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Mugged for Disguise
Lodestone, Shatterfist, Man-Ape, Constrictor, and Joystick learn the hard way why underwear selection is important for supervillains.
I have dispatched a hundred soldiers to Lannoch! They will be returning now! William Wallace:
(indicating his disguise
) Were they dressed like this? Lord Bottom:
) William Wallace: Actually, it was more like fifty
(after Wallace's men sneak into and capture an English fort)
The heroes or villains need to get access to the enemy stronghold. But how? By Dressing as the Enemy
, of course. That still leaves the question of how to get enemy (or otherwise deceptive) uniforms. The solution to this is a time-honored technique:
- Get the attention of the enemy mooks or some innocent victims.
- Lure the mooks offscreen.
- Add fight sound effects to the audio track.
- Wipe to a scene of the muggers dressed in the mooks' uniforms, which are always just the right size.
This specific setup is optimized for comedy, and is usually Played for Laughs
. If it is Played for Drama
, one or more of the steps may be altered.
If the trope is subverted, the fourth step will be different:
- The plan to beat up the guards and pose as them won't even get off the ground, as the mooks will either beat up, kill, or capture the heroes that came up with the plan in the first place.
- The mooks are obviously a very different size from the heroes, but their uniforms fit perfectly anyway.
- The heroes steal and wear absurdly ill-fitting uniforms that squeeze them half to death or sag all around them. Bonus points if the disguise works anyway.
In either situation, the victims will be subject to one or more of these things:
- Be Bound and Gagged and left in their Goofy Print Underwear (or no underwear)
- Never be seen or mentioned again.
- Come back and expose the impostors (doesn't happen often, but sometimes it does).
Sometimes leads to Not My Driver
, Janitor Impersonation Infiltration
, Delivery Guy Infiltration
. May overlap with Removing the Rival
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- In Super Dimension Fortress Macross (and the Robotech adaptation), Max pulls a random Zentraedi into a bathroom and knocks him out to steal his uniform while trapped onboard an enemy ship. This example is notable for being done with a Humongous Mecha.
- Aisha poses as a female wrestler named Firecat in an episode of Outlaw Star. After her teammates question her about the outfit, some banging is heard from a nearby locker, and the real Firecat falls out Bound and Gagged in her undies.
- In the RGB arc of Pokemon Special, Red knocks out a Team Rocket Grunt and steals his uniform to get into their base.
- Diamond does this as well in his own arc.
- The original series episode "The Punchy Pokémon" has a scene where Jessie and James steal the outfit and Pokémon of a man who was entering a tournament. The real competitor is shown bound and gagged in his underwear before being locked away in a bathroom stall by the villains.
- Team Rocket also does this to a pair of security guards in another episode. While locking the bound and gagged guards in a closet, Jesse and James quip about having caught the men "off-guard".
- Bleach: When infiltrating Soul Society, Orihime does this to two 12th Division officers to obtain shinigami uniforms for both her and Uryuu. Uryuu's left speechless by her combat skills. In the manga, she even apologizes to her gagged victims before leaving them hidden away.
- In the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex episode "Angel's Share", the Major does this to a special forces police officer in London, getting his attention by showing some leg (and cleavage) before knocking him out and stealing his uniform. Works in part because the uniform includes a mask attachment that covers most of her face.
- In the Dragon Ball Z "World Tournament" Arc, Trunks and Goten beat up one of the Muggle competitors and steal his costume so they can use it to sneak into the adult division fights.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Weevil and Rex steal someone's outfit to enter the Kaiba Corp Grand Championship, in an example that has a surprising amount of similarities to the above example.
- The Read or Die manga has a scene where a female villain plans to kidnap a young author by posing as the child's female bodyguard. After the villainess reveals her true identity, the real bodyguard is briefly shown bound and gagged in a bathroom, stripped of the pant suit she had been wearing prior to being replaced.
- FLCL episode #1. When Naota goes to the hospital to have the growth on his head looked at, the nurse turns out to be Haruko. During the scene we see a nurse Bound and Gagged in her underwear. Haruko overpowered the nurse and stole her uniform. She wears it again in episode 5 "Brittle Bullet" when she's acting as a barber for Commander Amarao.
