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Costume Copycat

A Superhero-specific version of the Identical Stranger (often, but not always, the Criminal Doppelgänger): a not-necessarily-identical stranger wearing an identical costume.

Often an Evil Twin, trying to usurp the hero, infiltrate the Justice League, trade on the hero's reputation for personal gain, or convince people that the hero has gone bad.

Occasionally, and only in comics at the Idealistic end of the Scale, the hero will travel to some out-of-the-way spot and discover that somebody there has been inspired by tales of the hero, and has adopted an identical costume in tribute. An Emergency Impersonation plot may or may not result.

Either way, the key point is that wearing an identical costume is sufficient to turn somebody into an Identical Stranger, regardless of how different they look from the hero out of costume.

The other character's costume will be identical, or at least close enough to appear so when drawn at the comic-book level of detail. It may even be good enough to fool people who know the hero well. (The inspired-by hero's tribute costume will often have some slight difference that will let readers tell the two apart, but it's always deliberate personalisation, never an error resulting from the fact that they designed it based on rumours and have never seen the original for themselves.)

A source of much Fridge Logic involving most costumed characters as to why this doesn't happen to them more often.

Sometimes, if the hero's powers come from a magical crystal, some sort of special uniform, a suit of Powered Armor, or whatever. In that case, this trope may involve someone other than the main hero (typically one of the hero's close friends) using the equipment in their place to "pinch hit" for an otherwise unavailable protagonist.

If the copycat's costume isn't very much like the real thing, but people mistake it for the real thing anyway, it's a case of Easy Impersonation (and hopefully it's being played for laughs).

Not to be confused with Identity Impersonator, where the hero has one of his friends wear an identical outfit so that the hero can appear to be in two places at once (usually to help protect his Secret Identity).

Similar plots sometimes occur with non-costumed heroes, usually as variations of "conman trading on reputation of hero the mark has never met" — see Legendary Impostor.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • After the Time Skip in One Piece, a group of pirates impersonate the Strawhat Pirates. They even managed to fool some of the Strawhats themselves. In the end, they either got arrested or met a sticky end, since they were nowhere near the calibre of the Strawhats and the kind of attention they got.
  • In Black Cat, a incredibly fat guy runs around impersonating the eponymous bounty hunter.
  • InTower of God, just as Viole's infamy is starting to spread, a brutish man decides to impersonate him for some easy robberies. He then has the bad luck of picking out Viole's long time companion Hwa Ryun as a victim.
  • In The Nineties Sailor Moon,
    • In the first season, Zoisite went around town dressed as a blue version of the title character, setting up disasters to "save" people from immediately after. "She" is then "captured" by Kunzite, leaving the real Sailor Senshi to come to the rescue and promptly get caught themselves. Especially amusing as the only major giveaway should be Zoi being about a foot taller than the original... and you know... Male.
    • Sailor Moon S had a moment like this. Kaolinite had captured Usagi and even pegged her as Sailor Moon. When the Sailor Senshi appear, she's shocked to see Sailor Moon there, blowing her theory to hell and back. What's so funny is that it was actually Minako using the Disguise Pen and even then, she flubbed Usagi's trademark hairstyle!
  • Futari wa Pretty Cure had an episode where a pair of Honoka and Nagisa's classmates dressed up as Cure White and Cure Black. Since almost nobody knew the real Pretty Cure even existed, the effects of this were rather limited, with no cases of mistaken identity at all. Honoka and Nagisa worried that the villains might get confused and attack the impostors, but the villain of the episode wasn't fooled... and proceeded to attack and mind-control the impostors anyway, for the novelty of being able to set up a Pretty Cure vs. Pretty Cure fight.
  • Eclair and Lumiere's looks and positions are usurped by Dvergr and Arv in the final arc of Kiddy Grade.
  • Towards the end of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, the two Malevolent Masked Men usurp Nanoha and Fate's appearances to spectacularly execute the Wolkenritter in front of Hayate's eyes.
  • An episode of Battle of the Planets involved Mark impersonating Zoltar by wearing a costume that actually didn't look much like Zoltar's.
  • YuYu Hakusho had a brief sequence right after The Heroes first worked as a team. Yusuke and Kuwabara are both almost too injured to walk, and two guys have started dishonorably jumping random toughs and pounding them, then dropping Yusuke and Kuwabara's names, and turning the whole area against them. Odd one, since they weren't trying to cash in on their reputation (as punks) but to ruin their reputations as honorable punks in order to irritate them and get them to walk into a trap while injured, so they could beat them and cash in on their new reputation as demon-slayers as the persons who beat aforesaid. Can't help feeling it was needlessly elaborate. A later kidnapping scheme relied on 'hey, you, Urameshi,' as bait and worked much better. The guys turned out to have a very passing resemblance to our heroes, but be really remarkably ugly, something Kuwabara takes exception to.
  • Kami- Sama from Saiyuki has an interesting case where, yes, he is impersonating a Sanzo priest... but he was also a disciple to one and supposedly inherited the title when his master got bored with it. This trope doesn't kick in till he takes the one thing his master didn't bequeath him (which happens to be the most important) the sutra, from Sanzo. He also tries to get Sanzo to "give" him his followers... yeah the man is insane. No one really falls for it besides him, but it still counts.
  • While not so much a "costume" copycat, in Fist of the North Star, Kenshiro is often-times described as "the man with seven scars". Needless to say, he gets a little puzzled when, after going around the Post Apocalyptic wasteland doing good and taking out small-level warlords, innocent people start freaking the hell out and running away from him. It turns out there's ANOTHER "man with seven scars", the mark of having survived a normally fatal Hokuto Seiken technique, only this guy's a rampaging maniac. When they meet, those scars are the ONLY thing that's similar, as the imposter is about a foot taller, twice as heavily muscled, and wears a mask halfway between a knight's helmet and a boiler grate. Turns out that it's Jagi, Kenshiro's adopted brother, who lost out on the chance to be the one true successor of Hokuto Seiken, but the kind-hearted Kenshiro refused to kill. He gave himself the scars and was being such a madman simply to ruin Kenshiro's reputation and lure him into a fight.

