Maybe Bob is undercover to avoid a Frame-Up
. Maybe he touched the wrong artifact and became a Baleful Polymorph
. The point is, he's looking different, often monstrous. Then Alice
catch him with his personal effects. Uh oh.
Bob has just been Mistaken for Own Murderer
A subtrope of Mistaken Identity
. See also Guilt by Coincidence
. Contrast Tomato in the Mirror
and Kill and Replace
Film - Animated
Film - Live-Action
- Iron Man used to be known for body guarding Tony Stark. On an occasion where he couldn't take off the suit, Stark's disappearance made people suspect Iron Man.
- In "The Monster From Krypton", red Kryptonite transforms Superman into a dragon-like creature called a drang. When he holds his cape to communicate the change, Jimmy Olsen thinks the monster killed him and alerts Supergirl and the army.
- In Swamp Thing, government agent Matthew Cable, encountering the title character for the first time, believes that he's Alec Holland's murderer. Eventually the Swamp Thing manages to convince him that he is Holland or so he and everyone assumes prior to the Alan Moore Retcon.
- In the Sherlock Holmes story "The Man With The Twisted Lip", the titular man is actually the gentleman he was accused of murdering in disguise. A rare example where he was not trying to prove his identity. He didn't want to shame his family with the revelation that he'd been begging as an occupation.
- When Eustace from Voyage of the Dawn Treader wanders away and is involuntarily transformed into a dragon, his companions frantically search the island for the missing boy. On first sighting Eustace as a dragon, they initially assume he's the monster that ate Eustace, although he's able to prove his identity with body language.
- A non-murderous variant occurs in Dario Fo's play Trumpets and Raspberries, in which an industry mogul is under arrest for his own kidnap after a case of Mistaken Identity followed by restorative Magic Plastic Surgery.
- On Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, Buzz and Mira are exposed to Zurg's latest evil concoction that transforms and fuses them into a single amorphous blob creature unable to talk. When Booster and XR find the blob next to Buzz and Mira's empty uniforms they assume it ate them.
- In the Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes episode "Hard Knocks", Susan tells Reed that the Hulk killed Bruce. Reed renders Banner unconscious, undoing the transformation and revealing the Hulk's Secret Identity.
- On SpongeBob SquarePants, SpongeBob and Patrick fall in love with one of Sandy's pets, a caterpillar named Wormy. When Wormy transforms into a butterfly overnight, they, having never seen such a thing, assume it's a monster that ate Wormy... and they were next!
- In one episode of Visionaries, Leoric gets Mode Locked as a lion, and his fellow Spectral Knights who know he shapeshifts into a lion assume this other lion killed him.