Most Definitely Not a Villain
The impersonation equivalent of Paper-Thin Disguise
. A character is put into a position (for whatever reason
) where they must impersonate someone or pretend to be a member of a particular group. The character, instead of simply acting like an X, attempts to do this by constantly announcing they are an X, that they're doing things because that's what an X does, and there is not the slightest chance that they could ever not be an X
. Did they mention they're an X? In short, there is no way anyone with two functional neurons wouldn't smell that something
This sort of behavior almost always indicates that the Rule of Funny
is in full effect, so its effectiveness as a disguise depends on whether it would be funnier for the impostor to get caught, or not. If it's funnier for everyone around him to completely fail to see through the ruse
— even though the impersonate-ee is someone they've known for years — then that's what's going to happen. At best the Only Sane Man
might point out that their friend is acting a little odd, but everyone else will just brush it off as him suffering from stress, fever, or relationship issues.
Compare Paper-Thin Disguise
, Master of Delusion
, Clark Kenting
, Blatant Lies
, Hugh Mann
, Louis Cypher
, and Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?
. Kind of a subtrope of Bad Bad Acting
, although it isn't deliberate. Tends to fuse with Suspiciously Specific Denial
. Often happens during a case of Impersonating the Evil Twin
. Contrast with Have I Mentioned I Am a Dwarf Today?
Named for a recurring line in the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series
spinoff Cr@psule Monsters
; "My name is Dr. Alex Brisbane. I'm definitely not a villain."
If you're looking for a similarly named webcomic (which is not an example of this trope), see Not A Villain
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Anime & Manga
- Sousuke's attempts at passing himself off as a normal civilian in Full Metal Panic! occasionally segues into this, especially when one of his classmates ropes him into a Zany Scheme where he has to pretend being her boyfriend in front of her friends.
Sousuke: I feel unimaginable happiness wasting time talking with women. I'm that type of human.
- In the Pokémon episode, "Pokemon Scent-Sation", Ash reluctantly has Team Rocket disguise him as a girl so that he could sneak into the Celadon gym. Ash breaks character a lot while he's in the disguise but always does his best to recover from it, until eventually, Pikachu revealed Ash's identity by electrocuting him.
- Kamisama Kiss has a Kurama, a Tengu (crow demon), doing this after Tomoe (Kitsune) and Mizuki (Divine Beast) reveal their true natures to an ordinary teenage girl and tell her about Kurama's true nature.
- Inverted in Mega Man NT Warrior by Thunder Man. When pretending to be a villain to knock the overconfident Lan down a peg, he makes sure to emphasize that he is 'clearly a darkloid'.
- A scene in a Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire comic has Buck disguised as an alien Pog, sauntering down the street singing a song about how he's just a Pog, no, really. Mind you, in this instance having the disguise fail is actually part of the plan. For context, Buck Godot is at least eight feet and probably a half ton of muscle, bio-engineered for life on heavy gravity planets. Your typical pog may, generously, top four feet.
- In Preacher Corrupt Hick Odin Quincannon tries to use the Ku Klux Klan to kill the protagonist. In an attempt to ingratiate himself with them, he keeps enthusiastically stating how much he hates black people, all the time, and keeps adding it to practically everything he says. The other Klan members eventually start talking about how forced this makes him sound.
- In PS238, some of the children mask their secret use of a launch pad into space by sending the launch pad operator a message that this launch is scheduled and completely normal; no need to panic. The operator dismisses this as the computer AI being needlessly polite.
- In one issue of Suicide Squad, Captain Boomerang manages to do this while playing himself in an operation to lure in a local vigilante.
Ahhh, Wipeout, me old mate. I, Captain Boomerang, am glad I've returned to Central City. With my old nemesis, the Flash, no longer here, I am free to use me trick boomerangs and amazing skills to knock over this bleedin' armored car!
- The Highly-Visible Ninja of The Tick disguise themselves a hedge by declaring "We are a hedge. Please move along." While holding sticks. See the appropriate trope page for more (hilarious) details.
- Professor Viktor Smyte from The Pertwillaby Papers is a former Nazi scientist and high ranking SS officer who has gone into hiding by posing as an American college professor. When people point out his rather unusual way of speaking, he insists that he is as American as "Apfelstrudel", and his accent is a result of having been born and raised in "Coüncil Bluffs, Iowa", where the local drawl just happens to sound like a thick German accent.
- In An Entry With A Bang!, no-one seems duly concerned with the Wolfnet agent named Remus Lupin, even though such a name should be more than a mite suspicious to the Genre Savvy.
- The BT universe, by nature of being itself, is chock-full of pop cultural references. They've even run across Mario and Luigi, brother plumbers and a reporter named Lois Lane. None so far have exhibited anything special than just the odd coincidence in names, but there's just so many that GDI has decided to just ignore them all. It's just the universe screwing around with them again. This perhaps falls under the rationale it would be funny. After receiving word about other operatives from Wolfnet, Remus Lupin (his name chosen beforehand as a random pseudonym and now having read Harry Potter) mutters:
"Please don't be Lily and James. Please don't be Lily and James."
- Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series: As mentioned above, Dr. Alex Brisbane. He may lure the heroes into an obvious trap, but he's still definitely not a villain. Of course, as the people he has to fool are Joey, Tristan, Tea and Yugi, not one of them thinks there's anything strange about him.
- Well, Yugi does. Though his reaction is less "he's definitely a villain!" and more "I'm tired of rescuing people. Let's just go home and forget this happened." Unluckily, Brisbane easily tricks Tristan and Tea to "step on the map", dragging Yugi along for the ride.
- "HOW DARE YOU DEFY ME!"
- Also, at one point, Evil Bakura tries to impersonate Normal Bakura. He mentions his "Britishness", says he had to do British things like "drink tea and eat
"crumpets" bangers and mash" — and everyone falls for it.
- It's worth noting that Evil Bakura couldn't pass for Normal Bakura in the original manga either, but nobody noticed they only met Bakura twice, and suffered from heavy Genre Blindness.
- Don't forget, he does those British things because he's British.
- And of course we have "Malik Blishtar" who is "definitely not Marik Ishtar".
still believe me to be the innocent Malik Blishtar! I must go out of my way to maintain my disguise!
- "Attention duelist! My hair is definitely not leading you into a trap!"
