For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself
"Halloween in New York City
. ... A day when you fit in with everyone else... when even a teenage mutant ninja turtle can walk around in the open."
"Oh my, that [costume] is wicked! Who made that mask for you?
It's exactly like the wanted posters!"
For the paranormal, their mere appearance in a blissfully unaware society can cause chaos and panic. Thus, they constantly have to hide their nature from those not-in-the-know. Except for one glorious day... Halloween. On this singular day they could walk out and be among people who look like zombies, ghosts, goblins, sorcerers and demons. And all that they'll receive are glowing compliments on the workmanship of their "costume". Or the opposite
This is the rare time when someone can be themselves among the populace and still do some good, or just have fun. They're also likely to enjoy a good Masquerade Ball
While "Non-Humans and Halloween" is a popular use, the trope is really about how the circumstances of an event allow a normally secretive character to walk around in the open without destroying The Masquerade
, thus it can also happen at carnivals, costume parties or just claiming to be a weirdo who likes to dress up at random times. In effect they are masquerading as themselves, and even outside of having fun there are advantages to being the unnoticeable Clark Kent instead of Superman
. Similarly, this often results in an unusual sight of a Super Hero
in their civilian identity but still wearing their actual costume.
Compare All Part of the Show
, Your Costume Needs Work
, Bruce Wayne Held Hostage
, I Am Spartacus
, Mistaken for an Imposter
, Hidden in Plain Sight
and City of Weirdos
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- Although haunted houses in school festivals are pretty standard, Cute Ghost Girl Yuuko decides to actually haunt it. While she's usually a rather ordinary schoolgirl, she ends up making almost everyone who enters run out screaming when she puts her mind to it. She even manages to briefly traumatize one of the main characters.
- In the modern times, the titular Inuyasha went to Kagome's School Festival wearing a hat to hide his dog-demon ears. When the hat was knocked off in front of Kagome's friend, she paid no attention, assuming he was simply cosplaying as some other random dog-demon as there were dozens of background characters dressed in cosplay-esque outfits.
- In a previous episode Inuyasha was in the modern world and was helping Kagome's grandfather with chores, wearing a rag over his head to keep dust out. He went off looking for Kagome and upon entering her room through the window he came across her friends. Because they couldn't see his ears, the only thing they were curious about were his white hair and yellow eyes and Kagome walked in on them having a pleasant conversation.
- If Takato isn't hiding him in a box, he's trying to pass Guilmon for a guy in a costume.
- In the first series too several members of Myostismon's group walk around in broad daylight. Wizardmon pretends to be a street magician (it's a wonder that worked out considering he's about 3 foot tall though), Pumpkinmon and Gotsumon were assumed to be kids in costumes.
- Shortly before his first battle with Mousse in Ranma 1/2, Ranma was stuck in girl form by a capricious Cologne. So Ranma, desperate to keep the girl-curse secret, decided to humiliate Mousse's fighting style by comparing his "Hidden Weapons" with cheap stage magic... and went on to fight "disguised as a girl" in a Playboy Bunny suit. The audience was pleased (especially with Mousse near-missing Ranma to the point she's left completely naked, only to be promptly dressed up by Akane), but Mousse didn't take it well. The trick kind of backfired when Ranma remained locked as a girl afterwards, revealing his condition to the entire school.
- It's not like he remained; he briefly turned back into male thanks to Dr. Tofu hitting a pressure point on his back (and he knocks Mousse out in male form), but the hitch is that said pressure point only works once but never again. By the time Tofu reveals this, it has already started to rain on Ranma's head, so... You know what happens.
- Subverted in Suite Pretty Cure ♪ where Ellen and and Ako actually wear costumes in Halloween.. Ellen, who is actually a cat stucked in a human body, wears a cat costume. And Ako, who is the princess of Major Land, wears a princess costume.
- In Wagaya no Oinari-Sama it's first lampshaded by the older of the recurring fox brothers by him commenting how advanced make up is those days. It is then averted when a passerby sees him and runs away screaming MONSTER.
- In Soul Eater Not!, both Shaula Gorgon and Kim Diehl are witches who dress up in stereotypical witch costumes for Halloween.
- One issue of Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is set during Halloween; when the cops show up after the big fight is over, they tell the turtles to go on their way, thinking they're just kids in costume.
- Also used by the turtles in an episode of the 1980s cartoon, where Splinter suggests they go as themselves to a Halloween party. They lose to someone who went as a Teenage Mutant Ninja AARDVARK (Who also happened to be the boss of the place).
- Similar in the non-canon (but Eastman-and-Laird illustrated) short story in the TMNT Role-Playing Game, where the Turtles go to a Hallowe'en party as themselves (and no one has any idea what they're supposed to be).