- Master of Disguise Kanako does this to Shinobu and Kaolla in chapter 92 of Love Hina
- The final story arc of Soul Eater features Kilik, Kim and Ox using the robes of some defeated Arachnophobia grunts to infiltrate one of the madness relay stations.
- Lupin III: Extremely common for the franchise, given how much Lupin loves disguises.
- An episode has Fujiko and Lupin tying up and gagging a pilot and stewardess so they can steal their outfits and replace them on a flight.
- Fujiko does this to a female army officer in another episode. She leaves her tied up and gagged in a locked room while strutting about in the woman's uniform.
- Lupin does this to the Director of the New York police department in Lupin III Episode 0 First Contact.
- Happens in the pilot episode of Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine. Fujiko subdues a cultist and swaps clothes with him, leaving him bound and gagged in her dress. The poor thug ends up getting executed while Fujiko escapes in his uniform.
- Lupin escapes from Zenigata during Lupin III: Dead or Alive by switching places with the bartender Zenigata has been hanging out with (along with a dash of Latex Perfection to prevent Zenigata from figuring out the switch until too late).
- Done on a number of occasions in Cats Eye
- In one episode, Hitomi and Ai use some Knock Out Gas on a pair of female wrestlers and steal their costumes and masks. A female cop later finds the real wrestlers Bound and Gagged in their locker room.
- In another episode, Hitomi actually does this to a male gangster. The man she replaced is shown tied up and gagged in his underwear.
- There are a number of cases where this is also implied (the women often poses as guards or employees at the locations they plan to rob), but not shown.
- Happens in an episode of Michiko to Hatchin, where Michiko mugs a matador for his costume and mask.
- The title character of Madlax does this to an unfortunate cleaning woman, leaving her Bound and Gagged in a closet while she dons her uniform.
- Yuri does this to an unfortunate train attendant in an episode of Dirty Pair. Humorously, she apologizes to the taped and gagged woman before locking her up in a cupboard.
- Science Ninja Team Gatchaman has the team members do this frequently. You'd think Galactor would at least ditch the face-hiding helmets. Bonus points for the ten-year-old member wearing an adult-sized uniform -and the most any goon notes is he's 'a little scrawny'.
- In the Haunted Junction manga, Kazumi and Mutsuki do this to two kids from a very prestigious art school to help Haruto when he's he's investigating the mysterious organization that is turning the usually friendly school spirits against the students and school staff.
- In the "Blue Mermaid Heist" story from Detective Conan, Kid Kaitou does this to Sera, leaving her Bound and Gagged in a bathroom stall. This proves to be crucial to how Conan actually solves the case, since Kaitou didn't realize that the person he was impersonating was a girl.
- In a much earlier chapter, a crazy woman does this to her former employer's wife. She plans on ambushing and killing the man for firing her, but the bound and gagged wife manages to toss an S.O.S message to Conan and his friends before the killer can carry out the plan.
- In an episode of Trigun, the heroes rescue and befriend a young girl named Jessica. At the very end of the episode, Nicholas hears some muffled whining and discovers the real Jessica Bound and Gagged among some rubble. He realizes too late that the "Jessica" Vash had earlier rescued is actually a life-like puppet made by Leonoff The Puppetmaster, which had stolen Jessica's clothes in order to get close enough to Vash to shoot him. Brad Takes The Bullet for him and dies.
- Sometimes happens in One Piece, like when Mr. 2 steals Hannyabal's outfit in Impel Down (except that he doesn't have much of an outfit to begin with), or when the dwarves in Dressrosa knock out two of Doflamingo's goons so that Usopp and Robin can "borrow" their clothes to get closer to Trebol and Sugar.
- Near the end of HeartCatch Pretty Cure!, Erika and Itsuki, trying to catch back up to Tsubomi and Yuri, power down and take out a couple of Snackies to steal their uniforms. And despite the fact that you can see that their disguise barely works, it fools the other Snackies until they finally get wise.
