Created By: RevLucifer on November 11, 2011 Last Edited By: StarSword on October 25, 2015
Troped

Black Tie Infiltration

The Infiltration takes place during a large social event

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The MacGuffin you need is securely under lock and key in the Trope Co. vault. Lucky for you, they are having a black tie gala to celebrate the archaeological 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.

The defining aspect of this trope is that The Infiltration takes place during a large, formal social event.

Despite the name, the event 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.

This is a Sub-Trope of The Infiltration, and incorporates Hidden in Plain Sight on the part of the infiltrators. 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. Compare Janitor Impersonation Infiltration, when the infiltrator instead goes as the hired help.

Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex:
    • In one episode a teenage assassin tries targets a dignitary who's attending a ceremony at some war graves where his countrymen are buried. At first he appears to be planning to use a rifle to snipe him but at the last minute they find that he's stolen the uniform of one of the students who are presenting the target with bouquets and he's planning a suicidal assassination using a knife (with a bomb for backup).
    • In "Cash Eye", the team do one of these layered in another. Their host thinks they're undercover to prevent his money being stolen by a mysterious Classy Cat-Burglar, but they're actually staging the theft (with Motoko playing the thief) in order to gain access to his safe and check it for laundered money.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • National Treasure:
    • In the first film, Ben Gates sneaks into the National Archives during a gala event to steal the Declaration of Independence which is believed to contain a treasure map to a lost Templar Treasure. Combined with a Janitor Impersonation Infiltration in this case: Ben dresses up as a custodian to get in the service entrance, with a tuxedo on under his coveralls.
    • In the second film, Book of Secrets, Ben gatecrashes the President's birthday party at Mount Vernon so he can get him alone in a secret area of the estate and convince him to let Ben see the President's Book.
  • Marginally involved in Ocean's Eleven since Danny Ocean makes an appearance at the Fight Night event, a professional boxing match held in a Las Vegas casino and being attended by numerous celebrities and wealthy guests, 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.
  • In Get Smart, Maxwell Smart and Agent 99 gate-crash a party held at the mansion of a KAOS operative named Ladislav Krstic in order to steal computer records on the attack on CONTROL headquarters. The sequence also features a hilarious tango dance-off scene between 99 and Krstic, and Max and a quite overweight young lady.
  • True Lies uses this trope for bookends.
    • In the Action Prologue Harry Tasker infiltrates a gala hosted by an Arab underworld figure in Switzerland in order to steal Forensic Accounting intelligence from the mark's computer. In homage to the opening of Goldfinger, he sneaks in underwater with a tuxedo under his drysuit.
    • In the epilogue, Harry and Helen are at a similar gala apparently looking to meet up with a contact.
  • Done often in James Bond films.
    • In Goldfinger 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.
    • In Quantum of Solace Bond sneaks in backstage during a performance of Tosca because a group of Nebulous Evil Organization members are using it as cover for a meeting. He smokes them out by intruding on their radio conversation, letting MI6 identify them.
  • Inglourious Basterds: Three of the surviving soldiers masquerade as cameramen to get into the big movie opening in order to assassinate Hitler. It might have worked, if only they hadn't run into Colonel Landa...
  • In Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Holmes, Watson and Simza have to attend a white tie ball being held at a peace conference in order to thwart Moriarty's scheme.
  • The Dark Knight Trilogy:
    • The League of Shadows does this during Bruce's birthday party in Batman Begins. Ra's al Ghul doesn't even attempt to disguise himself; he gives Mrs. Delane his name and asks to see Bruce.
    • In The Dark Knight Rises Selina Kyle infiltrates Wayne Manor (to steal a pearl necklace and Bruce Wayne's fingerprints) by posing as one of the wait staff during a formal memorial dinner for Harvey Dent. Selina gets caught in the act, but makes her escape by pulling the apron and white lapels off her outfit—leaving her in a Little Black Dress—and blending in with the guests.
  • Mission: Impossible:
    • The original film opens with the team breaking into a social event in Germany to steal intelligence. Turns out the information they were after was bait to smoke out The Mole, who saw it coming and pinned it on Ethan.
    • Mission: Impossible III has Hunt's team infiltrate an event at an Italian palace in order to abduct an arms dealer IMF has been after for a while who killed one of Ethan's proteges.
    • Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol has Hunt's team pulling off one of these during a party thrown by a telecommunications entrepreneur who owns a satellite capable of firing a missile. While Brandt and Dunn infiltrate the server room to take the satellite offline, Carter attends the party as a Honey Trap to get the entrepreneur to reveal the satellite code.
    • Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation has Hunt and Dunn infiltrate a high-society performance of Madame Butterfly to try and foil the Syndicate's assassination of the Chancellor of Austria at the same event. They foil the three snipers by killing one and then shooting the chancellor nonfatally themselves, but the Syndicate plant a bomb in the Chancellor's limo and blow him up on his way to the hospital.
  • In Unknown (2011), the assassins assume secret identities to be part of a biotechnology summit at the Adlon Hotel in Berlin where they manage to steal secret data from a laptop of speaker Professor Bressler.
  • In The Avengers (2012), Loki takes on the illusion of a tuxedo-wearing partygoer to infiltrate the museum gala and obtain the eye of a museum official to bypass the security system around a meteorite of rare metal.
  • Wild Wild West. U.S. Government agents Jim West and Artemus Gordon infiltrate a post-Civil War Southern costume ball dressed as an armed cowboy and a French mountain man, respectively. Problem: the other attendees are white racist former slave owners, and Jim West is black.
  • Ace Ventura: Pet Detective: Ace attends a high class party thrown by one of the Miami Dolphins who he suspects of having kidnapped the team mascot. While everyone else is enjoying the party, he sneaks off to check the player's new water tank to see if the mascot is there. (It turns out to contain the player's new pet shark.)
  • In In the Line of Fire, Mitch Leary makes a series of generous campaign contributions to the American president's re-election campaign under a phony name, until he gets invited to a campaign dinner held in a luxury hotel. This campaign dinner provides him with the perfect opportunity to assassinate the president.

