Created By: Discar on April 23, 2013 Last Edited By: Discar on January 23, 2014
Troped

Secret Identity Apathy

A villain doesn't care about finding out a hero's secret identity.

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Launching in 24 hours if there are no objections

Laconic: (too long to fit in the space provided) "An enemy who doesn't care or want to learn [or reveal] his foe's secret identity despite the idea being presented to him."

Spinnerette: I'm curious, Dr. Universe. Why didn't you remove my mask when I was unconscious? Aren't you curious who I really am?
Dr. Universe: I know exactly who you are. You're Spinnerette.

In most cases, a villain's standard plot is to try and figure out the hero's Secret Identity, usually so he can capture the hero's family for blackmail and so on.

Sometimes, however, the villain doesn't care. To him, his enemy is the superhero; any civilian identity is irrelevant to their contest. The extreme end of this involves the villain actually discovering the hero's identity, and either ignoring it completely or even actively helping cover it up.

Heroes who try to bring masked criminals to justice are sometimes faced with a Dramatic Unmask moment, as well. They should, according to law, share the information they've learned with the police. But even the heroes can find a Worthy Opponent, or begin Dating Catwoman, and find themselves unable to betray their enemy's secret. The hero must still dismiss the possibility of sharing the revelation of their foe's Secret Identity for it to qualify as an example.

See also Secret Identity Identity, for when the hero starts confusing which is the "real" them.

Related to Dramatic Unmask. This trope tends to defy Anti-Climactic Unmasking. Can also be related to The Only One Allowed to Defeat You.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Comic Books 

  • Batman/The Joker:
    • In Death of the Family, Joker starts dropping hints that he knows who Batman really is, and Bruce realises there was a time when he could have figured it out. However he also realises Joker would have rejected the opportunity, because he doesn't want to think of Batman as being anyone but Batman.
    • The Joker, as revamped by Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams in Comicbook/Batman #251 is the Trope Maker. prior to that story, the Joker had occasionally tried to learn Batman's secret; O'Neil and Adams, however, had the Joker ambush and knock out Batman by chance, only to refuse to kill or unmask him because that wasn't the perfect end to the conflict between them.
    • Another Joker example, possibly a page quote, from ''Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth:
      Black Mask: I say we take off his mask. I want to see his real face.
      The Joker: Oh, don't be so predictable, for christ's sake. That is his real face. And I want to go much deeper than that.
    • The Joker also threatened a mob boss who'd tried to buy Batman's secret identity from Hugo Strange, declaring that learning the truth of Batman's identity would ruin all his fun.
  • In post-Crisis continuity, Lex Luthor refuses to believe Superman even has a secret identity. The idea that someone with all that power would pretend to be a normal person just doesn't make sense!
  • An interesting variant happens in several different Silver Age issues of Amazing Spider Man, where the police consistently refuse to unmask a captured or unconscious Spider-Man regardless of the public's demands...well, J. Jonah Jameson's demands, anyway.
  • In Ultimate Spider-Man, Deadpool doesn't want to unmask Spider-Man when he's kidnapped the young hero, since he respects masks.

    Film 

  • In The Dark Knight, the Joker starts out demanding Batman remove his mask, but eventually decides that would be boring, and puts a hit out on a man who threatens to reveal Bruce's identity.
  • In Spider-Man, Norman Osborn (AKA the Green Goblin) honestly doesn't care that much about Spidey's secret identity. At first he just wants to work with him. He isn't even trying to find him when he accidentally learns his identity and then only goes after him because his son's feelings were hurt.

    Live Action TV 

  • Doctor Who. The conclusion of the classic serial "Silver Nemesis" has Lady Peinforte (who has managed to divine "Who" the Doctor really is) try and blackmail him by threatening to reveal that info to recurring villains the Cybermen. But the Cybermen say they simply do not care about that.

    Video Games 

  • In Batman: Arkham City, Batman is unconscious and in the Joker's custody, but he keeps Harley Quinn from unmasking him.
    Harley: But I wanna know who he is, sweetie!
    Joker: Where's the fun in that?