- In the anime Agent Aika (or Aika), episode #4, her partner Rion Aida, was trapped in the ship of Hagen, when she was taken to her room (like a prison) by a blue delmo, Rion is very clever and daring then leverages that is alone with blonde delmo, when the two come into the room, Rion knocks her with some punches (the scene unseen) only the knocks are heard and the cry of the blue delmo, moments after Rion appears at the door wearing blue uniform of the blonde delmo, Rion runs in one direction and then show the scene of blond henchwoman on the floor, tied hands and feet, unconscious and only in underwear, the room door closes, enclosing it and Rion escapes from her cleanly and very easy
- One Mickey Mouse comic has Mickey get knocked out for his costume by a crook looking to get away. Unfortunately for Mickey, he got Easy Amnesia from the blow and is wearing the crook's old outfit, so the other criminals mistake Mickey for him.
- When the Thuggee cultist Ravan joins the Suicide Squad, he practically brags that he didn't get any blood on the uniforms he had just acquired for the team, leaving Bronze Tiger to remember just what kind of person Ravan was.
- In Thunderbolts 25, Crimson Cowl decided to take revenge against the Thunderbolts by creating her own Masters of Evil (the group that the bolts were originally part of) with 25 super-villains. After she captured Moonstone, five bolts decided to infiltrate the group by knocking out five members and stealing their costumes. Charcoal puts on M'Baku the Man-Ape's suit. Songbird is dressed as Lodestone. Jolt is dressed as Joystick. Atlas is Shatterfist, and Hawkeye pulls up the Constrictor's mask. You can see a picture of the fallen masters of evil at the top of the page, revealing that Man-Ape wears Goofy Print Underwear and that Joystick was Going Commando.
- During an issue of Deadpool, Wade and his team of mercenaries are hired to sabotage a satellite by hijacking a space shuttle. At one point, one of Wade's teammates complains about her suit being too bulky. The scene shifts to the cargo hold, where the real astronauts are shown tied up with their mouths taped shut.
- Gotham City Sirens features a scene where the gals take out some henchwomen◊ and jack their gear◊.
- In the Batman: Harley and Ivy collection, there is an issue where the girls try to sneak into a museum opening by posing as members of an entourage. After someone jokes about the entourage being too large for anyone to keep track of the real members, two young women (presumably the groupies Harley and Ivy replaced) are shown bound and gagged in a dark room.
- The comic book prequel to Batman: Arkham City has Harley Quinn murdering a female security guard and stealing her outfit. How she managed this isn't clear, as the mugging happens entirely offscreen.
- The very first issue of the 2011 Catwoman series has the title character posing as a bartender as part of a heist. The real bartender is quickly discovered taped up and gagged in a closet, blowing Catwoman's cover.
- The Knight and the Squire show us how they do it◊ in Merrie Olde England.
- An issue of the 90's Catwoman series had the title character tying up and gagging a maintenance worker so that she could steal the worker's uniform and infiltrate the building where they were employed.
- In Robin: Joker's Wild, the recently escaped Mr. J returns to his hideout and apologizes for showing up in a green suit instead of his usual purple. He said that it was difficult enough finding someone his size with a green suit, let alone a purple one.
- In the controversial Batman Incorporated #3, a young schoolteacher is chloroformed by some thugs and replaced by a female Leviathan agent. The impostor wears the woman's stolen clothes and glasses, with the only tip-off to the reader being that she has different hair and eye colors.
- In Black Widow (vol. 1) #1, the title heroine's rival, Yelena Belova, tapes up and gags a young flight attendant in an airport restroom in order to steal her uniform. She then stashes the unconscious attendant in an empty stall and scrawls "Out of Order" on the door with lipstick. After wishing the woman "Sweet dreams", Yelena takes her place on a flight so she can spy on the real Widow.
- An issue of Birds of Prey features a scene where Black Canary finds a nurse tied up and stripped of her uniform. Turns out that the "nurse" that her partner passed in the hallway was an escaped lunatic wearing the stolen uniform.
- The Brave and the Bold #166 has a female mercenary being hired to impersonate Black Canary. The real Black Canary is held bound and gagged in her undies while the impostor dons the heroine's trademark fishnet outfit in order to fool Batman.
- Issue #43 contains a scene where Tara steals an Amazon uniform in order to infiltrate their base. The woman she ties up appears to have been following Joystick's lead.
- Issue #48 features a scene where Lady Luger yanks a passing woman into an alley so she can appropriate her clothing in order to flee the city undetected.
