[[quoteright:300:[[WesternAnimation/TheWrongTrousers http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/HaveYouSeenThisChicken.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:[[PaperThinDisguise "Have You Seen This Chicken?"]]]]

->''And the $50,000 prize for the Best Dog in Show goes to this rare Black-Feathered Quacking Retriever!''

If you are a [[MorallyAmbiguousDucktorate duck on the make]], or a RascallyRabbit trying to escape the hunters, or just a [[CanineCompanion dog]] that thinks it's "cute" to [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/DogInTurkeysClothing.jpg wear a turkey costume]] (or, at least, has an [[JerkAss owner]] who does), you have a good chance of turning into an '''Laconic/AssInALionSkin'''. This involves one animal (usually a FunnyAnimal) that attempts to [[DisguiseTropes pass as]] an animal of an ''entirely different species'', not simply of a different style or level of reality -- [[{{Quick-DrawMcGraw}} Augie Doggie]] pretending to be TopCat, but ''not'' Augie Doggie pretending to be Doggie Daddy, Franchise/ScoobyDoo, WesternAnimation/{{Underdog}}, [[ClassicDisneyShorts Pluto]], or [[HeroicDog Rin Tin Tin]]. Note also that the trope specifically excludes an animal dressed as or imitating a human being (or ''vice versa'').

Though this is mainly an [[AnimationTropes Animation Trope]] (the WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes / [[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes Merrie Melodies]] series in particular were addicted to it), it also occurs in other fictional contexts. The disguise in question is usually [[PaperThinDisguise Paper Thin]], but is often remarkably successful, to the point that its removal may actually provoke a comedic [[HeroicBSOD BSOD]] -- "My God! You're not a fruit bat at all! You're a killer whale!"

The Ass In A Lion Skin has a RealLife counterpart in the phenomenon of "animal mimicry," in which a harmless milk snake may resemble a deadly coral snake, but in such a case, unlike its fictional counterpart, the mimicry is permanent and (probably) unconscious.

Compare AWolfInSheepsClothing. Contrast with FurryConfusion, which is about the bewilderment caused by differences in two individuals of what are supposed to be the ''same kind'' of animal; with IAmNotWeasel, the {{Inversion}} of this trope, in which the animal is taken for another species ''against'' its wishes; and with most of the entries on the SlidingScaleOfAnthropomorphism, which are about animals acting like humans. [[IThoughtItMeant Not to be confused with]] a ''human'' whose ass is in a lion skin; that's FurBikini or LoinCloth. When the filmmakers dress up an animal as a cheap way to put a "monster" on screen, that's a {{Slurpasaur}}.

The [[TropeNamers Trope Namer]] is, of course, the Aesop's fable of the same name "The Ass in the Lion Skin".
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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Advertising]]
* The Cadbury Chocolate commercials, featuring [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yw_gEyg7Nt8 clucking rabbits]]. A later commercial featured other [[EasterBunny rabbits]] making [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYhikmfE7dA&NR=1 other animal noises]] (ribbits, barks, trumpetings, ''etc''.), while a still later one featured [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFCNvZ_1gg0&NR=1 other animals]] ([[StubbornMule donkeys]], [[KingOfBeasts lions]], ''etc''.) with [[AnimalEaredHeadband rabbit]] ears, clucking.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Anime]]
* While ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' are not animals per se, Team Rocket's Meowth often disguises itself as other species of Pokémon. This once backfired when Ash used his [[MonsterCompendium Pokédex]] on him, blowing his cover when it described him as being a Meowth.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film -Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AnAmericanTail'': Warren T. Rat (actually a [[CatsAreMean cat]] himself) dresses as a [[YouDirtyRat rat]] to fool the mice into buying into his protection racket against the cats.
* ''Disney/TheJungleBook'': [[BearyFunny Baloo]] disguises himself as an [[EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys ape]] to try to rescue Mowgli from King Louie.
* ''Disney/RobinHood'': Robin, a [[CunningLikeAFox fox]] in this version of the [[RobinHood legend]], disguises himself as "the spindle-legged stork from Devonshire" and as Nutsy, the vulture.
* ''WesternAnimation/SharkTale'': Lenny the [[EverythingsEvenWorseWithSharks Shark]] passes himself off as Sebastian the Dolphin.
* ''WesternAnimation/RockADoodle'': The club that Chanticleer is playing at bans all cats, mice, dogs and '''birds''' from attending so that Edmond and his friends can't get in. So what does Edmond and the gang do? They sneak in [[SomewhereAnOrnithologistIsCrying dressed as]] [[EverythingsBetterWithPenguins penguins]]. And it works since the announcer told them to "bring your penguin suits (i.e. tuxedos)!" [[LiteralMinded literally.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Eastern Animation]]
* In one ''Animation/NuPogodi'' short, the Wolf is thrown out of a TV studio when he tries to sneak in, and keeps re-entering in attempted disguises as other animals (''e.g.'', wearing a black-and-white striped shirt and claiming to be a zebra, or dropping on all fours with a big bowl on his back and claiming to be a [[TurtlePower tortoise]].) None of these work.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* '''Literature/AesopsFables:'''
** "The [[StubbornMule Ass]] in the [[KingOfBeasts Lion]] Skin" -- The TropeNamer
** "[[AWolfInSheepsClothing The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing]]"
* In ''Literature/TheLastBattle'' Puzzle the Donkey is, as a ShoutOut to the Aesop's Fable above, put into a lion skin by Shift the ape so that the poor ass can unwittingly function as the local {{Antichrist}}. The costume is so feeble that the only reason why it works is because the Narnians haven't seen a lion for ages, because Puzzle is forbidden from braying, and brought out only at night.
* In the Literature/{{Discworld}} story ''The Truth'', there is a reward offered for a specific dog. One of the candidates presented, along with the massive range of dogs of the wrong breed, is a parrot with "[=DoG=]" written on it.
-->''No, sir, I '''know''' that's not it. Because it's a parrot, that's why. You've taught it to bark and you've painted "[=DoG=]" on the side of it but it's still a parrot.''
** Also, Quoth the raven tries to dress up as a robin in ''Hogfather''.
** The "[=DoG=]" parrot turns up again in ''The Last Hero''.
* ''Literature/HowTheGrinchStoleChristmas'': The Grinch dresses his dog, Max, as a reindeer.
* ''ComicBook/{{Maus}}'': The mice (Jews) wear pig masks to pass among the general population of pigs (Poles}. As the story is non-fiction, it's understood that the Jews didn't actually do this, but is just the comic's way of depicting their attempts to blend in.
* Happens a couple of times in ''{{Literature/Redwall}}''. Brome the mouse and Jukka the squirrel both managed to pass for rats, in Jukka's case by shaving her tail and dyeing her fur. The hares Midge [[MeaningfulName Manycoats]] and Tammo dress up to enter the Rapscallion camp; they end up looking like miscellaneous weird-looking creatures "neither wholly rat, ferret, or stoat, but definitely vermin of some sort", but since they're dressing up as Seers the otherworldly look actually helps. And then there's the otter Mask, who is a master of disguise and can pass as pretty much ANY other creature.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* On the Cloris Leachman episode of ''TheMuppetShow'', [[MessyPig pigs]] take over the show and fill all the roles. Cloris comes out on stage while "Kermit the Pig" is making an introduction and states her belief that he's not Kermit the [[FrogsAndToads Frog]], despite being green (not easy for a pig) and having the collar. What changes her mind? "Ribbit!" He didn't even have to hide his ears or snout.
** Whether she was actually fooled for any length of time is another matter, as revealed in the end, when Kermit and the others made their escape;
--->'''Kermit''': Who ever thought that someone would be holding a hog-calling contest next door? It was amazing, it was bizarre...
--->'''Cloris Leachman''': It was easy. I'm from Iowa.
* A ''Series/SesameStreet'' sketch featured William Wegman's dogs dressed as different kinds of animals. "It's Kermit the Dog!"
