All There Is to Know About "The Crying Game"

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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So you just heard about a new series or a film. You begin watching it, and tension is established, or the show tries to trick you, but you're not fooled. Why not? The thing that you aren't supposed to know (it may be a twist, or simply a spoiler) was the absolute first thing you learned about the show. If you hadn't been told, you wouldn't be watching it.

Contrast with It Was His Sled, where everybody knows what the spoiler is. This trope means that the only thing most people know about the work is the spoiler.

See also Late Arrival Spoiler, when the company that makes it gives away a spoiler in the sequel's ads. Often a cause of Watch It for the Meme. If it happens on the first chapter of a series, it's a First Episode Spoiler. The Shallow Parody more often than not will rely on this trope rather than actually watching the work they are mocking. Just Here for Godzilla and Watch It for the Meme are common consequences. See also Everybody Knows That.

The Trope Namer is the 1992 film The Crying Game.[1] You likely already know that All There Is To Know About The Crying Game is that the main character's love interest is a pre-operative transgender woman. William Goldman noted that knowing the secret actually made the film a much better movie.

If you had no clue what this trope meant before, that is an example of Pop Cultural Osmosis Failure, or else Small Reference Pools.

Examples of All There Is to Know About "The Crying Game" include:

Anime and Manga

  • Haruhi Suzumiya: Even without having ever watched/read/anything related with the franchise, thanks to this series' raving fandom, it's pretty well known in anime communities that Haruhi is an omnipotent god; ironically, this "fact" is actually Fanon.
  • The anime of School Days is known more for its notoriously bloody ending (and the related "nice boat" meme) than for anything that happens in that series (up to including what lead to said bloody ending). The visual novel, to an extent, is better known for its bad ends than for its plot or heroines, which may have weighted on the narrative choices they made for the anime's finale.
  • SHUFFLE! is (in)famous for the scene where Unlucky Childhood Friend Kaede Fuyou menaced her rival Asa Shigure with a boxcutter during a yandere fit. Said incident has become more well-known than the actual premise of the show.
  • Ashita no Joe: Joe dies at the end. His death is practically a meme on its own in Japan, to the point of Stock Parody.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica is a deconstructive Magical Girl show where the mascot is the villain and the first magical girl friend the protagonist makes is decapitated in the third episode. That's it, that's what most people know about it.
  • Kannazuki no Miko: Himeko and Chikane become romantically involved, even after the infamous scene in the eighth episode where Chikane rapes Himeko. The series actually downplays their relationship in the initial chapters, as they don't play by the usual Girls Love tropes.
  • Romeo X Juliet: if you know how the original play ended, you know how this one is going to end too.
  • In anime circles, two facts about Lucy, the female heroine of Elfen Lied, (namely her death and her real name "Kaede") are widely known.
  • Two things are well known from Baccano!: the Walking Spoiler quality of Claire Stanfield (arguably the most popular character of the series, and also the focal character of one of its most popular arcs), and that this is the series where they have a character named Jacuzzi Splot.
  • Thanks to the "Ideon destroyed the universe!" meme, there are plenty that have heard about Space Runaway Ideon Kill'Em All ending despite knowing nothing else about it.
  • Mai-chan's Daily Life is only known by the infamous "Baby fuck, baby fuck!" and "It's AWRIGHT!" scenes near the end, due to extensive use of them as Shock Images by the denizens of /b/ and Encyclopedia Dramatica in the mid-to-late 2000s.
  • Future Diary has it in two levels:
    • In universe, the Diaries only have the "dead end" of its owners, which force them to attempt to change it. However, the Diaries also have "unwritten" parts each, and discovering what happen on it can cause a ripple effect on the Diaries of others.
    • Out of universe, this series is mainly known as the source of the memetic "Yandere face of Extasis", courtesy of Yuno Gasai.

