their originals, it raises the issue of whether and why they should be considered a different person at all. Each of them, and their 'unaltered' friends and family, answers the question a little differently. Sadly, the series was canceled after one season, so this was never resolved.
  • Weirdly inverted by The Muppets in the "Secrets of the Muppets" episode of The Jim Henson Hour. You'd think the revelation that they are only puppets would shock the Muppets, but in fact they already know about it, and just find it intensely creepy (they avoid looking down and call anyone who uses "the P word" a traitor). But at the end they look and realize "There's nothing but floor down there!". Apparently they are real, which turns the rest of the episode into a bit of a Mind Screw.
  • Kamen Rider loves this trope. If the monsters in the show have human guises (or in the case of one show, were humans), a likely way to go about this is revealing one of the main character to one of them. Examples include:
    • Takumi can use Faiz Rider Gear because he is the Wolf Orphenoch.
    • Hajime is the Joker Undead.
    • Tsurugi is the Scorpion Worm.
    • Tsukasa is the Great Leader of Dai-Shocker.
    • Sento and Ryuuga are human Smash. Sento also has a different flavor in the revelation that he is Takumi Katsuragi, founder of Faust and creator of all its technology.
  • In the Grand Finale of Mr. Robot, Elliot learns that he's not actually Elliot Alderson, he's another of Elliot's alternate personalities who became dominant shortly before the events of the series began.
  • In an episode of Once Upon a Time we follow the story of Red Riding Hood, whose grandmother is trying desperately to keep from seeing her boyfriend at night. Red becomes convinced that he is the Big Bad Wolf that is terrorizing the town, when it is actually Red herself that's the werewolf, inherited from her mother, and Granny was trying to save the boyfriend's life.
  • The Outer Limits (1995):
    • "Birthright": A senator gets into a car crash and gets caught up in an alien plot to poison the atmosphere so humans will die and aliens take over. It turns out he was one of the aliens, who got amnesia from the crash so that only his implanted human memories remained.
    • Several other episodes where people find out they are really robots, clones, etc.
  • Power Rangers:
    • In Power Rangers Operation Overdrive, a villain gives the Humongous Mecha a virus, and it's spread to the base... and then to the Red Ranger, Mack, (aka iMack) who turns out to be an android.
    • In Power Rangers Turbo: Justin notes that the other Rangers are acting odd, and finds out that they are really robots. At the end of the episode, it's revealed that Justin himself was a robot, who was programmed so that he didn't know he was a robot, and that the real Ranger team built them to help Zordon on Eltar. Lot of good that did...
  • The Prisoner (1967):
    • Bizarrely enough, the Mind Screw ending implies that this is the entire premise of the series.
    • In the episode "The Schizoid Man", Number Six seems to have been mistaken for an agent trained to impersonate him. Evidence mounts that in fact he is the impostor, and has forgotten his own identity. But in the end, the trope is subverted as he realizes that's what they want him to think.
  • QI gave us this gem of an exchange:
    Emma Thompson: You know the word "luvvie"?
    Stephen Fry: Yeah?
    Emma: What do you all feel about it?
    Stephen: [sigh] I mean, I'm not going to get as upset as some actors do — some actors say, "We do a bloody hard job of work, we're serious people, you know, it's a coal face, doing a play! How dare they call us luvvies!" I think that's a bit overdone. On the other hand, it's a bit tedious when the Daily Mail says "luvvie couple XYZ", or something....
    Emma: Do you know what the first citation of it is in the OED?
    Stephen: No.
    Emma: It's you.
    [cue My God, What Have I Done? reaction from Stephen]
  • In one episode of Quantum Leap, Sam finds himself in the body of someone in a mansion where everyone thinks there's a vampire on the loose. He, of course, thinks this absurd. After clearing up the situation, he finally gets around to looking in a mirror... and doesn't reflect. Literal Tomato "in the Mirror". This was hinted in the end of the previous episode, where we see the character Sam switched with actually had vampire fangs (played by Robert MacKenzie, who bears a close resemblance to Christopher Lee).
  • Quark. Captain Quark has two beautiful Bridge Bunnies whom he'd love to have sex with, but one of them is a clone which is taboo. Unfortunately being an identical clone, the clone also believes she's the original, so whenever Quark asks which is the clone they both point at each other and say, "She is!"