    Web Comics 
  • Spinnerette
    • Alexis Woodrow (a.k.a. "Evil Spinnerette") manages to figure out Spinny's secret identity. She uses this information to force Spinny fight her, while one of her minions gets the whole thing on tape. After beating Spinny, however, Alexis just ties her to a tree, which leads to the following conversation:
      Evil Spinnerette: I'm leaving this city. I doubt we'll meet again. Don't worry, your secret identity is safe with me.
      Spinnerette: [koff] Why? Why did you bother fighting me, if you're not going to kill me? Why not reveal my identity and ruin me?
      Evil Spinnerette: Why does Gary Kasparov choose to fight Deep Blue at chess when he could simply pull its plug?
    • Another supervillain, Dr. Universe, later captures Spinnerette and uses his genetic infusion device to save her life, leading to this exchange:
      Spinnerette: I'm curious, Dr. Universe. Why didn't you remove my mask when I was unconscious? Aren't you curious who I really am?
      Dr. Universe: I know exactly who you are. You're Spinnerette.
  • In A Modest Destiny, there's actually a company rule in Team Evil against unmasking KO'd heroes. Besides...
    Gilbert: Maybe he wears a mask because he's grotesquely deformed like you?
    Hechter: Oh...that's a good point. Don't want to get nightmares...

    Western Animation 

  • In The Batman, Joker drives Wrath and Scorn insane with Joker gas when they threaten to reveal Batman's identity to Gotham's criminal community, because if anyone's going to bring about Batsy's downfall, it's got to be Joker.
  • In Danny Phantom, most of Danny's villains already know his secret identity from the start; he's well-known in the Ghost Zone for being half-ghost. However, in the episode Flirting With Disaster, Technus warns Danny against transforming and battling him in the open by motioning to a security camera, saying that Danny has a secret identity to protect. Technus is already taking advantage of Danny's civilian identity in this episode, so his reasons for stopping Danny from fighting is to screw with him and his new girlfriend Valerie.
  • In Dragon Booster, near the season 3 finale Artha and his racing rival Moordryd both discover each other's super identity as the Dragon Booster and Shadow Booster, respectively, but both agree to keep it a secret between them (and their respective companions, of course) since that knowledge could get them kicked out of a racing competition for the city's prestigious racing academy, and each of them have made enemies in their super identities.

Community Feedback Replies: 134
  • April 23, 2013
    Discar
    I could've sworn we had this one already, but Lost And Found didn't show anything. And the only examples I can think of are from Batman, so it might be too rare.

    Really need a better name.
  • April 23, 2013
    ohnoesazombie
    I love the concept, but I am having a hard time coming up with an example that DOESN'T include Batman and the Joker. I will scour my brain and my comic collection.

    Perhaps something like Unwrapping Ruins The Gift would make a more on-the-nose title, though that may be a bit cryptic...
  • April 24, 2013
    Discar
    I like Unwrapping Ruins The Gift, but I'm sure it would be misused.
  • April 24, 2013
    Astaroth
  • April 25, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Does this cover cases where the villain actually figures out the hero's secret identity but chooses not to reveal it to others? If so, I've got an example:

    [[folder:Web Comics]]
    • In Spinnerette, Alexis Woodrow (a.k.a. "Evil Spinnerette") manages to figure out Spinny's secret identity. She uses this information to force Spinny fight her, while one of her minions gets the whole thing on tape. After beating Spinny, however, Alexis just ties her to a tree, which leads to the following conversation:
      Evil Spinnerette: I'm leaving this city. I doubt we'll meet again. Don't worry, your secret identity is safe with me.
      Spinnerette: *koff* Why? Why did you bother fighting me, if you're not going to kill me? Why not reveal my identity and ruin me?
      Evil Spinnerette: Why does Gary Kasparov choose to fight Deep Blue at chess when he could simply pull its plug?
    [[/folder]]
  • April 26, 2013
    Discar
    Yep. Added a line to the description.
  • April 28, 2013
    DennisDunjinman
    In Danny Phantom, most of Danny's villains already know his secret identity from the start; he's well-known in the Ghost Zone for being half-ghost. However, in the episode Flirting With Disaster, Technus warns Danny against transforming and battling him in the open by motioning to a security camera, saying that Danny has a secret identity to protect. Technus is already taking advantage of Danny's civilian identity in this episode, so his reasons for stopping Danny from fighting is to screw with him and his new girlfriend Valerie.
  • May 5, 2013
    KingZeal
    This trope tends to defy an Anti Climactic Unmasking.
  • May 10, 2013
    Bobchillingworth
    The Arkham City example above sounds a lot like the Mad Love graphic novel, or the Batman: The Animated Series episode of the same name. Which would make well over half the sources based around the same franchise :P