    Literature 
  • Cassidy Cain uses this trope in Episode 4 of Grandmaster of Theft to assist with her theft as the Grandmaster. She manipulates Narcissa Richmond & Sharpe Security into hosting such an event as a means to show off Undine's Tear and challenge the Grandmaster again, making them believe they are luring her into a trap and doing great business at same time. Cass further invokes this because 1) it places her target out in the open instead of somewhere she couldn't get it, 2) it's a crowded event which makes it harder for Sharpe Security to effectively do their job, 3) Narcissa can be humiliated in front of people she's trying to impress, 4) She has plan to perform an impossible theft which protects her reputation as Classy Cat-Burglar there, and 5) she could secretly sneak her Right-Hand Hottie in who covertly assists in her plan.

    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 assassinate 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. ZERO CONTEXT EXAMPLE
  • In the Firefly episode "Shindig", Mal and Kaylee infiltrate a ball on Persephone, with Kaylee—correction, Miss Kaywinnit Lee Frye—playing the role of a debutante so that Mal can get in touch with an aristocratic contact for a smuggling job.
    Kaylee: These girls have the most beautiful dresses. (gestures at her dress) And so do I! How about that?
    Mal: Yeah, well, just be careful. We cheated Badger out of good money to buy that frippery, and you're supposed to make me look respectable.
  • A Fringe episode involves a Black Tie Infiltration job by Olivia and a man who, because of experiments performed on him as a child, can read minds, attending such an event in order to snuff out the Villain of the Week before they can commit more assassinations.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
    • The third episode has Skye infiltrating a party she managed to wrangle her own invitation to(with the intention of dropping a bug that'll disarm the security system momentarily and allow some more combat orientated agents in).
    • In "Face My Enemy", Coulson and May pose as husband and wife to infiltrate a black-tie fundraiser where the star item is a painting with alien writing on the back.
  • Leverage uses this one in many episodes, such as "The First David Job". Basically, if their mark is a high-society figure, it's a good bet that infiltrating a party will be a major part of that episode's con. Usually, Sophie poses as a guest in order to get information from the mark or just distract them, Nathan poses as a guest to keep an eye on events and give orders as necessary, and Eliot poses as a janitor or other staff so he can leap in if the situation becomes violent. Parker, who does most of the breaking-in, may or may not pose as one of the wait staff. Hardison, the Mission Control, is the one team member least likely to show his face at these parties.
  • In the short lived TV series Black Tie Affair the main character markets himself as a suave private investigator who is accomplished in this sort of thing. In truth the series follows his first case and he runs his PI business out of a used record shop he owns. The only "black tie" infiltration he actually does is when he's in disguise as a waiter.
  • Doctor Who: In "Rise of the Cybermen", the Doctor and Rose discuss performing this trope to get into a party at the Alternate Universe version of the Tyler residence, but instead infiltrate as catering staff. Rose wishes they had used the titles Queen Victoria bestowed on them in "Tooth and Claw", though the Doctor maintains that they'll learn more information from the kitchen end of things.
  • In the Castle episode "The Limey", while investigating arms traffickers, Beckett infiltrates a gala at the British consulate alongside a detective inspector from Scotland Yard. She remarks that it must be easy for him being among his own people, and he comments that "my people are the ones serving the drinks."