** A more recurring incident was with Gladys the Cow, who liked to pretend she was another animal. In one scene, she got some horses to pretend they were cows.
* In ''ANTFarm'' Cameron enters for a dog show but has no dog. His solution? Strap a stuffed toy dog onto a cat. [[RuleOfFunny He wins]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Myths & Legends]]
* One version of the TropeNamer goes as follows: An Ass, having put on the Lion's skin, amused himself by terrifying all the foolish animals. At last coming upon a Fox, he tried to frighten him also, but the Fox no sooner heard the sound of his voice than he exclaimed, "I might possibly have been frightened myself, if I had not heard your bray." The moral of the story is often quoted as "Clothes may disguise a fool, but his words will give him away."
* Another fable (the TropeNamer for AWolfInSheepsClothing) has a wolf trying to infiltrate a flock of sheep (in order to eat them) by wearing a sheepskin. This plan ends up biting the wolf in the ass, though. In some versions, he gets caught when he tries to bleat like a sheep but ends up howling instead. In other versions, [[GoneHorriblyRight the disguise works too well]], [[IronicDeath and the farmer decides to kill a sheep for food]] [[KarmicDeath and settles on the wolf]].
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[[folder:New Media]]
* In ''[[http://www.angryalien.com/ 30-Second Bunnies Theatre]]'' rabbits re-enact popular films. Thus, a film like ''Film/JurassicPark'' will feature a ''T. rex'' wearing bunny ears.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* There was a cartoon in the ''Wall Street Journal'' or similar paper during a recession, in which the boss of the New York Stock Exchange arranged to have a bear dressed as a bull so he could claim that it was a bull (''i.e.'', rising) market as opposed to a bear (falling) market.
* ''ComicStrip/TheFarSide'' had one with a polar bear with a PaperThinDisguise -- a penguin's beak -- pretending to be a [[EverythingsBetterWithPenguins penguin]].
** Also, the cover of the book collection ''The Chickens Are Restless'' depicts a duck with a false chicken comb among the mob of chickens.
*** "[[FlockOfWolves Is]] ''[[FlockOfWolves anyone]]'' [[FlockOfWolves here a real sheep?]]"
* A RunningGag in ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'' involved Snoopy imitating other animals, most often a vulture.
* [[http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v518/Tannhaeuser/Nast_AssInALionSkin.jpg This political cartoon]] by Thomas Nast, in a ShoutOut to Aesop, depicts ''The New York Herald'' as an ass in a lion-skin stampeding the "foolish animals" of the press, including ''The New York Times'' (unicorn), ''The New York Tribune'' (giraffe), and ''The New York World'' (owl). A skittish [[CunningLikeAFox fox]], representing the Democratic Party, has edged onto a reform plank near a gaping pit, by which the trumpeting elephant, symbolizing the Republican vote, lumbers. (This is probably one of the [[UrExample original sources]], incidentally, of the depiction of the G.O.P. as an elephant; Nast also popularized the Democratic donkey.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Toys]]
* Purr-Tenders, a strange toyline about a gang of [[CuteKitten cats]] who realized they were the only animals who weren't getting adopted from a pet shop, so they disguised themselves as other animals (''i.e.'' dogs, parrots, [[CarnivoreConfusion mice...]])
* There's a range of Franchise/WinnieThePooh cuddly toys with the characters dressed as different animals -- Pooh in a bee costume and Eeyore as a butterfly, for example.
** There're even a few where everyone who isn't Tigger, is dressed up as Tigger. Presumably, this is to coincide with ''The Tigger Movie''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''KevinAndKell'' many characters have used make up, costumes, and/or parts of other characters to disguise themselves as members of other species. For starters, Corrie had gone a long while disguised as a wolf named Dale. Kell has disguised herself as a rabbit and shortly after as a feline. George Fennec spent a small while disguising as a rabbit despite disliking rabbits since he was always been confused as one his whole life. And at least three non-rabbits spent Easter disguised as the Easter bunny.