    Unrelated, the trope title is a little vague- before reading the description, I initially though it was about a villain who didn't care about guarding their own secret identity.
  • May 10, 2013
    Discar
    Agreed on both points. Still not sure there are enough non-Batman examples, and this really needs a better name. The only suggestion so far is Unwrapping Ruins The Gift, which is awesome, but would be misused.
  • May 10, 2013
    Mauri
    Well All I can think of is this example:
    • Western Animation / Comic Book
      • Darkwing Duck: Negaduck doesn't care about a secret identity but Darkwing does.
  • May 10, 2013
    Discar
    ^ Gonna need more detail on that one. That sounds like Negaduck does not have a secret identity, which is not this trope.
  • May 10, 2013
    Bobchillingworth
    IIRC in the Incredibles Syndrome knows the identities of several heroes (or at least all of the main protagonists), but he isn't particularly interested in exposing them. That said, he doesn't really go out of his way to protect them either. I'm sure there are more examples if a villain merely not caring about a protagonist's identity qualifies (the trope description suggests "yes", but the laconic summary says otherwise). I'm sure James Bond has run into this a few times before, the movies are usually pretty quick to have the main bad guy see through whatever flimsy false identity Bond is employing. EDIT: Although that would be the opposite of this trope. Still, at least in the latest film the bad guy knows Bond's actual identity and doesn't care about it. If you believe that "James Bond" is actually his real name, most of his opponents care much more about going up against the legendary super-agent based on his professional reputation, rather than who he is as a person.

    "Unwrapping Ruins The Gift" is a indeed really great trope name, although yeah I can see it getting applied to other, unrelated things. Maybe "Secret Identity Safe with the Enemy"?

    If you can get enough examples, would this be subtrope of "Only One Allowed to Defeat You"? Thematically they're pretty similar (if the emphasis is on the antagonist taking pains to keep the hero's identity a secret to keep his or her personal obsession private).

  • May 10, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Rita Rupulsa knows the Power Rangers' secret identities but doesn't do anything with that info except occationally attack them while they're in civilan form; even then though, she always attacks while the Rangers are in a position to transform without having to give away their collective secret.
  • May 11, 2013
    DaibhidC
    • Batman/Joker again: In Death Of The Family, Joker starts dropping hints that he knows who Batman really is, and Bruce realises there was a time when he could have figured it out. However he also realises Joker would have rejected the opportunity, because he doesn't want to think of Batman as being anyone but Batman.
    • In post-Crisis continuity, Lex Luthor refuses to believe Superman even has a secret identity. The idea that someone with all that power would pretend to be a normal person just doesn't make sense!
  • May 19, 2013
    Ryusui
  • May 19, 2013
    MorganWick
    The laconic is far more specific than the name and description. Is it when the villain doesn't care, or solely when he helps cover it up?
  • May 30, 2013
    Discar
    The first, though it can be the second as well. Edited laconic.
  • May 30, 2013
    surgoshan
    • In the first film of Tobey Maguire's Spider Man trilogy, Norman Osborn (AKA the Green Goblin) honestly doesn't care that much about Spidey's secret identity. At first he just wants to work with him. He isn't even trying to find him when he accidentally learns his identity and then only goes after him because his son's feelings were hurt.
  • May 31, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    Suggested description rewording: Villains who don't care about the Secret Identity of their enemies. They may even actively help the hero from revealing their secret at an inappropriate time. Instead of trying to uncover the secret to ruin or blackmail their adversary, this happens when the villain believes any civilian identity is irrelevant to their contest.

    The Villain will still use the fact that the hero won't change costumes in front of their family to commit a crime, but won't email a video of the costume-change to the hero's mom. The justification may be that knowing the truth will spoil the fun, the villain is the Only One Allowed To Defeat You, or even the favour in return for the hero saving his life. The trope can be inverted by the hero keeping the villain's Secret Identity, instead of exposing them.

    Additional related tropes go here.

    Suggested new title: Enemy Keeping The Identity Secret For Useage- Joker is the enemy keeping the identity secret for Batman.

    Two inversion examples:
    • Dark Knight, Batman keeps Two-Face a secret
    • Spiderman 2, with Toby Mc Guire, Spidey is the enemy keeping the identity secret for green goblin, especially after Harry gets amnesia.