    Theatre 
  • This one's Older Than Steam. William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet has Romeo and his friends sneaking into a masquerade ball at the Capulets' castle. In this case the infiltration itself is the point: the Montague-affiliated Romeo et al. think it'll be fun to take advantage of the rival Capulet family.

    Video Games 
  • Several examples from the Hitman franchise:
    • The embassy level in Hitman 2: Silent Assassin uses this trope. Agent 47 has to secure a black tie and infiltrate a party at an embassy, posing as either a waiter or a guest.
    • Hitman: Contracts:
      • "The Meat King's Party", in which a wealthy meat magnate throws a party in one of his abattoirs to celebrate his recent acquittal. 47 must assassinate both the magnate and his lawyer.
      • "Beldingford Manor", in which the Beldingford family are hosting numerous guests at their expansive manor for several days. 47 must assassinate two of the Beldingfords.
    • Hitman: Blood Money:
      • "You Better Watch Out", in which Lorne de Havilland, an Expy of either Hugh Hefner or Larry Flynt, throws a formal Christmas party in a stand-in for the Playboy mansion. 47 must assassinate both de Havilland and a senator's son in attendance.
      • "Til Death Do Us Part", in which 47 must assassinate two guests at a Mississipi wedding.
      • "A Dance with the Devil", in which 47 must assassinate two guests at an elaborate costume party in Las Vegas.
  • One of the levels in Super Scribblenauts involves 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.
  • Mass Effect:
    • 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.
    • Mass Effect 3's "Citadel" DLC at one point has Shepard, a party member, and Maya Brooks infiltrate a social event at a Citadel casino in order to gather intelligence on the group trying to assassinate Shepard.
  • In the Dragon Age II DLC "Mark of the Assassin", Hawke is persuaded by a visiting Qunari spy to participate in a major heist at the estate of an Orlesian Duke throwing The Grand Hunt and an accompanying party. Since the Hawke family has reclaimed their noble titles by then, they obtain a formal invitation to the event, then manage to sneak away from the party and into the Duke's vaults while other guests are distracted.
  • 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.
  • The main story quest "Diplomatic Immunity" in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim sees you entering the Thalmor embassy during a party the ambassador throws for the local nobles and moneybags. You go there under fake identity and invitation with a mission to retrieve important documents from the ambassador's quarters, made more difficult by the fact that you can't bring any of your gear with you (at least, until you meet with your liaison inside the embassy who can smuggle in some items for you).

    Western Animation 
  • An episode of Sabrina: The Animated Series has a parody. Harvey's having a dream where he's working with a James Bond Expy. He and the spy recreate the "pull off a drysuit to reveal a tux" scene, only to discover they're a bit overdressed for the party they infiltrating and put on mascot costumes.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: In an attempt to speak with the Earth King about the war with the Fire Nation, the Gaang infiltrate a party the king is holding for his pet bear. Aang and Sokka go as waiters (though when Aang's cover is blown he starts using his airbending to put on a distracting show), while Katara and Toph go as upper-crust guests (Toph is the heir of a very rich Earth Kingdom family, and raised as such, she just has to remember to act like it). It fails completely due to the Dai Li already knowing who they are.
  • In Family Guy, Peter, Cleveland and Quagmire rob the Pewterschmidt mansion by getting in this way during a black-tie party.