- Let's not forget Crump who was possessing Tea, and had to avoid arousing suspicion. He constantly made references to penguins, and the fact that he wanted to have sex with Yugi. But, well, the only thing that really convinced everyone it was Tea was this little gem:
Joey: Yugi, do you notice anything weird about Tea?
Yugi: I haven't noticed anything. You feeling okay Tea?
Yugi: Yep, she's fine.
- An episode of ReBoot: The Abridged Series has this with Cyrus/Syrus/however his name is spelled.
- A Hero has Dalek Sec, who inverts this by proudly proclaiming that he is, in fact "AN IM-PE-RIAL-IS-TIC SPA-CE NA-ZI" to anyone who cares to ask. This, combined with the fact that, for all their fearsome firepower, Daleks naturally look ridiculous, has lead people to believe that he's just a crazy guy in a suit.
- In Mega Man Reawakened, Glyde has this problem when Wily supposedly reforms.
- In Harry Potter and the Natural 20, Malfoy tries to give a bunch of students some candy, and they all flee in terror, thinking it's some evil plot of his. Interestingly, it kind of wasn't; he suspected some Polyjuice spy was around, and was trying to distribute an antidote. Anyway, his second attempt was an abandoned bunch of candy with a sign that reads: "HALLOWE'EN SWEETS, COURTESY OF HARMLESS HUFFLEPUFFS". Which, of course, works.
- "Hwee Har a pherfekly nohmahl huyman?"
Films — Animation
- Mulan's joining the Chinese army and posing as a man. And for that matter, Mushu posing as the Great Stone Dragon. "... Did I mention that I am the Great Stone Dragon?"
- The monsters in We Are the Strange are a rare creepy example of this trope. In the empty ice cream shoppe, there are rather odd-looking posters which try to pass both the shoppe and the townspeople off as normal.
- Monsters vs. Aliens pokes fun at this. They're only wearing the clothing worn by the legions of Gallixar's clones, who are too stupid to notice the heroes as they make their way deeper into the lair.
Films — Live-Action
- Lampshaded in Bedknobs and Broomsticks.
Villager: It said on the wireless to paint out the sign posts in case the Nazis drop in!
British officer: I'm not a Nazi, I'm a British officer!
Villager: That's what you'd say if you was a Nazi, isn't it sir?
- Caddyshack: Carl's war against the groundhog eventually drives him to use plastic explosives, which he shapes like woodland animals. "Just a harmless little squirrel, not a plastic explosive or anything."
- Cats & Dogs: "Yes, I am your employer, Mr. Mason. NOT an evil cat bent on taking over the world."
- The otherwise forgettable Corky Romano gives us this wonderful gem from the title character attempting to infiltrate a gang of skinheads: "I was wondering if I could purchase some heroin and then we could go out and commit some hate crimes and stuff."
- Well, the guy is an assistant vet, whom his The Mafia brothers force to infiltrate the FBI as a top agent. Naturally, Da Chief sends him on the most perious assignments, figuring it'll be a cakewalk for an agent like that.
- Die Hard: Hans Gruber attempts to fool John McClane into thinking that he's an escaped hostage by trying to put on the worst possible American accent. Thankfully, unlike most of the cops in the film, McClane is not an idiot, and when he gives a gun to Gruber to protect himself with it turns out to not be loaded.
- Hans does give him a correct name of a hostage, as McClane confirms by looking at the building directory.
- From The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra:
"Sometimes my wife forgets she is not a space alien."
- In This Island Earth, a dinner conversation with Exeter quickly makes it clear he's not from Earth, as if his gigantic forehead with a huge dent in the middle wasn't enough of a clue. When it was chosen to be the experiment for Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie, Tom Servo repeatedly riffs on this part, concluding, "Then I ram my ovipositor down your throat and lay my eggs in your chest. But I'm not an alien!"
- In the beginning of The Terminal there was a whole row of tourists wearing Disneyland t-shirts, Frank Dixon finds this suspicious and has security to look at them, the next scene shows the security guards chasing down the tourists.
- Winnie-the-Pooh pretends to be a little cloud when he tries to use a balloon to steal honey from a beehive. This includes having his friend Christopher Robin walking back and forth below him with an umbrella and loudly proclaim that it will be rain soon. While Pooh himself sings a little song about how he's just a raincloud:
How sweet to be a Cloud
Floating in the Blue!
Every little cloud
Always sings aloud:
"How sweet to be a Cloud
Floating in the Blue!"
It makes him very proud
To be a little cloud.
- The Disney adaptation provides an even better example of the trope, as Pooh's song gets even more insistent that he's only a cloud and definitely not interested in honey:
Oh, I'm just a little black raincloud
Hovering under the honey tree.
I'm only a little black raincloud!
Pay no attention to little me.
Everyone knows that a raincloud
Never eats honey, no not a nip!
I'm just floating a-round,
Over the ground,
Wondering where I will drip!
- In the Russian adaptation, he first of all establishes to the bees that: "I'm a little rain cloud and definitely not a bear."
- Terry Pratchett's Discworld:
- In Wintersmith, the Wintersmith makes himself a human form, and then goes into an inn. He announces, excitedly, "I am a human, just like you!" (The Wintersmith never denied he was the Wintersmith, though; he just wanted to be human so Tiffany would love him.)
- Thud! features a short appearance by John "Most Definitely Not A Vampire" Smith, the representative and local leader of the Black Ribboners in Ankh-Morpork. Vimes makes several references to his less-than-successful attempts to pass himself off as more human, including wearing hideous knit woolen sweaters instead of evening wear, overemphasizing Ws in his speech, smoking pipes (despite not breathing) and collecting bananas for a hobby.
- In Animorphs, Ax pretends to be a delinquent.
Ax: You do not know me, but I am a juvenile delinquent. I do not trust authority figures, I probably will not graduate from high school, and statistics say my present rowdiness and vandalism will likely lead to more serious crimes. I am a dangerous fellow, and I am causing mayhem in this store.
- In The Birthday Ball, Princess Patricia Priscilla, while in disguise as a commoner, repeatedly insists that she's just a humble peasant.
- In Brandon Sanderson's unpublished novel Mythwalker, the character Ix constantly reaffirms that he is in fact human, while all of the characters know he is a shadowling.
Ix: I am confused. This is not a good thing, because when we humans are confused we are not happy.
- Woody Allen's story "Confessions of a Burglar" includes an anecdote about the narrator's attempt to escape from prison in a laundry truck.
