History Main / ClarkKenting

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* The earliest ''Superman'' comics portrayed Superman as more shadowy and mysterious (and [[BewareTheSuperman morally ambiguous]]); as such, he’s only ever seen very briefly as Superman. Then, as Superman started to interact more with the outside world, writers started to realize that people who interact with both Superman and Clark Kent on a regular basis might put two and two together (Lois Lane in particular). That couldn’t happen, as the AnthropicPrinciple essentially requires Lois never to make the connection to preserve the LoveTriangle. [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]] comics tried to get around this by giving him minor {{shapeshifting}} powers (or “[[CharlesAtlasSuperpower super facial muscle control]]”), or at least having him move so quickly that nobody could get a good look at him.
* But at the same time, they were also moving Superman to the radio and the big screen, and producers discovered that if you had a really good actor, it was entirely possible – and believable – to make Superman and Clark Kent totally different people. Voice actor Bud Collyer surprised everyone by doing both Clark and Superman, both [[Radio/TheAdventuresOfSuperman on the radio]] and [[WesternAnimation/SupermanTheatricalCartoons in]] [[WesternAnimation/TheNewAdventuresOfSuperman cartoons]]. The radio producers originally wanted different voice actors for Clark and Superman before Collyer proved it could be done. Creator/ChristopherReeve also portrayed Clark and Superman completely differently for [[Film/{{Superman}} the film series]], and audiences had no trouble accepting the disguise; [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIaF0QKtY0c this clip]] is a good example.

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* The earliest ''Superman'' comics portrayed Superman as more shadowy and mysterious (and [[BewareTheSuperman morally ambiguous]]); as such, he’s he's only ever seen very briefly as Superman. Then, as Superman started to interact more with the outside world, writers started to realize that people who interact with both Superman and Clark Kent on a regular basis might put two and two together (Lois Lane in particular). That couldn’t couldn't happen, as the AnthropicPrinciple essentially requires Lois never to make the connection to preserve the LoveTriangle. [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]] comics tried to get around this by giving him minor {{shapeshifting}} powers (or “[[CharlesAtlasSuperpower "[[CharlesAtlasSuperpower super facial muscle control]]”), control]]"), or at least having him move so quickly that nobody could get a good look at him.
* But at the same time, they were also moving Superman to the radio and the big screen, and producers discovered that if you had a really good actor, it was entirely possible -- and believable -- to make Superman and Clark Kent totally different people. Voice actor Bud Collyer surprised everyone by doing both Clark and Superman, both [[Radio/TheAdventuresOfSuperman bot on the radio]] radio (''Radio/TheAdventuresOfSuperman'') and [[WesternAnimation/SupermanTheatricalCartoons in]] [[WesternAnimation/TheNewAdventuresOfSuperman cartoons]].in cartoons (''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheatricalCartoons'' and ''WesternAnimation/TheNewAdventuresOfSuperman''). The radio producers originally wanted different voice actors for Clark and Superman before Collyer proved it could be done. Creator/ChristopherReeve also portrayed Clark and Superman completely differently for [[Film/{{Superman}} the film series]], and audiences had no trouble accepting the disguise; [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIaF0QKtY0c this clip]] is a good example.



** ''Comicbook/TheSupergirlFromKrypton'' shows Superman’s cousin Kara’s theory: Clark explains the importance of a secret identity, and Kara asks how a pair of glasses can fool everybody. Then she sees a Superman statue and realizes that nobody recognizes her cousin because they see him as a quasi-mythical bigger-than-life figure.

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** ''Comicbook/TheSupergirlFromKrypton'' ''ComicBook/TheSupergirlFromKrypton'' shows Superman’s cousin Kara’s theory: Clark explains the importance of a secret identity, and Kara asks how a pair of glasses can fool everybody. Then she sees a Superman statue and realizes that nobody recognizes her cousin because they see him as a quasi-mythical bigger-than-life figure.



** Some people might know the identities but say nothing, perhaps to protect Superman from his enemies. In ''ComicBook/BatmanHush'', Batman suspects Perry White is too good a reporter not to know who Clark is, but doesn’t say anything for this reason.
** Discussed by Clark and Lois in ''Comicbook/SupermanBrainiac'':

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** Some people might know the identities but say nothing, perhaps to protect Superman from his enemies. In ''ComicBook/BatmanHush'', Batman suspects Perry White is too good a reporter not to know who Clark is, but doesn’t doesn't say anything for this reason.
** Discussed by Clark and Lois in ''Comicbook/SupermanBrainiac'':''ComicBook/SupermanBrainiac'':



** In one 90s storyline where Jimmy Olsen thought he'd discovered Superman's secret identity, but backed out of revealing it on TV at the last minute, Cat Grant and another reporter dismissed the idea it was any of the three people he'd proposed in the lead-up.
--->'''Cat''': Clark's been photographed with Superman, and besides...\\
'''Ralph''': He's ''Clark Kent''.\\
'''Cat''': Exactly.
* And, naturally, it’s all been [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] before:
** A retrospective on Superman’s [[MilestoneCelebration fiftieth birthday]] revealed that one fellow in Metropolis ''did'' catch on – Superman’s drycleaner.
---> ''Suffice it to say, I’ve never seen them come in here together.''
** A Franchise/JusticeLeagueOfAmerica book had a parody of ''Spy Magazine''’s “Separated at Birth?” feature comparing Clark Kent and Superman.
** One Silver Age VillainOfTheWeek was a Kandorian criminal who used a “face-changing machine” to resemble Superman. At one point, he tries to disguise himself as a civilian with a business suit, fedora, and glasses. Needless to say, Superman found him quickly anyway.
** The animated ''WesternAnimation/SupermanDoomsday'' subverts the trope; Lois knows full well that Clark is Superman, and she’s annoyed with Clark for refusing to admit it to her.

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** In one 90s '90s storyline where Jimmy Olsen thought he'd discovered Superman's secret identity, but backed out of revealing it on TV at the last minute, Cat Grant and another reporter dismissed the idea it was any of the three people he'd proposed in the lead-up.
--->'''Cat''': --->'''Cat:''' Clark's been photographed with Superman, and besides...\\
'''Ralph''': '''Ralph:''' He's ''Clark Kent''.\\
'''Cat''': '''Cat:''' Exactly.
* And, naturally, it’s it's all been [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] before:
** A retrospective on Superman’s Superman's [[MilestoneCelebration fiftieth birthday]] revealed that one fellow in Metropolis ''did'' catch on – Superman’s -- Superman's drycleaner.
---> ''Suffice --->''Suffice it to say, I’ve never seen them come in here together.''
** A Franchise/JusticeLeagueOfAmerica book had a parody of ''Spy Magazine''’s “Separated Magazine'''s "Separated at Birth?” Birth?' feature comparing Clark Kent and Superman.
** One Silver Age VillainOfTheWeek was a Kandorian criminal who used a “face-changing machine” "face-changing machine" to resemble Superman. At one point, he tries to disguise himself as a civilian with a business suit, fedora, and glasses. Needless to say, Superman found him quickly anyway.
** The animated ''WesternAnimation/SupermanDoomsday'' subverts the trope; Lois knows full well that Clark is Superman, and she’s she's annoyed with Clark for refusing to admit it to her.



** [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in [[http://www.superdickery.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Lois_Lane_63.jpg this comic]], where Superman finally reveals his identity to Lana and Lois – and dumps them both for being too dumb to see through the disguise.

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** [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in [[http://www.superdickery.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Lois_Lane_63.jpg this comic]], where Superman finally reveals his identity to Lana and Lois -- and dumps them both for being too dumb to see through the disguise.



-->'''Green Lantern''': Clark doesn't wear a mask.
-->'''Flash''': Clark slouches, drops his voice an octave and wears suits two sizes too large.
** ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' poked fun at the trope by having Superman (played by big ''Superman'' fan [[Wrestling/DwayneJohnson Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson]]) being so bad at his disguise that you could see his Superman suit sticking out of his Clark Kent disguise. His friends all know his secret identity, but they decide to screw with him and claim that Superman is gay.

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-->'''Green Lantern''': --->'''Green Lantern:''' Clark doesn't wear a mask.
-->'''Flash''':
mask.\\
'''Flash:'''
Clark slouches, drops his voice an octave and wears suits two sizes too large.
** ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' poked fun at the trope by having Superman (played by big ''Superman'' fan [[Wrestling/DwayneJohnson Dwayne “The Rock” "The Rock" Johnson]]) being so bad at his disguise that you could see his Superman suit sticking out of his Clark Kent disguise. His friends all know his secret identity, but they decide to screw with him and claim that Superman is gay.



[[folder:Advertising]]
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ib-rWgz4QdQ "The Pursuit", a commercial for the Lenovo Yoga]], features this. Pay close attention.
[[/folder]]



* ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'': Ranma is able to trick Ryōga into thinking that female Ranma was his sister, just by putting on fake fangs and a head band (and despite the fact that Ryōga has ''no'' sister). This was neither the first, nor the last time Ryōga fell for [[WigDressAccent such a disguise]]. However, it only works on Ryōga. Akane can still tell she's Ranma, though in the above case she was temporarily confused by Ryōga introducing "Yoiko" as his sister, not having realized how thick the Lost boy could be.