    Comic Books 
  • An early issue of Justice League of America (#5, 1961) had the League infiltrated by an impostor wearing Green Lantern's outfit and using gadgets to imitate his powers.
  • Superman #169 (1964) featured a story in which a criminal (who, thanks to Magic Plastic Surgery, actually has Superman's face as well) dressing as Superman to gain access to a top secret prototype.
  • Jason Todd, the second Robin, after coming Back from the Dead as a villain, adopted the identity of the hero Nightwing (who had been the first Robin), much to the real Nightwing's annoyance.
  • Subverted once when Dick Grayson/Nightwing ran into a rather psychotic vigilante who wore a domino mask and a hockey jersey with the name Nite-wing on it. There was little chance of mixing the two up.
    • More recently, Damian (Bruce's son with Talia Al Ghul) showed up at Wayne Manor, wearing an approximation of the Robin costume, although there were notable differences that were easy to spot, and he wasn't really trying to impersonate current Robin, Tim Drake, so much as make the point that he felt that he should be Robin instead.
    • Jason Todd also impersonated the Red Hood, the former identity of the Joker — the man who killed him.
    • And in a later Robin plot arc, an old Robin villain was running around dressed as Red Robin - an identity Jason had for about five minutes. Apparently someone pinched his shtick.
      • Which makes it a meta-Costume Copycat, as Red Robin was Dick Grayson's superhero identity in Kingdom Come. Jason also ran around for a while as a Guns Akimbo-wielding Batman. He might as well be called "Copycat Man."
      • And when "Battle for the Cowl" was over, and Dick needed to take Damian as the new Robin (he was just gonna go out and try to fight crime alone anyway), Tim temporarily retired from being Robin. With the General (the last guy to wear the Red Robin costume) in jail, Tim became the new Red Robin (using it as a crux, he didn't want to step on Dick and Damian's shoes and, like Jason, couldn't accept that Bruce was dead and was looking for him).
  • Like the previous examples above, a number of people had dressed up as Batman at one time or another. However, because of his mythological nature of being mysterious, it's easy for someone to think that another version of Batman is actually him and it would take a very skilled detective (or at least someone in-the-know) to realize that Batman isn't the real one.
  • This is the Chameleon's entire shtick in the Spider-Man comics.
  • In Daredevil, while the real Daredevil was imprisoned, an impostor ran around Hell's Kitchen dressed in his suit, and was eventually revealed to be Iron Fist. In the past, Spider-Man has also masqueraded as Daredevil when Matt Murdock and Daredevil needed to be in the same place at the same time.
    • There was also a storyline where the assassin Bullseye pretended to be Daredevil (unsurprisingly, this was bad for DD's public image) while the real Daredevil was missing due to amnesia.
      • In that same story Daredevil also impersonated Bullseye to fight him.
      • Bullseye later ended up running around as Hawkeye.
    • Not to mention the maniac hired to impersonate Daredevil in the Born Again storyline. Matt ends up kicking his ass and stealing his costume before going to defeat Nuke.
  • Spider-Man and Daredevil have been known to dress as each other to protect their secret identities. In one issue, Peter did it because he didn't have a spare costume available and wanted to borrow one of Matt's. Peter may have a special suit just for him, or Daredevil's eye pieces are removable so he can see.
  • Batman #655 (2006) opens with Batman apparently at the mercy of the Joker. Then Batman pulls out a gun. And then the real Batman shows up...
  • It has happened to supervillains too. For instance, Catwoman has been wrongly implicated for crimes Catman committed.
  • In the Spider-Man comic strip, there was this random guy who started going around in a Spider-Man suit with the mask off. Unusually, when the real Spider-Man finally appeared with him in public, he made up a story to cover for the impostor.
    • The Spider-Man Annual had a story with another example, a conman who masqueraded as Spider-Man and "revealed" his secret identity, then showed off various gadgets that duplicated Spidey's powers to show that he wasn't a mutant, just a crimefighter with cash. And he got way better PR than Spidey ever did. Said impostor also introduced the Spider-Van, which is So Bad, It's Good.
    • Ultimate Spider-Man did it again, but Darker and Edgier. Some random immigrant wore a Spider-Man suit and started robbing banks with a gun. Needless to say, this was not good for Spidey's reputation. As expected, he gets beaten up by the angsty superhero.
      • But not before the real Spider-Man gets shot by the police when he attempts to stop the impersonator during a bank robbery. OW.
      • As noted above according to Marvel's website, the "Some random immigrant" is the Ultimate Universe version of the Chameleon.
    • And yet again, possibly another annual. Peter goes to a little mom-and-pop store in need of workers and runs into someone in his costume. Immediately after running through a checklist (Clone? Robot? Impostor.) and finding that this 'Spider-Man' once helped with a robbery and gets free food every time he shows up, Peter follows the guy, finding that he is a teenager who sleeps in an alley. Apparently this is his only reliable food source. After talking with Aunt May, Peter decides not to take offense, saving the kid from a gang and being told afterwards that the kid had stolen groceries from the store, then found a Spider-Man costume, felt bad, and returned them as Spider-Man. He'd like to make up for it. The next day Peter goes back to the store and is told by the woman who runs it that there was some excitement last night, when Spider-Man showed up with a nice new worker.
