Whether it's for [[IdentityIndex serious reasons]] or a [[ComicRolePlay silly scenario]], occasionally a character will have to pretend to be someone he isn't. As the story continues (probably as [[CallBack a treat for people who've been watching the show for some time]]), he'll use a name that has been mentioned in the past. This is the Go-to Alias: a default pretend name on which the character falls back when he's pretending to be someone else.

A variation on this would be the Go-to Identity, when this name carries a history or personality to which the character sticks whenever he uses it. In more dire circumstances, [[BecomingTheMask the character will start associating with that identity more than his own]]. If PlayedForLaughs, he will be LostInCharacter.

If the character uses multiple aliases with a common thread, they're ThemedAliases.
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!!Go-to Aliases:

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[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'': Alfred Pennyworth often uses his middle names (Thaddeus Crane) as an alias when he goes undercover.
* Comicbook/{{Wolverine}} uses the identity of "Patch" (wearing an eyepatch), a mercenary, when he acts undercover in the Far East.
* In ''ComicStrip/KnightsOfTheDinnerTable'', 'Weird' Pete's go-to alias is John Mephisto; the name of an old ''[=HackNoia=]'' character of his.
* Comicbook/{{Daredevil}} uses "Michael Nelson" ([[Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000 no, not that one]]), a combination of his father's and best friend's names.

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[[folder: Film ]]

* ''Film/MenInBlack''. Kay always claims to be working for "Division Six" of any government agency.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* In the Literature/JamesBond novels by James Gardner, Bond often uses the alias of 'James Boldman'.
* ''Literature/TheSaint'': Simon Templar liked to use the alias "Sebastian Toombs".
* LordPeterWimsey generally uses his two middle names (Death Bredon) as a NomDeGuerre.
* In the ''Company Z'' novels by JTEdson, Alvin Fog uses 'Rapido Clint' as his alias whenever he poses as a criminal. His partner Mark Scrapton would use 'Commanche Blood'.
** In the ''Floating Outfit'' novels, Alvin's grandfather Dusty Fog often used his middle names 'Edward Marsden' as his go-to alias.
* [[GentlemanBastard Locke Lamora and Jean Tannen]] have had a lot of aliases in their time... but when pressed for an identity on short notice, they can always fall back on Tavrin Callas. (This is sort of a prank on their part; the first time Jean used that name, he was infiltrating the cult of the death goddess and faked his own suicide. They figure if anyone traces the name far enough back, the followers of the death goddess can declare it a miracle.)
* In the ''LuckyStarr'' series, Lucky's go-to alias is William Williams.
* Author GordonKorman used "G. Gavin Gunhold" as a running alias across multiple books. Gavin takes on a life of his own more than usual in [[MacdonaldHall ''The Wizzle War'']] (as the world's most perfect, absentee student) and ''A Semester In The Life Of A Garbage Bag'' (an obscure Canadian poet) in particular.
* Donald E. Westlake's [[TheHotRock John Dortmunder]] character is a career criminal. He has occasionally used the alias "John Diddums" (he claims to anyone who asks that it's Welsh), a name he dislikes but uses involuntarily in circumstances that preclude using his real name.
* Vanyel from ''[[Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar The Last Herald-Mage]]'' has a minstrel named Valdir as go-to undercover identity.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''Series/EvenStevens'': Twitty uses Lars Honeytoast when buying shoes from a shady salesman. He uses it again in TheMovie.
* ''Series/{{Friends}}'':
** Phoebe is practically guaranteed to use the name "Regina Phalange" whenever pretending to be someone else. In "The One Where Joey Speaks French", she gives her alias as a French woman as 'Régine Phalange'.
** Joey apparently uses "Ken Adams" from time to time, but we only see it in action in one episode.
* ''ParksAndRecreation'':
** Andy Dwyer used Bert Macklin, FBI agent, in a few scenarios. However, he eventually dies and is replaced by his [[BackupTwin brother]], Kip Hackman. [[FakingTheDead Or so the President's enemies think.]]
** In the same vein, April Ludgate likes being Janet Snakehole. Originally just the daughter of the owner of the Snakehole Lounge (so she could score free drinks), the next time we see her she's a fabulously wealthy widow with a MysteriousPast.
* ''Series/{{Chuck}}'':
** The eponymous Chuck Bartowski introduced the idea of Charles Carmichael ([[MartyStu the successful version of himself]]) in the third episode, "Chuck vs. the Tango". It isn't used again until the start of Season Two, and over the course of the season it becomes so associated with him that it ends up as one of his operating aliases. In one episode people are congratulating him as both "Bartowski" and "Carmichael" as he walks through a crowd.
** Further down the line, even Morgan gets into the act, establishing Michael Carmichael as his go-to alias.
* On ''TheOffice'', Michael Scott has [[MartyStu Agent]] [[TheDanza Michael Scarn]]. Originally his go-to improv character, eventually the main character of a script he writes and, over the course of several years, films.
* On ''Series/DoctorWho'', the Doctor often goes by the generic "[[MrSmith John Smith]]" when forced to give up a name or being "under cover".
* On ''WillAndGrace'', Karen's alias was "Anastasia Beaverhausen".
--> "Anastasia, like Russian Royalty, and Beaverhausen, like... where the beaver live".
* ''Series/BurnNotice'''s Sam Axe always, ''always'' uses the name "Chuck Finley" when he needs an alias for the [[VillainOfTheWeek Job of the Week]].
** After the season 4 in-series proclamation that "Chuck Finley is forever", there is official [[http://www.nbcuniversalstore.com/burn-notice-chuck-finley-is-forever-t-shirt/detail.php?p=345700 merchandise]] for Sam's go-to alias. Mr. Finley is on the way to becoming a MemeticBadass, a la Wang Fire of [[WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender Avatar]] fame.
* ''{{Seinfeld}}'': Each of the male characters has one. In the Puerto Rican day episode, they all end up in the same apartment using their aliases.
** George Costanza has Art Vandelay, who is an architect, a marine biologist, or an importer/exporter, dating back as early as the second episode. He'll also use the name Vandelay when coming up with other lies, such as claiming he was employed by Vandelay Industries. In the series finale, the judge the four are sentenced under is actually named Art Vandelay. George interprets this as a good sign. It isn't.
** Cosmo Kramer would often pretend to be H.E. Pennypacker or Dr. Van Nostrand.
** Jerry himself occasionally went by Kel Varnsen.
* ''InPlainSight'' gives us Mary Sheppard and Marshall Miller.
* On ''ModernFamily'', Phil uses Clive Bixby, designer of high-end electro-acoustic transducers, when roleplaying with Claire, who uses the name Juliana for the same.
* Winston from ''NewGirl'' uses "Theodore K. Mullins", Nick/Schmidt's lover on the down low.
* When he has to go undercover as a criminal, ''NashBridges'' tends to use the pseudonym Teddy Malone.
* ''Reese'' from ''PersonOfInterest'' uses "Det. Stills" and "John Rooney, Assets".

