Subtrope of The Infiltration
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.
DescriptionThe 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.