  • While not a true copycat, the Cloud Cuckoo Lander Deadpool's costume is very similar to Spider-Man's, as is his sense of humor and mastery of insult fighting. They met once in a comic and hung a lampshade on it.
    • Deadpool was originally based on Deathstroke of DC comics, right down to his real name —Deadpool is Wade Wilson, while Deathstroke is Slade Wilson. They actually appeared in a crossover together and noted their similarities.
    • Also lampshaded in an issue of Deadpool which reveals how Deadpool got his costume: he found it in a costume shop, with a note saying, "Thanks but no thanks. -Spider-Man".
  • During the Reign of the Supermen storyline, Hank Henshaw posed as a cyborg Superman, wearing an identical costume with cybernetic implants in areas where Superman had been wounded during his battle with Doomsday. Henshaw, claiming to be Superman returned from the grave, intended to convert Earth into a Warworld and tarnish Superman's name throughout the universe.
    • Superman tends to have this happen a fair bit. He even lampshades it in Superman/Batman #2:
    Superman: I'm getting tired of seeing my face on my enemies.
  • In 52, everyone thought that Supernova was Superman in disguise. Actually, it was Booster Gold from the future all along.
    • The original, Silver Age Supernova was Superman in disguise.
  • A part of the Dark Avengers team was made up of supervillains given the costumes of heroes under the orders of Norman Osborn, with the government's backing.
    • Then Osborn took over S.H.I.E.L.D., renaming it H.A.M.M.E.R, and led a team of Avengers consisting of himself, a bunch of villains in disguise, one hero gone bad and whatever Ares is.
    • The actual Thunderbolts' very first mission under H.A.M.M.E.R. involved the Headsman impersonating the Green Goblin to clear Osborn's name. As it turns out, the plan originally called for an "unforeseen accident" that would lead to the Headsman's death. Osborn didn't count on the Ghost's interference.
      • What's more, that team was led by the second Black Widow, secretly the original Black Widow wearing a wig.
    • Osborn tried the Dark Avengers idea a second time, following his disgrace and H.A.M.M.E.R's collapse, this time with the backing of a coalition of supervillain groups. When that fell through, the Dark Avengers were taken into custody, and some joined the Thunderbolts (now a work program for supervillains).
  • This trope was used to retcon away the severe Villain Decay of supervillain Prometheus, who had gone from a veritable force of nature capable of putting nearly the entire Justice League of America on the ropes single-handed, to being a Mook for various Batman villains. It was eventually revealed that the Mook version had been merely an impostor Prometheus using his costume and weapons, while the real Prometheus was trapped in a telepathically-induced catatonic state. After escaping and killing his imposter, Prometheus has returned to his rightful place on the power scale, appearing as the Big Bad in a recent miniseries. He died at the end of it, making the whole impostor reveal a Shaggy Dog Story.
  • This applied to Iron Man when Tony Stark had become a drunken wreck thanks to Obadiah Stane. With Tony in no condition to pilot the Iron Man armor, his buddy Jim Rhodes took over as Iron Man until Stark got back on his feet.
  • The 1990s Marvel Comics hero Darkhawk gained his powers from a special amulet that allowed him to summon a suit of special Powered Armor to help him fight crime. When protagonist Chris Powell needed time to get his head together after a very unpleasant trauma, his former enemy Portal briefly took Chris's amulet and filled in for him as Darkhawk, taking on an Ax-Crazy superhuman snuff artist named Shaper.
  • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog had a special in which Sonic and Knuckles got into one of their usual fistfights, at one point both taking on their Super Modes. When Knuckles became Hyper Knuckles, Super Sonic called him an impostor and a copycat.
    • At one point, both Anti-Sonic and Anti-Antoine decided to mimic their good counterparts. Anti-Ant killed the real one's father, nearly killed King Max Acorn and nearly forced Sally to marry. Anti-Sonic... just flirted with every girl in Knothole. Note that, since their transformations into Scourge and Patch, this is kinda impossible now.
  • Happened in the reboot Legion of Super-Heroes where a planet was being robbed by "Legionnaires". Which was actually a set of dummies dressed as Legionnaires in a remote-controlled ship....
  • The Mighty Thorcules!
  • The Phantom Blot, a Mickey Mouse villain, has been subject to this a lot thanks to his easy-to-mimic costume. Results vary.
  • R. Crumb's Mr. Natural, set upon by hoards of adoring hippies, runs and ducks into a second-hand store. He emerges disguised in a beret, sunglassses, a Hawaiian shirt, Bermuda shorts, and a transistor radio, and encounters an exact double. He's also a guru, who accuses Mr. Natural of copying him. Moments later, four or five other identical guys show up.
  • The Reverse Flash in The Flash comics. The only difference is that the suit colors are usually different.
  • In a Smurfs one-page comic book gag, Papa Smurf hosts a costume party for his little Smurfs to come in their favorite costume. As it turned out, all his little Smurfs came to the party dressed as Papa Smurf, while Papa Smurf came as an ordinary Smurf.

