* Needs More Examples
Indexes; Truth and Lies
, Mistaken for Index
and Contrived Stupidity Tropes
A character make a weak attempt at forgery - either because he's immature/stupid or because he consider his audience to be. The faked signature is impossible: The real person would obviously never sign a document that way.
Compare The Con
. Compare and
contrast Children Are Innocent
- In Sweeney Todd, the Con Man Pirelli claim to have shaved the pope. The document that prove it is signed simply "The Pope".
- The eponymous protagonist of Wilt is pressured (up to and including sleep deprivation) to confess a crime that he actually wasn't able to commit. So he signs it as "Tom Sawyer".
- Moist von Lipwig once signs a document 'Ethel Snake'.
- In the novel True Grit, Ned Pepper makes Mattie forge a signature on a check. She does it, thinking as she does it that nobody will think it's the real signature: you can tell it was signed with a stick rather than a proper writing utensil, whereas the real person wouldn't have done that.
- Bimbos of the Death Sun Fantasy writer (and Asshole Victim) Dungannon deliberately signs books he wrote as "J. R. R. Tolkien" when an obnoxious fan admits he only wants the autograph for the resale value.
- In Bored of the Rings, the Boggies attempts to remain undercover when signing into the inn leave something to be desired: Alias Undercover, Ivan Gottasecret, John Doe-Smith, and Ima Pseudonym.
- In one episode of Scrubs, JD forges a basketball player's autograph for a patient finally on her way out of the hospital. Guess who walks in to take notice?
- The excuse notes signed "Epstein's mother" (or in one case "Epstein's mother's doctor") are a running gag on Welcome Back, Kotter.
- Parodied in a Doctor Who episode where the seventh Doctor signs a document with a question mark rather than reveal his name. And it works.
- In an episode of Barney Miller Inspector Luger admires Wojo's signed 1936 World Series baseball and wants Wojo to sell it to him for $20. Wojo doesn't want to; but convinently, they've arrested a forger. Wojo gets him to forge the signatures on another baseball and gives that one to Luger. Where this trope comes into play is, the forger added a signature: John Hancock.
Luger: Was he with the Giants?
Wojo: No, um, he was one of the original Yankees.
- In Smallville season one, this is done by a shapeshifter morphed into Lex Luthor while trying to withdraw money from his account.
- M*A*S*H: When Klinger is made company clerk he decides to try to get out of the army by faking Potter's signature on some discharge papers. He has notepads full of "Sherman T. Potter" written on them for practice. Potter finds them, but by then Klinger has decided not to do it anyway.
- In an episode of Hardcastle and McCormick, McCormick attempts to replace Hardcastle's Wilt Chamberlain autographed basketball which has been stolen. Not being a basketball, he signs it "Will Chamberlain" instead of "Wilt Chamberlain".
- One of the most famous articles on Zug is about a guy who noticed that nobody ever seemed to check signatures on receipts, so he decided to see how strange a signature he could create before it got rejected. He started doing pretty normal-looking signatures that obviously didn't match the signature on the back of his credit card, but quickly moved on to much more clearly fake things like signing with 'X', drawing pictures in the box, signing in hieroglyphs, signing as Zeus, and even writing 'I stole this card'. All were accepted. The only time it failed was in part two, when he tried to buy three large-screen HDT Vs with the signature 'not authorised'.
- In the first regular episode of The Simpsons, the school counselor accuses Bart of forging Homer's signature on his admision slip because of how childish the writing is. Then he sees the check Homer just signed and is proven wrong.
- In Sidekick, Eric has been signing his own permission slips for Maxum Man, since he's disappeared. It works, even if Professor Pamplemousse is suspicious.
Pamplemousse: "Funny how his signature is different every time."
Eric: "Uh, that's so that no one can forge it!"