  • June 3, 2013
    Stratadrake
    Jumping in. What's the trope again? Is this about a villain who simply doesn't care about learning his foe's secret identity (possible Chairs), or a villain who learned/knows the secret identity and still doesn't care (sometimes even to the point of helping the hero preserve it) ?

    For an example of the latter, Western Animation:
    • In Dragon Booster, near the season 3 finale Artha and his racing rival Moordryd both discover each other's super identity as the Dragon Booster and Shadow Booster, respectively, but both agree to keep it a secret between them (and their respective companions, of course) since that knowledge could get them kicked out of a racing competition for the city's prestigious racing academy, and each of them have made enemies in their super identities.
  • June 3, 2013
    Discar
    It's both. Why would not caring about learning a foe's identity be chairs? One of the most common comic book plots is about the supervillain trying to figure out who the hero is.
  • June 3, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    I think the first is tropable, if we only include characters that act to prevent themselves or other characters from learning the secret identity. A villain that throws the hero off a cliff might not care, but we don't know. We know joker doesn't care because he tells Harley not to look.
  • June 3, 2013
    Stratadrake
    ^^ A villain who does not attempt to seek out his arch-nemesis's secret identity simply because the idea never occurs to him is Not A Trope.

    But a villain who doesn't care or want to learn his foe's secret identity despite the idea being presented to him, now that's more like it.

    Averting one trope does not suddenly create another.
  • June 3, 2013
    thewriter
    In Justice League Doom Mirror Master sneaks into the Batcave and steals information from the Batcomputer while in contact to a mysterious villain via an earpiece. Mirror Master tells his contact that he may have a little time and could potentially scope the place out and find out Batman's secret identity, but the mysterious villain says not to because he already knows and it doesn't matter.
  • June 4, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    "A villain who doesn't care or want to learn [or reveal] his foe's secret identity despite the idea being presented to him."

    That sounds like a good laconic. [Edit by me]
  • June 4, 2013
    Discar
    Turns out that's too long to put in the laconic. However, I do think it's a good summary.
  • June 20, 2013
    mauri
    • Webcomics
      • Super Temps: Played for laughs in the Armageddon story, Skullgirl after doing the shopping for Armageddon decides to go under civilian clothes (the Molly persona) to avoid calling attention; however Armageddon has a fit and forces Skullgirl to go back into suit since he is her boss and in his mind it is what she should wear when in the job.
  • June 20, 2013
    arromdee
    Detective Conan: Kaito Kid knows that Conan is really Shin'ichi, but doesn't tell anyone, not even as a threat when Conan might be about to catch him.
  • June 27, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    ^^ I don't get it, where is the antagonist to the costumed character keeping the identity a secret?
  • June 27, 2013
    arromdee
    Kaito Kid is a thief. Conan is a detective. Kaito Kid is an antagonist to Conan. He is keeping secret Conan's identity as Shin'ichi.

    There's no costume involved, but I don't think the trope should literally require a costume.
  • June 28, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^ crazysamaritan was referring to mauri's Super Temps example, not the Detective Conan one.
  • June 29, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    ^ correct. And for the purposes of this trope, I would argue that the Edogawa persona is an unintentional costume for Jimmy. The example could use some clarifying for anyone who is unfamiliar with the material, but I didn't need it because I am. In fact, your attempt to defend it is a better example XD

    But I'm not familiar with Super Temps, so that one looks like misuse to me. :(
  • June 29, 2013
    GuyIncog
    Secret Identity Schmecret Identity, or maybe Open Secret Identity? Though the former sounds like a superhero who simply doesn't care about keeping his identity secret, and the latter kind of implies either a superhero who has a lot of trouble keeping his identity secret (*cough* Batman *cough*) or specifically the "the villain finds out but doesn't care" version of this trope.
  • June 30, 2013
    Stratadrake
    Nope, neither of those work. Open Secret Identity in specific sound like everybody knows the secret identity, which is decidedly not the case here.
  • June 30, 2013
    crazysamaritan
  • July 5, 2013
    Discar
    I'm not completely sold on it, but I think Villain Secret Keeper would work. Definitely better than what we've got now.
  • July 14, 2013
    paycheckgurl
    The Spider-Man example should be in film.
  • July 14, 2013
    DAN004
    Um, 2 things:
    • The reason [a trope in which villains wants to know the hero's identity (this should have a page in itself)] exists at all is because this YKTTW is the norm for them.
    • The title can be confused for villains not caring about their own secret identity.
  • July 15, 2013
    sgamer82
    If I'm understanding this idea right:
    • In Detective Conan we have Vermouth. She knows the identities of both Conan & Haibara, but keeps them quiet for her own reasons, among them the apparent hope that Conan can bring down the Black Organization. This despite she's one of the people in charge of finding and killing Haibara.