- Danger Girl
- An early issue has feisty heroine Abbey mugging a waitress for this purpose. The disguise works, though she does find the uniform a bit too small.
- The "Army of Darkness" series employs this twice in one issue. Sydney Savage infiltrates a psychiatric hospital by subduing a doctor and stealing her uniform. Meanwhile, the patient she is attempting to rescue knocks out a security guard and steals his uniform.
- X-Men #207: Phoenix sneaks into the Hellfire Club and uses her mind-controlling abilities to put a waitress to sleep. She then steals her uniform so as not to be recognized upon entering the main section of the Club.
- Kate Bishop does this to Madame Masque in an issue, leaving the villainess bound and gagged with her mouth duct-taped shut.
- Kate did the same thing in an earlier issue. She infiltrated the Circus of Crime by replacing the group's female archer (who luckily had the same body measurements), with the real archer left beaten, bound and gagged in her dressing room.
- The first Black Orchid employed this trope quite often. Nearly every one of her adventures had her infiltrating a gang by tying up the leader's girlfriend/secretary/any random bystander and taking her place. Often, her deception would not be revealed until the end of the story, when the real, replaced woman was discovered.
- Astérix and Obélix do this twice in the album Asterix and the Goths: first with Roman legionaries, then with some Goths (not these ones).
- Captain America
- Happens in the "Femizon" storyline. Black Mamba and Asp mug two female security guards working for Superia, and escape in their outfits. Humorously, the ladies only needed new clothes in the first place because they had opted to give their own costumes to Captain America and Paladin, who needed to disguise themselves as women for a complicated escape plan.
- The Serpent Squad do this to a group of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents in another issue. While stripping the dead woman she plans to impersonate, Sin jokingly mentions that they have to be sure not to get any blood on the uniforms, a detail usually ignored in other instances of this trope.
- In a much earlier issue of Captain America and The Falcon, Madame Hydra did this to Viper after shooting him. She took his Code Name as well in an attempt to claim she was "honoring" his legacy.
- Happened to the hero Marvel hero Torpedo, who was taken out and replaced by a female Dire Wraith. After the alien was killed, Torpedo's suit was eventually bequeathed to the New Warriors member Turbo.
- G.I. Joe
- In one comic, a female Cobra agent ties up and gags a restaurant hostess and steals her uniform so she can plant a microphone in the General's hat.
- An old issue of G.I. Joe: Yearbook has Scarlett defeating the Baroness and her mooks offscreen, and then leaving them all bound and gagged in a closet. She strips Baroness of her catsuit and uses it as a disguise in order to rescue her friends.
- A hallmark of the Diabolik series. One story published in an Italian fashion magazine even has Eva knocking out and stealing the clothes of several models. The real models are found bound and gagged in a closet at the end of the story.
- A Wolverine one-shot has a scene where X-23 steals the uniform of a waitress as part of an undercover operation. She tapes the real server's mouth shut and locks her in a closet.
- In an issue of New X-Men, X-23 knocked out Dust and stole her Burqa. It turned out that Dust was about to walk into a trap set by William Stryker, so Laura rendered her unconscious and went in her place. The hail of gunfire that would've killed Dust had no effect on X-23 thanks to her Healing Factor.
- Non-enemy variation: R. Crumb's Fritz the Cat is fleeing from the police who busted up a pot party. He spots a drunk rich guy in top hat/monocle/tails and cheerfully escorts him into an alley — next panel he's greeting his pals in the park in the guy's clothes.
- A particularly unpleasant variation in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume 1, when Hawley Griffin beats a policeman to death with a brick and takes his uniform. It should be emphasised that 1) Griffin doesn't need a disguise at that point, 2) Griffin is invisible and so wearing a policeman's actually makes him more conspicuous. He later explains that he was cold.
- In With Strings Attached, George has to become Bayanis so he and Paul can infiltrate the warehouse. Except that Paul had already wrapped her up in her own robes (well, she tried to order him to kill the others), so all they have to do is strip her, and John immobilizes her in warm ice.
