Created By: Earnest on August 14, 2010

Decoy President

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The Man Behind the Man controls a real leader behind the scenes. But sometimes, that leader puts someone in front of them to avoid the limelight and long daggers.

A Decoy President (Needs a Better Name) takes the place of a leader and impersonates them. Often, the real leader feeds them instructions via audio device, hand signals, or other means so they can conduct meaninguful policy. Usually the decoy is willing to die for the leader. If the decoy looks nothing like the leader (or the leader is good at disguise and She Cleans Up Nicely) she'll likely enjoy going about with the common folk.
Community Feedback Replies: 10
  • August 14, 2010
    I would say Decoy Leader makes more sense, as it doesn't constrict the trope.

    Queen Amidala operates as the Queen Incognito Padme--which is her real name--and throughout the movie has a decoy-bodyguard, Sabe, who replaces her.

  • August 15, 2010
  • August 15, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    The title character in Dave was supposed to be this, but he ended up turning against his handlers.
  • August 15, 2010
  • August 15, 2010
    • Used in Henry VI by the Dauphin of France to test whether Joan Of Arc could tell the difference. (She could.)
    • On Arrested Development the Saddam Hussein on trial clams to be this, alleging that the real Saddam has a scar on his head and "I'm Noscar."
    • In Nomads of Gor the leaders of the four Wagon Peoples [sic] all employ these - the Wagon Peoples know who the leaders really are but outsiders think the decoys are the leaders.
  • August 15, 2010
    ^ That last one would be Truth In Television; the Real Life Saddam employed many decoys to fool potential assassins and other threats.

    Likewise, a scene in The Last King Of Scotland sees Nicholas mistake a double of Idi Amin for the genuine article, which gives the real Idi Amin much to laugh about.
  • August 15, 2010
    Isn't this Body Double?
  • August 15, 2010
    It'd be a super trope to Body Double. For example in two of the ones I mentioned (Henry VI and Nomads of Gor) the decoy rulers aren't doubles, just decoys.
  • August 15, 2010
    • Superman 2. The President of the United States tries this when the three Kryptonian super villains drop in for a visit. General Zod is not fooled, however.
    Zod: You are the one they call "President"?
    Guy: I am.
    Zod: [snip] Kneel before Zod.
    Guy: [kneels]
    Zod: You are not the President. No one who leads so many could possibly kneel so quickly.
    President: [Steps forward] They're protecting me. I'm the President.
  • August 16, 2010
    One time on Twenty Four when CTU was invaded by bad guys they asked "who's in charge?" One guy (who wasn't in charge, but was in love with the woman who was in charge) stood up and said "I am," so they shot him.