Created By: Odon on July 13, 2011 Last Edited By: Arivne on March 8, 2016

Obfuscating Hedonism

The heroes pretend to be only interested in wine, women and song in order to put their enemies off guard.

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The heroes pretend to be only interested in wine, women and song in order to put their enemies off guard.

As this tactic is used by in general by a Rich Idiot with No Day Job or Chivalrous Pervert / Anything That Moves character, only bring up examples where it's specifically Lamp Shaded.

See also Obfuscating Stupidity, Rich Idiot with No Day Job, Screw the War, We're Partying!, and While Rome Burns.


Anime and Manga
  • Reign: The Conqueror. Alexander and his friends drink wine and hang out with low women to put Attalus off his guard.

  • Charlie Wilson's War. The Hookers and Blow antics of 'Good Time Charlie' get much more media attention than his efforts to covertly supply weapons to the Mujahadeen. Of course as the book points out, Congressman Charlie Wilson is a hedonist rather than someone who's pretending to be.
  • Lampshaded in Batman Begins. - ZCE
    Alfred: "Strange injuries, a non-existent social life... these things beg the question as to what exactly does Bruce Wayne do with his time and his money?" (cut to Bruce Wayne pulling up at a restaurant in a Lamborgini with Foreign Fanservice girls on his arm)

Real Life

Community Feedback Replies: 20
  • July 13, 2011
    Zorro also did this, as part of his Rich Idiot With No Day Job persona.
  • July 13, 2011
    Vash in Trigun uses this, along with Obfuscating Stupidity.
  • July 14, 2011
    • Tony Stark was a subversion as he was just a Rich Idiot With No Day Job for real. Until he had the accident that caused him to stop with the weapons and start with the heroics. Now he's a hedonist when he's not in the armor and a genuine hero in the armor.
  • July 14, 2011
    • Francisco D'Arconia in Atlas Shrugged. He pretends to be a shiftless playboy, but he pays people to make claims about extravagant parties and affairs so no one will suspect he's purposely trying to sabotage his business.
  • July 14, 2011
    I'm not sure if this would be this trope or something else, as it has more to do with money than wine or women, but Sam Spade of The Maltese Falcon makes a point of appearing more self-serving than he actually is. He has a particularly good line on the subject near the end of the movie: "Don't be so sure I'm as crooked as I'm supposed to be."
  • July 15, 2011
    • Girl Genius. Gilgamesh Wulfenbach did this while living in Paris. It's not clear yet just what he was up to with Pirate Girl Dupree, but it clearly wasn't just sex and opium-smoking.
  • July 15, 2011
    • Wasn't this part of Prince Adam's routine in the original He Man?
  • July 16, 2011
    Both Zoro and Nami are experts at this in One Piece.
  • July 16, 2011
    Lando Mollari in Babylon Five?
  • July 16, 2011
    ^ Definitely Londo - especially as the series progresses. In early episodes, it's actual hedonism.
  • July 16, 2011
    In the Doctor Who episode "The Girl in the Fireplace", the Doctor, staggering around in sunglasses and a bandana, uses this trick on the Clockwork Creature robot villains. His apparently-drunken, rambling monologue ends with "If you believe that, you probably believe this is a glass of wine." Splash!
  • July 20, 2011
    Decadence Disguise?
  • March 6, 2016
    I heard Major Roy Mustang in Fullmetal Alchemist is like this, but I can't elaborate enough.

    What if the guy really is a hedonist and a competent worker? Kagura Mutsuki of Blaz Blue is like that, a guy who is a Frat Bro (he likes goofing off and alcohol) and a huge pervert, but also a badass major in the army.
  • March 6, 2016
    I wouldn't be surprised if the originator of this was The Scarlet Pimpernel, as he predates Zorro by fifteen years or so.
  • March 6, 2016
    I like "Decadence Disguise", personally. Oliver Queen from the Arrow TV series is this, although not so much in the original comics.

    Also, nice necropost!
  • March 7, 2016
    This seems like it would work equally well for both heroes and villains.
  • March 7, 2016
    Judge Dee: In the first book, a drunken amateur poet is encountered in one of the floating brothels, and appears to be nothing more than a Rich Idiot With No Day Job. Then more details are discovered, such as his having a job as an extremely skilled accountant. He's the brother of the murder victim, and his skill comes from his real job being with the Imperial finances, investigating a gold-smuggling ring.
  • March 7, 2016
    Please answer my question.
  • March 8, 2016
    • Examples section
      • Added a line separating the Description and Examples section.
      • Add the word "Examples".
      • Added media section titles.
      • Namespaced work and Useful Notes names.
      • Italicized work names as per How To Write An Example - Emphasis For Work Names.

    Two of the OP examples are Zero Context Examples and have been marked as such (ZCE). Each one needs more specific information about how it fits the trope.
  • March 8, 2016
    Henry IV Part 1: not "enemies", but Prince Hal flat-out states that his partying is just a cover, meant to make his assumption of kingly virtues all the more dramatic.