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* ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'': Ranma is able to trick Ryōga into thinking that female Ranma was is his sister, just by putting on fake fangs and a head band (and despite the fact that Ryōga has ''no'' sister). This was is neither the first, nor the last time Ryōga fell falls for [[WigDressAccent such a disguise]]. However, it only works on Ryōga. Akane can still tell she's Ranma, though in the above case she was is temporarily confused by Ryōga introducing "Yoiko" as his sister, not having realized how thick the Lost boy Boy could be.



* In ''Manga/{{Eyeshield 21}}'', Sena is the eponymous Eyeshield 21, a running back with unbeatable speed. Sena is the only one with a build and height even remotely close to his "secret" identity. Most of the time he doesn't even bother coming up with a good excuse for not being there when Eyeshield 21 is. Mamori, his childhood friend and the team's manager, [[SelectiveObliviousness really takes a while to figure things out]], given the clues she has on hand.

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* In ''Manga/{{Eyeshield 21}}'', ''Manga/Eyeshield21'', Sena is the eponymous Eyeshield 21, a running back with unbeatable speed. Sena is the only one with a build and height even remotely close to his "secret" identity. Most of the time he doesn't even bother coming up with a good excuse for not being there when Eyeshield 21 is. Mamori, his childhood friend and the team's manager, [[SelectiveObliviousness really takes a while to figure things out]], given the clues she has on hand.



** In the original ''Comicbook/TheSupergirlFromKrypton'' story, Clark buys a brown wig, a blouse and a long skirt to create his cousin's secret identity.

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** In the original ''Comicbook/TheSupergirlFromKrypton'' ''ComicBook/TheSupergirlFromKrypton'' story, Clark buys a brown wig, a blouse and a long skirt to create his cousin's secret identity.



** ''Comicbook/SupergirlRebirth'' Kara wears loose clothes, glasses, dyes her hair brown and braids it into a ponytail, and behaves like a insecure, quiet, geeky girl (as opposite to her hot-blooded, fiery and determined real self).

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** ''Comicbook/SupergirlRebirth'' ''ComicBook/SupergirlRebirth'' Kara wears loose clothes, glasses, dyes her hair brown and braids it into a ponytail, and behaves like a insecure, quiet, geeky girl (as opposite to her hot-blooded, fiery and determined real self).



* In the Comic series ''ComicBook/BatmanYearOne'' Batman pulls off Clark Kenting in his first attempt at doing vigilante work by using make-up to make a distinguishing fake scar on his face. People focus on the scar so much they don't notice any other real details.
** Nobody recognizes that it's Bruce Wayne. However a pimp sees through the disguise in that he knows Bruce is up to no good. He thinks Bruce is an undercover vice cop, however. Bruce hadn't yet mastered his ability to hide in an undercover role.
** Further lampshaded in an issue of ''Batman Adventures''. To infiltrate the underworld, Batman assumes the identity of "Matches Malone", by wearing a false mustache and carrying a match in his mouth. When Alfred expresses concern over whether it will be effective, Bruce simply tells him that "I know a guy who does this with just a pair of glasses".
* Franchise/WonderWoman also uses glasses as a disguise, although she changed her hairstyle as well. The fact that her abilities are magic-based may also help.

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* ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'':
**
In the Comic series ''ComicBook/BatmanYearOne'' ''ComicBook/BatmanYearOne'', Batman pulls off Clark Kenting in his first attempt at doing vigilante work by using make-up to make a distinguishing fake scar on his face. People focus on the scar so much they don't notice any other real details.
**
details. Nobody recognizes that it's Bruce Wayne. However a pimp sees through the disguise in that he knows Bruce is up to no good. He thinks Bruce is an undercover vice cop, however. Bruce hadn't yet mastered his ability to hide in an undercover role.
** Further lampshaded in an issue of ''Batman Adventures''. To infiltrate the underworld, Batman assumes the identity of "Matches Malone", by wearing a false mustache and carrying a match in his mouth. When Alfred expresses concern over whether it will be effective, Bruce simply tells him that "I know a guy who does this with just a pair of glasses".
glasses."
** In Issue #0 of the ''ComicBook/{{Batwoman}}'' series, Batman has been surveilling Katherine "Kate" Kane to determine if she is the person behind the Batwoman mask. He knows she has the skill to be Batwoman, she is the daughter of two career soldiers and she earned the position of Cadet Captain at the Military Academy at West Point, and she also has the motivation: [[DeathByOriginStory her mother and twin sister were murdered when they and she were kidnapped in her childhood]], but he does not know if she has the ''drive'' to be Batwoman. To test her he decides to "mug" her and see how she reacts, and he disguises himself with a black wig. ''Only'' a black wig. In the narration, [[LampshadeHanging he muses how "Clark" always said the simple disguises were the best]]. Batwoman herself averts the trope; not only does she wear a face-concealing mask, but her long red hair is actually a wig that covers her much shorter (albeit still red) hair.
** In an interesting twist, when Nightwing took over as Batman following the latter's death, he had to work hard at convincing people that he was the original. The average citizen, unaware of the situation and obviously not too familiar with Batman, bought it instantly. Renee Montoya, on the other hand, saw through it instantly. Meanwhile, a story arc was made out of Two-Face figuring out it wasn't the same man he'd fought for so long and coming gunning for the new "fake" to try and deduce who it was.
** This happened earlier, back during the ''ComicBook/{{Knightfall}}'' storyline. Jean-Paul Valley had to work just a bit to convince everyone that Batman was back after his crushing defeat at the hands of Bane. Bane wasn't fooled for a second and dismissed him as a pretender. When JP armed himself with the armor, Harvey Bullock just mentioned that "the kid gloves came off". However, Commissioner Gordon just wasn't convinced that the Batman running around in armor was ''his'' Batman. Superman noticed it, too, but because he just recently [[ComicBook/TheDeathOfSuperman came back from the dead]], he really didn't have much time to investigate. ComicBook/TheJoker noticed it, too, by his actions, as did ComicBook/{{Catwoman}} by his reactions around her. Though, with the exceptions of Bane and Superman, they didn't know that it wasn't Bruce Wayne under the mask, they knew it wasn't ''their'' Batman.
* Franchise/WonderWoman ''Franchise/WonderWoman'':
** Wonder Woman
also uses glasses as a disguise, although she changed changes her hairstyle as well. The fact that her abilities are magic-based may also help.



** ''WesternAnimation/SuperFriends'' once did a segment on Wonder Woman's origin. She put on a tiny little eye-mask and yet no one knew her, despite both being a princess and the fact she's lived around the same people so much that they should be able to tell it's her.

to:

** ''WesternAnimation/SuperFriends'' once did a segment on Wonder Woman's origin. She put on a tiny little eye-mask and yet no one no-one knew her, despite both being a princess and the fact she's lived around the same people so much that they should be able to tell it's her.



* Jay Garrick, the Golden Age [[Franchise/TheFlash Flash]], was an odd case. In his early adventures, he didn't seem to put any effort into keeping his identity secret whatsoever, and routinely did stuff like trying out for the Olympics under his own name, running at super speed. And in any event, his "Mercury" style helmet left his face uncovered. Later stories ''did'' have him use his secret identity (and everybody else just forgot it, apparently). His secret was supposedly was maintained by subtly vibrating his face at super speed while in public. Then in 1978, the semi-retired Garrick went "back" to having a public identity.
* Viciously parodied in the 1980s-vintage independent comic book ''ComicBook/MegatonMan'', in which the title character is a grotesquely over-muscled hulk, whose attempts to hide behind a Kent-like blue suit and glasses fool no one but himself.

to:

* Jay Garrick, the Golden Age [[Franchise/TheFlash Flash]], was an odd case. In his early adventures, he didn't seem to put any effort into keeping his identity secret whatsoever, and routinely did stuff like trying out for the Olympics under his own name, running at super speed. And in any event, his "Mercury" style helmet left his face uncovered. Later stories ''did'' have him use his secret identity (and everybody else just forgot it, apparently). His secret was supposedly was maintained by subtly vibrating his face at super speed while in public. Then in 1978, the semi-retired Garrick went "back" to having a public identity.
* Viciously parodied in the 1980s-vintage independent comic book ''ComicBook/MegatonMan'', in which the title character is a grotesquely over-muscled hulk, whose attempts to hide behind a Kent-like blue suit and glasses fool no one no-one but himself.



* In one issue of ''The Uncanny Comicbook/XMen'' the beaten up father of Bobby Drake/Iceman, while lying in a hospital, asks ComicBook/{{Gambit}} a few questions. Bobby's father doesn't understand why some people engage in the X-Men although some of them are perfectly fine looking, just like Gambit, seeming to ignore his pretty unusual eyes. One can't blame him for that, even many colorists forget that Gambit doesn't have normal eyes, or make them blue instead of red. Gambit's eyes are also hypnotic. It's possible that people just don't notice them.

to:

* In one issue of ''The Uncanny Comicbook/XMen'' ComicBook/XMen'' the beaten up father of Bobby Drake/Iceman, while lying in a hospital, asks ComicBook/{{Gambit}} a few questions. Bobby's father doesn't understand why some people engage in the X-Men although some of them are perfectly fine looking, just like Gambit, seeming to ignore his pretty unusual eyes. One can't blame him for that, even many colorists forget that Gambit doesn't have normal eyes, or make them blue instead of red. Gambit's eyes are also hypnotic. It's possible that people just don't notice them.



