-> '''Willow''': Wow! Like father like son.
-> '''Oz''': How 'bout exact same guy like exact same guy.
--> -- ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', "Enemies"

You're immortal, or just extremely long lived, and you want to stay in one place for a long time without people noticing that you don't age. So what do you do? You reintroduce yourself as your own son, then grandson, etc. This handily gets around the problem of having to explain how you could have served in WWII and still only be 25 years old.

Bonus points if you keep the same name - so John Smith becomes John Smith Jr, becomes John Smith III, etc. Bonus [[IdiotBall idiocy-points]] if you've ever allowed someone to paint your portrait or take your photograph while pursuing this strategy, as it ''will'' be discovered and [[ExpositionOfImmortality expose your deception in future decades.]]

A special case of IdenticalGrandson where they are actually the same character. Not to be confused with MyOwnGrampa.

The inversion (a character claiming to be immortal is actually an identity passed down from mentor to student) is LegacyImmortality.
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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Ernst von Boem in ''RahXephon''.
* Rin from ''{{Mnemosyne}}'' uses this during a visit to an old acquaintance from WWII when the latter recognizes her.
* ''NeoAngelique'' has [[spoiler:[[MeaningfulName Nyx]]]], who reveals to an old friend that he is in fact in old friend instead of the grandson of his friend.
* Subverted in ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}!'' -- as part of the original 1711 contract, all immortals are rendered incapable of establishing long-term false identities, which means all of them will eventually have to give that awkward explanation as to why their passport claims they're six or seven times older than they look.
** While immortals must reveal their true identity in the presence of another immortal, there is nothing that states they can't create false identities around mortals.
** According to [[spoiler: Ronnie]] in the prologue of ''[[AllThereInTheManual The Rolling Bootlegs]]'', there's a mental block against setting false [=IDs=]:
--->"If it's just giving a temporary introduction to ordinary people, then there is no problem. But you will use your real name when conversing with fellow immortals, and your body will reject establishing a false identity in this world"
* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'': Pride, aka [[spoiler:Selim Bradley]], does a variation in that he's pretended to be [[spoiler:the adopted son of an important government official ever since the founding of Amestris]]. What better way to innocuously keep tabs on what the government is doing?
* In ''{{Superbook}}'' this is how our time-traveling protagonists explain still looking like children when they meet Rebecca again, in an adventure set at least forty years after they last saw her.
* [[MindScrew Played With]] in ''Manga/PandoraHearts''. [[spoiler:The immortal Jack Vessalius ages in a cycle, growing to adulthood and becoming a child again about every hundred years. His body ended up being taken over by part of Oz' soul, so while Oz believed Jack to be his anscestor the body was actually Jack's all along.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comicbooks]]
* VandalSavage in TheDCU.
* LexLuthor, dying from radiation poisoning ('cause it turned out kryptonite was just like any other radioactive substance to humans), [[FakingTheDead faked his death]] by plane crash then had his brain transferred to a clone body, introducing himself to the world as his own son. After the reveal (which involved clone degeneration and him levelling Metropolis), he pulled a KarmaHoudini by selling his soul for a cure and then blaming everything on an [[FromACertainPointOfView insane clone that faked his death and took his place]].
* Hob Gadling/Sir Robert Gadling/Bobby Gadling in ''ComicBook/TheSandman'' mentions he has done this several times. He actually mentions that this has gotten more difficult since the invention of photography. He has to conceal old family photographs to make sure nobody notices that he looks EXACTLY like his uncle or grandfather did fifty years ago.
** The ''Hobs Leviathan'' chapter implies that this is a fairly common practice among immortals in the Sandman mythos
* Also inverted in the DC/Marvel ''[[ComicBook/AmalgamUniverse All Access]]'' crossover series. That old drifter who started helping Axel with his powers? Not so much.
* MilestoneComics ''ComicBook/{{Icon}}'' series. The title character started off as "Augustus Freeman" in Civil-War-Era America and made a habit of this sort of identity change. By the time the comic started in the late 20th century, he was Augustus Freeman IV.