** And this occasionally pops up as Halloween costumes for kids. Kell noted one time that a child was using a...less-than-fresh pelt. (In fact, this is eventually where Corrie's "Dale" pelt went: into Coney's dress-up box.)
** One storyline ends with a group of jackals being tricked into and then trapped in the Rabbit Warrens, where they have the option of either dressing up as and pretending to be rabbits in the hope they can find their way out, or spurn the disguises and probably be torn apart by virtue of the fact they are outnumbered hundreds to one. The final panel reveals at least one jackal got so "into character" that he wound up an old man, happily married to an equally elderly rabbit lady, father of countless litters... and with her still oblivious to the truth of her husband's species.
* One of the main characters in Mike Witmer's [[http://www.pinkertonpark.com Pinkerton]] is Steve, the guinea pig trying to pass himself off as a moose (complete with glued-on fork-and-spoon antlers).
* [[http://pbfcomics.com/253/ This]] Perry Bible Fellowship strip, featuring an actual ass.

[[/folder]]


[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/ACharlieBrownChristmas'', Snoopy is tapped to perform the parts of all the animals in the Christmas play, including a sheep, a cow, and a [[EverythingsBetterWithPenguins penguin]]. (He gratuitously adds a vulture.)
** The vulture may be a reference to a series of strips where Snoopy pretended to be a vulture. He eventually gave up when he decided it wasn't creeping people out enough to be fun any more.
* It happens in a number of [[ClassicDisneyShort Classic Disney Shorts]]:
** In "The Fox Chase" (1928), Oswald [[LuckyRabbitsFoot The Lucky]] [[RascallyRabbit Rabbit]] flushes a [[SmellySkunk skunk]] out of a log. Oswald and his hounds flee into the distance -- and then we see that the "skunk" is really a [[CunningLikeAFox fox]] in disguise.
** In "The Moose Hunters" (1937), Goofy and Donald digsuise themselves as a cute lady moose doing a peek-a-boo dance in order to lure a male moose to his doom. Too bad they attract ''two'' males...
** In "Disney/ThreeLittlePigs" (1933), Zeke the Wolf disguises himself in a sheepskin, becoming a literal [[AWolfInSheepsClothing Wolf In Sheep's Clothing]].
** In "The Golden Eggs" (1941), Donald disguises himself as a chicken to get some eggs from a rooster.
* Billy of ''[[WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy Grim Adventures]]'' fame once entered Irwin in a dog show. He'd been infected with lycanthropy, and his wolf form made for a passable wolf''hound''--a term that is confusingly used both to describe dogs bred to hunt wolves, and dogs that are part-wolf.
* In ''TheLittleDrummerBoy'', Baba the lamb pretends to be a lion, a [[FrogsAndToads frog]], and a [[MessyPig hog]]; Joshua the camel pretends to be an alligator and an elephant; and Samson the donkey pretends to be a caribou.
* In the Creator/TexAvery cartoon "Little 'Tinker," near the end [[SmellySkunk B.O. Skunk]] tries to woo a female by painting his fur like a [[CunningLikeAFox fox]]. [[spoiler: The girl fox he meets turns out to actually be another skunk in disguise after they fall into a creek and their paint washes off. Cue CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming as they kiss.]]
** "The Counterfeit Cat": A cat [[ItMakesSenseInContext rips the ears off a dog]] to deceive the bulldog who's guarding the canary he's after.
* WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes[=/=]Merrie Melodies:
** "Bedevilled Rabbit": Bugs pretends to be a [[EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys monkey]] and a Tasmanian she-devil to escape the Tasmanian Devil.
** "Dog Pounded": Sylvester the [[CuteKitten Cat]] dresses in a dog suit in an attempt to cross the city dog pound and eat Tweety.
** Near the end of the same short, Sylvester paints a white stripe down his back, managing to purloin Tweety. The stunt works ([[spoiler:a little too well, as [[AbhorrentAdmirer Pepe LePew]] appears out of nowhere and starts hitting on him in standard Pepe fashion]]).
