Trope Workshop:Epiphany (trope)

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An Epiphany (from the ancient Greek ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia, "manifestation, striking appearance") is an experience of a sudden and striking realization. Generally the term is used to describe scientific breakthroughs, or religious or philosophical discoveries, but it can apply in any situation in which an enlightening realization allows a problem or situation to be understood from a new and deeper perspective. Here at All The Tropes, we employ it primarily to describe any illuminating discovery, realization, disclosure, or insight used as a device for Character Development. This is usually a life-changing revelation on some (or all) levels, and can be the critical moment that leads to a Heel Face Turn -- or its opposite. An Epiphany often leaves its subject momentarily stunned as the world makes a complete paradigm shift around him.

Super-Trope to

Compare Anagnorisis, Eureka Moment.

Examples of Epiphany (trope) include:

Anime and Manga

  • The ride Raimu gives Hane in episode 1 of Bakuon!!, which pushes Hane over the line from "motorcycles are kinda cool" to "I MUST HAVE ONE!"


  • The group BTS has a song named "Epiphany" from their album Love Yourself: Answer, a solo song by band member Jin, which describes the singing character finally realizing that they were in a toxic relationship and that their interest now is learning to love themselves. Thematically the song ties with the ones from the previous albums in the Love Together trilogy[1]; the MV, which is part of the BU Universe, implies that it's also an epiphany for the character that Jin plays on it.

Oral Tradition, Myths and Legends

Video Games

  • In City of Heroes, Frostfire: He is initially encountered as a villain in a low-level story arc in the Hollows, but reappears as a heroic ally in level 45+ content. You never get the full story behind his Heel Face Turn, but his dialogue hints strongly at some manner of epiphany that led to him becoming a hero.

Western Animation

  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode, "Pickles", Spongebob's epiphany was when he realizes that Bubble Bass was lying about him forgetting to add pickles in his Krusty Krabs burger. That the pickles were hiding underneath Bubble Bass's tongue all this time.
  • The Boondocks episode "Trial of R. Kelly", Huey shouts to everyone after the trial over how R. Kelly is a sexual offender and that to really do something, you would try to help him or find him guilty rather than putting him on a pedestal. This statement is ignored despite the enlightening truth.

Other Media

Real Life

  1. The albums chronicle a love relationship that quickly becomes toxic as one of the members obsesses so much over it that they manufactures a fake persona for the sake of their love interest; as soon as said member realizes that they cannot maintain said fake image indefinitely and that the relationship has been based on false impressions since the beginning, the relationship crumbles horrifically for all the implied