Indexes: Disguise Tropes, Espionage Tropes, Older Than Steam, Party at My Index

Community Feedback Replies: 90
  • November 11, 2011
    WackyMeetsPractical
    If this is specifically for good guys crashing the bad guy's party to infiltrate the lair or find out information, then we may need to change the title to something more specific. Currently, it looks like it could apply to party crashers in general. Party Infiltration?

    It doesn't look like there's a trope. It does look like it could be a subtrope of The Infiltration and Right Under Their Noses, and could require an Impersonation Gambit or Dressing As The Enemy.

    I know I've seen this a hundred times. It's happened on Chuck on several occasions, including the fifth season opener.

    I think even Romeo And Juliet might count as an example. Romeo crashes the party of his family's rivals.
  • November 11, 2011
    RevLucifer
    I can see the similarity to The Infiltration, and it definately would be a Right Under Their Noses moment. I think it may make a good sub-trope for The Infiltration then, but I was referring specifically to when the Big Bad is having some sort of social gathering, where The Infiltration is much more generic and could apply to any type of sneaking into the stronghold.

    For the reason, it can be for information, to throw a Spanner In The Works of his Evil Plan, or, as with the inversion, specifically for the Big Bad to show off how little concern he has for the hero. Alternately, it may not be a stronghold for the Big Bad, but may be some location that has a Mac Guffin or Plot Coupon the hero needs, but is heavily guarded (like the Library Of Congress in the example from National Treasure).

    I edited it to show it as a subtrope, clarified the title to show that it's more about the infiltration, and added "Black Tie" to show that it's typically some sort of high class, swanky, or "by-invitation-only" affair. Am I properly using the idea of an Inverted Trope with the invitation concept?
  • November 11, 2011
    JonnyB
    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.
  • November 11, 2011
    LobsterMagnus
    The Oceans Eleven film series.
  • November 11, 2011
    RevLucifer
    The first Ocean's Eleven kinda works, given that it's during the big Fight Night, but I don't remember there being much of a gala event in Ocean's Twelve, and I never saw Ocean's Thirteen. I'll have to look over those again.

    I'll be cleaning this entry up more tonight and over the weekend, and adding more examples as they are posted. I hope you don't mind the word-for-word copy of your post Lobster, but it fits perfectly.
  • November 11, 2011
    TonyG
    In Robots, Rodney and Fender infiltrate the Bigweld Ball by pretending to be Count Roderick Von Zipper (formerly Count Velcro) and his valet, respectively.
  • November 11, 2011
    Micah
    The DS 9 episode is "Apocalypse Rising".
  • November 11, 2011
    RevLucifer
    Thanks for the info on the DS9 episode, and the Robots example. I changed up a lot of the wording to realign the focus of the trope on the type of event, rather than the reason for the infiltration...
  • November 11, 2011
    TBTabby
    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.
  • November 12, 2011
    Koveras
    Party Infiltration sounds good but can be mistaken (especially by role-players) for when The Mole joins the Player Party. Soiree Heist?

    • 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.
  • November 12, 2011
    Duncan
    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.
  • November 12, 2011
    Fanra
    True Lies opens with this.
  • November 12, 2011
    JonnyB
    ^ Closes with it too, as I recall. Bookended.
  • November 12, 2011
    LobsterMagnus
    If I recall correctly, the big showdown (meaning when the heist per se is pulled, after all those elaborate preparations) of Ocean's Thirteen is during the Grand Opening of the villains new casino.
  • November 12, 2011
    randomsurfer
    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.
  • November 12, 2011
    Statalyzer
    The Get Smart movie has Smart and Agent 99 attempt this.
  • November 12, 2011
    Statalyzer
    The Get Smart movie has Smart and Agent 99 attempt this.
  • November 17, 2011
    korpse_man
    The first Mission Impossible Movie, features a gala event at the American embassy to draw out a mole.
  • November 26, 2011
    TBeholder
    Also, a possibility that For Halloween I Am Going As Myself.
  • November 26, 2011
    pinkdalek
    The game Spy Fiction does this on board a cruise ship.
  • November 27, 2011
    Synchronicity
    Happens in Clockwork Angel, where Tessa impersonates the wealthy Camille Belcourt at Alexei de Quincey's party.
  • November 27, 2011
    Bisected8
    • One of the main story quests in Skyrim, called "Diplomatic Immunity", involves infiltrating the Thalmar embassy this way in order to get some documents.
  • November 27, 2011
    fulltimeD
    A Fringe episode involves a Black Tie Infiltration job by Olivia and a man who, because of experiments performed on him as a child, can read minds, attending such an event in order to snuff out the Villain of the Week before they can commit more assassinations.
  • December 23, 2011
    PacificMackerel
    Real Life: Known as Gatecrashing.
  • December 24, 2011
    JonnyB
    Real Life: In 2009, two reality star wannabes named Michaele and Tareq Salahi crashed President Obama's first black tie State Dinner. (link)
  • December 24, 2011
    Koveras
    Is everyone here except me so familiar with what "black tie" is supposed to mean, they consider the current title ideal?
  • December 24, 2011
    Chabal2
    Inglourious Basterds: Three of the surviving soldiers masquerade as cameramen to get into the big movie opening in order to assassinate Hitler. It might have worked, if only they hadn't run into Colonel Landa...