  • Red Dwarf:
    • This trope is played with in the episode "Out of Time", when Lister is apparently revealed to be a Ridiculously Human Robot. He is floored by the revelation, but gets no sympathy from Kryten, who points out that his emotions are only artificial. However, the moment the crew escapes the unreality pocket through which they were traveling at the time, he becomes human again. (In fact, as the other reality was false, he had never been anything but human.)
    • Rimmer in various episodes. In "The Inquisitor", a copy of himself provides a Reason I Suck Speech; in "Terrorform", it's through a speech delivered by a living version of his self-loathing; and in "Rimmerworld" he is marooned on a planet with only his clones for company.
  • In an episode of Sliders, the world is populated almost entirely by androids, and one human scientist who attempts to create an android with the transplanted memories of Quinn. It turns out that the scientist actually died, and his memories have been transplanted into an android version of himself, without him actually knowing that.
  • Stargate:
    • Stargate SG-1 did it at least three times:
      • "Tin Man" (season 1): The SG-1 team seems to have been transferred into robot bodies by a lonely alien maintenance man. In the end, they find out that they weren't transferred, they were copied, with the originals still alive.
      • "Fragile Balance" (season 7): Jack O'Neill wakes up after an alien abduction to find himself in a body 30 years younger... and slowly dying. After convincing his colleagues of his identity and tracking down his abductor, he finds that he is actually a genetically damaged clone of the original O'Neill (still with the alien).
    • Stargate Atlantis likes it even more:
      • In "Michael" (Season 2), Lieutenant Michael Kenmore awakens in Atlantis' infirmary, unable to remember who he is. After being informed of who he is and that he barely survived terrible injuries from a raid deep in enemy territory, he is let out and undergoes psychiatric therapy (including periodic drug injections) for the strange nightmares he keeps having. He eventually discovers secret observation videos of himself in the infirmary, and is horrified to discover that he is actually a Wraith that was transformed into a human using an experimental genetic drug and then brainwashed.
      • In "This Mortal Coil" (Season 4), Sheppard, McKay, Ronon, Teyla, and, later, Dr. Weir find that they are replicator-made copies of themselves, and that the version of Atlantis they are in is also a copy. They come to take it remarkably well, especially McKay. Mostly because of McKay's insight into the situation.
      • In "The Kindred" (Season 4), Carson Beckett is found by the Team. The only problem: he's supposed to be dead. But he insists and is sure, that he is the real Beckett. Turns out he is a clone.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series:
    • Happened in the episode "What Are Little Girls Made Of?" with Nurse Chapel's lost boyfriend.note 
    • And with Rayna in "Requiem For Methuselah"
    • Also happens to Kirk in "The Paradise Syndrome".
      Behold the god who bleeds!
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • Happens to a damaged, amnesiac Data in the episode "Thine Own Self" when Data takes up a life in a pre-industrial village. The reveal is obviously not a shock to the audience, but a big one to Data.
    • The episode "Eye of the Beholder" plays with this trope in all sorts of ways. It turned out that telepath who had died during Enterprise's construction had left a sort of 'psychic residue' which had imposed the dead woman's memories on empathic crew members unfortunate enough to wander into its proximity (it had caused one such crewman to commit suicide). Troi at one point actually screams in horror when she doesn't recognize her own reflection.
    • Averted in "Inheritance". Juliana Tainer is programmed to shut down in the event that she discovers that she's actually an android.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • "Whispers": We follow Miles O'Brien in flashback form as he seems to combat a station-wide conspiracy to sabotage peace talks amongst two alien factions; turns out the O'Brien we're watching was actually a "replicant", sent by one of the alien factions and programmed to assassinate the leaders of the other faction. The rest of the crew were acting suspiciously because they knew about the switch and were waiting for the replicant O'Brien to attempt his mission, but the replicant was so perfect that he/it ended up acting just as the real one would.
    • In the episode "Second Skin", Kira is kidnapped by the Cardassian Obsidian Order as part of an anti-dissident setup and told she is actually Iliana Ghemor, a spy, who was implanted with false memories so even she would believe her cover story, sent to infiltrate the Bajoran resistance. Subverted in that she is NOT Iliana Ghemor, but Iliana is a real person, who really did have false memories implanted so she could infiltrate the Bajoran resistance. It's all part of a trap to reveal that Iliana's father is part of the dissident movement as he decides to smuggle her off Cardassia when Kira refuses to believe it.
  • Star Trek: Voyager:
    • In "Course: Oblivion", the entire crew realized that they were in fact not the real Voyager crew. Several episodes earlier, a semi-sentient, planet-spanning, not-quite-lifeform on an inhospitable planet they visited to refill on deuterium had replicated the entire crew. Unbeknownst to the original crew, they eventually copied the entire ship, too, right down to the last bulkhead. They forgot they were copies and made warp drive modifications that were harmful to themselves, so they raced back to Voyager hoping to get more genetic samples to save themselves. They failed to get back before disintegrating completely, dissipating just before they could contact Voyager.
    • Played for Laughs when the holographic Doctor is singing a duet on the holodeck. The holographic diva starts complaining about his tempo. "It's like singing with a computer!"
  • Supernatural:
    • In "Road Kill", the Monster of the Week doesn't know she actually is dead (and thus, a spirit haunting a stretch of highway) until the end of the episode.
    • The Monster of the Week in "Heart" has no memory of her transformations into a werewolf, so she doesn't truly realize what she is until Sam traps her in her apartment and she awakens to see how she's torn the place up.
  • In the Super Sentai parody short "Rolling Bomber Special", Shingo Katori of SMAP fame plays the Unlucky Everydude who keeps getting attacked by the (fortunately very ineffective) Super Sentai "Freshmen", who think he's the destroyer of worlds they've been hunting all this while. It's not till he's 'activated', via the Freshmen getting their ultimate attack to work properly, and xenomorphic-like limbs start ripping out of his body that he realizes they were right.
  • The Torchwood episode "Sleeper" has a seemingly human woman with a seemingly happy life (complete with job and husband) find out that she's actually an alien who will be "triggered" to wage a campaign of terror on Earth.
  • Treadstone. One of the main characters is Intrepid Reporter Tara Coleman. It's only in the penultimate episode that it's revealed that she is one of the cicadas whose story she is investigating.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959):
    • "After Hours": Marcia White's shopping trip to a department store goes awry, as the people she talks to seem to transform into mannequins. In the end, we find out that she is a mannequin, whose month posing as a human is up; the others were concerned because she was late getting back. Also used in the '80s remake.
    • "Four O'Clock": A self-righteous man goes around telling anyone who will listen that at precisely four o'clock he will, by sheer force of will, cause every evil person on the planet Earth to shrink to two feet tall. Four o'clock rolls around and the man finds himself shrunk to a height of two feet tall, much to his chagrin. This implies that he has in fact succeeded in causing every evil person on Earth to shrink...
    • "In His Image", after murdering a woman on the subway platform, Alan Talbot returns to his home town with his fiancée, but discovers that nothing is the way he remembers it. Then he discovers that he is really a robot created 8 days prior, and all his memories were a fiction of his creator Walter Ryder, who wanted to build a more perfect version of himself.
    • "Five Characters in Search of an Exit" is also an example. A clown, a hobo, a dancer, a bagpiper and a major wake in a prison with smooth walls and an open top. They speculate for a long time about where they could be and at one point the major calls the place "Hell" but at the end it is revealed that they're all toys that are to be donated to the less fortunate children during the Christmas season. Their prison is a donation bin.
  • The Twilight Zone (2019): In "Among the Untrodden", Irene was just an imaginary friend of Madison's.
  • An episode of The X-Files about the Mandela Effect opens with a scene from an apparently non-existent Twilight Zone episode ( which eventually turns out to be a knock-off show called The Dusky Realm) in which a man in a diner says there are Martians everywhere, but nobody seems to notice them, and says to the guy behind the counter that there's one standing at the window. The server tells him it's not a window, it's a mirror. Then it gets weird.
  • In WandaVision, The Vision is one of the main characters, despite having been killed by Thanos at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. How he returned to life isn't revealed for most of the series, and he seems unable to remember his life as an Avenger or anything that happened to him before he and Wanda moved to Westview. In Episode 8, the audience learns that the Vision we've been following for most of the series is actually an artificial construct Wanda created from nothing by using Chaos Magic, while the real Vision is still dead and in the custody of the S.W.O.R.D. organization.


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