* In the early [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]] ''[[ComicBook/FantasticFour Human Torch]]'', "everybody knows that Sue Storm is the Invisible Girl, but no one knows her brother Johnny is the Human Torch". After the writers realized how stupid this plot point was, they {{retcon}}ned it into everyone knowing, but since they were aware of Johnny's attempts at hiding it, they respected that he didn't want them to talk about it. An earlier story where the brilliant Wizard tries, and fails, to learn Johnny's identity is quietly ignored, and he knows perfectly well who the Torch is in his next appearance.
** To be fair, Johnny Storm was the [[LegacyCharacter second]] Human Torch, the first being a sapient combat android.
* Parodied in ''The Inferior Five'', where even though only Awkwardman wears a mask, nobody knows their true identities. Even Awkwardman is pretty obvious. "Nobody suspects clumsy, oafish Leander Brent is really clumsy, oafish Awkwardman!... I wonder how come?"

to:

* In the early [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]] ''[[ComicBook/FantasticFour Human Torch]]'', "everybody knows that Sue Storm is the Invisible Girl, but no one no-one knows her brother Johnny is the Human Torch". Torch." After the writers realized how stupid this plot point was, they {{retcon}}ned it into everyone knowing, but since they were aware of Johnny's attempts at hiding it, they respected that he didn't want them to talk about it. An earlier story where the brilliant Wizard tries, and fails, to learn Johnny's identity is quietly ignored, and he knows perfectly well who the Torch is in his next appearance.
**
appearance. To be fair, Johnny Storm was the [[LegacyCharacter second]] Human Torch, the first being a sapient combat android.
* Parodied in ''The Inferior Five'', ''ComicBook/TheInferiorFive'', where even though only Awkwardman wears a mask, nobody knows their true identities. Even Awkwardman is pretty obvious. "Nobody suspects clumsy, oafish Leander Brent is really clumsy, oafish Awkwardman!... I wonder how come?"



* Connor Kent, the second ComicBook/{{Superboy}}, is one of the more ridiculous examples. He uses glasses like Clark Kent does, but he ''doesn't wear a freaking costume.'' His "costume" as Superboy is a black S-symbol t-shirt, jeans and work boots. That's right, he takes off his glasses and changes shirts, and no one recognizes him.
** At least the comics incarnation of Connor tends to wear ''different'' civilian clothes when he's not active as Superboy, unlike his animated counterpart in ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'' (see '''Western Animation''', below).
* Cassie Sandsmark, the second ComicBook/WonderGirl, wears a similar ensemble, but as of the most recent version of ''ComicBook/TeenTitans'' starting in 2003, she does not have a secret identity, which caused problems finding a school that would take her.
** Originally she had the ingenuity to wear a black wig and goggles, though even then her costume was mainly thrown together from what was already in her closet. She ditched them after a situation where she had to chose between maintaining disguise and saving the day.
* ComicBook/PowerGirl carries on the Kryptonian tradition in her own series, simply wearing a slightly different hairstyle as Karen Starr. Although (especially as drawn by Amanda Conner) she is unusually good at [[DressedInLayers dressing in layers]], it's still hard to believe people don't make a connection. Indeed, several people do figure it out, which is lampshaded by Atlee, the latest Terra, who points out that Power Girl and Karen Starr look exactly the same. This was also lampshaded by Superman himself, who recommended against making Karen Starr the public face of her company, noting that she's not very good at maintaining an effective secret identity.[[note]]''Power Girl #22 (2011)''[[/note]]
** Of course, the obvious answer(joke, that is) is that most people [[MaleGaze aren't looking at her]] ''[[MyEyesAreUpHere face]]''.
** This is even parodied in her team-up with Comicbook/HarleyQuinn (yes, really).

to:

* Connor Kent, the second ComicBook/{{Superboy}}, is one of the more ridiculous examples. He uses glasses like Clark Kent does, but he ''doesn't wear a freaking costume.'' His "costume" as Superboy is a black S-symbol t-shirt, jeans and work boots. That's right, he takes off his glasses and changes shirts, and no one recognizes him.
**
him. At least the comics incarnation of Connor tends to wear ''different'' civilian clothes when he's not active as Superboy, unlike his animated counterpart in ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'' (see '''Western Animation''', below).
* Cassie Sandsmark, the second ComicBook/WonderGirl, wears a similar ensemble, but as of the most recent version of ''ComicBook/TeenTitans'' starting in 2003, she does not have a secret identity, which caused problems finding a school that would take her.
**
her. Originally she had the ingenuity to wear a black wig and goggles, though even then her costume was mainly thrown together from what was already in her closet. She ditched them after a situation where she had to chose between maintaining disguise and saving the day.
* ComicBook/PowerGirl carries on the Kryptonian tradition in her own series, simply wearing a slightly different hairstyle as Karen Starr. Although (especially as drawn by Amanda Conner) she is unusually good at [[DressedInLayers dressing in layers]], it's still hard to believe people don't make a connection. Indeed, several people do figure it out, which is lampshaded by Atlee, the latest Terra, who points out that Power Girl and Karen Starr look exactly the same. This was also lampshaded by Superman himself, who recommended against making Karen Starr the public face of her company, noting that she's not very good at maintaining an effective secret identity.[[note]]''Power Girl #22 (2011)''[[/note]]
**
(2011)''[[/note]] Of course, the obvious answer(joke, answer (joke, that is) is that most people [[MaleGaze aren't looking at her]] ''[[MyEyesAreUpHere face]]''.
**
face]]''. This is even parodied in her team-up with Comicbook/HarleyQuinn (yes, really).



* Disney [[ComicBook/DisneyDucksComicUniverse com]][[ComicBook/MickeyMouseComicUniverse ics]] about superheroes both play it straight and [[JustifiedTrope justify it]].
** Super Goof (a 1960s parody of ''Superman'') is Goofy in long-johns with a cape and his ridiculous hat with Superman's power set, yet no one could ever figure out why they never saw Goofy and Super Goof in the same place (this was carried over into animation through an episode of ''WesternAnimation/HouseOfMouse''; at the end, Clarabell thought that Super Goof's secret identity was Disney/{{Dumbo}}). It's apparently because [[ObfuscatingStupidity nobody WANTS to believe Goofy is Super Goof]]: the one time the Beagle Boys tried to use the police new supercomputer to find out his secret identity, everybody thought the supercomputer was still damaged by Super Goof's earlier sabotage when the computer actually told them it's Goofy.
*** Some stories have MickeyMouse know Super Goof's secret identity, the implication being that either Mickey is that good as a detective or was just open-minded enough to consider and check.

to:

* Disney [[ComicBook/DisneyDucksComicUniverse com]][[ComicBook/MickeyMouseComicUniverse ics]] comics (ComicBook/DisneyDucksComicUniverse, ComicBook/MickeyMouseComicUniverse) about superheroes both play it straight and [[JustifiedTrope justify it]].
** Super Goof (a 1960s parody of ''Superman'') is Goofy in long-johns with a cape and his ridiculous hat with Superman's power set, yet no one could ever figure out why they never saw Goofy and Super Goof in the same place (this was carried over into animation through an episode of ''WesternAnimation/HouseOfMouse''; at the end, Clarabell thought that Super Goof's secret identity was Disney/{{Dumbo}}). It's apparently because [[ObfuscatingStupidity nobody WANTS to believe Goofy is Super Goof]]: the one time the Beagle Boys tried to use the police new supercomputer to find out his secret identity, everybody thought the supercomputer was still damaged by Super Goof's earlier sabotage when the computer actually told them it's Goofy.
***
Goofy. Some stories have MickeyMouse Mickey Mouse know Super Goof's secret identity, the implication being that either Mickey is that good as a detective or was just open-minded enough to consider and check.