Ives: The guards got suspicious, and one of them poked me with his stick and asked me what the hell I was doing lying around in a hamper. I looked him right in the eye and said, "I'm some shirts." I could tell he was dubious. He kept pacing back and forth and staring at me. I guess I got a little panicky. "I'm some shirts," I told him. "Some denim work shirts-—blue ones." Before I could say another word, my arms and legs were manacled and I was back in stir.
- In Saul of the Molemen, Saul skins a moleman and uses the skin as a disguise to infiltrate the moleman village. He spends the day shouting, "Grunt grunt! I'm a moleman, just like you!". No one catches on, but Saul gets beaten up anyway because the moleman whose skin he wore owed money to others.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- "Doppelgangland": Willow (well, Season 3 Willow, anyway) pretending to be her vampire duplicate was doomed to failure. "I killed her. And sucked her blood, as we vampires do." She lasts all of five minutes before the others catch on. And her vampire duplicate is equally pathetic at passing herself off as the human Willow — though far more successful, because she's talking to the ever self-absorbed Cordelia. "Why don't you let me out, 'cause I'm... so helpless." In fact, there's an enormous distinction between Willow, vamp Willow, Willow posing as vamp Willow, and vamp Willow posing as Willow.
- On the other hand, the Scoobies were completely oblivious to the true nature of the BuffyBot in her first appearance, despite stilted dialogue along the lines of "I wouldn't keep a secret from you, Willow. You're my best friend. You're recently gay" (the robot's heads-up display reveals that these are the only two things it knows about Willow). Buffy was understandably irritated.
- Yet another Buffy example: when Faith exchanges bodies with Buffy, she spends about three minutes practicing saying "Because it's wrong!" very emphatically and with different inflections in front of a mirror. It's amusing. She later says this seriously in a case of Becoming the Mask.
- Spike once attempts to disguise his vampness with a horrible American accent: "I'm just a friend of Xanduurr's!" Made even funnier when you realize it's American James Marsters pretending to be British pretending to be American badly. And both the characters Giles and Spike have changed accents over their lives: Both Giles and Spike come from well-educated families, both adopted low-class accents in early adulthood (with Spike sticking with his, and Giles reverting to a posh accent when his rebellious phase ended). The actor who plays Giles actually has a lower-class accent, and the American Marsters used that accent as a model for Spike's.
- Angel also played on this in the episode "Guise Will Be Guise", in which Wesley found it necessary to impersonate Angel. When his cover was blown, he tried horribly to keep up the facade.
- A certain amount of Fridge Logic applies to the beginning of the first season, where Doyle's Irish-ness is a major part of his character, and yet Angel steadfastly retains his assumed California accent, and never so much as acknowledges that he is, in fact, Irish as well. This may be a mercy, since the flashbacks to the life of 'Liam' prove that David Boreanaz cannot fake accents at all.
- In the first episode of the new Doctor Who, Rose's boyfriend Mickey is clearly replaced by a (mobile) plastic replica. Rose begins to wonder what's the matter with Mickey when he keeps addressing her as "sweetheart/babe/babe/friend/sugar/sweetheart".
- Firefly: Simon acting as Mal's boss in "Jaynestown" is like this.
Simon: Yes? (playing up role) I mean, I make the decisions around here, uh— employee... (to Foreman) I employ him. He is a person I employ. I'm the boss.
- It gets Lampshaded when Wash sarcastically asks when Simon became such a cunning master of disguise.
- In the Blackadder Goes Forth episode "Major Star", Kate pretends to be "Bob". She says, "Oh no, sir, I'm not a girl! I understand cricket! I fart in bed! Everything!" in a breathy, high voice. Blackadder is the only person not fooled by the ruse.
- Further subverted in the episode "General Hospital" where Blackadder is asked to root out a German spy in the hospital, in which there is a patient with an outrageous German accent who intently listens to conversations with a binoculars and a notepad... who turns out to be a British spy who picked up "a teensy veensy bit of an accent".
- Played straight in Battlestar Galactica. During Simon's first appearance, he spends his entire first scene insisting to Starbuck that he's human, even using the trope name (with "Cylon" in place of "Villain", of course). Starbuck's too disoriented to notice, but the audience... isn't.
- Word of God tells that they figured the audience would pretty much guess that Simon was a Cylon. So instead of trying to hide him being a Cylon, they tried to build up the suspense by making it unclear what Simon really intended to do with Starbuck and what the "hospital" actually was.
- The Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch where Hitler, Himmler and Von Ribbentrop survived WW2 and moved to Britain. They all speak in German accents and say things a Nazi would say, but repeatedly insist that they aren't Nazis. Luckily for them, the British people they meet aren't very bright. They seem to be making a parody of small ultra nationalistic parties that keep insisting that their ideology is not fascist, no sirree. See it here.
"Mr. Bimmler": (While introducing himself)
Was head of Gestapo for ten years. (Sits down, but realizes what he said and quickly stands back up.)
Ah... Five years! (Sits down again, but is nudged by "Hilter" and, panicked, stands back up.)
No, no! Nein! Was not head of Gestapo at all! Ha ha! I make joke!
- Also from Monty Python, in the Mr. Neutron Sketch: Captain Carpenter, from the top-secret agency FEEBLE must disguise himself to go on a mission to the Yukon. His disguise? A large sign which says "Nothing to do with FEEBLE".
- And from "The Cycling Tour":
Pither: Who are you?
1st Man in Black Suit with Sunglasses: Well, we're not secret police, anyway.
2d MiBSwSG: That's for sure!
3d MiBSwSG: If anything, we are but ordinary Soviet citizens with no especial interest in politics!
- In several Saturday Night Live sketches, Greg's co-host would like to make it very clear that Greg Is Not An Alien. Greg then proceeds to speak as if he's learned all his lines badly by rote, hiss and trill in obvious panic when splashed with water, and grow a frill around his neck, and is heavily implied to eat the guests on their sports talk show.
- MADtv ran a series of sketches centering on "Smith Comma John, Human Being for President."
- Played with in one episode of That '70s Show, when the guys try to smuggle Fez back across the Canadian border (because he misplaced his green card), Eric tells the others: "Remember, we've got nothing to hide", at which point two mounties come over and say "Well, around here, we don't say we've got nothing to hide, if we've actually got nothing to hide, eh?"
- In the first episode of season 3 of Stargate SG-1, O'Neill uses this to try and convince SG-1's captors that he was still implanted by Hathor's Goa'uld larva. Although in this case he knew it wouldn't work for very long, he just needed to buy time for The Cavalry to arrive.
O'Neill: Jaffa! Kree!
Hathor's First Prime: Tel'mak Goa'uld, kree tak?
O'Neill: You heard me! I said kree, dammit!
- In another episode, Daniel and Sam get Sam's father's help to save Jack and Teal'c who are stuck in a runaway X-301. Jacob pushes the transport ship's engines too hard, and they end up dropping out of hyperspace in a "bad neighborhood". Almost immediately, a Ha'tak arrives to challenge the arrivals. Jacob has Daniel (who speaks Goa'uld) distract the Goa'uld on the Ha'kat using a voice modulator. The best Daniel comes up with?
Goa'uld: (over communicator) Kree tal shal mak! Heru'Ur!
Daniel: Mak tal shree! Lo tak meta satak Oz!
Goa'uld: Mak Tal Oz?!
Daniel: Mak Tal Oz kree!
Goa'uld: Kal tek shree, tak monak!
Jacob: All right, we're almost finished. Sam's just finishing.
Daniel: Um, that's good, because I don't think they bought my act.
Jacob: Why? Who'd you say you were?
Daniel: The er…great and powerful Oz!
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: A rare, non-comedic example. Garak is The Exile and really is a tailor. However, he's also formerly an agent of the state's secret police and still has his uses to the government, despite his exile. It doesn't matter how often he protests that he's a simple tailor, no-one believes him... mainly because he's not only obviously more skilled than a tailor should be in areas such as code-breaking, espionage, combat, assassination, software programming, engineering and so on, but he's also a self-confessed liar. Eventually his position becomes incredibly important to the Federation's fight against the Dominion, resulting in Garak's character development from anti-villain to anti-hero throughout the show's run.
- A clumsy case was Morgana from Merlin. When she returns to Camelot in series three, she spends most of her time smirking evilly to herself (in public) and interacting with her friends and family in a cloying, faux-sympathetic way (that was completely unlike the Morgana of the first two series). The audience isn't fooled for a second, but everyone else is completely taken in.
- Subverted in Power Rangers Lost Galaxy, where this trick almost works perfectly. Karone disguises herself as Astronema (her Super-Powered Evil Side that was banished forever in the previous series) in order to recover Kendrix's Quasar Saber from a villain-run auction without a fight (and does a very convincing job of acting, winning it with a Whammy Bid which she ups to "and you all get to live"). Clearly, no-one there knew that Astronema was, for all intents and purposes, dead - except for Trakeena, and the reason Karone's cover was blown was because she showed up. (Still, it could have been worse; if Trakeena hadn't been late to the event, she might have been in big trouble.)
- The pilot for The Muppet Show, "Sax and Violence", featured a short called "Planet of the Pigs" where a human space explorer had to pretend to be a pig on a planet run by them. With a fake snout and ears on he says "Oink, oink! As we pigs say." (Interestingly, Henson used the voice he would later use for Link Hogthrob.)
- "HI IMA BUNNY!"
- In Star Control II, one of the many Planet of Hats species in the game comes under the mind control of a malevolent being, who stiltedly attempts to impersonate their particular Hat when encountered by the player. Naturally, the player is expected to not be stupid and investigate.
- This is the key mechanic for an entire level in Psychonauts, "The Milkman Conspiracy", where the player must collect objects being used by a series of trenchcoat-clad
"government operatives" plumbers, road crew workers, gardeners, housewives, grieving widows, and assassins, among other, increasingly unlikely roles, and use them as a Paper-Thin Disguise.
- The G-men tend to use the props in very interesting ways too. The gardeners do a sword-swallowing routine with their hedge clippers and the grieving widows play invisible golf with their flowers. Sample dialogue:
"I am a Sewer Worker. The finest sewers are found in Paris, France. Although I often smell of excrement, I perform a valuable public service."
"I am a Telephone worker. I can listen to any conversation that I want to — but I do not because of my sense of professionalism."
"I am a Housewife. In time my husband will desire me less sexually... but he will always enjoy my pies."
- There's also Crispin Whytehead, the inmate running the asylum, who explains that he is an orderly, not an impostor.
- In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials And Tribulations, Furio Tigre's impersonation of Phoenix consists of having spiky hair and declaring himself to be Phoenix Wright. Despite his otherwise completely different appearance, his noticeable accent, and his wearing a fake attorney's badge made of cardboard, he fools an entire courtroom, including a judge, prosecutor, detective, and defendant who are all familiar with Phoenix (Godot easily saw through him, though. He just felt like screwing with Phoenix). Phoenix himself is, of course, not amused. There's a possible Lampshade Hanging on this, after hearing the excuses Tigre gave to Maggey ("He said he took a trip to Hawaii"):
Phoenix: I can see why he managed to fool everyone.
- The Cubi sisters in The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. Constantly giggling and sabotaging your efforts to rescue 'them', but since it's a But Thou Must situation you can't just leave the little brats to rot.
- At one point in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, a shape-shifting ghost called Doopliss, but it won't help you assumes Mario's identity and runs off with all of his party members. Aside from a few party members pointing out his somewhat different personality, they buy his impersonation without question. (In a Mythology Gag, Mario is a Heroic Mime in this game, while the ghost loudly proclaims that he is Mario and shouts phrases from Super Mario 64 to prove it.)
- Somewhat justified in that Doopliss did the Martian Manhunter trick mentioned above and changed places with Mario when they defeated him, leaving Mario unconscious and going back to town with the others. Being a doppleganger, he has a perfect disguise, at least until he opens his mouth.
- And Mario's appearance changes as well. He turns black and shadowy.
- There was also the part in Chapter 5 where Lord Crump disguises himself as a sailor in the crew headed for Keelhaul Key. Despite how ludicrously obvious his disguise is, nobody but the player notices anything suspicious about him.
- There's also the parts of the final chapter in the third game where Merlon and Merlee both show up in Castle Bleck at different times, despite the fact that the last time you saw either of them, they were in a different dimension and had no apparent method or reason to go to where you found them. In this case, they were definitely not a shapeshifter.
- In Sam and Max: The Mole, the Mob, and the Meatball, Ted E. Bear's Mafia-Free Playland and Casino is a Mob-themed Chuck E. Cheese's-esque arcade/restaurant that doesn't seem to try very hard to convince the outside world that it's not a front for the Toy Mafia.
- Then there's the theme song, which is catchy as hell:
Ted E. Bear's is oodles of fun
Slots and sandwiches and poker and guns
And look, no mobsters, nary a one,
Just you and me and Ted E. Bear!
- Max's fake Final Speech from the same episode, which is so long, overblown and such a Cliché Storm that it's painful. He even 'dies' several times only to wake up again and add more to it, to the (unsuspecting) villain's annoyance.
- Also General Skun-ka'pe acts like this when you first meet him.
- It also helps that the heroes have seen the vision of the future where Skunkape is attacking the city.
- Not a villain, in Super Robot Wars the pilot Rastel Feinschmecker is Most Definitely Not Elzam Branstien or Rai's brother. May overlap with The Goggles Do Nothing, as he tries to use them to Clark Kent. No one is fooled.
- He's definitely not a villain.
- Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal had Ratchet going undercover with the Tyrrhaguise, and loudly proclaiming himself to be "certainly not a Lombax". Yes, he's a Lombax.
- Team Fortress 2: This guy is totally not a spy.
- Bad Spies in general tend to exhibit this sort of behavior.
- A sign in Mahogany town in Pokemon Heart Gold and Pokemon SoulSilver helpfully informs you that the building it is situated next to is "Just a Souvenir Shop. Nothing Suspicious about It. No Need to Be Alarmed."
- When you talk to the shopkeeper, he'll feel the need to make it clear that the breeze in the shop is just your imagination and is not coming from any kind of hidden underground hideout. Then he offers you stuff to buy.
- In Thief: Deadly Shadows, Garrett has the option on listening in on an illicit deal under negotiation. One of the parties is a thug pretending to be him, who fulfils this trope to the letter.
- In Magicka we have Vlad, who is most definitely not a Vampire.
- In Rift, the inhabitants of Lakeshore in Freemarch are doing normal human things because they are normal humans (and most definitely not Deep Ones).
- In Day Of The Tentacle, Laverne disguised as a tentacle says things like "Hello! I'm a tentacle!" No one sees through the disguise, despite the obviously human head, arms and legs.
- Borderlands 2 gives us Mal, who pulls a pinnochio essentially through this trope.
- "I am human. I eat food, and desire things."
- Additionally, his side quest has him experiment with various ways to be human, including wearing clothes and having limbs, each segment ending in this trope. Though eventually, he learns that the true meaning of humanity doesn't lie in physical possessions or attributes, but in trying to kill other humans, specifically the player character. Duh.
- Ninja Gaiden: Gee Murai, I'm sure you want the Dark Dragon Blade for completely beneficial purposes. Sure, you've been sending Ryu messages telling him to kill everyone with the Dark Dragon Blade and sent all your men at him in the first level, but... Hey, he's the Final Boss! Who knew?
- Tseng, the area merchant in Chinatown in Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, has most definitively never been involved with the People's Liberation Army past or present. Please ignore the uniform and the Commissar Cap; they are memorabilia from the arm- errrr, Herbal Medicine school.
- The Order of the Stick
- Belkar the halfling got on stilts to disguise himself as a human.
Belkar: Hello, fellow Medium-sized creature! How are you enjoying being Medium-sized, like me, on this lovely day?
Paladin: Just fine, thanks for asking!
- Nale disguising himself as his twin brother Elan. Though his repeated statements of "I'm Elan" don't raise any eyebrows since that is deemed in character for Elan. Nale's high bluff skill also helps.
Nale-as-Elan: I'm Elan!
Vaarsuvius: Yes, so you have told me no less than seven times in the last hour.
- On the next page, it continues when Vaarsuvius catches him speaking with Sabine (who immediately shapechanges into a policeman).
Sabine-as-Policeman: He was just speaking to me, a police officer, about his brother Nale's treatment in prison.
Nale-as-Elan: Right! Because I am Elan, and I am foolishly and inexplicably merciful to enemies who would gladly butcher me, against the better judgement of my allies.
Vaarsuvius: Hmmm. Well, that certainly is one of your more puzzling qualities. Very well.
- Immediately after that exchange, Vaarsuvius reveals that he's noticed that the two had been making out (incidentally, Sabine's "police officer" form was male).
Illusion of Belkar: We are all here right now, and definitely not somewhere else.
- Celia when disguised as Darkblood Gloomgloom does this when he encounters hobgoblins who want to test her.
Celia: My Dark power? Right! Right. Because I'm totally a necromancer, and not a sorcerer who didn't happen to take any necromancy spells...
- This Bob and George comic.
- In Gunnerkrigg Court, the Robots try to hide their presence from the humans by labeling their secret entrance and their spare part storage room "Boring Door" and "NO spare robot parts", respectively. Appropriately enough, Annie adopts the same strategy (in conjunction with a Paper-Thin Disguise) to sneak past Doorbot:
Antimony: We are looking for a particular robot. A... fellow robot. Because we are also robots.
- Because clearly she's a robot...
Antimony: Also robots never lie.
- Lord "Smith" is Most Definitely Not Lord Milligan.
- In Terror Island, Theorem 183, Demon-Jame tries to pass himself off as Jame.
Demon-Jame: Yes, I am your friend. I run a non-demon restaurant here in your space-time manifold, of which I am a native.
- In these 8-Bit Theater strips, Warmech is Most Definitely Not a Robot. And Red Mage, for his part, is Most Definitely Not a Monster.
- This Amazoness! strip. Ekphobippe is a master of disguise.
- In El Goonish Shive, all you have to do to convince everyone that you're a normal, everyday human being is to wear a T-shirt that says so on it. In fact, Tedd's father makes a living covering up supernatural or alien entities in such a manner, as seen, for example, here.
- This is parodied in a fan-made comic centered around the fans who are represented as avatars with nametags over their heads. One strip involves two characters chasing after Dan. Note that Dan represents himself as an anthropomorphic squirrel. A guy who looks suspiciously like Dan in real life shows up holding a "NotDan" tag over his head and points them in the right direction. In an earlier strip, the comic's Card-Carrying Villain manages to deceive two detectives with a fake name tag.
- Sorry Mister Smith. We thought you were a different person who uses the same avatar.
- Hilariously, it turns out that for many of the extraterrestrials on Earth, the 'not an alien' thing is true. Many of them have citizenship in their resident countries. In fact, more than a few were born on Earth.
- Jymre of Hitmen For Destiny is probably the worst shapeshifter of all time. He doesn't bother to try to act like the people he's impersonating, and when questioned, he panics severely.
- This Penny Arcade strip features a Most Definitely Not a People-Possessing Ghost.
- In Dorothy Gambrell's guest strip for Scary Go Round, The Boy shows Erin some kind of unidentifiable... thing he's found. He keeps it behind a shed, with a sheet over it, and a handy label on the sheet which reads: "nothing".
- In The Last Days of FOXHOUND, Ocelot and Mantis try to pass off an unwilling Octopus as Liquid for a possession scheme by Liquid's ghost (It Makes Sense in Context) by ODing him on Liquid's blood and having Mantis brain-scramble him into thinking he's Liquid. Although the intention differs, the result fit the trope perfectly as Octopus starts rambling about how he beats up all the enemy people and hates dominant genes.
- This VG Cats strip.
"Aeris": More drivel. I am a normal flesh unit filled with meat. Now let us go home and absorb precious nourishment from the sun. Err... I mean have dinner. APPLES! Yes. Normal apples. Normal.
- And the general lack of suspicion when Johnny Evilguy pops up.
- This Three Panel Soul strip, which inspired the Team Fortress 2 example.
- Homestuck: When Equius tries to get Gamzee to indulge in the caste privileges the latter's blood superiority affords him, it... doesn't really work.
CT: D —> What do you make of it
CT: D —> This wretched misbehavior
TC: fUcK mAn, I aM sO mOtHeRfUcKiN sAlTy AbOuT aLl ThAt BuSiNeSs YoU sAiD!
TC: FuUuUuCk, Im LiKe AlL mOvInG mY mOuTh AnD tHe WiCkEd NoIsE iS cOmInG oUt In ThE fRoNtIeSt WaY pOsSiBlE.
TC: aNd It'S gOiNg At YoUr DiReCtIoN, cAuSe ThAt'S tHe DiReCtIoN tO fUcKiN bE aNgRy At!
- Voices has the advertisement for Xern on this page.
- This Housepets! strip.
- Tiffany in Eerie Cuties is most definitely not a slayer. She's just a ghost in a school for monsters! Not suspicious at all!
- Exterminatus Now in a strip appropriately named "subtlety" has most definitely not a hive of vile heresy.
- Lampshaded in The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, with Victor the "plumber" in this comic.
- This Twitter: The Comic post. HELLO FELLOW HUMAN TEENS.
- This Darths & Droids strip, where Padme tries to comvince Obi-Wan that she isn't helping Anakin.
Jim (as Padme): After all, you are the only thing standing between Anakin and complete domination of the Galaxy.
Jim (as Padme): On his own, obviously, without me faithfully by his side. Seeing as I'm Good.
Ben (as Obi-Wan): Indeed.
Jim (as Padme): I'll just go and talk to him in advance and make sure he's not ready for you.
- Codename: Kids Next Door shows us just how stupid the world's worst villain, the Toiletnator, is, by having an off panel story about how he was fooled by Numbuh 1, whose disguise was just a t-shirt that said "I'm not Numbuh 1."
- When the KND operatives played a game of tag to decide who'd be their leader, (Numbuh 13 was the only one who wanted the mantle but the others wouldn't let him have it) Numbuh 4 hid himself in a box that had a written message stating he wasn't there.
- Justice League Unlimited, The Flash posing as Luthor, as mentioned above. Two people seemed to have caught on, but kept it to themselves for their own reasons (Gorilla Grodd, who wanted to see him squirm, and Tala, who liked "new" Lex better). The rest assumed that their leader had fried his brain trying to Mind Probe Grodd.
- Futurama provides a few examples:
- The episode "Fear of a Bot Planet":
Guard-bot #2: Be you robot or human?
Leela: Robot... we be.
Fry: Uh, yup. Just two robots out robot-ing it up!
- Subverted in another episode which features Flexo, Bender's identical brother who only differs in having a goatee. Fry and Leela then find a Bender-like robot who constantly hides his chin behind a pullover or a map, so they assume it is Flexo.
Robot: Flexo appears to have outwitted us all! Especially me... Bender.
- The twist is that it really is Bender.
- Used in another episode featuring Flexo, in which Bender tries to impersonate him, going out of his way to "act" and "sound" like Flexo — the joke being that, different catchphrases aside, Flexo and Bender already sound and act like each other.
- No, the real joke is that he is trying to seduce his girlfriend as Flexo because he jealously suspects that she secretly loves Flexo (her ex), but only succeeds by acting nothing like Flexo at all, doing all the things she loves to do (like dancing) even though she keeps pointing out that he — "Flexo" — hates those same things and thats partly why they broke up. Bender eventually reveals the ruse but fails to realise that she could hardly have been falling for Flexo when he had to not act like Flexo at all.
Bender: "You love him so much you even love anyone pretending to be him!"
Angleene: "Maybe I love you so much I love you no matter who you're pretending to be."
Bender: "Oh, how I wish I could believe or understand that!"
- The Brain Slugs are one-eyed, fist-sized slugs, who can take control of a person's body, but only by externally attaching to the heads of their victims. As if this weren't obvious enough, they speak of their host in the third person constantly. No one is fooled by this (except Fry, initially), but everyone pretends to be, because it's easier to just humor the slugs.
Amy: Just act natural and switch to a garlic shampoo.
- A Decapodian (Zoidberg's people) spy goes by the name "Hugh Mann". Only Zapp Brannigan is fooled.
- Who is, of course, in complete personal control of the entire Earthican defence network...
- Leela, when disguised as a man to sneak into the army, spends a good amount of time in the beginning reminding people that she's "a man". When asked her name, she even tries to work it into her pseudonym: "Lee La Man... lemon... Lee Lemon!"
- Kim Possible: Malcolm in "Virt-U-Ron".
- In Teen Titans, Starfire and Raven, having temporarily lost their ability to fly, seek alternative transportation on a bus full of villains. They beat up two and take their clothing. Starfire then tries to fit in by acting like an over-the-top parody of a villain. Her overacting goes almost completely unnoticed by her audience; what gives her away is the use of an alien version of "God bless you."
- Considering some of the villains in the show though (Mad Mod, anyone?) Starfire's behavior was normal by villain standards.