- The irony is they DID have costumes, but the costumes got shredded in a fight early on in the story.
- The 2003 cartoon revealed that for years Halloween was the only day Splinter would take the turtles to the surface and that they would trick-or-treat all day.
- In the first Justice Society of America story, Hour-Man told a story of how he went to a costume party dressed as Hour-Man, and ran into a gang of thieves planning to rob the party, all of them dressed as Hour-Man.
- The Spirit Holiday Special had a similar story, where-in a group of five criminals perform a late-night robbery disguised as the Spirit, and go unnoticed because it's Halloween. The Spirit manages to infiltrate and take down the group because none of them noticed a sixth man in the same costume.
- In an issue of Harley Quinn, Harley shows up to one of Bruce Wayne's masquerade balls in her own costume. She even introduces herself as Harley Quinn. He is actually suspicious - but then, he is Batman.
- He'd have every right to be even if he wasn't. As Tom Katers points out, thieves and supervillains in the DCU have a habit of breaking into high-class costume parties by pretending to be someone pretending to be them.
- Batgirl's origins invoke this trope, as Barbara Gordon created the Batgirl costume for a Halloween party, and didn't tell anyone about it, so that when she went to the party no one knew it was her, however when a group of criminals crash the party she defeats them as Batgirl and has used the costume since.
- An issue of Impulse has him going to a school Halloween party in his costume. He is, of course, not the only Impulse there.
- In Vertigo's Proposition Player, Moloch and Anubis (of Hebrew and Egyptian theology) are looking for the protagonist in Las Vegas, the latter not bothering to hide his animal head.
Anubis: This is Las Vegas. We just saw thirteen Elvises play blackjack. They'll assume I'm part of some Egyptian attraction.
- An old (and probably not canon anymore) Superman comic had Supes going to the Daily Planet's Halloween costume party... As Superman! So he buys a cheaper Superman costume (the spandex part is OK but the cape is a solid plastic piece which he has to throw away halfway thru the party), and goes with his glasses on, so that he's obviously just Clark Kent disguised as Superman. It helps that every other guy at the party and one girl decided to go as Superman too, and many of their disguises were better. All this leads to one of the most amusing scenes in Superman ever, when the obligatory supervillains crash the party and he tears down his Superman costume to reveal his Superman costume.
- Something similar happened when Clark Kent was on a talk show. He and the other guests had been invited because they (and the host) had all been publicly suspected of being Superman's secret identity, so all of them wore the costume on stage.
- Supergirl sort of gets away with a variation of this a few years later in ''Adventure'' comics #392. It's Supergirl Day at Stanhope Women's College, so everybody's supposed to wear a Supergirl dress. Unfortunately, Kara flew through something radioactive and now her dress is being decontaminated. As Linda, she gets a replica dress at school, but has to wear it for some actual super-deed that leaves it badly ripped. She simply tells everyone she took it off because it was a bad fit and didn't look right.
- Averted in a Halloween issue of the DC Comics Presents. Clark attends a costume party as Green Lantern.
- An arc of Legends of the Dark Knight entitled Idols features a craze among Gothamites for dressing as Batman. Bruce Wayne attends a party wearing a bat pendant, then has to steal someone else's bat mask in order to save the day as Batman when there's a riot.
- In The Books of Magic, Zatanna takes Tim Hunter to a Halloween Ball. Halfway through, Tim looks at the wolfmen, vampires and black magicians around him and says, "It's just occurred to me, these people, they're not wearing masks, are they?"
- Played straight and subverted in The Simping Detective. Jack attends a "hate party" where all the local mob dress as various character from Judge Dredd canon as himself. Nobody recognizes who he is supposed to be until someone else turns up as Jack. Galen Demarco attends as herself, but in a manner that she appears to be her intelligent gorilla partner dressed as her.
- The Flash: Iris Allen was murdered at a costume party where all the guests were dressed as superheroes and supervillains. Not only did Barry Allen go as the Flash, but many of his Rogues Gallery were there in their own costumes.
- Hal Jordan was there as well as Green Lantern, as noted by the Reverse Flash, might have been some other heroes as well.
- In several volumes of Empowered, Emp dresses up as herself as part of a group of superhero team lookalikes for store promotions and such as her day job as being an actual associate member of the team doesn't pay. It is lampshaded how the costume she is wearing for the gig is much less revealing than her regular one.
- In a subversion, there's a Superman issue where Clark and Lois go to a costume party dressed as Batman and Robin.◊ And then they stand around in their costumes sticking their tongues down each other's throats and...well, it's really hard to believe that the writers weren't poking fun at the "Ambiguously Gay Duo!" meme that sprung up around the rich single guy who dresses little boys in pixie boots and tiny shorts a long time ago. Also, Superman flatly states that Batman's going to kill him
if when he finds out.