* Somewhat mocked in ''ComicBook/{{Empowered}}'', where while stalling for time, the titular heroine tells her captors that she's actually a guy and is wearing a highly convincing "gynocamoflauge" suit to appear female, as nobody would suspect a hero's secret identity to be the opposite sex. When they buy it (because everyone ''knows'' superheroes are messed up), she goes on to claim that one of her male teammates is a woman in a male-looking armoured suit which she originally built to control her hot flashes, a female one is really a guy with ''very'' nice legs, and a third is actually a mutated cocker spaniel. Said teammates are ''not'' happy about this when the "truth" hits the headlines.
* In Issue #0 of the ''ComicBook/{{Batwoman}}'' series {{Franchise/Batman}} has been surveilling Katherine "Kate" Kane to determine if she is the person behind the Batwoman mask. He knows she has the skill to be Batwoman, she is the daughter of two career soldiers and she earned the position of Cadet Captain at the Military Academy at West Point, and she also has the motivation: [[DeathByOriginStory her mother and twin sister were murdered when they and she were kidnapped in her childhood]], but he does not know if she has the ''drive'' to be Batwoman. To test her he decides to "mug" her and see how she reacts, and he disguises himself with a black wig. ''Only'' a black wig. In the narration, [[LampshadeHanging he muses how "Clark" always said the simple disguises were the best]]. Batwoman herself averts the trope; not only does she wear a face-concealing mask, but her long red hair is actually a wig that covers her much shorter (albeit still red) hair.

to:

* Somewhat mocked in ''ComicBook/{{Empowered}}'', where while stalling for time, the titular heroine tells her captors that she's actually a guy and is wearing a highly convincing "gynocamoflauge" suit to appear female, as nobody would suspect a hero's secret identity to be the opposite sex. When they buy it (because everyone ''knows'' superheroes are messed up), she goes on to claim that one of her male teammates is a woman in a male-looking armoured armored suit which she originally built to control her hot flashes, a female one is really a guy with ''very'' nice legs, and a third is actually a mutated cocker spaniel. Said teammates are ''not'' happy about this when the "truth" hits the headlines.
* In Issue #0 of the ''ComicBook/{{Batwoman}}'' series {{Franchise/Batman}} has been surveilling Katherine "Kate" Kane to determine if she is the person behind the Batwoman mask. He knows she has the skill to be Batwoman, she is the daughter of two career soldiers and she earned the position of Cadet Captain at the Military Academy at West Point, and she also has the motivation: [[DeathByOriginStory her mother and twin sister were murdered when they and she were kidnapped in her childhood]], but he does not know if she has the ''drive'' to be Batwoman. To test her he decides to "mug" her and see how she reacts, and he disguises himself with a black wig. ''Only'' a black wig. In the narration, [[LampshadeHanging he muses how "Clark" always said the simple disguises were the best]]. Batwoman herself averts the trope; not only does she wear a face-concealing mask, but her long red hair is actually a wig that covers her much shorter (albeit still red) hair.
headlines.



* Perhaps the most over-the-top parody of this trope ever can be found in '' {{Elseworlds}} 80 Page Giant''. It features a title page from a fictional Silver Age story where Batman's secret identity is Adam, as in "Garden of Eden" Adam. Despite the fact that he is the ''only man in the world'', Eve still can't figure out that Batman and Adam are the same person.

to:

* Perhaps the most over-the-top parody of this trope ever can be found in '' {{Elseworlds}} ''{{Elseworlds}} 80 Page Giant''. It features a title page from a fictional Silver Age story where Batman's secret identity is Adam, as in "Garden of Eden" Adam. Despite the fact that he is the ''only man in the world'', Eve still can't figure out that Batman and Adam are the same person.



* In an interesting twist, when Nightwing took over as Batman following the latter's death, he had to work hard at convincing people that he was the original. The average citizen, unaware of the situation and obviously not too familiar with Batman, bought it instantly. Renee Montoya, on the other hand, saw through it instantly. Meanwhile, a story arc was made out of Two-Face figuring out it wasn't the same man he'd fought for so long and coming gunning for the new 'fake' to try and deduce who it was.
** This happened earlier, back during the ''ComicBook/{{Knightfall}}'' storyline. Jean-Paul Valley had to work just a bit to convince everyone that Batman was back after his crushing defeat at the hands of Bane. Bane wasn't fooled for a second and dismissed him as a pretender. When JP armed himself with the armor, Harvey Bullock just mentioned that "the kid gloves came off". However, Commissioner Gordon just wasn't convinced that the Batman running around in armor was ''his'' Batman. Superman noticed it, too, but because he just recently [[ComicBook/TheDeathOfSuperman came back from the dead]], he really didn't have much time to investigate. SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker noticed it, too, by his actions, as did ComicBook/{{Catwoman}} by his reactions around her. Though, with the exceptions of Bane and Superman, they didn't know that it wasn't Bruce Wayne under the mask, they knew it wasn't ''their'' Batman.



* Garfield parodied the trope. [[http://www.garfield.com/comics/vault.html?yr=2002&addr=021113 As an excuse not to chase a mouse]], Garfield claimed he "didn't recognize him in those glasses".

to:

* Garfield parodied ''ComicStrip/{{Garfield}}'' parodies the trope. [[http://www.garfield.com/comics/vault.html?yr=2002&addr=021113 As an excuse not to chase a mouse]], Garfield claimed he "didn't recognize him in those glasses".



* Parodied for all its worth in [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8937860/1/ Hiding in Plain Sight]]. After Harry defeated Voldemort, he ended up having lasik surgery performed. And since then, every pureblood that looks at him without the lensless glasses he carries around mistakes him for someone completely different. Deciding to play with it, he introduces himself as [[ShoutOut Clark Kent]], even explaining [[LampshadeHanging "Clark is another bloke who no one recognizes when he takes his glasses off. I'm guessing he won't mind if I borrow his name."]] But he isn't the only one in on the action. After mistaking [[Series/TwentyOneJumpStreet 21 Jump Street]] for a documentary, Amelia Bones (head of the aurors) decides to [[AdultsDressedAsChildren try it herself]] by sending, among others, [[CrowningMomentOfFunny Alastor]] [[{{Gonk}} Moody]] in disguise. And to make things even worse, their [[PaperThinDisguise disguises]] [[IdiotBall work on the purebloods as well]], so none of them can figure out why they have a [[WhatAnIdiot bunch of six foot tall first year students.]]

to:

* Parodied for all its worth in [[http://www.''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8937860/1/ Hiding in Plain Sight]].Sight]]''. After Harry defeated Voldemort, he ended up having lasik surgery performed. And since then, every pureblood that looks at him without the lensless glasses he carries around mistakes him for someone completely different. Deciding to play with it, he introduces himself as [[ShoutOut Clark Kent]], even explaining [[LampshadeHanging "Clark is another bloke who no one no-one recognizes when he takes his glasses off. I'm guessing he won't mind if I borrow his name."]] But he isn't the only one in on the action. After mistaking [[Series/TwentyOneJumpStreet 21 Jump Street]] ''Series/TwentyOneJumpStreet'' for a documentary, Amelia Bones (head of the aurors) decides to [[AdultsDressedAsChildren try it herself]] by sending, among others, [[CrowningMomentOfFunny Alastor]] [[{{Gonk}} Moody]] in disguise. And to make things even worse, their [[PaperThinDisguise disguises]] [[IdiotBall work on the purebloods as well]], so none of them can figure out why they have a [[WhatAnIdiot bunch of six foot tall first year six-foot-tall first-year students.]]



* Parodied in a Website/CollegeHumor [[http://www.collegehumor.com/video/6926235/batman-and-superman-team-up skit of a meeting between Superman and Batman]].
-->'''Gordon:''' Um, news flash, it takes a little more than a hat and/or glasses to fool people.\\
'''Superman:''' Really?\\
'''Gordon:''' Check this out. ''[removes glasses]'' Hey look, I'm someone else! Are you fooled? I'm not Commissioner Gordon, he's gone and...\\
'''Batman:''' ''[looks over at Gordon]'' Who are you?! Where's Commissioner Gordon?! ''[Gordon puts on glasses]'' Oh, you're back.



[[folder:Films -- Live Action]]

to:

[[folder:Films -- Live Action]]Live-Action]]



* Played with in ''Film/{{Steel}}'' where the armor covers almost all the protagonist's body. Unfortunately, the title character is 7 feet tall, so it's completely obvious to anyone who sees him in both identities. Lampshaded by the BigBad:
-->'''Burke:''' (upon seeing Steel for the first time): "[[SarcasmMode Now I wonder who that is]]."
** The cop witness recognizes him, not the least because John has a scar in the exact same spot where Steel had a bleeding wound. The cop feigns ignorance because Steel saved his life earlier.

to:

* Played with in ''Film/{{Steel}}'' where the armor covers almost all the protagonist's body. Unfortunately, the title character is 7 feet tall, so it's completely obvious to anyone who sees him in both identities. Lampshaded by the BigBad:
-->'''Burke:''' (upon seeing Steel for the first time): "[[SarcasmMode Now I wonder who that is]]."
**
The cop witness recognizes him, not the least because John has a scar in the exact same spot where Steel had a bleeding wound. The cop feigns ignorance because Steel saved his life earlier. Lampshaded by the BigBad:
-->'''Burke:''' ''[upon seeing Steel for the first time]'' [[SarcasmMode Now I wonder who that is]].



-->'''Johnny:''' ''(removing his sunglasses)'' Hi, can I have a dozen red roses please?
-->'''Shop Clerk:''' [[MemeticMutation Ohai Johnny]], I didn't know it was you.

to:

-->'''Johnny:''' ''(removing ''[removing his sunglasses)'' sunglasses]'' Hi, can I have a dozen red roses please?
-->'''Shop
please?\\
'''Shop
Clerk:''' [[MemeticMutation Ohai Johnny]], I didn't know it was you.