- Robot Chicken: In a spoof of The A-Team, Face attempts to infiltrate the criminal underworld by announcing "Greetings. Is this where the thugs and/or criminals hang out? Because I too am a thug and/or criminal." He is recognized immediately.
- In an episode of Rocko's Modern Life, Heffer tries to sneak into a nightclub for elk by putting on a pair of fake antlers and telling the bouncer "I am an elk. I have antlers." The bouncer quips "You want a prize?" before letting him in.
- Earthworm Jim: Whenever Evil the Cat made an appearance that required him to wear a Paper-Thin Disguise, he would always reassure whomever he needed reassuring that he wasn't a cat... Since this was Earthworm Jim, it did, of course, always work.
- Subverted in an episode of Out of Jimmy's Head. When Sonny unveils his Jimbotron, a robot double of the protagonist Jimmy, it looks like a sub-B-grade science fiction movie robot with an unconvincing wig and one of Jimmy's shirts, which barely fits it. Sonny also has it say things like "If I'm not Jimmy, why would I steal one of his shirts?" It spectacularly fails to fool anyone except Jimmy's idiot father, and even he had to be missing his contacts.
- In one episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Splinter and Shredder's minds are accidentally swapped. Splinter manages to bluff his way through, after almost being found out when he doesn't sufficiently insult and belittle Shredder's two idiot minions Rock Steady and Be-Bop. Shredder, on the other hand, has far less success.
- Danny Phantom: Danny does this when overshadowing his father in "Parental Bonding".
- The Simpsons:
- Bart barely convinces a group of children from Shelbyville that he is one of them. "No, not in my mouth! ...Uh, is what that kid would say." To be fair they don't have a clue who he is even after his reveal.
Bart: It's me, Bart Simpson. (confused looks) From Springfield!
- In a Halloween Episode, Homer suffered an accident and Moe took advantage to trick Marge into thinking Homer left her. To further convince her, Moe gave her a letter saying it was written by Homer using his(Moe's) caligraphy. The letter was a forged (and exaggerated) confession of homosexuality.
- In Cape Feare, Lisa's letter from her penpal Anya is read in voiceover:
Anya: Dear Lisa, as I write this I am very sad. Our president has been overthrown-
Deep Male Voice: -and replaced by the benevolent General Krull! All hail Krull, and his glorious new regime! Sincerely, Little Girl.
- Invader Zim invokes this trope by necessity in order to maintain his Paper-Thin Disguise. ("I'm human! Yep, human, human, human. Just look at my neck!") Only his nemesis Dib and Dib's sister Gaz ever notice. In the episode "Abducted" however, he encounters a pair of even stupider aliens who have even worse disguises and invoke the trope even harder - they abducted Zim because they actually thought he was a human! (And then abduct Dib because they think he's a weasel.)
"I AM A PERFECTLY NORMAL HUMAN WORM BABY."
- In another episode, Zim decides to steal organs from the other kids and swallows them as a part of an awful "human" disguise, replacing the stolen organs of his victims with miscellaneous objects. He gleefully points at "his many human organs" when questioned, and the school nurse blindly swallows his Blatant Lies hook, line and sinker.
- One episode of The Tick involves a shoddy green clone of Arthur who says nothing but "I Arthur". Naturally, the Tick can't tell them apart.
- An episode of Ben 10: Alien Force features an alien with a copied Omnitrix stuck in Ben's form. When he first attempts to pass himself off as the real Ben, he says stuff like "Yes, it is I, Ben Tennyson. Escort me, Ben 10, to my domicile."
- In Transformers Animated, when Wasp disguises himself as Bumblebee (and makes Bumblebee look like Wasp), his disguise is compromised by his penchant for talking in the third person, and his habit of calling Bumblebee 'Bumblebot'. The same happens to Bumblebee, except because of his lack of third-person speaking. Naturally, no-one notices.
- Family Guy:
- "Hello hebrews and shebrews, what a glorious Jewish day..." Also followed immediately by: "They tried to rip me off, but I 'us'ed them down to half price" (Jewish man runs up and kicks Peter in the crotch.)
- In the Bump in the Night episode "Not of This Boy's Room," Bumpy accidentally ends up on an alien spaceship. He asks one if they are planning some kind of invasion, whih the alien denies.
- In Timon & Pumbaa, the two title characters have done a Totem Pole Trench a few times, but each time, Timon had a habit of stumbling over his words forgetting that they are supposed to be one person.
- Similar to the above example, on and episode of Ed, Edd n Eddy, when the Ed's tried to fool the Kanker Sisters, Eddy said "We're doing a survey," instead of "I'm doing a survey."
- In Pinky and the Brain, Brain is mistaken for Napoleon Bonaparte and gladly plays the part, but it takes him a while to get used to the idea.
Brain: I'm happy to be... Napoleon—uh, here, and if you need... Napoleon for anything, ask me, for I am him.
- An episode of Two Stupid Dogs has Little Dog freaking out over a cat and trying (in vain) to wake up Big Dog so he could scare the cat off. As part of a plan to get rid of the cat by himself, Little Dog got himself a cat puppet:
Little Dog: Hey, cat! Hey! Look at me! I'm a cat, not a puppet! And we can be friends, you can trust me, because I'm a cat, not a puppet... and definitely not a dog.
- An episode of Taz-Mania featured two spies who dressed themselves as tourists from Cleveland. Practically every conversation they had included some mention about the place.
- In Phineas and Ferb episode "Not Phineas & Ferb", Irwin tricked his brother Albert by having Baljeet and Buford dressed as Phineas and Ferb. Buford, who was dressed as Ferb, mentioned being a Britton that doesn't talk a lot.
- In The Fairly OddParents episode "Timvisible", Francis the bully held a tradition of beating all other boys during last day. One of his victims put on a pink dress and a blonde wig to avoid it. That boy stated he was a girl, whom Francis would beat if he were a boy but won't because he was a girl or something like that. Does any troper know the correct line? Francis saw through the lame acting and removed the wig. The boy then pleaded that he was still wearing a dress but it didn't work.
- In the Captain Caveman and Son segment of The Flintstone Kids, Captain Caveman "hides" his home's location by posting a sign stating "This is NOT Captain Caveman's Secret Hideout".
- In Ned's Newt, whenever Newton needed to pass himself off as human, he would usually introduce himself as "(Pseudonym du jour) and not a newt at all."