Tribute-hero examples:
  • Batman #86 (1954) featured a story in which Bruce (Batman) Wayne and Dick (Robin) Grayson, on a road trip across the US, discover an Indian reservation protected by Chief Man-of-the-Bats and Little Raven. Not only were these heroes' costumes exactly like those of Batman and Robin except for the addition of feather headdresses, the physical resemblance was so close (despite Chief Man-of-the-Bats and Little Raven being, you know, Indians) that Batman and Robin were able to stand in for them when they were injured.
    • The two reappeared in a recent arc (Batman #667-669, 2007) dedicated to the many tribute heroes Batman and Robin had met over the world: Knight and Squire (England), the Legionnaire (Italy), etc.
  • A 1980 issue of Fantomen, "Flame", featured a woman inspired to fight injustice by tales of The Phantom. She adopted a costume that somehow managed to look just like the Phantom's (apart from the necessary concessions to body shape), despite her never having seen the Phantom herself nor met anybody who had.
  • Action Comics #233 (1957, pictured above) featured a country where everyone was required by law to wear a Superman costume.
  • Steel wore a costume in tribute to Superman after the latter's death. However, he was the only Superman-replacement who didn't claim to be the real thing, and his costume didn't look that similar, other than the symbol and the cape.
    • In Kingdom Come, Steel eventually switched his focus to Batman, using a Bat-Symbol and an axe instead of an 'S' shield and a hammer.
    • Superboy (Kon-El, Conner) also did not claim to be the real thing. Rather, he admitted and was even proud of being a clone—he just wanted to be called Superman and not Superboy.
  • Following the return of Captain America in the 1960s, his appearances through the mid-'50s were RetConned into tribute heroes—the Spirit of '76, the Patriot, and a nameless history professor who went so far as to re-invent the supersoldier formula and get plastic surgery to look like Steve Rogers. Eventually this last fellow lost his mind due to an unrecognized side-effect and slipped into the other version of the trope.
    • Clint Barton also dressed up as Captain America for a bit after his real death, at Tony Stark's urging. He was shouted out of the idea by his own namesake.
  • Spider-Man once met an imitator from The Netherlands (in a comic actually produced there.)
  • In Love and Capes, Crusader finds out someone was doing this to him. Turns out, it was fellow hero Windstar - the latter was at a Halloween party as Crusader when someone arrived to take hostages at the party. Windstar used his powers to fake being Crusader to stop them - Crusader noted how dangerous this was, as one of the powers that he had that Windstar lacked was being Nigh Invulnerable.

    Film 
  • A variation: In Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, The Movie of Batman: The Animated Series, Batman is blamed for the actions of a new vigilante who also wears a costume with a black cape and makes a point of attacking from the shadows and being seen only in glimpses; in this case, the confusion is not deliberate, but results from the new vigilante making similar style choices.
  • The Assignment (1997). A US naval officer has an uncanny resemblance to Carlos the Jackal, and so is used in a plot by the CIA and Mossad to kill the notorious terrorist by framing him as a CIA informant.
  • Deconstructed in The Dark Knight, featuring vigilantes posing as the Batman trying to take down drug deals while brandishing shotguns. At least one of them ended up dead.

    Literature 
  • The children's book Superweasel had a boy enviro-vigilante, with his evil double committing pure vandalism.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel: Cordelia giving The Groosalugg an L.A.-style makeover, right down to the...spiky hair... — Hey, wait a minute...!
    Angel: He's wearing my clothes!
  • The Adventures of Superboy TV series had an episode, "The Beast and Beauty", with a criminal dressing as Superboy and trading on Superboy's reputation to get access to stuff he could steal. This impostor didn't look anything like Superboy (apart from the costume), and relied on the fact that more people knew of Superboy than really knew what he looked like.
    • Another episode had a man who actually did look like Superboy impersonate him. However, he was more of a small time con man than an actual villain and used the scheme to make some quick cash by charging for autographs and pictures.
  • One episode of The Adventures of Superman had gangsters pay for a boxer to get plastic surgery in order to impersonate the Man of Steel, giving George Reeves a chance to sport a Brooklyn accent.
  • Normally, protagonist Sam Collins became bonded with the Servo program in Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad. On one occasion when Sam wasn't available, Sydney convinced Sam's best friend Tanker to become Servo in Sam's place. Although rather reluctant at first, Tanker proved to actually be pretty good at the job.
  • An All That sketch had citizens confused as both Kenan Thompson and Amanda Bynes were wearing a Superdude outfit. And for those not in on the joke: Kenan is a fat black guy; Amanda is a thin white girl.
  • The Queen of Swords episode "The Counterfeit Queen".
  • In the Spanish TV series Aguila Roja, the Ninja-like hero is impersonated as part of trap to capture and kill him. The only reason the plan failed was because the impostor (a woman) turned out to have been a fellow student at the same Dojo.
  • Justified: In "The I of the Storm", Dewey Crowe poses as Raylan, including wearing a trademark hat, when ripping off a pair of drug dealers.

    Pinball 
  • Gottlieb's Mayfair, based on My Fair Lady, shows Eliza and the flower girl walking down the street in identical poses and wearing identical ornate dresses.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Wrestling example: When the nWo first formed, they started claiming they'd turned Sting to their side, which Sting vehemently denied... but then somebody in Sting's tights and facepaint started attacking the WCW guys. Sting went to Lex Luger, supposedly his best friend in the whole world, and pleaded his case... and not even Lex Luger believed him (keep in mind, the fake Sting was not exactly identical, just had a similar build and wore the same hairstyle, facepaint, and tights). The whole thing led to a War Games match, in which the WCW team was supposedly a man down, as "Sting" would be on the nWo team... but who should come out as WCW's fourth man but the real Sting! He pulled a Look What I Can Do Now, then walked out of the cage, angry because the WCW wrestlers were so distrustful that they'd actually believe the nWo's little con game.
  • That wasn't even the first time someone did that to Sting. During the Sid Vicious vs. Sting match at Halloween Havoc 1990, Sid and Sting brawled to the backstage area where the cameras could not see the action. Sting and Sid would reappear, with Sting looking like he suddenly gained 40 lbs. Sid would then pin "Sting" to win the World title. As Sid was being announced the victor, the real Sting appeared with a rope hanging from his wrist. As the announcers figured out that Sid's Four Horsemen stablemate Barry Windham was the impostor, Sting would hit the Stinger Splash on Sid to retain the title for real.
  • Also, during the early 1990s, The Undertaker was defeated by Yokozuna in a casket match after copious outside interference by nearly every heel on the roster. A few months later, Ted DiBiase brought "the Undertaker" back; in the end this turned out to be a look-alike. Paul Bearer (the Undertaker's manager), claimed that Taker would rise again at a PPV to defeat the impostor. So Undertaker and Undertaker fought, though it was more like Undertaker versus a Dude dressed like the Undertaker who was shorter and less muscular.
    • The Undertaker's kayfabe brother Kane would eventually be targeted by an impostor; though this was when Kane had unmasked, while fake Kane was wearing Kane's old costume (including a shirt, mask, and wig). Fake Kane was also a bit shorter.
  • Before he formed Right To Censor, this was Stevie Richards' entire gimmick, imitating The Brood, the Dudleyz, Dude Love, Val Venis, among others. Dustin Rhodes also had a similar gimmick with "The Artist Formerly Known as Goldust" a couple years earlier, coming out as "Hunterdust", "Dustydust", "Chynadust", "Dust Lovedust", and "Sabledust".
    • Charlie Haas and the Big Show also did stints where their gimmick was imitating other people's gimmicks.
    • Stevie and his partners, The Blue Meanie and Nova, were doing this gimmick long before Stevie's WWF run, parodying several other wrestlers and even the band KISS back in ECW. Their most famous impression was the Blue World Order, a parody of a certain other World Order that lasted for several months.
  • When Sin Cara found himself suspended by the WWE, a new Sin Cara soon appeared, with the commentators noticing that the newcomer looked quite a bit larger and wrestled a very different style than the original. Soon enough, the real Sin Cara would return, and the impostor would reveal himself as Hunico, and explain that he tried to steal the Sin Cara identity because he felt Sin Cara had stolen the Mistico gimmick from him when the two were wrestling in Mexico. Ironically, the original Sin Cara was eventually released from WWE, and Hunico returned to portraying Sin Cara permanently.
  • During his tenor in the Combat Zone, "Sick" Nick Mondo's usually had a boy in the audience who dressed just like him. This boy would go onto pattern his wrestling career after Nick's as Rory Mondo.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The West End Games Star Wars roleplaying game adventure "Tattooine Manhunt" introduced a knockoff Boba Fett named Jodo Kast. Kast wore Mandalorian armor, but it didn't have as much gear as Fett's and a slightly different color scheme. Originally intended as a stand-in for GMs who wanted a Fett-like character at a lower power level, the Expanded Universe introduced the idea that Kast traded on Fett's reputation, impersonating him to take jobs from people who had never met the man. It came back to bite him when Fett caught him in a trap, poisoned him, and blew him up.

    Video Games 
  • Phoenix Wright: An unusual variant occurs in the last case of Justice For All, where Matt Engarde, who is not a masked hero, but plays one in Show Within a Show 'The Nickel Samurai', is implicated in a murder by a Costume Copycat dressed in his samurai outfit.
  • In Ultima IX, reports of things the Avatar hadn't done come back to him. Eventually you can confront an extremely unstable fanboy (if you know where to look, you can actually find him and figure it out much sooner,) who is a dead ringer, except for his voice. He has so far miserably failed in every attempt to be just like the Avatar, and the Avatar can attempt to talk him into pursuing more realistic (and mentally healthier) goals.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) had Mephiles, who took on Shadow the Hedgehog's form by using his Shadow. The only differences were the lack of color, no mouth, and lizard-like eyes.
  • The downloadable multiplayer title Gotham City Impostors allows players to join either a group of Batman-inspired vigilantes or a Joker-aping crime gang and battle each other across Gotham City.
  • Conrad Verner has a replica N7 hardsuit in Mass Effect 2 and has taken to pretending to be a badass mercenary and part of Shepard's squad. When Shepard lampshades how implausible it is that he's gotten away with this for so long, particularly since he doesn't appear in any military records, Conrad explains that he just tells people he's "deep cover". Shepard can convince him to "retire" and let them take up the job of protecting the Galaxy.
  • In Thief, Garret at one point snarks over a guy pretending to be him.
    "So that's the famous Garret. Guess he's not as good-looking as I heard."

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • In Worm, Coil i.e. Calvert replaces Skitter with a highly-convincing body double as part of his plot to keep Dinah over Skitter's objections.

    Western Animation 
  • Happened on an episode of The Batman. The impostor was actually Joker.
    Joker: Wheeee! I'm the Batman!
    Penguin: Yeah. See, the thing is... you're not.
    • This was obvious to everyone as the costume was completely different (being based of a completely different Batman's design), and the problem was that he decided to take up "crime fighting"— as in he finds people who make incredibly minor misdeeds, gasses them, and then tries to force the Mayor into paying him for it.
  • An episode of the Zorro Animated Adaptation had the captain order one of his men to impersonate Zorro, and "capture" him when the governor is visiting. But when the governor insists he be tried in his presence, and the captain complies, "Zorro" feels a bit betrayed and when the real Zorro saves him, he leaves to become Zorro somewhere else.
  • Kevin in Ben 10 returned as this, having absorbed some of Ben's alien transformations.
  • Seen in the episode "One Jem Too Many" of Jem.
  • On The Spectacular Spider-Man, the Chameleon pulls this off, but Peter is able to clear his name when he takes him down in the middle of a high-class event. Later Venom does the same thing, and Peter even lampshades the fact that it happened twice. (Though Capt. Stacy at least recognized that Venom is much bulkier than Spider-Man.)
  • An episode of The Powerpuff Girls had three escapee criminals disguised as the girls. Grown men in dresses were able to impersonate kindergartners and fool the whole town.
  • Pulled off exceedingly well in Iron Man: Armored Adventures due to Madame Mask having access to a device that allows her to shape shift. The effect was convincing enough that it fooled one of Tony's best friends.
  • When Kim Possible and family visit relatives in Montana, Kim finds her cousin Joss's hero-worship of her includes dressing in her mission outfit. Every other member of her family has worn the same outfit while joining her on a mission; the Christmas Special has Kim's parents, brothers, and grandmother all able to find that outfit at a moment's notice.
    • Justified in that her mission clothes have been noted to be a standard, off-the-rack ensemble on a number of occasions (it was even explicitly a plot point a couple times).
      • One episode ("Kimitation Nation") even had it turning into a fashion craze called "Kim-Style" that everyone was into, even pets like Rufus and guys ("Kim For Him"). When Kim was persuaded to go out in the style she originated Bonnie criticized her for not being able to carry off the look. By the end of the episode Kim Style goes out of fashion in order to make way for the new Ron Style.
  • ReBoot has Megabyte use his new shapeshifting powers to impersonate Bob. However, he looks like the original Bob, lacking the web scars, possessing the original voice, and wears the original uniform instead of the real Bob's shiny new Glitch-Bob uniform. Megabyte uses this to his advantage to convince Dot that he's the real deal and that Glitch-Bob is the copy. Megabyte even gets Glitch-Bob to suspect that he might be the copy. Justified when it's eventually revealed that Megabyte had actually absorbed some of Bob's data when he crushed Glitch, which allowed him to simulate a nearly perfect disguise. Combine this with the fact that Megabyte is a Magnificent Bastard, and you can see just why this trick actually worked.
    • Later subverted by Glitch, who sees through Megabyte's disguise and then attaches to him to reabsorb Bob's stolen data and return it to its rightful owner. Without this data, Megabyte couldn't maintain his disguise and was revealed, while Bob regained his original uniform and voice.
  • Tap Tap the Chiseler in Underdog did this in both his appearances.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Night of the Batmen!" played this for laughs. Aquaman, Green Arrow, Captain Marvel, and Plastic Man all dress up like Batman after the real one is injured. The costumes are more their own costumes modified to look like Batman's. The comic the episode was based on, which tied into the show, featured more people joining in at the end, including Blue Beetle and Black Canary.
    • There was also an episode featuring Batman of Zur-En-Arrh, though he actually was just an Identical Stranger who lives on another planet. This is Hand Waved as being perfectly plausible in such a huge universe.
  • The Superman dressing as Batman example was used in the episode "Knight Time" of Superman: The Animated Series. Batman being invincible served to spook the villains of Gotham even more, enhancing Batman's legendary status.
  • When Spider-Man meets Deadpool in Ultimate Spider-Man, Deadpool thinks that Spidey based his costume on his, and finds it flattering. Naturally, Spider-Man has no idea who Deadpool is.

Evil CounterpartThis Index Is CopypastedEvil Knockoff
Clone by ConversionDoppelgängerCriminal Doppelgänger
Coordinated ClothesCostume TropesCostume Drama
Cool MaskDisguise TropesCostumes Change Your Size
Comic Book TimeImageSource/Comic BooksDoomsday Device
Cosplay CafeAdded Alliterative AppealCosy Catastrophe

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