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[[folder: Tabletop RPG ]]

* Classic ''{{Traveller}}'', ''The Journal of the Traveller's Aid Society'' #16. Jon "Fast Johnny" [=McRae=] is a highly skilled and daring interstellar con artist. One of his favorite aliases is Commodore Laruskaa Korkoran of the Imperial Navy. He has gone to great effort to make it a solid identity that can't be easily exposed.

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[[folder: Video Games ]]

* The ''{{Suikoden}}'' series has the recurring alias of Scholtheim Reinbach III/IV. Made much funnier when one of the games actually features the real Scholtheim Reinback III.
* In ''PlanescapeTorment'', The Nameless One has the option of using the moniker Adahn when talking to people.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* On ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'', Dale likes to go by Rusty Shackleford, generally whenever he's doing something sneaky, although he also refuses to sign his real name to any document, being a comical RightWingMilitiaFanatic. At one point in the series, [[TheRealRemingtonSteele the actual Rusty Shackleford]] shows up--Dale knew him as a kid and had thought Rusty had died--it turns out that Rusty had just moved away and wasn't happy being connected with Dale's various acts of stupidity.
* ''{{Daria}}'' has "Esmerelda". It only makes one appearance in the series proper when she first meets CasanovaWannabe Upchuck, but she uses it more frequently in subsequent tie-in media.
* Sterling ''WesternAnimation/{{Archer}}'' frequently employs the first name "Randy" whenever he's on assignment (the last name varies more frequently). Cyril Figgis has had "Chet" as a cover name more than once.

!!Go-to Identities:

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[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* Franchise/{{Batman}} has his Matches Malone identity that he uses to get information about the criminal underworld.
** And Comicbook/{{Robin}} (Tim Drake) has Alvin Draper.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* [[Literature/VorkosiganSaga Miles Vorkosigan]] spends a lot of time under the alias Admiral Miles Naismith. Part of the series delves into him BecomingTheMask.
* TheStainlessSteelRat, in his criminal days, had a constructed identity complete with false fingerprints, pads that changed the shape of his face, and so on, which he would adopt before beginning any con (and [[MultilayerFacade keep up underneath any other alias required for the con]]), so that the police would spend their time looking for that person instead of the real him.
* By the time Literature/TheBelgariad starts, Silk has already established the personae "Ambar of Kotu" and "Radek of Boktor". It's indicated that those are his two favorite go-to identities, though he has others.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''Series/{{Leverage}}'': Sophie Devereaux is [[OnlyKnownByTheirNickname the alias by which we know]] Gina Bellman's con artist.
** Not that the rest of the gang doesn't have standard cover identities. [[WordOfGod John Rogers]] says it's to decrease the number of names they have to run by their legal team to keep them from slandering someone. A small selection:
*** Nate uses Jimmy Papadokalis every time he's playing a lawyer; he's used [[Series/DoctorWho Tom Baker]] and Bob Gibson multiple times as well.
*** Eliot has used the name Wes Abernathy at least twice.
*** Parker has used [[AliceAllusion Alice White]] at least twice.
* On ''WhiteCollar'', Neal Caffrey uses Nick Halden as a regular alias when playing cons. Probably because he knows the FBI already knows about that identity; he's had others, but he'd prefer not to give up all his secrets.
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