** "Muzzle Tough": Sylvester does this again, but this time [[DisguisedInDrag as a female dog]] to lure Hector away from guarding Tweety. His costume is so convincing, it [[GoneHorriblyRight even fools the dog catcher!]]
** "Double or Mutton": Sam the sheepdog disguises himself as a sheep stolen by Ralph the wolf.
** "Duck! Rabbit! Duck!": Bugs pretends to be a duck; Daffy pretends (briefly) to be an elk and a fiddler crab.
** "Duck Soup to Nuts": Daffy tries (and fails) to convince Porky that he's a fish. When that doesn't work, Daffy [[DuckSeasonRabbitSeason manages to trick Porky into trying to prove that he's an eagle]].
** "For Scentimental Reasons": As in a number of other WarnerBros. shorts, a black [[CuteKitten cat]] (later christened Penelope Pussycat) disguises herself as a [[SmellySkunk skunk]] to frighten away her persecutors; this, of course, backfires spectacularly when it attracts AbhorrentAdmirer Pepe le Pew.
*** Speaking of whom ... some version of this is pretty much ''de rigeur'' for any Pepe le Pew cartoon. It's usually unintentional: a female black cat inadvertently gets a stripe of paint/whitewash/bleach or something; cue Pepe catching sight of her. There's at least one that inverts it, with Pepe getting splashed with ''black'' paint and the female cat (who has a bad cold and can't smell anything) starts pursuing ''him''.
** "Foxy By Proxy": Bugs disguises himself as a fox to mislead a pack of hounds.
** "WesternAnimation/RabbitFire": Bugs pretends to be a duck; Daffy pretends to be a rabbit and a dog.
** "Sheep in the Deep": Ralph the Wolf and Sam the Sheepdog disguise themselves as sheep [[MindScrew and as each other]].
** "Tom Turk and Daffy": Tom dresses Daffy as a turkey to divert Porky Pig from himself.
** "You Were Never Duckier": Daffy dresses as a chicken to win a poultry contest; Henery Hawk and his father dress as a duck and a chicken to do the same.
** "Fowl Weather": When spying on Tweety on Granny's farm, Sylvester [[LatexPerfection dons a rubber goat mask]] and hides behind a fence to obscure his body, yet Tweety knows he's not really a goat. Later in the same short, Sylvester disguises himself ([[PaperThinDisguise poorly, by means of a rubber glove and some feathers]]) as a chicken, which doesn't fool a large burly rooster one bit.
** "Roughly Squeaking": Hubie and Bertie convince a cat he's actually a lion and put on the disguise. They also convince him that lions hunt moose and disguised a dog as a moose.
** Not an intentional disguise, but related: there are several cartoons in which Sylvester believes a young kangaroo to be a giant mouse. In his defense, the "kangaroo" is usually ''drawn'' like a oversized version of the mouse that will inevitably also appear in the show. On the other hand, it's kind of stupid of him to assume he can defeat it because it's a "mouse" while ignoring the fact that the "giant" part means it's as big as he is (or, in the cases where the Mom Kangaroo also shows up, signficantly larger than he is).
* In the [=DePatie=]-Freleng ''Misterjaw'' cartoon "Show Biz Shark", the eponymous [[EverythingsEvenWorseWithSharks shark]] disguises himself as a porpoise to sneak into show business.
* In ''Film/OliveTheOtherReindeer'', Olive the dog is constantly trying to convince people she's a reindeer. No one believes her.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' episode "Got Game?", Perry the [[EverythingsBetterWithPlatypi Platypus]] dresses up as a dog (''i.e.'', he wears an earband and fake tail) to infiltrate a pet shop where Dr. Doofenshmirtz has been shopping, and ends up being bought by the doctor, who is unaware of Perry's disguise.
* In an episode of ''RockyAndBullwinkle'', Bullwinkle was in hiding and he hid out on a mink farm. When the criminal went to the mink farm, the moose hid in a mink pen and pretended to be a mink by squeaking and hopping on all fours.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooWhereAreYou'' episode "Jeepers, It's the Creeper," a baby chick labors under the delusion that it is a dog after imprinting on Scooby.
* ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'':
** "The Brothers Carry-Mouse-Off": Tom disguises himself as a female mouse, complete with [[TertiarySexualCharacteristics eyelashes, pink bow, and perfume]], because of course, nothing's sexier than your equivalent of the 50-foot woman. It works... too well. He attracts every male mouse in the vicinity. Rather than take advantage of the feast at his feet, he runs off when they start fighting each other. Just when he's safe from that, he finds that his zipper's stuck... and he's being noticed by ''[[CatsAreMean cats]]'' now.
** "Jerry and Jumbo": A baby elephant paints himself to look like a giant Jerry just to mess with Tom. Poor Tom goes completely over the edge when the elephant's mother gets in on the act.
** "Jerry's Nephew": Jerry disguises himself as a baby chick to smuggle his nephew Dinky out of a hen-house.
** "Little Runaway": To capture an escaped baby seal, Tom disguises himself as a seal. He is then mistaken for the escaped seal and captured.
** "Puttin' on the Dog": Tom disguises himself as a dog to catch Jerry in a dog pound.
** "Flirty Birdy" has Tom donning probably one of the most {{Paper-thin Disguise}}s imaginable. When an eagle steals Jerry from Tom's hands, Tom disguises himself as a female bird to woo the eagle into handing the mouse over. Said disguise consists of lipstick, a party horn for a beak, a skirt, and a few feathers strapped to his rear. Regardless, the eagle is [[AttractiveBentGender instantly lovestruck]].
* In the ''WesternAnimation/WallaceAndGromit'' short "The Wrong Trousers'', the notorious rooster bank robber Feathers [=McGraw=] is really a [[EverythingsBetterWithPenguins penguin]] with a red rubber glove on his head (whence the page image).
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheYearWithoutASantaClaus'', Vixen pretends to be a dog, even to the point of chasing a [[CuteKitten cat]].
* ''WesternAnimation/TheRenAndStimpyShow'':
** "Dog Tags": At the end, Stimpy consoles Ren (who's been snubbed by his fellow dogs) by letting him dress up as a cat and hang out with Stimpy and his cat buddies.
** "Fire Dogs": Ren paints himself and Stimpy as Dalmatians in order to get jobs at a firehouse.
** "Monkey See, Monkey Do": Ren and Stimpy dress as monkeys. Later in the episode, Stimpy disguises himself as a hippopotamus and Ren disguises himself as a tickbird.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/RockosModernLife'' episode "An Elk For Heffer", Heffer needs to bring an elk home to [[RaisedByWolves his family]] as a RiteOfPassage. So he goes to the most logical place to find an elk: The Elks Club. Only, he can't get in, being a steer and all. [[PaperThinDisguise So he takes branches and ties them to his horns to create antlers]]. Oddly enough, it works.
-->'''Heffer:''' I am an elk. I have antlers!\\
'''Bouncer:''' (''shrugs'') You want a prize?
* One episode of ''SlackerCats'' had Buckley, a house cat, disguising himself as a full-grown tiger by painting himself the correct colours so he could feel brave enough to fight rats. Then the zoo caught him...
* In the half-hour animated television special based on the ComicStrip/{{Garfield}} comic strip, "Here Comes Garfield", Garfield and Odie are captured by the local dogcatcher and thrown into a [[PoundsAreAnimalPrisons dark and dreary cell]] with the other inmates. Among the delinquents is Weird Lonnie, a dog who tried to impersonate a moose (at least his head looks like a moose). Even after the escape attempt, Weird Lonnie's true face is never revealed.
* In the second act of the ''WesternAnimation/MrBogus'' episode "[[Recap/MrBogusS1E9HipsterTripster Hipster Tripster]]", Bogus disguises himself as a mouse (done by shaping his nose in the shape of a mouse snout and stretching his ears in the shape of mouse ears) in order to scare off an elephant at the zoo as a tactic to help himself to the elephant's peanut cache.
[[/folder]]

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