Black Tie Infiltration
Subtrope of The Infiltration


(permanent link) added: 2011-11-11 13:15:45 sponsor: RevLucifer edited by: FinalGamer (last reply: 2013-10-16 00:08:10)

Add Tag:
Rolling Updates. Needs More Examples.

The McGuffin you need is securly under lock and key in the vault of the Natural History Museum. Lucky for you, they are having a black tie gala to celebrate the archeological find of the century. Security will have their hands full dealing with all the guests, so it's time to don your tuxedo, tuck away your tool kit into your Hammerspace Hideaway, and smile pretty for guards checking invitations. You're about to attempt a Black Tie Infiltration. Hopefully you'll get in Right Under Their Noses.

Description

The defining aspect of this trope is that The Infiltration takes place during a large social event. The event itself may have no relation to the plot; many BigBads will try to show how Affably Evil they are by holding grand dinners for charities. It doesn't need to be a black tie affair; any sort of exclusive or "by-invitation-only" event with a sufficiently large number of guests, a dress code, and a need for security would qualify. The goal doesn't matter. Whether it's procuring a McGuffin/PlotCoupon/AppliedPhlebotinum, gathering intel on the Big Bad's Evil Plan, destroying the Doomsday Device, or just trying to throw a Spanner in the Works.

It may cross over with Latex Perfection, Wig, Dress, Accent, or Impersonation Gambit to make the infiltration smoother. Can also involve a Spy-Tux Reveal if the infiltrator starts out dressed like a maintenance man, security guard, or janitor because they have no invitation, or a reversal of the Spy-Tux Reveal if the infiltrator is Dressed in Layers so they can get in with an invitation before sneaking into the less crowded areas. It can be parodied with a Paper-Thin Disguise. This type of infiltration is normally done by a Guile Hero

If the Big Bad or his Mooks recognize the infiltrator, he can always try to claim it's a Mistaken Identity, but it usually will throw a Spanner in the Works. If the Big Bad is Crazy-Prepared or Properly Paranoid, he may be able to beat the infiltrator via Xanatos Speed Chess, while a Magnificent Bastard or Genre Savvy one will usually expect the intrusion, and most likely have a Xanatos Gambit ready just in case. If the hero manages to make it to his objective without much resistance, it may be that It's Quiet... Too Quiet.

As an inversion, the Big Bad will actually invite the hero to the event just to show off what a Bad Ass he is, and how little regard he has for the abilities of the hero. Sometimes done by the Magnificent Bastard, but it tends to be used most often by the Smug Snake. If the hero was invited under an alias, the Big Bad may play along until the most dramatic moment to reveal that he has known the hero's true identity all along. The Big Bad may even include the Dragon to keep an eye on the hero just in case, or simply to add emphasis on the lack of concern he has over the hero being there.

This is a subtrope of The Infiltration. May be an example of Truth in Television since large social events are usually security nightmares, and they rarely, if ever, go off without a hitch.

Examples

Film

  • In National Treasure, Nicholas Cage's character sneaks in to the Library of Congress during a gala event to steal the Declaration of Independence which is believed to contain a treasure map to a lost Templar Treasure.

  • Marginally involved in Ocean's Eleven since Danny Ocean makes an appearance at the Fight Night event before excusing himself to join the rest of the crew in the heist.

  • In Robots, Rodney and Fender infiltrate the Bigweld Ball by pretending to be Count Roderick Von Zipper (formerly Count Velcro) and his valet, respectively.

  • In Jumpin' Jack Flash, Whoopi Goldberg's character breaks into the British Consulate during a party, claiming to be the entertainment (dressed in a spangly gown and lipsyncing to The Supremes). She's really there to hack the computer.

  • The Get Smart movie has Smart and Agent 99 attempt this.

  • True Lies opens with this.
    • Closes with it too, as I recall. Bookended.

  • Done often in James Bond films. In one we see a shot of a duck swimming across a pond - but it';s not a duck, it's Bond with a duck decoy attached to the top of his wetsuit. Once he gets on land he strips off his wetsuit revealing a perfectly dry, perfectly pressed tuxedo which he uses to blend in to the party going on.

Literature

  • Shakespear's Romeo and Juliet has Romeo sneaking into the Party at the Capulet's castle.

Live-Action TV

  • In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Apocalypse Rising", Captain Sisko, Commander Worf, Chief O'Brien, and a temporarily human Odo were cosmetically altered to appear Klingon so they could infiltrate the overnight reverie taking place before the ceremony to induct all the invitees into the Order of the Bat'leth. The goal is to assasinate Gowron, leader of the Klingon High Council who was suspected of being a Changeling. Ultimately, it was revealed the Changeling was impersonating General Martok, and was killed at the event.

  • It's happened on Chuck on several occasions, including the fifth season opener.

Video Games

  • The embassy level in Hitman 2: Silent Assassin is this. Agent 47 has to secure a black tie and infiltrate a party at an embassy, posing as either a waiter or a guest.

  • One of the levels in Super Scribblenauts is one of these: you have to give Maxwell a fancy suit so he can infiltrate a ball, followed by bits of spy gear to steal some intelligence and make his escape.

  • In the Mass Effect 2 DLC "Kasumi: Stolen Memory", Shepard helps the eponymous thief steal a personal item from a crime lord who's throwing a party.

  • The Dragon Age II DLC "Mark of the Assassin" has the same premise, but a few more twists along the way and the stakes are much higher.

  • In the first Syphon Filter game, Gabriel Logan's group in The Agency infiltrate an exposition to discover more information on the titular series' virus MacGuffin.
replies: 48

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy