Color-Coded Secret Identity
You'll never guess who they are!
Everyone recognises Captain Superhero
! He wears a blue cape
, a red tunic, and green tights
! And no-one suspects he's the mild mannered Steven Ulysses Perhero
seems to wear a blue jacket, red shirt, and green pants.
This is where a superhero's Secret Identity
wears clothes that somehow match his superhero costume, in order to make him easier for the audience to identify.
Compare Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance
, especially if he always
dressed like that, but didn't choose their costume colours. If a shapeshifting
superhero wears the same colours in his superhero identity because
of the clothes he's wearing, that's Morphic Resonance
Anime and Manga
- Usagi's first school uniform looks very similar to the outfit she wears as Sailor Moon. They both have a white shirt/bodysuit with a blue sailor collar, a red bow on the chest, and a blue pleated skirt. In fact it looks EXACTLY the same, the skirt is just a lot shorter and she has red boots.
- The Samurai Pizza Cats' civilian outfits were so similar to their mission gear (and they always wore the same helmets!) that it was often hard for the viewer to tell which they were in, yet the villains of the show couldn't even identify the heroes when in their civvies. Lampshaded at least once.
- In Tiger & Bunny, Kotetsu's Powered Armor is black, green, and white. His casual clothes? Black slacks, green shirt, black and white vest with matching hat. Barnaby also has similar color coding, but he has the excuse of not actually having a secret identity.
- The casual clothes of the heroes tend to be similar in colour to their costumes (Pao Lin in yellow, Nathan in red/pink, Keith and Ivan get blue/purple-ish shades). Karina is an exception, wearing warmer/darker colours than her skimpy blue outfit as Blue Rose. Possibly intentional, given how uncomfortable she is with her hero persona. Even Lunatic gets in on this, as when we see Petrov at the end of episode 9, he's wearing a grey suit with a blue-and-green patterned tie, similar to the colours of his costume.
- The Pretty Cure franchise takes this to ridiculous lengths since Yes! Precure 5 as they not only wear color-coded civilian clothes, most of them have color-coded hair. The only one defies this trope is Ako/Cure Muse of Suite Pretty Cure ♪, who wears pink and blue despite wearing black at first then going into yellow
- Golden Age and Silver Age Clark Kent always wore a blue suit with a red tie. (Also seen in Superman: The Animated Series.)
- Golden Age Bruce Wayne frequently wore blue and grey outfits, and Dick Grayson wore red and green.
- They actually tried to avert this in the first season of Batman: The Animated Series and have Bruce Wayne not wear clothes the color of Batman's outfit. Due to color palette limitations, that meant he spent a lot of time wearing a rather ugly brown suit. In later episodes, Bruce usually wears a dark suit and Dick wears a red sweater vest. Barbara Gordon favoured purple, perhaps reflecting Batgirl's costume in the 1960s TV series.
- In the current DC Comics and dating at least from the 1970s Shazam TV series, Billy Batson always wears a red shirt with a yellow collar.
- The Power Rangers, a fact occasionally lampshaded.
- The best example of that comes from Power Rangers Dino Thunder when Tommy, returning to action as the Black Dino Ranger, approaches Conner, Kira and Ethan and tells them he has to run to the mall - he checked his closet and realized he had a complete lack of black.
- The early seasons took it Up to Eleven, where the characters seemed to own nothing that wasn't in their ranger color. Some actors have said they couldn't stand the color anymore after their time on the show. Getting to keep their secret identities was a major point of Fridge Logic, as the five teenagers who obsessively wore nothing but the colors of the Rangers and were all skilled martial artists kept disappearing just before the Rangers showed up. At least Tommy, as the Green and White MMPR Rangers, the Red Zeo and Turbo Ranger, and the Black Dino Ranger, got to change his every so often.
- The current page image comes from Samurai Sentai Shinkenger. Actually, they're... much less obsessively colorcoded than some series. Shinkenger doesn't technically count for the trope, as all of them are fine with morphing in the middle of the street where everyone can see them (as well as announcing their names and having a long intro where the Kuroko wave huge flags with Takeru's family crest on them).
- It's so expected that it's confusing when they don't. In Kamen Rider Dragon Knight, not all the Riders' unmorphed bikes are the same as their Rider colors, which makes it hard to tell who's who when they wear visored helmets. Power Rangers Operation Overdrive has the same problem with the bikes and ATVs used when unmorphed. We laugh at the heroes who seem to wear nothing but their colors, but it turns out Tropes Are Not Bad.
- In The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot, as part of its running entirely on Adam Westing, all of the ex-Doctors (apart from Tom Baker, who never appears outside of deliberately bad stock footage) dress in toned-down versions of their Doctor's taste when out-of-character. Peter Davison favours lots of beige and Brainy Specs, Sylvester McCoy wears printed scarves, dark clothes and little hats (as well as a Fun Tshirt with the logo for The Hobbit on it), and Colin Baker wears seriously eye-searing red, blue and yellow checked shirts. Paul McGann favours a bottle green jacket, and David Tennant sticks to suits.
- This is a takeoff of something former Doctors tend to do: for an example, this◊ photograph from the 1980s shows only the current incumbent (Peter Davison) in costume, while all the former Doctors are wearing outfits that resemble their Doctors' - Pertwee in a velvet jacket and frilly shirt, Troughton in a bowtie and braces, and Tom Baker in a shabby frock coat with elbow patches, a silk scarf as a tie and a colourful stripy scarf.