    • In most Batman continuities, Rhas al'Ghoul knows who Batman is, but Batman's identity as Bruce Wayne is mostly a secondary consideration. He initially wanted Batman to be his heir, and it wouldn't matter if he was millionaire Bruce Wayne or some random schmuck.
  • July 15, 2013
    Stratadrake
    @Discar: As long as we're snowcloning Secret Keeper, Secret Identity Keeper?
  • July 15, 2013
    NonFictionFantasy
    since superman's original name has no use to anyone maybe it should be part of the trope title?

  • July 15, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    ^^ doesn't indicate relationship with the hero.
  • July 22, 2013
    DAN004
    Would villains normally not care about the hero's identity anyway?
  • July 22, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    Read Secret Identity: one of the default reasons is to prevent your family and loved ones from harm by villains.
  • July 22, 2013
    OmarKarindu
    Secretidentity Apathy or Will Not Unmask You, maybe?

    Comic books
    • The Joker, as revamped by Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams in Comicbook/Batman #251 is the Trope Maker. prior to that story, the Joker had occasionally tried to learn Batman's secret; O'Neil and Adams, however, had the Joker ambush and knock out Batman by chance, only to refuse to kill or unmask him because that wasn't the perfect end to the conflict between them.
      Black Mask: I say we take off his mask. I want to see his real face.
      The Joker: Oh, don't be so predictable, for christ's sake. That is his real face. And I want to go much deeper than that.
      • The Joker also threatened a mob boss who'd tried to buy Batman's secret identity from Hugo Strange, declaring that learning the truth of Batman's identity would ruin all his fun.
    • An interesting variant happens in several different Silver Age issues of Amazing Spider Man, where the police consistently refuse to unmask a captured or unconscious Spider-Man regardless of the public's demands...well, J. Jonah Jameson's demands, anyway.

  • July 22, 2013
    DAN004
    Seconding Secret Identity Apathy.

    Though I'd like a title that won't be mistaken as villains not caring about their own secret identity...
  • July 25, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    Will Not Umask Their Enemy

    Functions well in a sentence:
  • July 25, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ nice enough. :)
  • July 26, 2013
    arromdee
    sgamer: it's spelled Ra's al Ghul.
  • July 26, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    ^^ Thanks, although technically "hero not revealing the villain's Secret Identity" would be made a straight example, based on the name. The current definition would use that example as an inversion.
  • July 26, 2013
    2heartgirl
    In Ben 10 most of Ben's villains know who he is but don't really care. This is justified because Ben is travelling around the country with his cousin and grandfather so A) his parents and friends are no where near him and B) it is kind of hard to keep Gwen and Grandpa Max hidden since they help him when fighting aliens, which Ben needs since he's inexperienced.

    Same goes for the sequels Ben 10 Alien Force and Ben 10 Ultimate Alien though without the justification. They take place in Ben's hometown, but no villain goes after his parents, and his friends are helping him with fighting the aliens. Every once in a while the trope is averted and the villain will attack the people Ben cares about.
  • July 27, 2013
    CrypticMirror
    Doctor Who, the conclusion of the classic serial "Silver Nemesis" has Lady Peinforte (who has managed to divine "Who" the Doctor really is) try and blackmail him by threatening to reveal that info to recurring villains The Cybermen, but the Cybermen say they simply do not care about that.
  • July 27, 2013
    somerandomdude
    Possible page quote from The Dark Knight, where the Joker explains why he doesn't want Batman's secret identity to be revealed:

    "I had a vision, of a world without Batman. The mob ground out a little profit and the police tried to shut them down, one block at a time. And it was so...boring. I've had a change of heart. I don't want Mr.Reese spoiling everything, but why should I have all the fun? Let's give someone else a chance. If Coleman Reese isn't dead in sixty minutes then I blow up a hospital."
  • August 15, 2013
    TalonisWolf
    The Silence from Doctor Who-they fear the day that The Doctor reveals his identity to ANYONE. Even The Doctor fears this possibility, although the logic behind this is unknown to me.
  • August 17, 2013
    Abodos
    Not really sure the quote from The Dark Knight is the best for the page quote. Cross-referencing it with the bullet point for the film itself makes it apparent how it relates to this trope, but if someone unfamiliar with the film were to look at that quote and try to relate it on its own to the trope without seeing that bullet point, they would probably be a bit confused.
  • August 31, 2013
    randomsurfer
    ^Agreed. As someone who has never seen the Dark Knight Trilogy if you hadn't told me it was about keeping Batman's identity secret I'd've never known.
  • September 1, 2013
    YeOldeLuke
    When I read that title, I Thought It Meant "villains don't bother to give themselves Secret Identities." For example, Lex Luthor is just Lex Luthor and never gave himself a secret identity.

    Whatever the title is changed to, it should remove that interpretation.
  • September 2, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ My point all along...

    Maybe Ignore The Heros Secret Identity?
  • September 2, 2013
    crazysamaritan
  • September 2, 2013
    DAN004
    Crowner plz.
  • September 2, 2013
    JusticeReaper
    Doctor Jak in Phantom2040 is a frequent thorn in the Phantom's side as he spreads all sorts of anti-Phantom propaganda "news" to Metropia...but as it's later revealed, he's really not interested in finding out the hero's secret identity. Rather, he acts the way he does because he's bitter about being unable to uncover the truth of what happened to cause the Sector Zero crash, which had caused his wife's death.
  • September 6, 2013
    Prime_of_Perfection
    Can add a subversion to the above Ben10 variant. It does come up in Ultimate Alien, with their family's being targeted and so forth. The villains never repeat it again after realizing how bad an idea this actually was to make it.
  • September 6, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    I think that's actually an Enforced Trope example.
  • September 6, 2013
    Craver357
    This is very likely to fall under Pragmatic Villainy.
  • September 6, 2013
    AP
    I like Will Not Unmask The Enemey as a trope name. At first, I thought it was a trope about villains who did know about the hero's secret ID but didn't care to exploit it.
  • September 6, 2013
    AP
    Oh, and an example:

    • An Anti Hero version happens in Hit Man, Tommy reveals he could use his x-ray vision to peak under Batman's mask and tell all of Gotham who he is. Batman asks him why he doesn't and Tommy responds with, "I guess you just don't know me that well".
  • September 24, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Did some formatting.
  • September 24, 2013
    DAN004
    So... Who'll be putting up a crowner? Pretty plz?
  • September 24, 2013
    reflaxion
    I like Secret Identity Apathy as a name. It's catchy.
  • September 27, 2013
    crazysamaritan
  • September 27, 2013
    reflaxion
    Added the crowner link to the description for convenience.
  • September 30, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    More votes!
  • October 5, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    Highest vote is 4:1
  • October 6, 2013
    Discar
    Changed.
  • October 6, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    Ask a mod to remove the tags.
  • October 10, 2013
    DAN004
    So what else would we need?
  • October 15, 2013
    Snicka
    Move the Spider Man example to Film. It's about the first Spider Man film, not the comic book.
  • October 16, 2013
    Discar
    So are we ready to launch here?
  • October 17, 2013
    DAN004
    One more hat.
  • October 17, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    Apparently some more folks have come around and don't think this trope is ready. I mentioned before that the tags should be removed. Did you ask a moderator to do that?
  • October 17, 2013
    CrypticMirror
    Why were the Doctor Who examples not accepted?
  • October 17, 2013
    Discar
    Request sent.
  • October 19, 2013
    Discar
    ^^ Because I missed them. Added now, though.
  • October 19, 2013
    madgodzulcan
    Perhaps a name like Joker don't care who's batman.
  • October 19, 2013
    crazysamaritan
  • October 19, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    Secret Identity Apathy sounds like a character who doesn't bother to disguise their identity.
  • October 20, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ What are you referring to?
  • October 20, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    The crowner attracting new names. I posted a response to "mad", and commented about the crowner myself. That's why I double-posted.
  • October 20, 2013
    DAN004
    Yeah, I've downed Secret Identity Apathy.
  • October 30, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    A significant aversion, methinks:

    Comic Books
    • The Beyonder unmasks Doctor Doom in Marvel Comics' first Secret Wars series, not to learn Doom's identity, but to get a close look at a mere mortal who stole the power of Galactus and used it to challenge the Beyonder for supremacy. Importantly, the unmasking lets fresh air waft across Doom's face, reviving him long enough to activate one last ploy against the Beyonder.
  • October 30, 2013
    MichaelKatsuro
    • In Ultimate Spider Man, Deadpool doesn't want to unmask Spider-Man when he's kidnapped the young hero, since he respects masks.
  • October 31, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    The Beyonder already knew Doom's identity, didn't he? (It isn't really a secret). That sounds like a straight example of Character A unmasking character B, not a subversion of the villain trying to discover the hero's identity.
  • November 5, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    Hey!

    I found the basic trope! Dramatic Unmask. See if we can find any aversions listed on that page to steal from. Modify the description, too, since we can incorporate that in.
  • November 8, 2013
    troacctid
  • November 9, 2013
    crazysamaritan
  • November 12, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    The crowner has new names. Please give input! Need input!
  • November 12, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^ Wait, the crowner has Villainous Secret Keeper and Secret Identity Keeper, but not Villainous Secret Identity Keeper? I know it's a bit wordy, but at least it's clear and doesn't sound completely awful.
  • November 13, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ Adding that cuz I love it.
  • December 3, 2013
    Discar
    Bump. Top crowner results are Secret Identity Apathy (7 to 5) and Wont Unmask Their Enemy (1 to 0).
  • December 4, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    Do you think the "At Issue" should include the laconic?
  • December 5, 2013
    Discar
    Sure. Adding it now.
  • December 6, 2013
    dalek955
    Second example from Spinnerette:
    • Another supervillain, Dr. Universe, later captures Spinnerette and uses his genetic infusion device to save her life, leading to this exchange:
      Spinnerette: I'm curious, Dr. Universe. Why didn't you remove my mask when I was unconscious? Aren't you curious who I really am?
      Dr. Universe: I know exactly who you are. You're Spinnerette.
  • December 6, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    Now that's a good page quote.
  • December 7, 2013
    DAN004
    Where are all the hats? o.O
  • December 7, 2013
    Discar
    Top crowner results are Secret Identity Apathy (9 to 7), Secret Identity Indifference (3 to 1), and Leave His Mask (3 to 2).
  • December 13, 2013
    Discar
    Top crowner results are Secret Identity Apathy (9 to 8) and Secret Identity Indifference (3 to 2).
  • December 22, 2013
    Discar
  • December 23, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ I prefer the latter.
  • December 23, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    Both imply that the character with the identity doesn't care about it. :(

    Apathy and indifference aren't really different.
  • December 23, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    In my opinion Secret Identity Apathy has a more snappy sound to it... maybe we should make another crowner for just these two titles?
  • December 23, 2013
    Discar
  • December 23, 2013
    DAN004
    @ crazysamaritan: hmm...
  • December 26, 2013
    Discar
    Seems pretty clear for Secret Identity Apathy. Any other problems before launch?
  • December 26, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    The name is not villain-specific, so I think the definition should be modified so that villain to hero, or hero to villain is a straight example. No complaints if tropers disagree.
  • December 27, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ I agree with that
  • December 27, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    Compiling a few examples that have gotten missed with the renaming, as well as dug a few out from elsewhere.