- Tourists. Their "I ♥ NY" T-shirts give them away EVERY time.
- Lampshaded in CSI NY. When they find a victim wearing such a shirt, they immediately assume it's a tourist. They are right (although he was actually wearing it because he spilt coffee down his shirt and was there to rescue his daughter from a brothel rather than sightseeing). In a subversion, Danny mentions he wanted one as a kid (when he got one, it got him beaten up at school).
- If they DON'T wear "I ♥ NY" T-shirts, the accent will reveal the truth.
- And even if you don't hear them speak, you'll know them anyway, because they'll be the ones constantly staring up at the "really tall buildings". Most residents and even frequent visitors have long since ceased to be impressed.
- The New York Times Magazine once ran a list of tips for passing as a New Yorker. One of them advised, "Profess no knowledge of where the Statue of Liberty is."
- In San Francisco the tourists wear "San Francisco" sweatshirts not because they're trying to pass as locals but because they learned (typically at Fisherman's Wharf) that the wind off the ocean is no warm breeze, even in midsummer.
- The cable cars. You'd be surprised how many locals have never ridden on one. Most locals instead get around on the local bus system and the Muni light rail, as well as the ever-popular Bay Area Rapid Transit.
- Then there's the Golden Gate Bridge. Unless you actually are using it to travel between San Francisco and the North Bay. The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, in comparison, isn't as beautiful of a sight, but is more used for local commute and is much larger.
- The quickest way to tell who is a tourist in Seattle is to look for the people with umbrellas. Most rain in Seattle is so light and so constant that locals don't even bother, apart from a hood or hat. If there's more rain than that? Chances are, it comes with the kind of wind that will turn umbrellas into mangled scrap within minutes.
- Most of the rainy Pacific Northwest has this; the natives either have raincoats which they never take off, or no raincoat at all, depending on the day's weather.
- Another way to tell if someone is a tourist in Seattle is to ask them if they've been to the Space Needle. Most of us haven't.
- Other ways to tell a NW native from a local? Even during drunken revelry after the Super Bowl victory or May Day protests, locals do not jaywalk. The other way to suss out the tourists is asking them to pronounce the names of town like Puyallup.
- The shirts that sport the motto "Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go to Montreal" are only seen in two places: worn by tourists visiting Montreal and in the front window of the stores who sell them to said tourists.
- Another tip for spotting a tourist in Montreal: during the winter, they are the ones who show horror at snowstorms that pile up anything less than a full foot of snow on the ground. True Montrealers have a word for a 12 inch snowfall: Tuesday.
- Unless the tourists are Russian. Then they call it "Nice weather".
- What do you think of the Olympic Stadium? Tourists instantly want to go up the funiculaire to see the view up therenote Locals think it's an eyesore that cost way too much tax money and took decades too long to pay off from cigarette taxes.
- For Texas:
- Fort Worth tourists usually hit up The Stockyards, though it's not as extreme as the Space Needle or Statue of Liberty examples. Basically, if the Stockyards attraction you're at isn't a Stockyards restaurant or a nightclub, you're surrounded by tourists.
- For San Antonio, merely being or talking about being on the Riverwalk is a good way to get outed as a non-local.
- In Philadelphia:
- Doing anything other than passing by Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell while on Market or Chestnut between 5th and 6th (or on 5th or 6th between Walnut and Market). If you catch sight of Independence Hall for any reason other than looking for traffic, or even see the Liberty Bell at all...you're a tourist. (Indeed, if you're in Old City, you have no business being there unless you (1) live there, (2) work there, or (3) are getting drunk there.)
- Doing anything other than passing by the Love sculpture while on JFK next to City Hall. For that matter, even being near City Hall for any reason other than working there or having some kind of godawful business there.
- Wearing one of those T-shirts with the design based on the "Love" sculpture. Yes, it's the City of Brotherly Love, you're so clever!
- In Washington, DC:
- Visiting the Capitol, White House, and monuments. DC people will go to the Smithsonian museums though, especially young locals—with free admission, they're a cheap date.
- Driving in the District. Just take the Metro, please.
- Walking down the Mall. It's over two miles long. Mind you, it's worth doing if you actually intend to get a workout, which is why some locals will on occasion make the trip.
- In Boston:
- Saying you've been to the Paul Revere House or the Bunker Hill Monument instantly pegs you as a tourist.
- Dick's Last Resort in Fanueil Hall (itself an example) has large paper hats that they write insults about the wearer on. No local would be caught dead in one.
- This picture. Definitely, absolutely not a telemarketer.
- Everyone in Britain just assumes anyone who calls themselves a Canadian is an American who doesn't want to admit it.
- Until they say about, or out, or shout, or something. Then we've got them!
- Instead Canadians wear American flags on their head. IN AMERICA!
- The old joke (told even in Canada) goes like this:
How can you tell there's an American in Europe? He goes around insisting he's Canadian. How do you know there's a Canadian in Europe? He goes around insisting he's not American.
- Lots of "Japanese" restaurants outside of Japan (well, at least in Europe) are teppan-yaki and involve ridiculous kimonos and food-dropping games with a chef playing with food while cooking it. The kind of restaurant you can't find anywhere in Japan.
- Teppan-yaki restaurants did originate in Japan. They're just far more popular in the west than they are in their home country.
- Many Japanese restaurants aren't even run by Japanese people, but by Chinese businessmen as a successful attempt to cash on the growing popularity of Japanese sushi, sashimi... etc.
- Most Japanese cuisine you'd find outside of Japan isn't really all that popular back at home. And vice versa, almost nowhere could you find such perennial favorites as gyudon, nikujaga, curry rice, broiled saury, etc.
- Curry rice isn't really a Japanese dish, in spite of its popularity, though. The English-derived name should be an indicator: karee-raisu.
- In an inversion a spy in England, when asked what his profession was by friends and neighbors would answer "I'm a spy." Because nobody believed him, the ruse worked.
- In New Orleans, the surest way to spot a tourist is to find someone wearing Mardi Gras beads anywhere besides an actual Mardi Gras parade.
- Joss Whedon once invoked this trope during an interview by pretending to be a Joss Whedon cosplayer who was very bad at impersonating Joss Whedon (i.e. himself).
Joss Whedon: Well, I, who am Joss Whedon... Am not going to tell you.
Have I mentioned that I'm not a villain?