- Also subverted in a Mxyzptlk story, when Clark went to a party as Green Lantern. When the crazy stuff starts and Jimmy Olsen, dressed as Thor, turns into a REAL thunder god and flies off, Clark surreptiously uses his heat vision to heat up his fake power ring. "Look, Lois — my ring is glowing!" "Maybe the magic is giving it real powers too! Can you fly after Jimmy?" "Well, I'll try..."
- During the "Midnight" story arc, Batman says that he likes Halloween because he can walk around downtown in his costume and nobody cares. He even talks to a little kid, also in a Batman costume, who compliments his utility belt. Now for a bit of fridge logic, think about who Batman is in-universe (the story, as with many Batman mystery arcs, seems to be outside main DCU canon): a masked vigilante that terrorizes criminals, frequently framed for killing them...what kind of parents does this kid have?
- There's a story out there ("The Batman Nobody Knows!", Detective Comics #560) that suggests Batman's good at scaring criminals but not kids.
- A one-shot special of Shi telling Japanese ghost stories has the namesake heroine remarking Halloween is the only time she can wear her assassin outfit without impunity or being mistakenly attacked by her enemies. Lampshaded a bit when a trick-or-treater praises Shi for her costume, but misidentifies it as a costume worn by Zealot of the WildCATs.
- While Morbius was hiding on a ship, the ship's costume ball was the only time when he could go out and get some fresh air.
- An issue of "The Amazing Spider-man" has the Black Cat meeting Spider-man at a costume party. She wore her own costume, but mistook a random party goer dressed as Spiderman for the real thing. Turns out Spidey was In the Hood.
Spider-Man: Hey buddy! I'm Spider-Man right?
Waiter: (Calling back) Yeah...You're Spider-Man....nutjob...
- Subverted in a Batman short story. During Mardi Gras, a guy dresses in a Batman costume, actually gets involved with criminals, and is rescued by the real Batman — in a Zorro costume.
Batman: Even *I* have heroes.
- In one Hack/Slash story, an investigation takes Cassie and Vlad to a comic convention, where Vlad's monstrous appearance and creepy gas mask causes people to mistake him for a cosplayer. This wasn't intentional on his part, and he doesn't seem to get that everyone thinks he's wearing a costume.
- Another Batman example; in the Li'l Gotham Halloween issue, Batman and Robin are tracking down some criminals. Unfortunately, everyone is dressed up like a rogue or vigilante. Cut to the villains eating dinner and celebrating how they can go out in public without being arrested.
- In a one-page gag from The Smurfs, all the Smurfs attend a costume party dressed as Papa Smurf, except for one Smurf, who seems to be dressed as himself. The catch? The ordinary Smurf is actually Papa Smurf wearing a costume.
- In chapter 19 of Gamma Cavy's paired set of stories, Bond Snapshots Satoshi and Bond Snapshotswhich tie into a previous work of hers, Satoshi and Daisuke who are not really human anymore due to sealed magic backlash go to a costume birthday party fully bewinged and wearing clothes that belonged to their now sealed other halves Dark and Krad. No one figures it out, which is why they did it
- In the Jackie Chan Adventures fic Queen Of All Oni, Jade goes in her new appearance for the Halloween chapter, going for maximum creepiness. Ratso, of course, actually asks where she's going to get a costume at the last minute. Everyone just stares at him.
- In Chapter 30 of the Mahou Sensei Negima! short-story collection A Day Indoors, Kotaro rises to the challenge of playing the Big Bad Wolf in Little Red Riding Hood by transforming into his Wolfman form.
- In Of Love and Bunnies, Rocky attends Power Rangers Day in a cheap, store-bought Red Ranger costume. However, the mask was too cheap even for him, so he opted for bringing his actual helmet with him.
- Nyx has to play Nightmare Moon in a school play. Unfortunately, her costume is damaged, but luckily she also happens to be Nightmare Moon reincarnated by a spell gone wrong. Of course, she doesn't know this at the time...
- An unofficial sequel, Nightmare Night and Nyx, does this with a young filly changeling named Flitter. Bonus points for actually being on the in-universe equivalent to Halloween.
- Another fanfic, Unwelcome Changes, features Luna meeting a theatrical troupe who needs somepony for the same role..
- This was played with in the Harry Potter / Justice League crossover Terminal Justice, where the League came to believe that Harry, who was disguised as one "Mr. Black," was actually the Archangel Gabriel. When Harry later attended a League Halloween party while costumed as Gabriel, one of the members asked whether it was fair for him to attend as "himself."
- Other Harry Potter example: in Dream Journal of Harry J Potter, one of the chapters (all of which are supposed to be dreams Harry has) is a Halloween day where Harry (and Lily) get dressed as Santa's elves, Sirius goes as Santa Claus, James Potter goes as his stag form, and Remus goes... as a werewolf.
- Invoked in the Halloween Fic of the Facing The Future Series by Tucker when he didn't like Danny and Sam's choice of costumes. The reason it was avoided was because the author had seen Your Costume Needs Work too much.
- In the Bleach Fan Fic Please Stop Eating The Hell Butterflies, the Halloween Episode list stipulates that Komamaru is not allowed to go to Halloween as himself. Mayuri, however, is.
- One of the earliest Trope Codifiers was Edgar Allan Poe's The Masque of the Red Death. In the story, a plague has swept the world and torn through the populace. A Duke ends up holding an extravagant party as the world dies around his estate, and locks the doors so no plague carriers can get in or out. Of course, when the clock strikes midnight, it turns out that one of the party guests isn't wearing a mask after all, and is actually the personification of the plague. And then everybody died.
- In one of the Discworld books, as an homage to The Masque of the Red Death, a wizard who has just summoned Death is surprised to notice that, besides the usual outfit of cowl and scythe, he is also holding a cocktail sausage on a toothpick.
Death (defensively): I was at a party.
Wizard: Er ... was it a good party?
Death: At the moment it is. I suspect it may go downhill rather quickly after midnight.
Death: That's when they think I'm going to take my mask off.
- In the later novel Maskerade, as well as the non-Discworld short story "Turntables of the Night", Death is wearing a cheap skeleton mask over his actual skull.
- I thought I should get into the spirit of the thing.
- And then there's Wyrd Sisters, where Death takes the place on stage of an actor who was supposed to be playing Death...and then gets stage fright.
- As he points out, in his line of work, normally only one person sees him at a time. An audience is kind of new for him.
- Intentionally used by the Faculty of Unseen University, who don "False False Beards" — little loops of wire over their ears and into their real beards — to 'disguise' them as people wearing very obvious false wizard-beards.
- Re-visited in I Shall Wear Midnight, when Mrs. Proust disguises Tiffany's genuine witch hat by sprinkling glitter on it and attaching an "Apprentice Witch Hat, AM $2.50" costume-shop label to its brim.
- In Witches Abroad, Greebo is transformed from a nasty gray tomcat into a human so he can accompany the witches to the Samedi Nuit Mort masked ball. He chooses a ginger cat mask to wear ("Alwaysss wanted to be gingerrrr.")
- Also in Witches Abroad, the witches are watching a parade with several dancers disguised as skeletons (all in black, with the bones painted on). As they share a bottle, Nanny Ogg passes it to the tall, skeletal figure next to her and remarks, "My, them bones is painted on good." A moment later she does a belated double-take, but by then Death has already moved on.
- In Monstrous Regiment, the heroes need to sneak into a heavily-fortified... um, fortress. Since the squad is comprised of Girls pretending to be boys, they take of obvious route of masquerading as "washerwomen". They get caught out by the guards because they are obviously boys dressed as women.
- Which Tonker then debunks by flashing the guards.
- subverted by Lt. Blouse, who DOES get in, despite being the only actual male in the squad, and hence the only one who is actually disguised as a female.
- Inverted in Eric, where Astfgl the King of Hell dresses in royal diabolic regalia of his own design ... which is, basically, a kid's cheap Halloween devil-costume, complete with silly strap-on hornlets and a trident that keeps falling apart.
- In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, a Muggle child complimented Voldemort on his "costume" just before he murdered the Potters on Halloween of 1981.
- In the first book of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, Anomander Rake has a remarkably realistic dragon mask. Did we mention he can turn into one?
- Used in some Forgotten Realms novels, including Ed Greenwood's Silverfall (Qilue came round a masquerade "disguised" as "drow princess") and Elaine Cunningham's Daughter of the Drow (Dark Elves are stylish and thus a valid "costume"):
Fyodor: You wish to join the festival, and slip into the city among the others... But what about your disguise?
Liriel Baenre: I'm a drow, of course. It's quite an exotic costume. And authentic, too!
- In Charles de Lint's Jack of Kinrowan, a pink-haired fairy mentions that one reason she likes the modern era is that she no longer has to dye her hair.
- The King in Yellow.
- The protagonist of The Gargoyle enjoys the lack of attention his hideous burns receive during Halloween. Now, if only they didn't make his angel costume look so satanic...
- In American Psycho, serial killer Patrick Bateman goes to a Halloween party dressed as a serial killer, complete with real human blood on his suit.
- In Tanya Huff's Blood Lines, vampire Henry Fitzroy goes to a Halloween party as Dracula. His partner is dubious, but Henry points out it's actually good camouflage—if he pretends to be a vampire on Halloween, obviously he isn't one the rest of the year.
- Although he does wear a costume, in The Phantom of the Opera it is implied that Erik is not wearing a mask when he attends the masquerade as Red Death.
- In the book Beastly by Alex Flinn, a modern take on "Beauty and the Beast", the Beast, Kyle, attends a high school's Halloween party with regular clothes on over his fur.
- In Nightingale's Lament, a Nightside novel, a singer eludes her rabid fans' attentions by stopping off at a nightclub where all the staff, and most of the patrons, are drag queen impersonators of their favorite singing divas. She easily passes unnoticed in the crowd of Madonnas, Dolly Partons, and assorted Spice Girls.
- In Wings by Aprilynne Pike, David helps make Laurel's wings look fake so she can be convincing at the school costume ball. Extra 'Awwwww!' factor for the cutesy line: "I'll have to tell them only Laurel gets wings."
- Invoked and averted in the Mercedes Lackey story "Satanic, Versus..." The heroine considers going to a costume party with her boyfriend as a witch and a vampire—but he argues that there's no point in going as what they really are, and they dress as The Avengers instead.
- Played straight in one of the Heralds of Valdemar novels. When catgirl Nyara goes into Hardorn with a covert team, she goes in disguise ... as a woman made up to look like a catgirl, complete with "seams" shaved into her fur and a set of absurdly large fake ears.
- Used cleverly in the subversive children's novel Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth. Jennifer, a sombre, beautifully creepy Afro-American girl, wears authentic Pilgrim clothing to her school's Halloween party. She tells her friend Elizabeth that the real witches were Pilgrims, and that she herself is a witch who spends most of the year disguised as an ordinary schoolgirl; by dressing this way she is becoming undisguised.
- Played with in The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Eight Grade Bites. Vlad, a vampire, goes to a Halloween party wearing plastic fangs and a cape.
- Spider Robinson's Callahans Crosstime Saloon story "Unnatural Causes". An alien Krundai comes to Callahan's bar on Halloween night as himself (green, furry and pointed, over-sized ears).
- In the Book of the New Sun, Severian attends a masquerade ball in his executioner's outfit, under the (correct) assumption that everyone will assume that it's a disguise.
- In Halloween Romance, the two main characters meet while they are both doing this.
- In Robert Bloch's "The Secret Of Sebek", some genuine occultists avoid persecution for their practices by hosting parties for dilettante spiritualists and psychic charlatans, ensuring their own genuine mystic rites will go unremarked-upon.
- Played with in The Dresden Files, where wizard Harry Dresden goes to the Vampire's Masquerade Ball... dressed as a vampire.
Harry: Not only that, but a cheesy vampire.
- Played straight with his friend Michael, Knight of the Cross, at the same party. The vampires thought it was a costume until one made the mistake of touching him and got burned.
- In Bruce Coville's The Monster's Ring, the main character twists the ring twice ("Twist it once, you're horned and haired;/Twist it twice, and fangs are bared...") shortly before the school Halloween party and let everyone assume the result was an incredibly good costume.
- The scariest example, no doubt, is from Calvin and Hobbes:
Calvin: I'm yet another resource consuming kid in an overpopulated planet, raised to an alarming extent by Madison Avenue and Hollywood, poised with my cynical and alienated peers to take over the world when you're old and weak!
- In another comic, Calvin asks Hobbes to come up with the scariest costume possible.
- This Jump Start strip.
- RJ and Verne in Over the Hedge once went trick-or-treating without costumes. Being woodland critters, they were assumed to be humans in costume. Another year, they wore masks that looked like their CGI movie counterparts. Ironically, Verne thought he was going as "some sort of iguana thingy" — the very classification he hates getting from humans.
- Played with in one Pearls Before Swine Sunday comic. Pig and Rat go trick-or-treating on Halloween, but when the neighbor sees they didn't bother to wear costumes, refuses to give them any candy. After the door slam, the two remove their (fake) heads to reveal that each character was disguised as the other.
- Woody Allen did a routine where he bags a moose on a hunting trip, but it was only stunned, and wakes up tied to his fender riding in the city. Desperate to ditch the moose, he remembers a costume party he'd been invited to. He takes the moose there and tells the hosts "Hello...you know the Solomons." Things take a bad turn when the moose takes second place in a costume contest, to a couple dressed as a moose.
- The Ninja Burger card game features a delivery scenario in an anime convention. It gives a large positive bonus to stealth, presumably because a ninja should have no trouble posing as a cosplayer.
- Averted with in this storyline of Bruno the Bandit: The monsters visit a party disguised as humans.
- Played with in Zebra Girl, where Sandra, a human trapped in a demon body, plans to go out undisguised on Halloween... until she suddenly finds herself back in her human form. Turns out demons become more powerful on Halloween, and she can thus change her appearance with illusions at will. She decides to go out as her human self, sans costume, because she probably won't get another chance to do it for another year.
- Abe And Kroenen take advantage of the local fan convention to walk around New York unhindered. Abe also suggests they do this when accepting trick-or-treaters to Kroenen's house—after Kroenen finally agrees to get into the spirit of things, he finds out Abe just wanted to use him and his horrifically mutilated face as decoration.
- Forcibly invoked (and subverted) in the webcomic Charliehorse when Preson suggests —in great detail— that Charlie the succubus take the opportunity to attend a Halloween party as herself. Turns out she'd rather go as Cinderella, instead.
- In Weregeek, the hardcore geeks are safe from the Hunters on Halloween... a truce has been established, because the risks are too high; the hunters can't tell "real" cosplayers from those dressing up for the occasion. Hiding one's costuming hobby in a costume holiday!
- Grace of El Goonish Shive apparently considered (off-continuity) the Halloween "costume" of a squirrel-girl with three tails and antennae. Also, Liz.
- Invoked in Misfile with Vashiel's brilliant idea to go as an angel. It's immediately shot down.
- As seen on their cast page, the creators of Casey and Andy once went to a Halloween party dressed as their webcomic selves.
- The title character in Terinu is a four and a half-foot tall alien with a seven foot long prehensile tail, gray skin and horns. He gets around because most humans assume he's a "moddie" with extensive plastic surgery and prosthetics, created for a sick wierdo's amusement. Squick
- In A Magical Roommate, Alexis and X always dressed as witches for Halloween. But after they ended up sprouting fairy wings on their 21st birthday, X's roommate Aylia suggested that they go as human-sized black fairies instead. X loved this idea, as the costume required zero effort on her part (In fact, it took less effort than her usual outfits, as she didn't have to conceal her wings).
- In Goblin Hollow, the goblins come out at Halloween. It's covered.
- In an It's Walky! Halloween strip, Joyce (dressed as a harlequin) chaticises Jason for not having his costume ready. He replies he's going as James Bond.
- In Shortpacked!, Robin asks Mike (who has just learned that he's going to be a dad), what his costume is, as he is wearing his normal work clothes. He says his costume is "Father". Considering that it's Mike Robin concedes that this is pretty scary.
- Homestar Runner goes to a convention cosplaying as himself, which, in this case, means wear a propeller cap over his propeller cap and taping a paper star over his red star T-shirt.
- Due to Applied Phlebotinum, the superpowered Tennyo in the Whateley Universe stories now looks remarkably like Ryoko from Tenchi Muyo!. Her roommate decided that the whole team would go to the Whateley Academy Halloween party as Tenchi Muyo characters, with Tennyo as Ryoko. Given that these teenagers have superpowers, getting a Washu and even a Ryo-Ohki wasn't a problem.
- During Ink City's Halloween Party, Souji and Yosuke dress up as their Personas — a clever twist on the whole "Thou art I, and I am thou" concept. Not that they see it as so clever once Discord turns everyone into their costumes...
- The Gargoyles loved Halloween for just this reason. The younger gargoyles, getting into the spirit of the holiday, wore actual costumes (such as a pirate outfit) and were complimented on wearing "a costume over a costume". Goliath, meanwhile, went out as himself with Elisa (who went as Belle, both as a Shout-Out, and because their relationship is also Beast and Beauty), and apparently the fact that he's about nine feet tall passed unremarked upon as part of his "costume".
- When another Halloween came around again in the comic book continuation, Elisa kept a theme by being Princess Jasmine and Goliath once again didn't bother. Neither did Delilah, who, not knowing better, explained what she really was when asked; "dressing up" as a DNA mashup of both Goliath's ex and Elisa, his current love interest caused quite the awkward moment.
- American Dragon Jake Long has the episode "The Halloween Bash", where Jake throws a party for both magical and non-magical beings on Halloween. This trope is in effect.
- In Gummi Bears, the bears take advantage of Folly Day in Dunwyn, with two variants; the occasion takes place strictly in the day and at 5:00 pm there is the traditional unmasking which means the bears have a strict deadline to leave lest they be exposed. It fails— Duke Igthorn and Toady sneak in disguise, spot Sunni and instantly recognize her as the real thing.
- In The Spectacular Spider-Man episode "The Uncertainty Principle," Peter gets caught in-costume at a Halloween festival as Spider-Man, so he goes with it and winds up getting compliments on how well he fills out his costume. This actually comes in handy later, when Peter being seen in public as Spider-Man is later shown as evidence that he ISN'T Spider-Man. And judging by her cameo at the same carnival, Black Cat likes the holiday too.
- As noted in the quote at the top of the page, Spidey managed to play this off on an ordinary day in the second movie, as everyone knows Spider-Man doesn't need elevators. What the guy thought he needed such a detailed and form-fitting costume for is another question. To be fair, though, they are in New York.
- The guy probably thought he downloaded the plans for a form-fitting, detailed Spider-Man costume off the Internet... just like people can do in the real world.
- There's an extended cut of the movie in which the guy does realize that its the real Spider-Man. He reveals that he works for a marketing firm and that Spidey needs to do more with his image. He suggests a line of Spider-Man-branded cologne. That should be called Thwip.
- In one comic, it turns out that Peter uses this to his advantage. If he needs to meet someone, as Spider-Man, he goes to one diner he goes to in costume, but acting like 'some weirdo who thinks he's Spider-Man'. The owners don't care - he pays, tips well, doesn't cause trouble and "it's New York".
- In Spiderman The Animated Series Spidey was fighting the Sinister Six with his powers working inconsistently. He managed to convince Rhino that he was actually the Chameleon, and redirected The Brute to attack a distant shadow that was actually his teammate Shocker.
- The shortly lived, "The Adventures of The Spider-man" featured an episode where Peter had no way of getting home without his identity being revealed (his head piece was gone but he still had his main suit on). He then gets spotted by a crowd of people who all shout out: "great costume man!". Conveniently it was Independence day and a huge fancy costume party was being held in the Star Junction so Peter just blended right in to the crowds.
- In one of the early episodes of Transformers Cybertron, the Autobots worry about revealing themselves on Earth. Bud jokingly suggests they pretend they're cosplayers (as Transformers are basically urban legends). Cue communal sweatdrop when Optimus Prime actually takes the suggestion seriously, apparently not realizing that twenty foot robots cannot get away with pretending they are costumes.
- In W.I.T.C.H., the episode W is for Witch takes place on Halloween, and the girls move around the city in the Guardian outfits without drawing any attention, except from Cornelia's mother who glances at Hay Lin's 'endowments' and comments "I didn't know Halloween costumes came with that kind of padding."
- In the same episode, Cedric topped them: he went out in his snake-man form, and the only attention he drawed was on how he filled the tail of his costume.
- A Family Guy Halloween Episode had Bill Clinton doing this.
- In WordGirl, one of Becky Botsford's friends, Todd "Scoops" Ming, realizes that she may be the titular superhero, citing several reasons including "You dress up as WordGirl every Halloween!" When the Narrator reacts, Becky responds "Well, I already had the costume...." In addition, a support character, Violet, dresses as the titular character in the Halloween-themed episode Tobey's Tricks and Treats, and is mistaken as the superheroine by Tobey himself.
- In Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, the main trio of monsters went trick-or-treating without costumes. It was a rare occasion that they met humans and made no effort to scare. Hilarity Ensues, however, when they confuse a human child dressed as a red bunny with Ickis...
- In another episode, the monsters attend a horror themed tv show where the audience members wore costumes. A parent even asks Oblina where she bought her "ugly wax lips," to which Oblina replies "darling, you do not buy ugly, you inherit it!"
- Darkwing Duck once went to a masquerade ball in his costume, and was frustrated by everyone telling him he couldn't pull it off. "The real Darkwing Duck is taller..."
- His rival Gizmoduck once attended a ceremony in his honor, full of fans in homemade gizmo suits... all of whom thought he was a dressed-up fanboy too. Bonus points for Launchpad being mistaken for the original by being the only one in a formal suit. Plus a random contrivance.
- In another episode, Launchpad spent a good amount of time agonizing over what costume to wear to a party, before announcing he was going as "a flying ace!" Darkwing started to point out that that was the same outfit Launchpad always wore, but quickly gave up.
- In the Tutenstein episode "Day of the Undead," Tut walks among mortals on Halloween, impressing trick-or-treaters with how much his costume looks and smells like a long dead mummy.
- In The Fairly Oddparents Cosmo and Wanda went undisguised to a comic book convention saying that no one would notice they were fairies, and would just assume that they were big-headed kids in costume.
- In a more recent episode, Mark goes to Trixie's costume party as himself with some encouragement from Timmy.
- Timmy's fairies did this again at the same party.
- Steve Irwin did this in the South Park episode "Hell On Earth 2006". He was kicked out for not wearing an actual costume.
