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"Hi, I'm a bug-eyed weirdo and everybody loves me!"
Sometimes, Mr. Hyde's not interested in making Dr. Jekyll
do anything. He just needs a piece of information that he knows that Dr. Jekyll and all the other good guys have. Unfortunately, all of those good guys know that whatever Hyde's going to do with that information, it's not going to be good for them
. What's a poor Superpowered Evil Side
to do? Well, if he just claims to be his Helpless Good Side
, he might be able to trick them, right? After all, it's not like they look any different from each other.
This when one part of a Split Personality
intentionally tries to pretend to be the other half. Note that the two characters must be within one body
in order for this trope to apply. Otherwise, it's Spot the Impostor
or Twin Switch
In a way, this is perhaps the ultimate form of Spot the Impostor
, since there aren't even two bodies to let the others know that there definitely is
, in fact, an imposter. Just two minds, and if one mind has the other's mannerisms down pat, it can be very difficult for others to figure it out. The best way to beat it tends to be by Fighting from the Inside
or noticing Something Only They Would Say
or an Out-of-Character Alert
Notwithstanding the description above, any personality might do this. The Superpowered Evil Side
might try this in order to get the good guys to let their guard down and let him get at the Applied Phlebotinum
. A Helpless Good Side
might do it in order to bluff some bad guys he'd otherwise have to fight. There can be many reasons.
See also Impersonating the Evil Twin
Anime and Manga
- Used a lot by Yami Bakura in Yu-Gi-Oh! to the point that it's really hard to tell who's in control at any given time.
- Hanaukyō Maid Tai episode 13 (OVA). Due to mistreatment as a child, Cynthia developed a split personality named Grace. When she goes to the amusement park with Taro she appears to be Cynthia, but is actually Grace pretending to be Cynthia.
- A variation of this is used in Me, Myself, and Irene: Hank acts like he is Charlie to get Irene to sleep with him. She only realizes what had happened in the morning, when Charlie doesn't remember having sex.
- In Spider-Man, Green Goblin does this to try and trick Peter, pretending to be Norman Osbourne and begging for his help, before attempting to use his glider to kill him.
- From Primal Fear:
Marty: So there never... there never was a Roy?
Aaron: Jesus Christ, Marty. If that's what you think, I'm disappointed in you. There never was an Aaron, counselor.
- In The Nutty Professor, Buddy Love does this when his assistant figures out his evil plot.
- In The Thirteenth Floor, the main character Douglas Hall was taken over by David, a "player", who then pretended to be Douglas.
- In a "Jekyll playing Hyde" example, in The Avengers, Bruce Banner briefly pretends to be on the edge of Unstoppable Rage to mess with Black Widow.
- In Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex, it seems Orion was for a moment pretending to be Artemis to fake out his enemies.
- 'Sméagol' and 'Gollum' in The Lord of the Rings (lit and film version). For a while 'good Sméagol' manages to 'banish' 'evil Gollum'. After Gollum's 'return', he is the puppet master. He drives Sméagol on to continue acting as a good and loyal servant, putting up a front of being good Sméagol, but all the while actively planning... well, you know.
- On Buffy the Vampire Slayer Angel pretended to be Angelus in order to get Faith to reveal the Mayor's plans.
- Inverted with Willow pretending to still be Magic-Crazy to get Andrew into Buffy's custody when she spots him back in town.
- In My Own Worst Enemy Edward sometimes has to pretend to be Henry in order to keep up The Masquerade. Then something happens and Henry comes out at weird times, and learns about his own double life. The agency has to keep all this secret from Da Chief, so now Henry has to pretend to be Edward.
- Done in the first-season Psych episode "Who Ya Gonna Call?". A man has multiple personalities, one of which is a woman. At one point the man is dressed like a woman, but the personality in charge is the man. He dressed like the woman to divert suspicion from himself.
- Spoofed in Kids in the Hall.
- At the end of the Doctor Who episode "The Family of Blood" the Doctor fakes his way into the spaceship by pretending he is still the "John Smith" personality he's been wearing for the rest of the story. They really shouldn't have let him press all those buttons.
- In "A Nightmare in Silver", The Doctor is infected by a "Mister Clever" split personality, which tries to pull this off on Clara. She sees through it due to an Out-of-Character Alert.
- In Jekyll, Hyde very briefly pretends to be Tom Jackman (the modern-day Jekyll). It only works for short moments when he's in a very dark room or has an excuse to hide his face, because there is a (slight) physical change, which gets noticed immediately by people who know him.
- Even people who don't know him get confused if they witness him before and after the change, instinctively convinced that they are two separate people, even if they never lost eye contact with him.
- In Stargate SG-1, Goa'uld can pretend to allow their host control of the body to fool the good guys. The most notable example is Tanith, a larval Goa'uld who pretends to be reformed while incubating a Jaffa. When the Tok'ra give him a host, he pretends to allow the host shared access so he can spy on the Tok'ra. They know he's a bad guy but they keep him around for a while so they can do their own spying.
- Used briefly in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, when Sisko is the temporary body for Dax's murderous previous host.
- Call of Cthulhu supplement The Asylum and Other Tales, adventure "The Madman". Adam Smythe is suffering from a split personality due to reading a Cthulhu Mythos book. One part, Adam the Good, is Smythe's original nice personality. The other part, Adam the Bad, pretends to be Adam the Good whenever it's in control.
- At the end of MARDEK: Chapter 3, when Rohoph becomes paranoid and decides that friends are a liability, he starts by brutally rejecting one of Elwyn's romantic attempts while she thought she was talking to Mardek. Of course, it only worked because his helmet concealed Rohoph's Glowing Eyes of Doom.
- In Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, both normal Emil and Ratatosk mode Emil pretend to be each other at different points in the game.
- In Remember11, at one point, Mayuzumi starts begging for Satoru to come and comfort her. Kokoro has no control over the transfers, and so in order to make Mayuzumi feel better, she pretends to be Satoru. Mayuzumi plays along, although at the end of the scene, she reveals that she knew it was Kokoro the whole time.
- Similarly, in Satoru's route, it's implied that Keiko Inubushi has the entire time been allowing everyone to call her "Hotori," although she hasn't gone out of her way to imitate any of Hotori's mannerisms, mostly because she's never met her.
- In Girl Genius, the copy of The Other's personality who is living inside Agatha will usually try to conceal her presence whenever she gets out... since they know about her, though, it doesn't work much. (Although, the FIRST time it happened, she WAS able to trick the lot of them for a long time, since they had no idea what was going on. She even convinced everyone that she had been drugged by the villains to explain why she had no clue who any of her friends were.)
- An episode of X-Men: Evolution uses this quite tragically. Professor X is called in to confront his unstable son David, better known to fans of the comics as Legion. During a Battle in the Center of the Mind/"I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight, David's evil side masquerades as the real David. Professor X, unaware of this, seals away his son and his other personality, leaving his evil personality free to do as he pleases.
- William used it twice in season 4 of Code Lyoko, with remarkable success each time.
- Mike as Mal while under the influence of the Blue Harvest Moon pretended to be Mike in Total Drama All Stars, he continues to do this while he's in complete control.
- A bit deconstructed in "You Regatta Be Kidding Me", when his complete Lack of Empathy nearly blows his cover.
- In the Ben 10: Omniverse episode "Max's Monster": "Kid, there hasn't been a Phil in this body for years."