* The title character of ''{{Supreme}}'', [[ClarkKenting aka Ethan Crane]], due to his powers, ages very slowly, and, despite being born in 1920, [[OlderThanTheyLook looks to be in his mid-to-late thirties]]. When he met the universe's now elderly {{Expy}} of Lana Lang [[spoiler: inhabited by the spirit of the LexLuthor {{Expy}}]], in the late 90s, she briefly recognises him as her old friend Ethan Crane, but then assumes he must be Ethan Crane's son since Ethan couldn't possibly look the same as he did decades ago. For the rest of the series he goes by the name "Ethan Crane Jr.", [[ThrowItIn posing as his own son]]. It's helped by the fact that Supreme, and therefore "Ethan Crane Sr." disappeared into space in the late 60s, and only returned over twenty years later.
* {{Hawkman}} started doing this after the Golden Age Hawkman from the 1940s was retconned into being the same character as the currently active Hawkman.
* In ''TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen'', Mina Harker and Allan Quartermain drink from the FountainOfYouth, restoring both to their late-20s selves. Mina lives on as herself and is noted to be "remarkably well-preserved," while Allan invokes this trope and poses as "Allan Quartermain Jr."
* Many of the Destines from ''ComicBook/ClanDestine'' have done this. In the first volume, Kay has to establish her new [[BodySurf host body]] as the daughter of the same name as her old one- somewhat complicated by the fact that she hadn't planned on the switch and therefore never mentioned having a daughter. The sequel miniseries establishes that Walter has also been repeatedly posing as his own son (under the same name), and a villain discovers that the family has a suspicious pattern of births and deaths in out of the way locales with conveniently poor documentation.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* ''Film/TheHauntedMansion'' has Master Gracey who poses as his own grandson.
* John in ''TheManFromEarth'' claims that he has passed himself off as his own son multiple times.
* In ''Film/{{Dracula 2000}}'', Dr. Abraham Van Helsing uses Dracula's blood to keep himself immortal, in order to continue research on how to kill the vampire king for good. In the modern day, he passes himself as his grandson, "Matthew Van Helsing".
** This has the side effect of [[spoiler:allowing Dracula to track down his daughter, who has some of his blood within her]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/TheMisenchantedSword'' by Creator/LawrenceWattEvans gives the main character immortality. Once he solves the problems with it, he does just this by telling all his friends he's leaving his business to a long lost relative. Then he gets himself youthened and comes back as the relative.
* [[spoiler:The all-mighty High Priest Dios]] in the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novel ''Pyramids'' is an interesting case of this: not only has he been [[spoiler: the high priest and chief adviser to the pharaohs of Djelibeybi for over seven thousand years by abusing a pyramid's age-reversing effects]], he has ''[[StableTimeLoop always]]'' been that way (or at least for untold tens of thousands of years) as a result of [[spoiler:being brought back to the moment of Djelibeybi's founding [[LaserGuidedAmnesia with all of his religious knowledge but no memory of his past, leading him to repeat the experience over and over]]]]. As far as we know, he never actually ''pretends'' to be his own descendant - people just assume.
** It's more a matter of people trying very hard not to think about it too much, as being fed to crocodiles often offends.
* Lazarus Long mentions doing this in Creator/RobertAHeinlein's ''Literature/TimeEnoughForLove''. Since he effectively doesn't age, he uses makeup to make himself slowly look older over time. After he's been in an area for long enough, he comes back without the makeup as his "son."
* A minor but long-lived villain in Creator/HPLovecraft's ''Literature/TheCaseOfCharlesDexterWard'', a sorcerer named Simon, writes a letter to the main villain, explaining a ChekhovsGun detail (Simon's disappearance) that's dropped fairly early on: "In this Community a Man may not live too long, and you knowe my Plan by which I came back as my Son."
* In the ''{{Belgariad}}'', Tolnedrans don't believe in Belgarath and Polgara's immortality, and think it's actually a dynasty of sorts.
* Inverted in Jasper Fforde's ''[[Literature/ThursdayNext The Eyre Affair]].'' Thursday meets a member of the Chronoguard, the time-traveling police, who introduces himself as the grandfather of an ex-boyfriend of hers. However, after the man dies, Thursday learns that the man actually ''was'' her ex-boyfriend, who due to an accident in the timestream had been aged over sixty years. Not bearing that Thursday should meet him like that, he took on a false identity.
* In Creator/PoulAnderson's ''The Boat of a Million Years'' several characters do this.
* ''Literature/TuckEverlasting''
* In the third book of ''Literature/ThePendragonAdventure'', Bobby claims to be his own grandson when [[spoiler:he meets the surviving gangster from First Earth, who returns his Traveler ring]].
* In Barry Hughart's ''Literature/BridgeOfBirds'', [[spoiler:the current Duke is revealed to be the same man as his alleged "ancestor" who became emperor many centuries ago]].
* In the ''{{Literature/Deverry}}'' novels, Nevyn was a close adviser to the first King in Cerrmorr and the last King in Cerrrmor over the course of a century long civil war. When his second King's wife remarks on the coincidence of his name (Nevyn is ''not'' a common name, as it means No One), Nevyn claims that the Nevyn who served as adviser to Glyn I was his grandfather. Of course, Neyvn made a point of spending the decades between the death of Glyn I and the crowning of Maryn I a long way away from Cerrmor, to keep people from realizing that he didn't age.
* In the short story "Bargain with the Wind" by Sharon Shinn, narrator and OldRetainer Nettie is revealed at the end to be an earth spirit whose job is to serve the masters of the house. When a new family moves in and offers to let her retire, she suggest as her replacement her "niece", Norah, and then changes her form to that of a young girl so she can continue to serve the new owners.
* The main character in ''Saturn's Race'' by Creator/LarryNiven's and Steven Barnes undergoes a top secret rejuvenation process, and ends up assuming the identity of a grandson.
* Short-term variant: In ''[[TheVampireFiles Bloodlist]]'', Jack Fleming rises as a vampire looking a decade younger than his real age, so poses as his own near-identical younger brother while pursuing the gangsters who murdered him.
* Done by the BigBad in Creator/KevinJAnderson's ''Literature/{{Blindfold}}'', who uses a cryopod to become a HumanPopsicle for a few years before re-emerging to see how things are progressing. Naturally, he uses this trick to fool everybody else, especially since [[spoiler:the frequent freezings have rendered him sterile]]. It's also revealed that he is actually [[spoiler:one of the original command crew of the first colony ship on Atlas]].
* In the LoisDuncan novel ''Locked In Time'', the character of Lisette Berge occasionally explains that the reason older people seem to know her is that she looks exactly like her mother, who was also named Lisette Berge. Lisette's stepdaughter Nora, however, realizes that this can't be the case because "Berge" was supposed to have been Lisette's name from her first marriage, so her mother would have had a different one.
* Seti Ashgad presents himself as Seti Ashgad Jr. in the ''Franchise/StarWars'' novel ''[[Literature/TheCallistaTrilogy Planet of Twilight]]''.
* In PamelaDean's ''Tam Lin'', there are a couple of references that indicate that Professor Medeous, aka the Queen of Faerie, has done this at least once.
* ChelseaQuinnYarbro's immortal vampire Saint-Germain would leave an area for a time (decades, usually, though he does this more quickly in ''The Palace''), and then return under a new identity as the nephew of his previous identity to claim his "inheritance". He might not use the exact same name, but would re-shuffle his usual ones (justifiable, as noble families often have traditional names that get re-used).
* Some of the immortals in ''TheSecretsOfTheImmortalNicholasFlamel'' are mentioned as doing this at least once in their immortal lives.
* In the backstory of Charles Sheffield's novel ''The Ganymede Club'', a spaceship crew ran into something that apparently made them immortal. They cover this up by occasionally faking their deaths and starting over with new identities (this is [[ConvenientlyUnverifiableCoverstory made easier]] by a massively destructive Earth-Belt war between the incident and the time of the story).