    Also, one I've often seen is the heroes running into the Big Bad with him seemingly unaware of who they are, or being held up at the gate until the Big Bad shows up in person to let them in.
  • December 24, 2011
    AFP
    @Koveras: Black Tie is the name for a dress code for formal events. If you get even dressier, then you are treading into the realm of White Tie.

    Maybe Tuxedo Infiltration as another possible name?
  • December 24, 2011
    JonnyB
    ^ Maybe a redirect.
  • January 7, 2012
    foxley
    In Sherlock Holmes A Game Of Shadows, Holmes, Watson and Simza have to attend a white tie ball being held at a peace conference in order to thwart Moriarty's scheme.
  • January 7, 2012
    Bisected8
    I'm not sure if it counts, but;

    • In an episode of Ghost In The Shell Stand Alone Complex a teenage assassin tries targets a dignitary who's attending a ceremony at some war graves where his countrymen are buried. At first he appears to be planning to use a rifle to snipe him but at the last minute they find that he's stolen the uniform of one of the students who are presenting the target with bouquets and he's planning a suicidal assassination using a knife (with a bomb for backup)
  • January 9, 2012
    Prime_of_Perfection
    Web Original example I can give from own series that I think fits.

    Cassidy Cain uses this trope in Episode 4 of Grandmaster Of Theft to assist with her theft as the Grandmaster. She manipulates Narcissa Richmond & Sharpe Security into hosting such an event as a means to show off Undine's Tear and challenge the Grandmaster again, making them believe they are luring her into a trap and doing great business at same time. Cass further invokes this because 1) it places her target out in the open instead of somewhere she couldn't get it, 2) it's a crowded event which makes it harder for Sharpe Security to effectively do their job, 3) Narcissa can be humiliated in front of people she's trying to impress, 4) She has plan to perform an impossible theft which protects her reputation as Classy Cat Burglar there, and 5) she could secretly sneak her Right Hand Hottie in who covertly assists in her plan.
  • January 9, 2012
    JimCambias
    Not sure the Sherlock Holmes example is a good one: the heroes get their invitation from Holmes's brother Mycroft, who pretty much runs the British government and arranged the peace conference.
  • January 9, 2012
    foxley
    But they got the invitation specifically so they could find the imposter and they had no business attending the peace conference otherwise.
  • January 9, 2012
    NoirGrimoir
    sort of the opposite of a Janitor Impersonation Infiltration
  • January 10, 2012
    JonnyB
    ^^ Still, if they had invitations, they weren't infiltrating.
  • October 12, 2013
    Synchronicity
    Bump
  • October 12, 2013
    Koveras
    • The main story quest "Diplomatic Immunity" in The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim sees you entering the Thalmor embassy during a party the ambassador throws for the local nobles and moneybags. You go there under fake identity and invitation with a mission to retrieve important documents from the ambassador's quarters, made more difficult by the fact that you can't bring any of your gear with you (at least, until you meet with your liaison inside the embassy who can smuggle in some items for you).
  • October 12, 2013
    ryanasaurus0077
    • The League of Shadows does this during Bruce's birthday party in Batman Begins. Ra's al Ghul doesn't even attempt to disguise himself; he gives Mrs. Delane his name and asks to see Bruce.
  • October 12, 2013
    MonaNaito
    • Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol has Hunt's team pulling off one of these during a party thrown by a telecommunications entrepreneur who owns a satellite capable of firing a missile. While Brandt and Dunn infiltrate the server room to take the satellite offline, Carter attends the party as a Honey Trap to get the entrepreneur to reveal the satellite code.
  • October 12, 2013
    TheTitan99
    Does it have to be the Big Bad? There's a Kim Possible example I can think of where she infiltrates a lesser villains party to get TO the main villain, who's also at the event. Would that count?
  • October 12, 2013
    TheTitan99
    Also, this was bumped after a LONG time of being dormant. Is the sponsor even still here?
  • October 12, 2013
    MonaNaito
    ^^Some of the existing examples are not, in fact, parties thrown by the Big Bad. I think you're fine.
  • October 12, 2013
    Bisected8
    • The third episode of Agents Of SHIELD has Skye infiltrating a party she managed to wrangle her own invitation to(with the intention of dropping a bug that'll disarm the security system momentarily and allow some more combat orientated agents in).