- Inverted in The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror, in which Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, a Werewolf, and the Mummy go out on Halloween, and are made fun of for having old school costumes. As such, they dress up. So much for their plans...
- In another Treehouse of Horror episode, someone dressed as a witch wins a costume contest at the city-wide Halloween party. But it turns out that she really is a witch, and she promptly gets disqualified for not wearing a costume. Due to the people of Springfield this way having pissed off a real witch, with magic powers and all, it is only natural that now Hilarity Ensues... To be precise: She transforms everyone into the costumes they are wearing - which means that this trope afterwards technically applies to everyone in Springfield.
- In Winx Club, in the season two episode "Hallowinx," Bloom's classmate Mitzi has invited her and the Winx to a Halloween party. Since they know no one would believe they're real fairies, they attend in their fairy forms.
- In an episode of Care Bears: Adventures in Care-a-Lot, Funshine travels down to Earth in order to help a little boy. He wants to show him to his Mom, but Funshine explains that he'd prefer to only be seen by kids because "adults don't always understand." During a later scene, the boy's mother enters the attic before Funshine can hide himself. He successfully poses as a stuffed toy.
- Atomic Betty did this.
- In "The Ember Island Players" episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender , the characters attend a play about themselves, with only minimal or no disguise other than their stolen Fire Nation clothing, and people think they're in costume. Especially amusing when someone tells Zuko (much to his chagrin) that he has a "nice Zuko costume" but his scar "is on the wrong side" of his face.
- In the X-Men: Evolution episode "Cajun Charm," the X-Men find themselves in the middle of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, while looking for Rogue, who's been kidnapped. A random person comes up to Kurt, who's in his X-Men uniform and not wearing his image inducer, and tells him that his costume is great. Kurt's response? "Thanks! They are one of a kind."
- The Life and Times of Juniper Lee averts this. Since a barrier renders all magical creatures invisible to normal humans, child monsters instead dress themselves as humans for Halloween.
- Danny Phantom double episode: "Reality Trip"
- Men In Black: The Series: In "The Jack-O-Lantern Syndrome", Halloween is a favorite holiday of aliens living on Earth, though instead of going as themselves, they often dress up as a different alien species.
- In "The Star System Syndrome", several "monstrous" aliens star in monster horror films using their real appearance, while the film crews believe that they're human actors under a lot of make-up. The Hollywood branch of MIB specializes in getting entertainment contracts for aliens.
- While he isn't trying to hide his identity from anyone, in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Spike the purple dragon preforms a literal interpretation of this trope as his Nightmare Night costume is... a purple dragon◊.
- In DC Showcase: Catwoman, Catwoman briefly pretends to be an exotic dancer in a Catwoman costume in order to get closer to Rough Cut.
- Sabrina: The Animated Series: Sabrina wore a witch costume.
- The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: Ever since Grim cut off Jack's head and Jack got a pumpkin for a replacement, Halloween was the only time of the year Jack could go out shopping.
- In Filmation's Batman animated series, the Scarecrow did this at the Halloween charity auction, hoping everyone would mistake him for the disguised Commissioner Gordon.
- According to others in the industry and frequent convention goers, Nabeshin has a habit of intentionally losing his translator escort in the crowds of fans, and then waiting in line to get in to his own panels. He of course does this when he, and dozens of his fans, are in full Nabeshin cosplay.
- In an interview, guitarist Slash stated that he can go out as himself on Halloween, and someone even said "Hey, your Slash is pretty good, but I know someone with an even better one!"
- A bank robber who was nicknamed "the Gap-Toothed Bandit" for his resemblance to Alfred E. Neuman was arrested after going to a Halloween party dressed in the same get-up he wore on his robberies. And telling people he'd come "as a bank robber." Someone recognized him from his wanted poster and called the cops. Maybe he tried to deliberately invoke "Your Costume Needs Work" and failed.
- Sort of inverted by one of the few anecdotes in which someone got the verbal better of Winston Churchill. Lady Nancy Astor, the first woman in Parliament, had invited him to a "fancy dress" (i.e., costume) party, and when he came by to RSVP the invitation, he wondered aloud "What should I come as?" She responded "Why don't you come sober?"
- Teenage fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson admitted to breaking the "no Halloween costumes" rule at her suburban Chicago High School and getting away with it because people had gotten used to her wearing outlandish outfits to school.
- Accidentally done by Tim Curry. He decided to attend a showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show and was kicked out because they thought he was a Tim Curry fan dressing up as him. To be fair, there had been a problem with crazed Tim Curry fans during this time frame resulting from his portrayal in the movie.
- Bryan Cranston once went to Comic Con wearing a Walter White mask.
- Barack Obama showed up on Saturday Night Live one Halloween...in a Barack Obama mask.