One feature that may be common enough to add to the trope description is "old identity arranges for new identity to inherit old identity's property".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Captain Jack Harkness in the ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'' episodes "Small Worlds" and "[[Series/TorchwoodMiracleDay The New World]]".
* Mayor Richard Wilkins III (aka Mayor Richard Wilkins and Mayor Richard Wilkins Jr.) in ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''.
* In the ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' episode "Saving Private Leo," Leo Wyatt poses as his own grandson to attend a 60th-anniversary reunion of WorldWarII veterans.
* The Trill ambassador in ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' poses as his own son to avoid letting the Federation know that the Trill are a race of {{Puppeteer Parasite}}s.
** The classic ''Series/{{Star Trek|The Original Series}}'' episode "Requiem for Methuselah" deals with one Mr. Flint, who was born in ancient Mesopotamia. He went to war and was killed on the battlefield, but didn't die. By the 23rd century [[BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy he claimed to have been]] [[JuliusBeethovenDaVinci King Solomon, Alexander the Great, Leonardo da Vinci, and other famous and not-so-famous figures]], and to have known Moses, Jesus, and Galileo.
* The Doctor in the DoctorWhoExpandedUniverse is occasionally referenced as doing this so he can continually visit places he likes. Of course, he has the advantage that he [[TheNthDoctor doesn't look the same every time]].
* Duncan [=MacLeod=] from ''Series/{{Highlander}}: The Series'' sometimes has to resort to doing this when mortals from his past think they recognize him - naturally they tend to suggest this themselves once they get over the stunning likeness.
** [=MacLeod=] also at one point claims to be his own grandson to access a bank account he'd set up in the previous century. Naturally, he had collected quite a bit of interest over the years.
*** The original movie has what could be the page quote: "So what we're dealing with here is a guy who's been around since at least the year 1585, pretending to kick it every once in a while, then leaving all his money to some kid who's been a corpse for decades and taking their identity."
* Subverted in the ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' episode "Everybody Loves a Clown": Dean and Sam think the circus leader may be a Rakshasa because he looks just like a picture of his father. As it turns out, it wasn't him.
* A variant is used in ''Series/{{Ultraviolet}}'', where the death of a real grandson allows a code 5 to re-enter society using the deceased's identity.
* In one of the canonical ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' graphic novels, Adam Monroe, an immortal man who's nearly 400 years old, states that during one of his innumerable marriages, he and his wife, to hide the fact that he's staying the same age and she's aging normally, first introduce him as her husband, then eventually their son, then grandson.
* An episode of ''TheTwilightZone'' had a woman who did this, and claimed that the old woman living with her was her elderly mother when it was really her ''daughter''. [[spoiler:And it turns out she was actually [[HistoricalDomainCharacter Cleopatra]] and had discovered an ancient Egyptian magic that enabled her to stay immortal by sucking the youth out of people using scarabs]].
* Stefan and Damon Salvatore of ''TheVampireDiaries'' pretend to be descendants of "the original Salvatore brothers" from Mystic Falls' founding families. However, when Elena discovers that both Stefan Salvatores are identical, she realizes the truth.
* Mick St. John tries this trick in an episode of ''{{Moonlight}}'', although he is actually pretty young by vampire standards (only 90). The only reason he does this is because a criminal he helped put away decades before (and revealed his GameFace to) has been released on parole and is out for revenge (having brushed up on his vampire lore in prison). When Beth mentions that Mick's name came up in relation to the criminal, Mick claims it was his late father, Mick St. John, Sr. Later on, Beth interviews a retired blind cop who personally knew Mick back in the day (and still does, as Mick still visits him) and mentions Mick's "late father". The cop is confused, as the Mick he knows is alive and well... and never had children. By next episode, though, this is no longer necessary, as Beth knows the truth.
* In the original ''Series/DarkShadows'' series, Barnabas Collins did this when he was first released, and during his travels through time.