    • An episode of Sabrina The Animated Series has a parody. Harvey's having a dream where he's working with a James Bond Expy. He and the spy recreate the "pull off a drysuit to reveal a tux" scene, only to discover they're a bit overdressed for the party they infiltrating and put on mascot costumes.

    • In one episode of Ghost In The Shell Stand Alone Complex, the team do one of these layered in another. Their host thinks they're undercover to prevent his money being stolen by a mysterious Classy Cat Burglar, but they're actually staging the theft (with Makoto playing the thief) in order to gain access to his safe and check it for laundered money.
  • October 13, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    I'm pretty sure Michael Westen (and Fiona and Sam, on other occasions) did this a few times in Burn Notice when roleplaying to get close to some well-heeled targets or steal items or information from them. Can't think of particular specifics at the moment, although this may jar someone else's memory....
  • October 14, 2013
    Arivne
    ^^ The Ghost In The Shell Stand Alone Complex episode was named "CASH EYE", and Major's first name is Motoko.
  • October 15, 2013
    MetaFour
    • In The Dark Knight Rises Selina Kyle infiltrates Wayne Manor (to steal a pearl necklace and Bruce Wayne's fingerprints) by posing as one of the wait staff during a formal memorial dinner for Harvey Dent. Selina gets caught in the act, but makes her escape by pulling the apron and white lapels off her outfit—leaving her in a Little Black Dress—and blending in with the guests.

    • Leverage uses this one in many episodes, such as "The First David Job". Basically, if their mark is a high-society figure, it's a good bet that infiltrating a party will be a major part of that episode's con. Usually, Sophie poses as a guest in order to get information from the mark or just distract them, Nathan poses as a guest to keep an eye on events and give orders as necessary, and Eliot poses as a janitor or other staff so he can leap in if the situation becomes violent. Parker, who does most of the breaking-in, may or may not pose as one of the wait staff. Hardison, the Mission Control, is the one team member least likely to show his face at these parties.
  • October 16, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In the short lived TV series Black Tie Affair the main character markets himself as a suave private investigator who is accomplished in this sort of thing. In truth the series follows his first case and he runs his PI business out of a used record shop he owns. The only "black tie" infiltration he actually does is when he's in disguise as a waiter.
  • March 16, 2015
    DAN004
    Bump, maybe
  • March 16, 2015
    KyleJacobs
    Good god man, just how many of these things have you flagged?
  • March 17, 2015
    DAN004
    ^ I don't flag all the drafts that I bumped. But I'll answer: I have more than 50 flagged drafts currently.
  • March 17, 2015
    Koveras
    Unlike most things Dan bumps, this one is good for launch as it is.
  • March 17, 2015
    Arivne
    ^ Well, not exactly. ;)

    • Corrected spelling (securly, Nicholas -> Nicolas, Capulet's -> Capulets', assasinate).
    • Deleted "!Description" since all of the text above the Examples section (except for the page quote, if any) is the Description.
    • Blue Linked (subtrope).
    • Examples section

    Get Smart and True Lies are Zero Context Examples and need specific information about how they're this trope.
  • March 17, 2015
    DAN004
    I don't wanna launch this, this ain't my thing.
  • March 17, 2015
    Koveras
    You're a bumper, not a launcher? ;)
  • March 17, 2015
    DAN004
    ^ 1) I would prefer taking over and launching something I can understand well.

