Created By: Shadowsoul on September 29, 2011 Last Edited By: Arivne on August 21, 2016

Love Under False Pretences

A false identity or personality used to attract a love interest.

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Trope
Whenever a character, usually a man, lies about who they are or uses a false personality to meet or woo their love interest, it is Love Under False Pretences. Usually the lie will be revealed and often the love interest will eventually forgive the character who lied to them and take them back.

This happens a lot in Rom-Coms like Wedding Crashers, There's Something About Mary, Hitch, Coming To America, The Ugly Truth, Just Go With It and She's The Man.

Compare Loves My Alter Ego, which doesn't necessarily happen under malicious pretenses, and usually is to protect the person. Also compare Playing Cyrano.


Examples:

Advertisement
  • In an ad for State Farm Insurance a woman says that "they can't put anything on the internet that isn't true." She then introduces her date, a "French model" she met on the internet. He's obviously not a French model, looking more like Wolowitz's taller, less successful brother.

Films - Animated
  • Aladdin impersonates a prince. Ironically, Jasmine was more attracted to his street rat persona anyway.
  • Megamind: Megamind uses his ray-gun and watch to disguise himself as Bernard, a library employee at the Metroman Museum, to win over Roxanne.

Films - Live-Action

Literature
  • Justified in Satan's courtship of Mother Nature in Being A Green Mother, which the other Anthropomorphic Personifications will only allow on the condition that Satan makes every aspect of the courtship a lie.
  • In Deryni Checkmate, Alaric Morgan is in disguise as a commoner outside Saint Torin's shrine when he's impressed to help free a lady's carriage from a pothole. The lady, Countess Richenda of Marley, leans forwards to offer her thanks, and Morgan calls himself "Alain the hunter". Years later, they've married and their son gets "Alain" as his middle name.
  • In Stone Cold by Robert Swindells, a girl pretends to be homeless to attract homeless guys so she can write an article about their toils.

Live-Action TV

Theatre
  • In Bells Are Ringing, when Jeff first meets and falls in love with Ella, she gives her name as Melisande Scott. When he starts telling all his friends how wonderful Miss Scott is, she has a nervous breakdown and tries to break off their relationship.

Real Life
  • This is a common trope, and in fact legally constitutes rape in several countries.

Community Feedback Replies: 13
  • September 29, 2011
    BOFH
    Literature
  • September 29, 2011
    MorganWick
  • September 29, 2011
    Discovery
  • September 29, 2011
    Psychobabble6
    • Aladdin: he impersonates a prince. Ironically, Jasmine was more attracted to his street rat persona anyway.
  • September 30, 2011
    MiinU

    Film

  • September 30, 2011
    kyun
    Megamind: Megamind uses his ray-gun and watch to disguise himself as Bernard, a library employee at the Metroman Museum, to win over Roxanne.
  • September 30, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    In Deryni Checkmate, Alaric Morgan is in disguise as a commoner outside Saint Torin's shrine when he's impressed to help free a lady's carriage from a pothole. The lady, Countess Richenda of Marley, leans forwards to offer her thanks, and Morgan calls himself "Alain the hunter". Years later, they've married and their son gets "Alain" as his middle name.
  • October 1, 2011
    BooleanEarth
    Note that in Real Life this is a common trope, and in fact legally constitutes rape in several countries.
  • October 2, 2011
    Bisected8
  • January 8, 2013
    Prfnoff
    Theatre
    • In Bells Are Ringing, when Jeff first meets and falls in love with Ella, she gives her name as Melisande Scott. When he starts telling all his friends how wonderful Miss Scott is, she has a nervous breakdown and tries to break off their relationship.
  • January 8, 2013
    MrRuano
    Compare Loves My Alter Ego, which doesn't necessarily happen under malicious pretenses, and usually is to protect the person.
  • January 8, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In an ad for State Farm Insurance a woman says that "they can't put anything on the internet that isn't true." She then introduces her date, a "French model" she met on the internet. He's obviously not a French model, looking more like Wolowitz's taller, less successful brother.
  • January 9, 2013
    lakingsif
    • In Stone Cold by Robert Swindells, a girl pretends to be homeless to attract homeless guys so she can write an article about their toils.
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