* Several times in ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier''
** At the Smithsonian Steve hides his identity by wearing a big jacket and a baseball cap. Only one awestruck kid recognizes him, but is convinced to keep it secret. May help that Captain America hasn't been in the public eye much for over 70 years in-universe, and his costume usually covered half his face and deliberately drew attention to his chest.
** Steve uses this again when he's on the run, wearing a hoodie and thick-rimmed glasses with thick lenses. An Apple employee gives him a querying stare, but it turns out he just recognized that they own the same kind of glasses.
** Natasha just relies on a hoodie. She shows her experience with this trope by giving advice to Steve on how to remain nondescript, including not running and pretending to be conversing ([[FakeOutMakeOut and kissing]]).
** In the second end-credits stringer, [[spoiler:Winter Soldier/Bucky visits the Smithsonian disguised, wearing a jacket to cover his metal arm. Of course 99% of those who have seen the Winter Soldier's face are likely dead]], so it's just some random person to the general public... at least until they walk right up to the [[spoiler:[[AmnesiacDissonance display about his life]] complete with giant portrait headshot. At the least, the portrait has him clean shaven and in a military buzzcut not his Winter Soldier permastubble and long hair. Also, he's officially dead]].
*** They're at it again in ''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar'', living anonymously in Europe, [[spoiler:speaking all the local languages fluently and wearing two or three layers of sleeves and a left glove at all times of year]]. Even when [[spoiler:he's framed for bombing the UN and(a very blurry photo of) his face is all over the news, exactly two people seem to notice (the magazine-stand owner and whoever called in the tip)]].

to:

* Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse:
**
Several times in ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier''
** *** At the Smithsonian Smithsonian, Steve hides his identity by wearing a big jacket and a baseball cap. Only one awestruck kid recognizes him, but is convinced to keep it secret. May help that Captain America hasn't been in the public eye much for over 70 years in-universe, and his costume usually covered half his face and deliberately drew attention to his chest.
** *** Steve uses this again when he's on the run, wearing a hoodie and thick-rimmed glasses with thick lenses. An Apple employee gives him a querying stare, but it turns out he just recognized that they own the same kind of glasses.
** *** Natasha just relies on a hoodie. She shows her experience with this trope by giving advice to Steve on how to remain nondescript, including not running and pretending to be conversing ([[FakeOutMakeOut and kissing]]).
** *** In the second end-credits stringer, [[spoiler:Winter Soldier/Bucky visits the Smithsonian disguised, wearing a jacket to cover his metal arm. Of course 99% of those who have seen the Winter Soldier's face are likely dead]], so it's just some random person to the general public... at least until they walk right up to the [[spoiler:[[AmnesiacDissonance display about his life]] complete with giant portrait headshot. At the least, the portrait has him clean shaven and in a military buzzcut not his Winter Soldier permastubble and long hair. Also, he's officially dead]].
*** ** They're at it again in ''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar'', living anonymously in Europe, [[spoiler:speaking all the local languages fluently and wearing two or three layers of sleeves and a left glove at all times of year]]. Even when [[spoiler:he's framed for bombing the UN and(a very blurry photo of) his face is all over the news, exactly two people seem to notice (the magazine-stand owner and whoever called in the tip)]].



* {{Series/The Cape}} at least has a mask, but somehow no one recognizes him from seeing the lower half of his face and hearing his voice. This includes his archenemy, his old partner, and his wife and son.

to:

* {{Series/The Cape}} Series/TheCape at least has a mask, but somehow no one recognizes him from seeing the lower half of his face and hearing his voice. This includes his archenemy, his old partner, and his wife and son.



* ''Series/DoctorWho'': In "The Daemons," the Master dons a pair of Clark Kent-like glasses as Rev. Magister.

to:

* ''Series/DoctorWho'': ''Series/DoctorWho'':
**
In "The Daemons," the Master dons a pair of Clark Kent-like glasses as Rev. Magister.



* ''{{Series/Charmed}}'':

to:

* ''{{Series/Charmed}}'':''Series/{{Charmed}}'':



** Also subverted in an episode where Paige gets turned into a wood nymph. She dances on stage at Piper's club and Piper tells her to get down before someone recognises her. The only thing that's different is that her hair is now waist-length. Sure enough, someone is heard saying "Paige, you rock!" to her. Though technically an in-universe example when Phoebe's boyfriend runs an article about the nymphs but doesn't mention Paige's name, referring to the nymphs as "identities unknown". The resemblance one of them has to his girlfriend's sister probably came up once or twice.

to:

** Also subverted in an episode where Paige gets turned into a wood nymph. She dances on stage at Piper's club and Piper tells her to get down before someone recognises recognizes her. The only thing that's different is that her hair is now waist-length. Sure enough, someone is heard saying "Paige, you rock!" to her. Though technically an in-universe example when Phoebe's boyfriend runs an article about the nymphs but doesn't mention Paige's name, referring to the nymphs as "identities unknown". The resemblance one of them has to his girlfriend's sister probably came up once or twice.



* ''Series/{{Supergirl 2015}}'':

to:

* ''Series/{{Supergirl 2015}}'':''Series/{{Supergirl|2015}}'':



[[folder:Tabletop Game]]

to:

[[folder:Tabletop Game]]Games]]






* Pick a Mozart opera, any Mozart opera -- and many, many others.
* ''The Barber of Seville'' (both the original play by Beaumarchais and the opera by Rossini) play this for laughs.

to:

* %%* Pick a Mozart opera, any Mozart opera -- and many, many others.
* %%* ''The Barber of Seville'' (both the original play by Beaumarchais and the opera by Rossini) play this for laughs.



[[folder:Web Animation]]
* ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'': Coach Z actually tries to convince everyone that he is both Damp Towel Man and his creatively-named secret identity, Dan Towelman. As usual, nobody cares.
* Splendid from ''WebAnimation/HappyTreeFriends'' is a Superman parody, so naturally he indulges in this in one episode. His disguise consists solely of [[HalfDressedCartoonAnimal a tie]] and a pair of glasses. He doesn't even remove his mask.
[[/folder]]



* Played straight in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' when Agatha, Wooster, Zeetha, and Krosp ride right in through the [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20070316 gate of Mechanicsburg]] just after a giant hologram of Agatha has been seen and discussed from as far away as China with Agatha wearing no disguise of any kind, instead relying on the cover story they came up with. [[spoiler: Only von Mekkan figures it out and because the Castle rather blatantly points her out, even the fake Hetereodyne doesn't notice.]]
** In Mechanicsburg's defense, there's a big difference between "discussed" and "discussed ''accurately''". And Agatha wasn't wearing [[DistractedByTheSexy that dress]]...
* In ''Lost In Space'', a (fat, smoking) cherub tries to infiltrate a group of SuperSoldiers [[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} loyal to the Chaos God of Disease and Decay]], which he succeeds in by ''coughing''.

to:

* Played straight in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' when Agatha, Wooster, Zeetha, and Krosp ride right in through the [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20070316 gate of Mechanicsburg]] just after a giant hologram of Agatha has been seen and discussed from as far away as China with Agatha wearing no disguise of any kind, instead relying on the cover story they came up with. [[spoiler: Only [[spoiler:Only von Mekkan figures it out and because the Castle rather blatantly points her out, even the fake Hetereodyne doesn't notice.]]
**
]] In Mechanicsburg's defense, there's a big difference between "discussed" and "discussed ''accurately''". And Agatha wasn't wearing [[DistractedByTheSexy that dress]]...
* In ''Lost In in Space'', a (fat, smoking) cherub tries to infiltrate a group of SuperSoldiers [[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} [[TabletopGame/Warhammer40000 loyal to the Chaos God of Disease and Decay]], which he succeeds in by ''coughing''.



* Parodied and subverted in ''Webcomic/{{PVP}}''. Two characters are speculating on the identity of LOLBAT, when one suggests it's Rex Roffle and another says that's obviously silly. Besides the obvious MeaningfulName, he looks and acts just like LOLBAT, complete with the mask. Then, the next day, we find out that LOLBAT ia actually Butler, so unless he's keeping up ''three'' identities, Rex Roffle is just a random IdenticalStranger.

to:

* Parodied and subverted in ''Webcomic/{{PVP}}''.''Webcomic/PvP''. Two characters are speculating on the identity of LOLBAT, when one suggests it's Rex Roffle and another says that's obviously silly. Besides the obvious MeaningfulName, he looks and acts just like LOLBAT, complete with the mask. Then, the next day, we find out that LOLBAT ia is actually Butler, so unless he's keeping up ''three'' identities, Rex Roffle is just a random IdenticalStranger.



* Parodied in Captain Excelsior, where everybody except superheroes and supervillains can see through the disguises.
** And we're not even talking about PaperThinDisguise here, even a hint of a mustache on a superhero who usually doesn't have one makes him invisible to other supers.

to:

* Parodied in Captain Excelsior, ''Captain Excelsior'', where everybody except superheroes and supervillains can see through the disguises.
**
disguises. And we're not even talking about PaperThinDisguise here, here: even a hint of a mustache on a superhero who usually doesn't have one makes him invisible to other supers.