    2) The last time I launch something I don't know, I have a lotta trouble.
  • July 20, 2015
    eroock
    Film:
    • In Unknown 2011, the assassins assume secret identities to be part of a biotechnology summit at the Adlon Hotel in Berlin where they manage to steal secret data from a laptop of speaker Professor Bressler.
  • July 20, 2015
    randomsurfer
    True Lies and Chuck are Zero Context Examples. True Lies also has a troper's first person "I" in the (lack of) example. Both should be fixed or removed prior to launch.

    EDIT: Get Smart too, and probably others. Those are just the ones that stuck out when I skimmed it.
  • July 20, 2015
    StarSword
    Page quote:
    Kaylee Frye: These girls have the most beautiful dresses. (gestures at her dress) And so do I! How about that?
    Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: Yeah, well, just be careful. We cheated Badger out of good money to buy that frippery, and you're supposed to make me look respectable.

    I can fix the True Lies example:
    • True Lies uses this trope for bookends.
      • In the Action Prologue Harry Tasker infiltrates a gala hosted by an Arab underworld figure in Switzerland in order to steal Forensic Accounting intelligence from the mark's computer.
      • In the epilogue, Harry and Helen are at a similar gala apparently looking to meet up with a contact.

    TV:
    • In the Firefly episode "Shindig", Mal and Kaylee infiltrate a ball on Persephone, with Kaylee—correction, Miss Kaywinnit Lee Frye—playing the role of a debutante so that Mal can get in touch with an aristocratic contact for a smuggling job.
  • September 21, 2015
    PaulA
    In the Agents Of SHIELD episode "Face My Enemy", Coulson and May pose as husband and wife to infiltrate a black-tie fundraiser where the star item is a painting with alien writing on the back.
  • September 21, 2015
    Ominae
    Are there other examples missing in here?
  • September 22, 2015
    Koveras
    ^ At least two posts before yours are still not included.
  • September 22, 2015
    Vios
    Perhaps a link (compare with? see also?) to Ballroom Blitz would be appropriate somewhere, that being a rather less subtle way in which heroes and villains can end up interacting at a fancy party. Some examples of this trope may degenerate into that one if things don't go according to plan.
  • September 22, 2015
    shimaspawn
    <Mod Hat>

    The definition was a mess. I trimmed it down to just the base trope. Do not list every possible related trope in the definition, nor every permutation. It just ends up a confusing mess to the point where you can't even tell what the base trope is supposed to be.

    Also, the examples have a real ZCE problem.
  • September 22, 2015
    69BookWorM69
    Film example:
    • In The Avengers 2012, Loki takes on the illusion of a tuxedo-wearing partygoer to infiltrate the museum gala and obtain the eye of a museum official to bypass the security system around a meteorite of rare metal.

