"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 is 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 and Mask of Sanity.
— Mal, while pretending to be Mike, Total Drama All Stars
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Anime and Manga
- In Izure Shinwa No Ragnarok, Ruirui Shishigane is possessed by Freyja, who pretends not to be possessed in order to set a trap for the protagonist.
- 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.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh!: Capsule Monsters, Alexander poses as Alex Brisbane when the group meets him, and when the good Alexander attempts to reunite with and overpower his other half, he pretends to have been freed to trick Yugi's grandpa.
- In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW) #7Nightmare Moon II disguises herself as Rarity to try to trap Spike in a Lotus-Eater Machine.
- Brainiac performed a sort of mind switch once with Superman, moving his consciousness into Superman's body while sending Superman's mind into the body of a insane child who thought he was Superman. Finding that his new body doesn't have psychic powers, he becomes overjoyed to learn that most people trust Superman anyway, and so pretends to be him. "Trust? Trust? Ha ha. It seems I control their minds after all!"
- In the very first Eclipso story, Eclipso fooled Gordon's friends by pretending to be him so he could escape confinement.
- Daredevil villain Typhoid Mary seems able to control her good side to a certain degree, as she was able to get close to the hero and gain trust early in the first arc where she appeared.
- Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness Act II: After seeing Kokoa's newfound overcharge in action, as well as realizing Kokoa's newfound feelings for Tsukune, Tsukune's inner ghoul manages to seize control of Tsukune without Tsukune's knowledge and uses said feelings to manipulate Kokoa into using said overcharge to give it enough power to become a full-fledged ghoul and hijack Tsukune's body completely. In Act III, it's largely because of this that, even with the Holy Lock keeping the ghoul sealed away, Dark is initially so dead-set against trusting Tsukune to keep the ghoul in check again since he already failed to do so once.
- A variation of this is used in Me, Myself & 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.
- This is implied to have occurred at times in the original, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, as Jekyll loses control of his transformations into Hyde towards the end and the latter is forced to pretend to be Jekyll, sick in his bedroom and not seeing anyone, while ordering his household staff to buy ingredients needed for his experiments in hopes of finding some sort of cure.
- 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.
Live Action TV
- Played with on Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- Step one of Angelus' plan to crush Buffy's spirit, before she realized Angel had lost his soul, involved casually telling her their first time together was no big deal.
- Inverted when Angel pretended to be Angelus in order to get Faith to reveal the Mayor's plans.
- Inverted when Willow pretends to still be Magic-Crazy to get Andrew into Buffy's custody when she spots him back in town.
- Played straight on Angel, where Angelus (with some magical assistance) manages to fool the heroes into thinking a spell to restore his soul had worked.
- 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 The 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.
- One race, the Tollan, actually defied this trope with a device that allowed the host and Goa'uld to alternate control of the body, and glowed blue or orange to let everyone else know who was talking.
- Used briefly in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, when Sisko is the temporary body for Dax's murderous previous host.
- Used in Star Trek: The Next Generation. When Picard first meets Hugh, a Borg drone that has developed individuality during his time on board the Enterprise, he is mistaken by Hugh to still be Locutus of Borg, a mistake Picard goes along with to try to prove that Hugh is still nothing more than a Borg drone.
- Blake's 7. When Blake finally locates Star One, the Black Site holding the Federation's Master Computer, he finds the personnel have been replaced by invading aliens who mistake him for Travis. Blake plays along with what he assumes is a We Can Rule Together plot, but underestimates the Sanity Slippage of his Arch-Enemy — turns out Travis is helping the aliens to Kill All Humans.
- 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 Eirika's route of Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, the Demon King, possessing Lyon's body, pretends to be Lyon Fighting from the Inside to trick Eirika into giving him the Renais' Sacred Stone. The situation is reversed of Ephriam's route, where Lyon is a legitimate Well-Intentioned Extremist and pretends to be possessed by the Demon King to manipulate Ephriam.
- 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. However, her acting really isn't that good...
Lucrezia-in-Agatha: I am the Agatha girl! Aid me!
- 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."
- Coldstone in Gargoyles housed the souls of three gargoyles, one of which hates Goliath. In one episode, that soul (the "Iago" personality, to use the term that's All There in the Manual) takes control, but pretends he's the "Othello" personality to lead Goliath into a trap.