The Reveal Prompts Romance

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
"You know, if I was Iron Man, I'd have this girlfriend who knows my Secret Identity and is always worried that something bad is going to happen to me--but at the same time is so proud that I'm out there saving the world. She's conflicted and that only makes her crazier about me."
Tony Stark, Iron Man

Alice and Bob are talking, and Bob has decided that it's time to come clean. He's going to tell her his dark and terrible secret. This secret could be one or more of any number of unpleasant or shocking or dumbfounding things. Maybe Bob is secretly a crimefighting vigilante, or a spy, or some kind of superbeing in disguise, or The Mole, or maybe he really likes reggae music. Whatever the secret is, it's going to be something that causes Alice to see Bob in an entirely new light, and totally reinterpret much of Bob's behavior.

Bob spills his guts. Alice is surprised, initially, but her surprise does not turn into shock, horror, fear, disbelief, or hatred. Instead, Alice... glomps Bob and commences chewing on his face. The Reveal is apparently a massive turn on for Alice.

People can react in all sorts of odd ways to unexpected news, but The Reveal Prompts Romance stands out as one of the more outrageous ways that a character can respond to something that should, realistically, make him or her feel alienated from the person who made The Reveal. The reason for this is most likely that such a disclosure immediately creates a sense of intimacy between the two people. The person receiving the disclosure may also suddenly feel special and connected to the one disclosing for having been chosen. Sometimes it makes sense, but more often, it's one of those things that brings out the Fridge Logic, especially if the couple in question weren't in a relationship with each other before the revelation.

The Reveal Prompts Romance is most often used between the male hero (who is doing the reveal) and female (who is responding with romance) lead of a story, right before or right after the climax. Who initiates the "romance" after the reveal varies, but it's never non-consensual.

Sex is not always involved, nor even necessarily a make-out session, but there's always some sort of "They Do" moment. This trope is one means by which writers may achieve red-string strangulation, or a Last-Minute Hookup. A reveal that involves displaying a physiological abnormality may prompt But Your Wings Are Beautiful.

This trope may overlap with Gender Reveal, which involves revealing a character's true gender. Contrast You Make Me Sick, My God, You Are Serious, and I'll Kill You! for less friendly reactions to The Reveal.

Examples of The Reveal Prompts Romance include:


  • There are numerous superheroes who have unmasked themselves to a boyfriend or girlfriend and then immediately made out. Sometimes they do this several times with different people. Heroes on this list include:


  • The 1989 Batman film had an exchange like this between Bruce Wayne and Vicki Vale towards the end, when Vale is shown into the Batcave.
  • The 1986 Highlander film set one of these up between the secretly-immortal Connor MacLeod and his Love Interest. Made more remarkable by the fact that Connor made his reveal by stabbing himself in the chest.
  • Dave in the film version of Kick-Ass does this to Katie. In fact, it's two reveals in one - one should have shocked her, the other angered. As per the trope, neither are her reaction.

Katie: Dave? What the fuck are you doing? Why are you dressed as Kick-Ass?
Dave: Because I am Kick-Ass!
Katie: What are you talking about?
Dave: I'm also not gay!
Katie: Fuck!

  • Astrid in the film of How to Train Your Dragon. Not directly after the reveal, but halfway back to town Toothless grabs her and she's forced to take a flight with Hiccup and Toothless. By the end of that flight she's definitely showing a great deal of affection for Hiccup, including a peck on the cheek. Quite the turnaround from contempt/anger/hatred.
  • Not Another Teen Movie used this near the end when a girl reveals her wish for a guy to take a dump on her chest. His response is one of shock, disgust and disbelief...that no one has ever taken a dump on her chest.
  • As seen in the page quote, this is Lampshaded in Iron Man. Averted in the actual story, however.


  • Dragaera: This is essentially how Vlad Taltos got to know Cawti. After learning who she was on their second meeting (their first meeting being an attempt on his life by Cawti), he climbed directly into her bed.

Live Action

  • Smallville: Lois was already attracted to Clark (and also already knew of his Secret Identity), but when he finally tells her he's the Blur she runs up to him and lays a big slobbering kiss on him.

Video Games

  • Knights of the Old Republic has a variant for the Gay Option. Play female, and Juhani may become attracted to you. Then, it's revealed that Revan (you) were her rescuer and inspiration for picking up a lightsaber in the first place, as well as an infamous sith lord who very nearly toppled the Republic. Her quiet crush becomes much more obvious.
  • You can do this in Jade Empire if you want to romance Silk Fox. You can start flirting with her immediately after she tacitly reveals that she's the Emperor's daughter in addition to being a kunoichi-esque vigilante. Bear in mind that she tried to kill you during your first meeting.
  • Tokimeki Memorial 2 has an inversion: when Kaori Yae finally confess her Dark And Troubled Backstory to the main protagonist (i.e. the player) in her storyline's mandatory Event, it unlocks her full Tokimeki Mode, along with an enormous boost in Love Points, enough to easily get her Love Confession at the end of the game.

Web Comics

  • Played straight and then inverted by the final strips of |Bite Me when Claire finally reveals her full backstory to Lucien. Claire has been flirting with him for the entire comic, but Lucien doesn't really reciprocate until after she's done explaining herself. He starts to indicate a hesitant attraction to her... and then she jumps on him.