    • In the Batman The Animated Series episode, "The Cape and Cowl Conspiracy", a villain was hired to obtain Batman's cape and cowl. When he ultimately succeeds, Batman reveals a second mask underneath the cowl to protect his identity. The villain is amused by how Crazy Prepared Batman is, but admits he wasn't trying to discover Batman's identity, only get the cowl for his employer.
    • In Justice League Doom, Mirror Master sneaks into the Batcave and steals information from the Batcomputer while in contact to a mysterious villain via an earpiece. Mirror Master tells his contact that he may have a little time and could potentially scope the place out and find out Batman's secret identity, but the mysterious villain says not to bother, because he already knows and it doesn't matter.
    • Detective Conan: Conan Edogawa is actually a de-aged Shin'ichi.
      • Kaito Kid, second-generation Gentleman Thief, has easily learned of this fact, but doesn't tell anyone, not even as a blackmail threat when Conan might be about to catch him.
      • Vermouth is an agent of the Black Organization, and has discovered the secret identities of both Conan & Haibara. Her job is to find and kill Haibara, but keeps quiet for her own reasons, among them the apparent hope that Conan can bring down the Black Organization.
      • During the crossover with Lupin, Lupin III Vs Detective Conan, Lupin reveals that he's figured out that Conan is really Shin'ichi, and shared it with his gang already. The only thing they care about, though, is sneaking him back to Japan. Well, Fujiko also wants his secret to eternal youth.
    • An Anti Hero version happens in Hit Man, Tommy reveals he could use his x-ray vision to peak under Batman's mask and tell all of Gotham who he is. Batman asks him why he doesn't and Tommy responds with, "I guess you just don't know me that well".
    • Batman:
      • In most Batman continuities, Rhas al'Ghoul is in charge of an army of assasins, and plans to rule the world from the shadows. He knows that Batman is really Bruce Wayne, but the information is mostly a secondary consideration. He initially wanted Batman specifically to be his heir, and it wouldn't matter if he was millionaire Bruce Wayne or some random schmuck.
  • December 27, 2013
    DAN004
    What about when the hero doesn't show concern for villain's secret identity? Do we count that here, too?
  • December 27, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Variation in mid-1980s The Amazing Spider-Man where Black Cat, a semi-villain and on-and-off girlfriend of Spider-Man's, doesn't care about his secret identity because as far as she's concerned, he should just be Spider-Man all the time. But she does know his civilian identity.
  • December 28, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    ^^ Of course. That's still an inversion of the original definition. I just recommended that hero/villain requirements are dropped, because the trope name doesn't imply arequirement in either direction.

    The key points still have to be hit: the hero has to actively choose to not seek the villain's identity when there is a chance, or not use the information against the villain when they have a chance.
  • December 28, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ Agree.
  • December 29, 2013
    Discar
    I'm having a little bit of difficulty figuring out how to re-word the definition, partly because this is much more common as a villain thing (since villains are usually more worried about a hero's secret identity than the other way around in the first place). Maybe just adding a line to the end to the effect of "This can apply to heroes not caring about villains' identities as well."
  • December 29, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    Well, we have the laconic (too long to fit ykttw draft) that we can reword to "An antagonist to the Masked Man with a Secret Identity chooses not to learn [or reveal] his foe's secret identity despite the idea being presented to him."

    Then the general definition, we can keep mostly Villain to Hero. But a full paragraph instead of a single sentence should be given.

    Heroes who try to bring masked criminals to justice are sometimes faced with a Dramatic Unmask moment, as well. They should, accourding to law, share the information they've learned with the police. But even the heroes can find a Worthy Opponent, or begin Dating Catwoman, and find themselves unable to betray their enemy's secret. The hero must still dismiss the possibility of sharing the revelation of their foe's Secret Identity for it to qualify as an example.
  • December 29, 2013
    DAN004
    So we officially have the Hero To Villain description? Yay! :D

    Now we just need examples...
  • January 4, 2014
    dalek955
    • In A Modest Destiny, there's actually a company rule in Team Evil against unmasking KO'd heroes. Besides...
      Gilbert: Maybe he wears a mask because he's grotesquely deformed like you?
      Hechter: Oh...that's a good point. Don't want to get nightmares...
  • January 6, 2014
    Discar
    Any more issues before launch?
  • January 6, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ Hats plz.

    Oh and fix the laconic, if we're going to count Hero To Villain.
  • January 21, 2014
    Discar
    Changed laconic to "Enemy." The real laconic, not the one in the laconic box.

    Anything else?
  • January 22, 2014
    CrypticMirror
    Given that there are no hats on this, I don't think it is launchable until it can get some back.
  • January 22, 2014
    Discar
    If no one can actually provide things that need to be fixed before launch, then the hats are just a detail.
  • January 22, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ Then it will be cutlisted. Just sayin'
  • January 23, 2014
    CrypticMirror
    When did the hats all vanish? I looked at this a couple of weeks back and it was well hatted, what changed since then? Whatever it is, it needs undoing.
  • January 23, 2014
    Discar
    Well, I left a post on YKTTW crash thread, but got no response.
  • January 23, 2014
    Discar
    Actually, did get a response. It appears that the lack of hats is a bug that's going around. So I'll give this an hour, then launch it if no one brings anything else up.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=0rvdz9bry8x23wu1k8j2spbb&trope=SecretIdentityApathy