- Codename: Kids Next Door:
- "Operation: H.O.S.P.I.T.A.L.": It's Tomato mixed with Continuity Nod in one, as the KND go to a hospital to guard a hospitalized operative. A few minutes from the end, it's revealed that said operative is... Bradley the Skunk from "Operation: C.A.M.P.", who had been made an honorary operative in that episode (and has now been rebuilt as a cyborg). Cree is surprised to find the skunk on a hospital bed when she (and we) expected a regular kid, and Numbuh Four, who had been a bit jealous at Numbuh Three for claiming to be in love with the injured operative (her exact words were "I love him"), is all "Hey!" when he sees Bradley, who she considered her adopted son.
- "Operation: U.N.C.O.O.L.": The KND go on what they think is a mission to rescue an operative, Numbuh 78. In fact, we even see her getting kidnapped by a bunch of zombies. Later on, it transpires that the "Numbuh 78" to which Numbuhs 2 and 44 are referring is a trading card.
- Batman: The Animated Series played this in one episode ("Almost Got 'im"), where Two-Face, Poison Ivy, The Penguin, Killer Croc, and The Joker met to discuss over a game of poker how Batman beat them. The Joker reveals that Harley Quinn has Catwoman tied up in a warehouse, to avenge his defeat to Batman. Then Batman reveals he was disguised as Killer Croc all along, and all the other unsavory malcontents in the poker hall turn out to be undercover cops.
- Another Batman example comes from the episode "Mean Seasons", where a former model is taking revenge on the executives who dumped her for younger-looking rivals. She talks about how she subjected herself to starvation and endless surgery in an effort to keep up, and now all we see is her wearing a mask, leaving us to wonder what happened. When she's captured and unmasked in the end, it turns out she was actually Beautiful All Along.Batgirl: She's beautiful!
Batman: She doesn't know how to see that anymore. All she sees are the flaws.
- Another episode had a new crimefighter known as The Judge, who was meting out deadly vigilante justice on Gotham's arch-criminals, including Penguin, Killer Croc, and Two-Face. At the end it turned out it was really Harvey Dent, who had become so distraught about becoming the villain Two-Face that his mind fragmented again and spawned the new identity of The Judge, a personality so distinct that it even went so far as to try to kill himself as Two-Face (Batman figured it out when he realized the two were never in the same place at the same time).
- Another Batman example comes from the episode "Mean Seasons", where a former model is taking revenge on the executives who dumped her for younger-looking rivals. She talks about how she subjected herself to starvation and endless surgery in an effort to keep up, and now all we see is her wearing a mask, leaving us to wonder what happened. When she's captured and unmasked in the end, it turns out she was actually Beautiful All Along.
- South Park plays with the trope with Liu Kim, the City Wok owner, who is actually one of Dr. Janus' personalities.
- Referenced on The Simpsons when Homer submits this poem to a literary journal:There once was a rapping tomato
That's right, I said "rapping tomato"
He rapped all day, from April to May
And also, guess what, it was me.
- After many episodes of suspense, cliffhangers, confusion, and even a Bizarro Episode, the second season of The Secret Saturdays finally ends with the ultimate evil (the being that can be used to take over the world) being Zak Saturday...the main character.
- Xiaolin Showdown features an episode where a mermaid and a rather savage-looking barbarian thaw from an ancient iceberg. The monks immediately befriend the mermaid and try to protect her from the barbarian who is the only one who knows that she's an evil fish monster who only takes her beautiful mermaid form when she's wet or in the water.
- Ed, Edd n Eddy had a mundane, but very horrifying one at the end of The Movie with The Reveal that Eddy's brother, who had been presented, by Eddy, as The Ace, is in fact a sadistic Big Brother Bully who made Eddy's life a living hell while they lived together. Eddy lied about him to make people respect and like him.
- The Arthur episode "The Boy Who Cried Comet" revealed that all the characters are actually aliens filming the show on another planet.
- In Garfield and Friends, one episode features Garfield hosting a show where he passes off a bunch of misinformation as fact, such as that there is no state of Wyoming, fire hydrants use compressed water, etc. When he claims that dogs have no brains, the audience is revealed to be a bunch of dogs who are none too pleased and run him out of town.
- Downplayed on Over the Garden Wall—though it's not confirmed until the penultimate segment's Whole Episode Flashback, most fans probably could have guessed that Wirt and Greg are from our world, in near-modern times. Really, the bigger surprise is how they got lost in the Unknown to begin with: They're having a Near-Death Experience while drowning.
- The Powerpuff Girls episode "The City Of Clipsville" posits a flashback (not really one but a flashback created specifically for the episode) where the Professor and Ms. Bellum get married. When the Professor lifts her veil, it turns out to be Mojo Jojo.Mojo: I have always loved you!
- In Love, Death & Robots: Sonnie's Edge, a scarred and traumatized woman living in a dystopian future Britain participates in a Beastly Blood Sport where genetically engineered beasts controlled remotely by human pilots fight to the death. Except for Sonnie, the human body is her remote-piloted one and the beast body is her main one - she was so badly wounded by her rapists that she had to be transferred over into it to save her. That's why Sonnie always wins: Because she is the only competitor literally fighting for her life.
- The conclusion of the Tex Avery cartoon "Who Killed Who?" has the detective subduing and unmasking the murderer. It was the live-action narrator we saw at the beginning ("I dood it! Sob!!").
Tomato Surprise / Western Animation