** Robin cannot for the life of her figure out that Amber is Amazi-Girl, in spite of the fact that ''it's not even a secret''. She is, instead, convinced that Ultra-Car--who is exactly what they sound like--is Amazi-Girl. The insane lack of sense this makes is lampshaded regularly.
*** She also thinks that Spider-Car (a family minivan wearing a SpiderMan costume) might be Amber, but definitely not Ultra-Car (who at that time was a [[SnarkyNonhumanSidekick artifically intelligent minivan]])
** Meanwhile, in the AlternateUniverse of ''WebComic/DumbingOfAge'', Amber ''does'' keep her identity a secret, with Danny in the Lois Lane position. She begins to ruffle her hair and lower her voice as Amazi-Girl to maintain the secret. This isn't an issue for the other characters, though--those actively pursuing Amazi-Girl's secret identity have no idea who Amber is, and Amber's closest friends don't seem to be aware of the masked vigilante on campus. It works out pretty well, as it turns out, as [[http://www.dumbingofage.com/2014/comic/book-4/02-i-was-a-teenage-churchmouse/familiar/ photos of Amazi-Girl show up in the student newspaper]] and the idea that she is Amber is discarded because people can't imagine Amber being able to do what Amazi-Girl does.

to:

** Robin cannot for the life of her figure out that Amber is Amazi-Girl, in spite of the fact that ''it's not even a secret''. She is, instead, convinced that Ultra-Car--who Ultra-Car -- who is exactly what they sound like--is like -- is Amazi-Girl. The insane lack of sense this makes is lampshaded regularly.
***
regularly.
**
She also thinks that Spider-Car (a family minivan wearing a SpiderMan Franchise/SpiderMan costume) might be Amber, but definitely not Ultra-Car (who at that time was a [[SnarkyNonhumanSidekick artifically intelligent minivan]])
** Meanwhile, in the AlternateUniverse of ''WebComic/DumbingOfAge'', ''Webcomic/DumbingOfAge'', Amber ''does'' keep her identity a secret, with Danny in the Lois Lane position. She begins to ruffle her hair and lower her voice as Amazi-Girl to maintain the secret. This isn't an issue for the other characters, though--those though -- those actively pursuing Amazi-Girl's secret identity have no idea who Amber is, and Amber's closest friends don't seem to be aware of the masked vigilante on campus. It works out pretty well, as it turns out, as [[http://www.dumbingofage.com/2014/comic/book-4/02-i-was-a-teenage-churchmouse/familiar/ photos of Amazi-Girl show up in the student newspaper]] and the idea that she is Amber is discarded because people can't imagine Amber being able to do what Amazi-Girl does.



* Justified in ''SailorNothing'' -- one of the MagicalGirl powers they possess is an inability to be recognized unless someone thinks about it really hard.
* Played straight and subverted with ''WebVideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog'', in which, while Penny apparently does not recognize VillainProtagonist Dr. Horrible as her laundromat buddy Billy, his ArchNemesis Captain Hammer does, likely from having seen his video blog, and uses this opportunity to ruin Billy's life even further by trying to steal Penny, the girl that he loves.
** Penny finally 'mistakes' Dr Horrible for Billy the end when she [[spoiler: is delirious and near-death]], leading her to reassure him with the painfully ironic line, [[spoiler: "Captain Hammer will save us"]].

to:

* Justified in ''SailorNothing'' ''Literature/SailorNothing'' -- one of the MagicalGirl powers they possess is an inability to be recognized unless someone thinks about it really hard.
* Played straight and subverted with ''WebVideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog'', in which, while Penny apparently does not recognize VillainProtagonist Dr. Horrible as her laundromat buddy Billy, his ArchNemesis Captain Hammer does, likely from having seen his video blog, and uses this opportunity to ruin Billy's life even further by trying to steal Penny, the girl that he loves.
**
loves. Penny finally 'mistakes' "mistakes" Dr Horrible for Billy the end when she [[spoiler: is delirious and near-death]], leading her to reassure him with the painfully ironic line, [[spoiler: "Captain Hammer will save us"]].



* Subverted in the ''WhateleyUniverse'' stories. In the beginning of the third Phase book, on the first day of school at the [[SuperHeroSchool Whateley Academy]], the headmistress Mrs. Carson gives a speech to the new students. Before the end of the talk, Phase has figured out that the headmistress is also the superheroine Lady Astarte. By the end of the book, Phase has figured out that Mrs. Carson is ''also'' a former superheroine of the 80's, Ms. Might. By the end of the fourth book, Phase has figured out that the early-thirties-looking Mrs. Carson is actually in her mid-seventies and has had at least two other superhero identities over the decades.
* [[WebAnimation/HomestarRunner Coach Z]] actually tries to convince everyone that he is both Damp Towel Man and his creatively-named secret identity, Dan Towelman. As usual, nobody cares.
* [[WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall Linkara]] can't figure out [[WebVideo/TheSpoonyExperiment Doctor Insano's]] true identity...even when he has a photograph of Spoony ''in hand'' when confronting Insano. His first guess is That Chick with the Goggles, who's both the wrong gender AND ethnicity.
** ''{{WebVideo/Kickassia}}'' treats this differently, having Insano as Spoony's SuperpoweredEvilSide of which everybody is aware (even Linkara, though he isn't happy since Spoony's his friend and Insano's his arch-rival). A deleted scene offered an inversion, where Insano "disguises" himself as Spoony simply by acting more normal. Of course, Noah Antwiller (Spoony's actor) has said that he loves making up wildly contradictory origin stories for Insano just to play with the fans.

to:

* Subverted in the ''WhateleyUniverse'' ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'' stories. In the beginning of the third Phase book, on the first day of school at the [[SuperHeroSchool Whateley Academy]], the headmistress Mrs. Carson gives a speech to the new students. Before the end of the talk, Phase has figured out that the headmistress is also the superheroine Lady Astarte. By the end of the book, Phase has figured out that Mrs. Carson is ''also'' a former superheroine of the 80's, Ms. Might. By the end of the fourth book, Phase has figured out that the early-thirties-looking Mrs. Carson is actually in her mid-seventies and has had at least two other superhero identities over the decades.
* [[WebAnimation/HomestarRunner Coach Z]] actually tries to convince everyone that he is both Damp Towel Man and his creatively-named secret identity, Dan Towelman. As usual, nobody cares.
*
Website/ChannelAwesome:
**
[[WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall Linkara]] can't figure out [[WebVideo/TheSpoonyExperiment Doctor Insano's]] true identity...even when he has a photograph of Spoony ''in hand'' when confronting Insano. His first guess is That Chick with the Goggles, who's both the wrong gender AND ethnicity.
** ''{{WebVideo/Kickassia}}'' ''WebVideo/{{Kickassia}}'' treats this differently, having Insano as Spoony's SuperpoweredEvilSide of which everybody is aware (even Linkara, though he isn't happy since Spoony's his friend and Insano's his arch-rival). A deleted scene offered an inversion, where Insano "disguises" himself as Spoony simply by acting more normal. Of course, Noah Antwiller (Spoony's actor) has said that he loves making up wildly contradictory origin stories for Insano just to play with the fans.



* Parodied in this [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1yCh0hKiaI five-second film]]

to:

* %%* Parodied in this [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1yCh0hKiaI five-second film]]



* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ib-rWgz4QdQ "The Pursuit", a commercial for the Lenovo Yoga]], features this. Pay close attention.
* Parodied in [[http://www.collegehumor.com/video/6926235/batman-and-superman-team-up this meeting between Superman and Batman]].
-->'''Gordon:''' Um, news flash, it takes a little more than a hat and/or glasses to fool people.
-->'''Superman:''' Really?
-->'''Gordon:''' Check this out. (removes glasses) Hey look, I'm someone else! Are you fooled? I'm not Commissioner Gordon, he's gone and...
-->'''Batman:''' (looks over at Gordon) Who are you?! Where's Commissioner Gordon?! (Gordon puts on glasses) Oh, you're back.