* The ''Series/{{Alias}}'' episode "Time Will Tell" features an unnaturally long-lived Renaissance clockmaker who, in the present day, pretends to be his own distant descendant.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* Played with in ''Theatre/SundayInTheParkWithGeorge'': although late 20th-century artist George is actually a different person from late 19th-century artist Georges Seurat, the final scene has him effectively turn into the famous painter, as he reconciles with his estranged mistress, Dot ([[IncestIsRelative who is actually his great-grandmother]]) from beyond the grave.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop RPGs]]
* ''{{GURPS}}'' 4e has this in Baron Janos Telkozep, an iconic vampire character.
* King Kaius III in the ''{{Eberron}}'' campaign setting is really his great-grandfather (and secret vampire) King Kaius I. Kaius II (and the real Kaius III) were really themselves, and it's strongly hinted that the latter [[ManInTheIronMask has been locked up somewhere]].
* Khelben "Blackstaff" Arunsun the Elder in the ''ForgottenRealms'' campaign setting, who took on the identity of his actual grandson Khelben "Ravencloak" Arunsun the Younger.
* Strahd von Zarovich, the ''{{Ravenloft}}'' setting's most infamous vampire, has been pulling off this gambit for the past eleven generations, feigning his own death and leaving rulership of Barovia to his identical "son".
* Itohiro Nakami in ''TabletopGame/DarkMatter'' setting of TabletopGame/{{Alternity}} / TabletopGame/D20Modern. He pretends to be his own ''son'' to transfer the leadership position of Hoffman Institute without becoming suspicious, being a Grey / Fraal and all that who uses illusions to appear as a human.
* Sebastiao dos Prazeres in ''TabletopGame/UnknownArmies'' is a variant. His body actually ''is'' that of his grandson Joao, whose identity he is using, thanks to a permanent GrandTheftMe.
* A stock tactic for _players_ in DungeonsAndDragons 3, 3.5, and Pathfinder when epic levels are reached. Somewhere between level 12 and level 25 it goes from being possible to become immortal to being essentially inevitable, whether you just took full levels in Monk or Druid or whether you did something alignment-intensive like becoming undead, a ghost, etc. Disguising oneself as a close relative ("minor details") grants a substantial bonus to disguise and bluff checks to stay in character, so this deception can make piercing your clever disguise essentially impossible for any character that isn't substantially more powerful than you.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Videogames]]
* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion'', [[spoiler:Springheel Jak]] does this as [[spoiler:Earl Jakben of Imbel]].
* In ''ShadowOfDestiny'', it is implied that [[spoiler:the main character, Eike, has been this, though without his knowledge]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* ''{{Magellan}}'' has the case of elderly superhero [[spoiler:Gola Beh]] pulling this after [[spoiler:being exposed to a forced FountainOfYouth. She pretends to be a grand-niece named Olga Beh]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In the 2003 series ''[[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles]]'', the Utrom Shredder pretends to be his own descendants, all named Oroku Saki.
* As in [[TheDCU the comics]], Vandal Savage in ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague''.
* In ''[[WesternAnimation/ChrisColorado Chris Colorado]]'', [[spoiler:Herb Forsythe III, pretending to be the son of Herb Foresythe II, son of Herb Foresythe I, always head of a political party]]. Bonus point for being slow aging and not immortal, and retiring from social life each time, so that everyone forgot his face and he still doesn't look exactly the same.
* A variant in ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'': After Talia invites Bruce to use the [[FountainOfYouth Lazarus Pit]], it is revealed [[spoiler:she is actually Ra's Al Ghul, who had [[GrandTheftMe transferred his mind into her body]], and now plans to take over Bruce's body and claim Bruce's fortune as his son.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* In Georgia (the Eurasian one, not the North American one) men would pretend to be their fathers in order to dodge being drafted into the Russian army in the bad old days. This created the myth that Georgians had unusually long lifespans, regularly having official ages of over one hundred.
* Both NicolasCage and KeanuReeves are known to have had ancestors who looked remarkably similar to them, which has lead fans to (jokingly) speculate that they're actually immortal. It helps that [[OlderThanTheyLook neither of them have aged very visibly in the decades since their movie careers started]]. Hmm...
[[/folder]]

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