Created By: DaibhidCDecember 9, 2011 Last Edited By: DaibhidCDecember 12, 2011

High-Heeled Shoe Phone

An Action Girl's equipment is disguised as specifically female accessories.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Yeah, I know, Needs A Better Title. Also Needs More Examples.

If you're a secret agent or superhero, your equipment might be disguised as all kinds of mundane items. Briefcases, wristwatches, walking sticks, and of course shoes.

If your a female secret agent or superheroine, it's more likely to be handbags, make-up cases, fashion items, and jewellry.

There is a certain logic to this; since the purpose is to avoid attention it makes sense for them to be items people would expect a woman to be carrying. Even then Unfortunate Implications can kick in; in this day and age is it really the case that a woman carrying the Briefcase Blaster would stand out?

It gets really unfortunate when there's a character whose gadgets aren't disguised, but whose Distaff Counterpart has almost identical gadgets designed to resemble make-up items for no apparent reason.

Comic Books
  • The original Bat Woman had a Utility Purse, containing items such as the Bat-Compact, which let her blow powder at bad guys.
  • Parodied in L.E.G.I.O.N. 007 (an Elseworld putting the L.E.G.I.O.N. chaacters in a Tuxedo And Martini pastiche), with the items created for "The Girl From L.E.G.I.O.N." including a bulletproof bikini, a razor-sharp (and stylish) belt, and jet propelled stilleto heels.
    Stealth: Why do my secret weapons always have to be so effeminate? I mean, I'd like a super-fast, flame-throwing, armored sports car too.

Live Action TV

Western Animation
Community Feedback Replies: 14
  • December 9, 2011
    SeanMurrayI
    The Same But More Specific?

    Why can't these examples just go on Shoe Phone? Most of your examples are already on that page, anyway.
  • December 9, 2011
    TrustBen
    I tend to agree. Is there a need to divide Shoe Phone into gender-specific pages?
  • December 9, 2011
    Hadashi
    I think the title needs to sound less like Shoe Phone, but it is distinct. It's about gadgets being disguised as girly stuff, possibly past the point where it makes any sense to do so.

    Web Original

    Lipstick Chainsaw would make an awesome title for something
  • December 9, 2011
    callsignecho
    This is awesome. I've had an Example Looking For a Trope for the longest time:

  • December 9, 2011
    Generality
    ^ No it wouldn't, because it's completely obtuse. I agree that this is a subtrope of Shoe Phone, and not sufficiently distinct from the main trope to warrant its own page. Disguising a gadget as a girl-oriented item is not inherently more or differently meaningful than disguising it as a shoe or watch. It's just designed for a different particular user.
  • December 9, 2011
    Duncan
    I think this could go as a paragraph on Shoe Phone, noting the Unfortunate Implications.
  • December 9, 2011
    billybobfred
    ^^^^ Homestuck's lipstick chainsaw was based on the lipstick/chainsaw from Problem Sleuth.

    Not sure whether it's an example in Problem Sleuth, but it was following on a pattern established by a series of keys/guns, so maybe.
  • December 12, 2011
    callsignecho
    "Disguising a gadget as a girl-oriented item is not inherently more or differently meaningful than disguising it as a shoe or watch."

    I totally disagree. This is a distinct trope because there is no Spear Counterpart. Shoe Phone gadgets that specifically belong to men never make a point of their manliness. It's not like there's a spy-pastiche where the hero has a jock-strap plasma torch or a nose-hair-trimmer wire cutters.
  • December 12, 2011
    foxley
    In Moonraker, Holly Goodhead has perfume bottle flamethrower.
  • December 12, 2011
    McKathlin
    I agree that this is a prominent facet of Shoe Phone, but I'd say it's too ubiquitous of a subtrope to need its own trope page. So I second Duncan's suggestion: include this as a paragraph of Shoe Phone.
  • December 12, 2011
    Bisected8
    • In Real Life female Russian agents were (allegedly) issued what were essentially zipguns concealed in (functioning) lipstick. Stun guns disguised as lipstick are also available to civilians.

    @Mc Kathlin: Surely you mean too rare a subtrope? Ubiquitous means "found everywhere".
  • December 12, 2011
    McKathlin
    No, I meant ubiquitous, since virtually all examples of Shoe Phone carried by women are this.
  • December 12, 2011
    Bisected8
    That sounds like a trope worthy of its own page to me then (like High Heel Face Turn is to Heel Face Turn).
  • December 12, 2011
    SeanMurrayI
    Seriously? We have a High Heel Face Turn?

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