* In ''Series/{{Noob}}'', Teshirock eventually turns out to have been a player before becoming TheCracker he is in the main timeframe. He reason for the change relies one someone who has seen his gamer avatar not knowing that the hacker is him. Differences between his player and hacker avatar: clothing style, moving from a mask covering his lower face to CoolShades and getting rid of the cursor that floats on top of legitimate player avatars. Identical features: physical appearance, OnlineAlias and possibly voice, which would all be quite easy to change in the MMORPG setting. [[spoiler:His own son]] is shown to have completely fallen for it in the finale.
* Tachyon, a member of the [[Roleplay/GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse Global Guardians]] maintains a secret identity when off-duty by wearing a lot of baggy clothing, pitching his voice higher, wearing glasses, using colored contacts, and even training himself to use a subtly different vocabulary when in his other identity. This works remarkably well, despite the fact that Tachyon is a sentient, talking ''gorilla'', and there's not a lot of those roaming around.
* Splendid from ''WebAnimation/HappyTreeFriends'' is a Superman parody, so naturally he indulges in this in one episode. His disguise consists solely of [[HalfDressedCartoonAnimal a tie]] and a pair of glasses. He doesn't even remove his mask.
* In ArrowAndAce, The Peacock, one of the most popular vigilantes in San Francisco, has bright blue hair. Interestingly, Andrew, the head of The Peacock Fanclub has the same blue hair, not to mention the same height and build. A number of character theorize that there is some connection between Andrew and The Peacock, but due to the different mannerisms and ticks Andrew uses while The Peacock, no one has guessed that they're the same person.

to:

* In ''Series/{{Noob}}'', Teshirock Tenshirock eventually turns out to have been a player before becoming TheCracker he is in the main timeframe. He His reason for the change relies one on someone who has seen his gamer avatar not knowing that the hacker is him. Differences between his player and hacker avatar: clothing style, moving from a mask covering his lower face to CoolShades and getting rid of the cursor that floats on top of legitimate player avatars. Identical features: physical appearance, OnlineAlias and possibly voice, which would all be quite easy to change in the MMORPG setting. [[spoiler:His own son]] is shown to have completely fallen for it in the finale.
* ''Roleplay/GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse'': Tachyon, a member of the [[Roleplay/GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse Global Guardians]] Guardians, maintains a secret identity when off-duty by wearing a lot of baggy clothing, pitching his voice higher, wearing glasses, using colored contacts, and even training himself to use a subtly different vocabulary when in his other identity. This works remarkably well, despite the fact that Tachyon is a sentient, talking ''gorilla'', and there's not a lot of those roaming around.
* Splendid from ''WebAnimation/HappyTreeFriends'' is a Superman parody, so naturally he indulges in this in one episode. His disguise consists solely of [[HalfDressedCartoonAnimal a tie]] and a pair of glasses. He doesn't even remove his mask.
* In ArrowAndAce, ''Literature/ArrowAndAce'', The Peacock, one of the most popular vigilantes in San Francisco, has bright blue hair. Interestingly, Andrew, the head of The Peacock Fanclub has the same blue hair, not to mention the same height and build. A number of character theorize that there is some connection between Andrew and The Peacock, but due to the different mannerisms and ticks Andrew uses while The Peacock, no one has guessed that they're the same person.



* The Hooded Claw does this routinely in ''ThePerilsOfPenelopePitstop'', even when Penelope should be reminded of his alter ego, Sylvester [[MeaningfulName Sneekly]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse1983'', characters would often note how Prince Adam would run away whenever the MonsterOfTheWeek showed up, but would never take that line of thought any further even though He-Man looked ''exactly'' like Adam with less clothes and a tan.

to:

* The Hooded Claw does this routinely in ''ThePerilsOfPenelopePitstop'', ''WesternAnimation/ThePerilsOfPenelopePitstop'', even when Penelope should be reminded of his alter ego, Sylvester [[MeaningfulName Sneekly]].
* ''Franchise/MastersOfTheUniverse'':
**
In ''WesternAnimation/HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse1983'', characters would often note how Prince Adam would run away whenever the MonsterOfTheWeek showed up, but would never take that line of thought any further even though He-Man looked ''exactly'' like Adam with less clothes and a tan.



** His sister was pretty much the same. The only real physical difference between Adora and [[WesternAnimation/SheRaPrincessOfPower She-Ra]] was a change of clothes that was barely a disguise at all. And seeing as Adora was an ActionGirl in her own right even by herself, you kind of got the feeling that the Evil Horde was kind of dumb.

to:

** His sister was in ''WesternAnimation/SheRaPrincessOfPower'' is pretty much the same. The only real physical difference between Adora and [[WesternAnimation/SheRaPrincessOfPower She-Ra]] was She-Ra is a change of clothes that was is barely a disguise at all. And seeing as Adora was an ActionGirl in her own right even by herself, you kind of got the feeling that the Evil Horde was kind of dumb.



* Boris and Natasha from ''WesternAnimation/RockyAndBullwinkle''. Though this might be because [[UnknownRival they has no idea who Boris and Natasha are in the first place.]] Though sooner or later you'd think that he sees an awful lot of similar-looking short men and tall women with Pottsylvanian accents, anyway.
** "That voice ... where have I heard that voice?"
** Rocky eventually recognizes Boris and Natasha in an episode of the story arc "Bulls' Testimonial Dinner."

to:

* Boris and Natasha from ''WesternAnimation/RockyAndBullwinkle''. Though this might be because [[UnknownRival they has no idea who Boris and Natasha are in the first place.]] Though sooner or later you'd think that he sees an awful lot of similar-looking short men and tall women with Pottsylvanian accents, anyway.
**
anyway. "That voice ... where have I heard that voice?"
**
voice?" Rocky eventually recognizes Boris and Natasha in an episode of the story arc "Bulls' Testimonial Dinner."Dinner".



* Lampshaded in ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'' when Supergirl attempts to disguise herself with a pair of glasses and a wig -- Superman/Clark Kent sees right through her PaperThinDisguise despite the fact that it's a more elaborate disguise than Superman himself uses. Well, Superman/Clark Kent does have X-ray vision...

to:

* Franchise/DCAnimatedUniverse:
**
Lampshaded in ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'' when Supergirl attempts to disguise herself with a pair of glasses and a wig -- Superman/Clark Kent sees right through her PaperThinDisguise despite the fact that it's a more elaborate disguise than Superman himself uses. Well, Superman/Clark Kent does have X-ray vision...



* Despite wearing her Jem Star Earrings in both of her identities, no one expects the mysterious WesternAnimation/{{Jem}} to be Jerrica Benton--must be because of the pink-colored EightiesHair she gives her rock-star identity. Or because of Synergy's ability to use holograms to show Jem and Jerrica in the same place at the same time.
** Beyond the hair, the two still look nothing alike, Jerrica's face is rather simple and plain looking, while Jem's is much more detailed. Although they have the exact same voice.

to:

* Despite wearing her Jem Star Earrings in both of her identities, no one no-one expects the mysterious WesternAnimation/{{Jem}} to be Jerrica Benton--must Benton -- must be because of the pink-colored EightiesHair she gives her rock-star identity. Or because of Synergy's ability to use holograms to show Jem and Jerrica in the same place at the same time.
**
time. Beyond the hair, the two still look nothing alike, Jerrica's face is rather simple and plain looking, while Jem's is much more detailed. Although they have the exact same voice.



** In the ComicBookAdaptation, Mr. Big suggests that WordGirl's secret identity would be revealed if they could only remove her ''hood'' - The same hood that doesn't even cover most of her hair.

to:

** In the ComicBookAdaptation, Mr. Big suggests that WordGirl's [=WordGirl's=] secret identity would be revealed if they could only remove her ''hood'' - -- The same hood that doesn't even cover most of her hair.



* From ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'': The Hunters wear a mask with three large red diagonal slashes across the face. The original Hunter, Gillecomgain, has three large diagonal scars across his face courtesy of Demona, which is the reason [[strike: he]] Constantine chose the symbol. Macbeth, who knows and bears grudges against both, is completely shocked by the relevation that they're the same guy, despite knowing that Gillecomgain has three scars on his face and the Hunter has three identical scars on his mask.

to:

* From ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'': The Hunters wear a mask with three large red diagonal slashes across the face. The original Hunter, Gillecomgain, has three large diagonal scars across his face courtesy of Demona, which is the reason [[strike: he]] Constantine chose the symbol. Macbeth, who knows and bears grudges against both, is completely shocked by the relevation that they're the same guy, despite knowing that Gillecomgain has three scars on his face and the Hunter has three identical scars on his mask.
16th Mar '17 6:59:25 AM Rebu
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* Played with in ''Film/ThePrestige''. Borden (Creator/ChristianBale) and Angier (Creator/HughJackman) often adopt disguises to sneak into each other shows, but they tend to just be false beards that don't fool anyone who knows them. [[spoiler:Then at the end of the movie, it turns out Borden's identical twin (also played by Christian Bale) had been disguising himself as the assistant Fallon ''the whole movie'', and concealed it by wearing big glasses, a hat, a false beard, not speaking, and makeup to make his face look chubbier.]]

to:

* Played with in ''Film/ThePrestige''. Borden (Creator/ChristianBale) and Angier (Creator/HughJackman) often adopt disguises to sneak into each other shows, but they tend to just be false beards that don't fool anyone who knows them. [[spoiler:Then at the end of the movie, it turns out Borden's identical twin (also played by Christian Bale) had been disguising himself as the assistant Fallon ''the whole movie'', and concealed it by wearing big glasses, a hat, a false beard, not speaking, and makeup to make his face look chubbier. In fact, they'd been swapping off; a RewatchBonus is detecting the subtle differences in Borden.]]



** At the Smithsonian Steve hides his identity by wearing a big jacket and a baseball cap. Only one awestruck kid recognizes him, but is convinced to keep it secret. May help that Captain America hasn't been in the public eye much for over 70 years in-universe, and the costume usually covered half his face.

to:

** At the Smithsonian Steve hides his identity by wearing a big jacket and a baseball cap. Only one awestruck kid recognizes him, but is convinced to keep it secret. May help that Captain America hasn't been in the public eye much for over 70 years in-universe, and the his costume usually covered half his face.face and deliberately drew attention to his chest.