Film

  • The Trope Namer is, of course, The Crying Game, a very gripping and emotional political thriller famous for the hero's love interest turning out to be a pre-op transsexual. It is the defining aspect of the movie, and overshadows just about everything else to the point to where its spoiler status is all but a thing of the past.
  • Would you believe that the Good Guy/Chucky doll being alive in the original Child's Play was supposed to be a plot twist? Given his status as one of the greats of the Slasher Film industry, right up there with the likes of Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger, it's safe to say no one does nowadays, and it's for the better since it's the main hook of the movies.
  • "It's people! Soylent Green is people!" An effective plot twist, meme, and hook, all in equal measure.
  • Bruce Willis was Dead All Along in The Sixth Sense, right up there with "I see dead people" as the movie's most famous aspect.
  • Chopping Mall is quite famous for its exploding head scene, who often turns out in YouTube compilations
  • Similarly, Scanners is also known as "that one where the guy's head explodes".
  • Into the Wild, alias "that movie about the guy to went to live in Alaska in a bus and died".
  • A Few Good Men is mainly famous today for its "You want the truth? You can't handle the truth!" Motive Rant at the end. The rest of the movie is somewhat less remembered in pop culture.
  • Remember Me is a film where the final twist is that one half of the couple dies on the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, and that's all what people remembers about it. At least United 93, about what happened inside one of the actual planes, was a lot less manipulative and more into its Foregone Conclusion.
  • When Harry Met Sally... is only remembered by the fake orgasm scene interpreted by Meg Ryan.
  • The infamous "drill" scene of π.
  • All most people know about Cabin Fever is that it involves a virus, and that there are no pancakes in it.
  • A Beautiful Mind: the protagonist is schizophrenic and has hallucinated half of the movie. Within the film, this was supposed to be the big reveal.
  • What do you mean that Breakfast at Tiffany's isn't about Audrey Hepburn wearing a fabulous Givenchy dress and holding a cigarette in a holder while Mickey Rooney does Yellowface in the background?
  • The shower murder scene and the reveal about Norman Bates and his mother is pretty much what popular culture thinks Psycho is about.
  • Good luck finding anyone now who knows anything at all about The Truman Show except for the true nature of Truman's world. Because there is more reveals about it beyond the premise description at the beginning of the film.
  • Fargo is widely known as "That movie where a guy gets fed to a woodchipper." Not even the staggering amount of awards it got or its remake as a miniseries are as remembered as that scene.
  • Se7en: the identity of the head in the box is the wife of Det. Mills.
  • Scooby-Doo: Scrappy was the villain.

Literature

Live-Action TV

  • St. Elsewhere‍'‍s All Just a Dream Grand Finale literally overshadowed the rest of the series. No one remembers what St. Elsewhere was about (it was a Medical Drama that pioneered the use of heavy continuity and character development as its main source of drama), they only know the "it was all in the head of an autistic child" implications of its last scene and the meme of "everything is a St. Elsewhere spinoff".
  • The only thing most people know (or remember) about Maude is that Maude has an abortion in a Very Special Episode.

Oral Tradition, Folklore, Myths and Legends

  • Jesus died for your sins. And far too many people who call themselves Christians know nothing else -- least of all his teachings, which often run counter to their political views.

Puppet Shows

  • Earl's carelessness causes the Ice Age... or in other words, everyone is doomed to die at the end of Dinosaurs. While a funny and well-written show in its own right, the sheer audacity of killing everyone in a sitcom is the real draw for non-viewers.

Tabletop Games

  • Infamously terrible Tabletop RPG FATAL is inexorably tied to the "roll for anal circumference" meme, even when that's not even the most offensive aspect or the worst mechanic transgression of said game.

Theatre

Video Games

  • Giygas is one of Nintendo's most beloved villains thanks to his horrific appearance, surprisingly tragic backstory, and memorably hopeless boss fight. He's also the final boss of Earthbound, a very cute and silly game where you do not expect to be fighting an Eldritch Abomination that looks like a hellish, screaming void straight out of a Cosmic Horror Story. But while his appearance and nature are meant to be a secret that shocks and scares the player, it's safe to say that knowledge of his presence is what attracted the attention of new fans to a Cult Classic that desperately needed them.
  • In Red Dead Redemption and Red Dead Redemption 2, John Marston and Arthur Morgan, the protagonists of each game respectively, die far into them. These are easily the best known aspects of each game, and have attracted to players curious about the emotional impact their deaths have on other people.
  • Inferno is a mod for Free Space 2 that is most infamous for introducing some absolutely gigantic spaceships to the game, such as the SSJ Gigas, TSJ Icanus, and especially the SH Gargant, a 50-km monstrosity that was planned at one point, but dropped.
  • It is quite impossible, even for people not that into the Final Fantasy franchise, to not know that Rinoa is a Sorceress due to the sheer amount of references available everywhere. On a similar note, Edea being Ultimecia due to Late Arrival Spoiler is another outcome, but this has notably shown how omnipresent Ultimecia really is throughout the game.
  • Many games enter into this trope for its terrible game mechanics, in the "that game is impossible to play because of how broken it is" sense. Red Steel is one of the most flagrant examples of it.
  • In gamer culture, Daikatana is "that game that John Romero was going to make his bitch with" and nothing more, only with "oh, and it sucked" as an afterthought.
  • Most people know little about the Mushihime-sama games other than that they have extremely hard True Final Bosses.
  • Star Ocean: Till the End of Time is (in)famous for the plot twist of everyone in the story are actually unknowing NPCs Inside A MMORPG.
  • Goat Simulator is known as "that game with the goats that's deliberately broken".
  • Final Fantasy V: Faris is actually female, and the Big Bad is an evil tree.

Visual Novels

  • Doki Doki Majo Shinpan!: The player character hunts witches and has to confirm the fact that they actually are witches by groping them.
  • Doki Doki Literature Club!, as it's known as "that visual novel that goes so meta it becomes psychological horror".
  • Katahane is so well known as a good Girls Love visual novel because of its prominent yuri end couple that most people who try it for the first time are baffled by the prominently-featured heterosexual couples.


  1. And indirectly, the eponymous song.