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This trope is when a character says something to another character but then will immediately whisper or silently mouth the opposite sentiment, but done so in a way that the other character doesn't hear/see. This might be done because they don't want to hurt the person's feelings; they'll tell a white lie but then immediately reveal their true feelings in an aside to a different character. This might also be done purely to deceive, such as a villain agreeing to hero's demands but then quietly ordering his mooks to attack the hero when his back is turned.

A generic example with, say, Bob and Alice, will have Alice asking Bob if he likes a particularly gaudy outfit. Bob doesn't want to hurt Alice's feelings, so he'll tell her "Oh yes! Love it!". However, as soon as she turns away, he'll look over at a friend and shake his head while mouthing "noooo...". An alternate example might be Alice asking Bob if he wants to go shopping. Bob, not wanting to anger her, will exuberantly say "Sure! I'd love to!". As Alice turns away, Bob then desperately whispers "Help me!" to passerbys.

See also Hypocritical Humor, for the more comedic use of this trope. For the more dramatic use, compare False Reassurance and I Lied. Compare NOT!

Examples of Two-Faced Aside include:


  • The Castle of Cagliostro: After being cornered on the roof by the Count and his men, Clarisse offers to surrender her ring to him on the condition they let Lupin and Fujiko go. Cagliostro pretends to agree to these terms. Yet when his right hand man, Gordo, asks, he promply replies low enough so only Gordo can hear him: "When she moves away, shoot 'em."

Film - Animation


And I fortunately know a little magic

It's a talent that I always have possessed

And dear lady, please don't laugh, I use it on behalf

Of the miserable, the lonely, and depressed!

[aside to Flotsam and Jetsam] Pathetic.

  • In Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, the mayor, venting to Brent, calls the town's inhabitants "sardine-sucking knucklescrapers." Brent chimes in, "But not me, right?" The mayor assures him that he didn't mean him, but immediately grimaces and rolls his eyes once he turns away.

Film - Live Action

  • Mean Girls featured this. Cady is talking to Regina, who calls out to a passing girl that she loves her skirt. Once the girl has moved on, Regina says to Cady, "That is the ugliest effing skirt I've ever seen." Cady laughs... and then flashes back to their first conversation, when Regina complimented her bracelet in exactly the same tone.
  • The Princess Bride. When Buttercup asks Humperdinck to promise he'll return Westley to his ship:

 Humperdinck: I swear it will be done. [aside to Count Rugen] Once we're out of sight, take him back to Florin and throw him in the Pit of Despair.

Count Rugen: I swear it will be done.


Live-Action Television

  • In one segment of Chappelle's Show, a reporter is investigating a "Jedi abuse scandal" analogous to the Catholic priest pedophilia scandals. While interviewing a "Jarth Mader", an anonymous victim who wears a helmet and has a respiration problem, Mader breaks down and puts his head in his hands in tears. The reporter says, out loud, to the cameraman, "Cut", but mouths the words "Keep rolling" when Mader's not looking.
  • Doctor Who
    • In the episode "The God Complex", the Doctor is very impressed with Rita.

 Doctor: Oh, you're good...Amy, with regret, you're fired.

Amy: What??

Doctor: Kidding! [mouthing to Rita] Call me.

    • Inverted in the episode "Smith and Jones", when Martha steps into the TARDIS for the first time:

 Martha: It's bigger on the inside than it is on the outside!

[Midway through Martha's line, the camera cuts to show the Doctor mouthing her words at the same time]

The Doctor: Really? Hadn't noticed.

  • In the Everybody Loves Raymond episode "Turkey or Fish", Ray tells his mother he'll eat her turkey and then mouths to Debra that he won't.
  • In the Babylon 5 episode "The Healer", Mollari goes to a bar with a Minbari (mostly so he can rip him off, making him pay everything). The Minbari then proceeds to bore him with his entire life story. Mollari, looking pained, says: "Really? That's really interesting." Then he whispers to the female bar tender: "Kill me?"
  • In Slings and Arrows, Holly is introduced as the nice lady taking over a company, then, whispered, "She's the devil".

Newspaper Comics


 Shermy: Well, here comes good ol' Charlie Brown! Good ol' Charlie Brown, yes sir! Good ol' Charlie I hate him!





  Lyndon: Fair price indeed! [aside] You're getting swindled!



Western Animation


 Miss Naughty: Did you enjoy the salads?

Mr. Grumpy: Oh, yes, it was delicious.

Mr. Quiet: It was?

Mr. Grumpy: [aside] That's not true.

Mr. Quiet: Oh.

  • In the Futurama episode "The Sting" Farnsworth is seated between Leela and Bender:

 Leela (tearfully): This is all my fault!

Farnsworth: Oh no... no.

Farnsworth (to Bender): I'M LYING TO MAKE HER FEEL BETTER.

  • Parodied in The Simpsons, in the episode "Homer The Whopper" when Homer had a fitness trainer. Whenever the trainer was on the phone, he would say nice things to the person on the phone, then immediately tell Homer that he really felt the opposite way, and hated that person. He even does it when he says goodbye at the end of the conversation, turning to Homer and saying, "Bad bye." This is driven to the extreme when he does this while having a conversation with Homer in person and still making opposing statements as asides. When Homer asks him to stop, he says, "I'm sorry," then as the aside, says, "I'm not sorry." Remember: he's only talking to one person here.
    • This was a Running Gag with stereotypical Italian chef Luigi Risotto: he would be incredibly polite to his customers, run in the kitchen and immediately badmouth them to his unseen cook Salvatore unaware that they can hear him. ("Oh, you miss you friend, huh? Don't-ah you worry, my cook can surely cheer you up-ah. [enters kitchen] Hey Salvatore, give-ah the ugly kid a plate of the red-ah crap-ah!")
  • Metalocalypse - Ofdensen offers Dr. Rockso the Rock-and-Roll Clown a ride home from the compound, telling a minion "Give him whatever he wants", then quietly, "Put the boots to him, medium-style."
  1. Despite the Medic believing otherwise, human ribs are actually capable of growing back when properly shortened.