** In the second end-credits stringer, [[spoiler:Winter Soldier/Bucky visits the Smithsonian disguised, wearing a jacket to cover his metal arm. Of course 99% of those who have seen the Winter Soldier's face are likely dead]], so it's just some random person to the general public... at least until they walk right up to the [[spoiler:[[AmnesiacDissonance display about his life]] complete with giant portrait headshot. At the least, the portrait has him clean shaven and in a military buzzcut not his Winter Soldier permastubble and long hair]].

to:

** In the second end-credits stringer, [[spoiler:Winter Soldier/Bucky visits the Smithsonian disguised, wearing a jacket to cover his metal arm. Of course 99% of those who have seen the Winter Soldier's face are likely dead]], so it's just some random person to the general public... at least until they walk right up to the [[spoiler:[[AmnesiacDissonance display about his life]] complete with giant portrait headshot. At the least, the portrait has him clean shaven and in a military buzzcut not his Winter Soldier permastubble and long hair]].hair. Also, he's officially dead]].
11th Mar '17 10:38:52 AM nombretomado
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* In fact, ''most'' {{Magical Girl}}s look similar to their civilian counterparts, and before the 2000s, they usually looked ''exactly the same''. Modern series like ''Manga/TokyoMewMew'', ''MermaidMelodyPichiPichiPitch'' and ''Anime/FutariWaPrettyCure'' tend to change the characters' [[HairColors hair colour]], eye colour and hairstyle to something extravagant enough that it would certainly distract any onlooker enough not to notice the magical girl's identical face. [[OnlySixFaces Maybe it wouldn't matter much if they did, anyway.]]

to:

* In fact, ''most'' {{Magical Girl}}s look similar to their civilian counterparts, and before the 2000s, they usually looked ''exactly the same''. Modern series like ''Manga/TokyoMewMew'', ''MermaidMelodyPichiPichiPitch'' ''Manga/MermaidMelodyPichiPichiPitch'' and ''Anime/FutariWaPrettyCure'' tend to change the characters' [[HairColors hair colour]], eye colour and hairstyle to something extravagant enough that it would certainly distract any onlooker enough not to notice the magical girl's identical face. [[OnlySixFaces Maybe it wouldn't matter much if they did, anyway.]]
8th Mar '17 12:01:30 PM nombretomado
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* In ''MegaManStarForce'', nobody seems to figure out that Geo Stelar is Mega Man unless he's explicitly transformed (Or changed back) in front of them. Combine the hairstyle, the voice, the eyes and the fact that Geo is close to the scene every time before and/or after something goes wrong would kinda make people think. In the anime, Bob Copper actually puts two and two together... and, in a moment of unbelievable stupidity, actually asks if Geo is one of Mega Man's ''groupies'' ([[FaceFault Much to Geo's own surprise]]). In the same anime, when Luna finds out, she goes into a state of complete denial, despite the insistence of Bud and Zack and Omega-Xis showing up in front of them at times. Granted, her denial faded in the final episode of Tribe, but still.

to:

* In ''MegaManStarForce'', ''VideoGame/MegaManStarForce'', nobody seems to figure out that Geo Stelar is Mega Man unless he's explicitly transformed (Or changed back) in front of them. Combine the hairstyle, the voice, the eyes and the fact that Geo is close to the scene every time before and/or after something goes wrong would kinda make people think. In the anime, Bob Copper actually puts two and two together... and, in a moment of unbelievable stupidity, actually asks if Geo is one of Mega Man's ''groupies'' ([[FaceFault Much to Geo's own surprise]]). In the same anime, when Luna finds out, she goes into a state of complete denial, despite the insistence of Bud and Zack and Omega-Xis showing up in front of them at times. Granted, her denial faded in the final episode of Tribe, but still.
5th Mar '17 12:30:28 AM AgentTasmania
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** In the second end-credits stringer, [[spoiler:Winter Soldier/Bucky visits the Smithsonian disguised, wearing a jacket to cover his metal arm. Of course 99% of those who have seen the Winter Soldier's face are likely dead]], so it's just some random person to the general public... at least until they walk right up to the [[spoiler:[[AmnesiacDissonance display about his life]] complete with giant portrait headshot]].
*** They're at it again in ''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar'', living anonymously in Europe, [[spoiler:speaking all the local languages fluently and wearing two or three layers of sleeves and a left glove at all times of year]]. Even when [[spoiler:he's framed for bombing the UN and his face is all over the news, exactly two people seem to notice (the magazine-stand owner and whoever called in the tip)]].

to:

** In the second end-credits stringer, [[spoiler:Winter Soldier/Bucky visits the Smithsonian disguised, wearing a jacket to cover his metal arm. Of course 99% of those who have seen the Winter Soldier's face are likely dead]], so it's just some random person to the general public... at least until they walk right up to the [[spoiler:[[AmnesiacDissonance display about his life]] complete with giant portrait headshot]].
headshot. At the least, the portrait has him clean shaven and in a military buzzcut not his Winter Soldier permastubble and long hair]].
*** They're at it again in ''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar'', living anonymously in Europe, [[spoiler:speaking all the local languages fluently and wearing two or three layers of sleeves and a left glove at all times of year]]. Even when [[spoiler:he's framed for bombing the UN and and(a very blurry photo of) his face is all over the news, exactly two people seem to notice (the magazine-stand owner and whoever called in the tip)]].
4th Mar '17 7:22:18 PM MasamiPhoenix
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* Subverted ''hilariously'' in ''Film/GreenLantern''. Hal Jordan tries to disguise his voice while speaking to Carol Ferris. It works for about a minute, but as soon as she gets a good look at him she knows who he is.

to:

* Subverted ''hilariously'' in ''Film/GreenLantern''. Hal Jordan tries to disguise his voice while speaking to Carol Ferris. It works for about a minute, but as soon as she gets a good look at him she knows who he is. This is made even funnier by the fact that the scene is a direct homage (location, camera angles, entrance, music, etc) to the famous balcony scene from ''Movie/{{Superman}}''.
26th Feb '17 9:19:13 AM nombretomado
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* ''HannahMontana''. All the girl does is put on a ''wig'' and sparkly clothing and she is instantly unrecognizable.

to:

* ''HannahMontana''.''Series/HannahMontana''. All the girl does is put on a ''wig'' and sparkly clothing and she is instantly unrecognizable.
14th Feb '17 11:08:35 PM Kirayoshi
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Added DiffLines:

** In the 2016 Christmas episode "The Return of Doctor Mysterio", Grant Gordon assumes a civilian disguise, complete with glasses, when he's not being the superhero known as the Ghost. Lampshaded in the first sequence when the Doctor giddily discovers that Clark and Superman are the same person (he draws glasses on Superman's face to prove it). When Grant scoffs that everyone knows that already, the Doctor defensively points out that Lois Lane, an investigative reporter, hasn't caught on yet (foreshadowing Lucy Fletcher's cluelessness later on).
8th Feb '17 9:48:29 AM Lemia
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* In the DatingSim ''True Love'', the famous IdolSinger Sonoko Takahashi, who has her face plastered all over posters and [=CDs=] around town, is able to pass herself off as an ordinary NewTransferStudent to the PC's high school by simply putting her hair up, wearing glasses, and going by the alias of "Ryoko Shimazaki"...which happens to be her [[RealNameAsAnAlias actual birth name]]. She comes under no suspicion by any of the students she interacts with other than the PC, and the PC only begins putting two and two together when he sees her without her glasses on.

to:

* In the DatingSim ''True Love'', ''VisualNovel/TrueLoveJunaiMonogatari'', the famous IdolSinger Sonoko Takahashi, who has her face plastered all over posters and [=CDs=] around town, is able to pass herself off as an ordinary NewTransferStudent to the PC's high school by simply putting her hair up, wearing glasses, and going by the alias of "Ryoko Shimazaki"...which happens to be her [[RealNameAsAnAlias actual birth name]]. She comes under no suspicion by any of the students she interacts with other than the PC, and the PC only begins putting two and two together when he sees her without her glasses on.
2nd Feb '17 8:28:01 PM LinTaylor
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** Umaru hides her identity for a game tournament by pulling on a domino mask and becoming "U.M.R." It convinces Sylphin, who recruits her to... help her beat Umaru.

to:

** Umaru hides her identity for a game tournament by pulling on a domino mask and tucking her long hair into a cap, becoming "U.M.R." It convinces Sylphin, who recruits her to... help her beat Umaru.



** Lelouch and Nunnally are also exiled Britannian royalty, and they hide in plain sight under their real first names but using the made-up last name Lamperouge. Granted, they were somewhat obscure, and only kids when they were exiled, though one wonders what would have happened if one of their siblings looked at a phone book.

to:

** Lelouch and Nunnally are also exiled Britannian royalty, and they hide in plain sight under their real first names but using the made-up last name Lamperouge. Granted, they were somewhat obscure, and were only kids when they were exiled, and the world at large thinks they died when they were kids, though one wonders what would have happened if one of their siblings looked at a phone book.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.ClarkKenting