    Only other thing coming to mind is an exchange from Doctor Who which I guess might be an aversion (which I only mention because this idea does get mentioned). Can't recall episode name, but the Tenth Doctor and Rose slip into the opulent birthday gala for her alternate-universe mother, and Rose wants to know why they couldn't have gone as guests instead of posing as members of the catering staff (in other words, she wanted to do one of these). The Doctor says something about learning more information in the kitchen. Oh, and the villains of the piece are the Cybermen. Perhaps a Whovian troper can fill in the details.
  • September 23, 2015
    Chabal2
    Avatar The Last Airbender: In an attempt to speak with the Earth King about the war with the Fire Nation, the Gaang infiltrate a party the king is holding for his pet bear. Aang and Sokka go as waiters (though when Aang's cover is blown he starts using his airbending to put on a distracting show), while Katara and Toph go as upper-crust guests (Toph is the heir of a very rich Earth Kingdom family, and raised as such, she just has to remember to act like it). It fails completely due to the Dai Li already knowing who they are.
  • October 15, 2015
    69BookWorM69
    I think this one will be ready once the rest of the examples are added. Have a hat.
  • October 15, 2015
    StarSword
    Still needs a bunch of ZC Es fixed. Hat removed.
  • October 16, 2015
    Folamh3
    The Hitman franchise features several levels in which this is a viable strategy, in addition to the one already listed.
  • October 16, 2015
    StarSword
  • October 16, 2015
    StarSword
    Added in examples from the draft and even managed to fix one of the ZCEs.
  • October 17, 2015
    Arivne
    Film
    • Wild Wild West. U.S. Government agents Jim West and Artemus Gordon infiltrate a post-Civil War Southern costume ball dressed as an armed cowboy and a French mountain man, respectively. Problem: the other attendees are white racist former slave owners, and Jim West is black.
  • October 17, 2015
    Koveras
    Fixed the Dragon Age II ZCE.
  • October 17, 2015
    BKelly95
    Film
    • Ace Ventura Pet Detective attends a high class party thrown by one of the Miami Dolphins who he suspects of having kidnapped the team mascot. While everyone else is enjoying the party, Ace sneaks off to check the player's new water tank to see if the mascot is there. (It turns out to contain the player's new pet shark.)
  • October 17, 2015
    StarSword
    ^^Much obliged. Arivne and B Kelly, I'll add your examples when I get back to my computer.
  • October 18, 2015
    Folamh3
    • Several examples from the Hitman franchise:
      • "The Meat King's Party" in Hitman Contracts, in which a wealthy meat magnate throws a party in one of his abattoirs to celebrate his recent acquittal. 47 must assassinate both the magnate and his lawyer.
      • "Beldingford Manor" in Hitman Contracts, in which the Beldingford family are hosting numerous guests at their expansive manor for several days. 47 must assassinate two of the Beldingfords.
      • "You Better Watch Out" in Hitman Blood Money, in which Lorne de Havilland, an Expy of either Hugh Hefner or Larry Flynt, throws a formal Christmas party in a stand-in for the Playboy mansion. 47 must assassinate both de Havilland and a senator's son in attendance.
      • "Til Death Do Us Part" in Hitman Blood Money, in which 47 must assassinate two guests at a Mississipi wedding.
      • "A Dance with the Devil" in Hitman Blood Money, in which 47 must assassinate two guests at an elaborate costume party in Las Vegas.
  • October 18, 2015
    Folamh3
    Also, in regards to the Ocean's Eleven example, the "Fight Night" being referred to is a professional boxing match held in a Las Vegas casino and being attended by numerous celebrities and wealthy guests.
  • October 18, 2015
    StarSword
    ^Thanks for both. :)

    I also fixed the Get Smart ZCE; the only one left is Chuck. Hats anyone?
  • October 18, 2015
    Folamh3
    Gave you a hat and cleaned up the Hitman example slightly.
  • October 18, 2015
    oneuglybunny
    Film
    • Obsessive researcher Walter Kornbluth from Splash poses as a waiter at a dinner gala for the United States President in order to expose Madison as a mermaid.
  • October 18, 2015
    NoirGrimoir
    • The climax of Inglorious Basterds, in which 'the basterds' attempt to assassinate Hitler and his top agents at the black-tie premier of a pro-nazi movie in a French cinema.

    Also, I don't think the quote illustrates the trope at all without context. I'd delete it.
  • October 19, 2015
    DAN004
    Often will involve Hidden In Plain Sight (or whatever the "social stealth" trope is).
  • October 19, 2015
    69BookWorM69
    I did some digging, and that Doctor Who episode in which The Doctor and Rose discuss performing this trope while instead infiltrating as catering staff is called "Rise of the Cybermen" (first aired in 2006). Rose wishes they had used the titles Queen Victoria bestowed on them in the werewolf tale "Tooth and Claw" (in a Series/Torchwood callback). The Doctor does maintain that they'll learn more information from the kitchen end of things.
  • October 19, 2015
    Folamh3
    ^^^ I second the motion that the page quote is inappropriate.
  • October 19, 2015
    StarSword
    Ok, done.
  • October 21, 2015
    StarSword
    Plan to launch Saturday; I'll leave this open until then.
  • October 21, 2015
    DAN004
  • October 21, 2015
    Folamh3
    • In In The Line Of Fire, Mitch Leary makes a series of generous campaign contributions to the American president's re-election campaign under a phony name, until he gets invited to a campaign dinner held in a luxury hotel. This campaign dinner provides him with the perfect opportunity to assassinate the president.
  • October 24, 2015
    AgProv
    Western Animation:
    • In Family Guy, Peter, Cleveland and Quagmire rob the Pewterschmidt mansion by getting in this way during a black-tie party.

  • October 25, 2015
    StarSword
    *imitates rocket launching*
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