- In Black Widow's Bad Luck, the eponymous Avenger steals the uniforms of two mooks and an assassin (as well as leaving them Bound and Gagged, or at least knocked out, and stripped to their Goofy Print Underwear, including swastika-print panties) as part of a plan to infiltrate the operation of Sin, daughter of the Red Skull, and stop her acquiring a gem that will grant her god-like powers. Unfortunately for Black Widow, she gets caught when the assassin recovers and exposes her, resulting in her being stripped to her 'lucky' Hello Kitty underwear (something she had been privately dreading happening).
Films — Animation
- In Shrek 2, the titular character steals a passing nobleman's clothing when he realizes that in human form his old clothes don't quite fit. As he leaves, he calls back "Some day, I will repay you! Unless of course I can't find you, or I forget."
- In the 2006 animated film Hoodwinked, the Wolf and Kirk try infiltrating Boingo's tramway terminal lair to rescue Red with disguises. They get Kirk's disguise by luring Boingo's muscle man, Dolph, away, where they overpower him, and steal his ski uniform. So that he won't be recognized, Kirk also wears a ski mask. Funnily enough, Boingo must be blind or very irritated if he is unable to notice that "Dolph" has magically changed his weight and grown a beard almost in a matter of seconds.
- Played with in Kung Fu Panda 2 when Po is trying to sneak into Shen's fireworks factory. He knocks out two wolf guards, but instead of taking their uniforms (which would clearly be too small for him), he just holds them up in front of his face, using the guards themselves as the disguise. This actually works, since no one gets a very good look at him.
- In Robin Hood, Little John ambushes the Sheriff of Nottingham and put on his clothes during the jailbreak scene. The Sheriff spends the rest of the climax in his underwear.
Films — Live-Action
- Certain Expanded Universe sources claim that Stormtrooper armor has a built-in protection from mugging for disguise. If the helmet is removed without pressing a hidden button, its built-in HUD turns off and only gets in the way of vision, and that's why Luke cannot see a thing in this helmet.
- Spaceballs does the same when Lone Starr and Barf infiltrate Spaceball City. Made especially funny when you realize that neither of the mooks are anywhere near John Candy's size. Becomes a Brick Joke when they run into two mooks dressed in underwear.
Guard 1: HEY!!! THOSE ARE THE GUYS WHO STOLE OUR UNIFORMS!!
Guard 2: And beat the shit out of us too!
- In Blazing Saddles, Bart gets two KKK hoods for this purpose with the Where Da White Women At?. Unfortunately they don't cover his hands.
- KKK costumes are also stolen as disguises in O Brother, Where Art Thou?.
- More KKK costumes are stolen as disguises in Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay.
- Indiana Jones
- In Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones drags a Nazi guard offscreen and steals his uniform, but it's too small, so when another guard berates him for his slovenly appearance, he beats that guard up and steals his (better-fitting) uniform.
- In The Last Crusade, Indy knocks out a Nazi officer and steals his uniform at the book burning rally. Later, he follows a zeppelin attendant to an off-screen area to get his uniform as Nazi agents approach him and his dad. Amusingly, much like the example in Raiders, the zepplin attendant's uniform is too small for Jones. He manages to squeeze into it, but is visibly uncomfortable.
- Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey: "Dude, we're in heaven and we just mugged three people!" While the outfits would fit the three of them, they don't wear the outfits that would personally fit.
- In the 1982 Conan the Barbarian movie:
- Conan acquires the robes of a priest to get close to Thulsa Doom.
- Earlier in the film, Valeria is seen sneaking up on a female cultist attending a human sacrifice. The movie cuts to Conan for a bit, and when it cuts back to Valeria she's standing where the unfortunate cultist was standing, dressed in her robes.
- In Die Hard 2, a deleted scene shows two of Stuart's Mooks shooting and killing two Dulles Airport painters, then stealing their van and uniforms. The scene, which would have happened after the scene with the phony electrician killing the church custodian, if left in the final film, explains where the henchmen acquire the disguises they use when they ambush and kill the airport's SWAT team.
- The Day Watch film features an occult variant — Anton is attacked by an assassin of the Day Watch; once the assassin's knocked out, Anton takes his clothes — and, using an indentation his face left in the snow, his appearance — to infiltrate a function.
- In the first Austin Powers film, Austin and Vanessa pull this off to infiltrate Dr. Evil's lair. Of course, since this is Austin Powers, there's a twist: the guy Austin mugs is about 6'10", and the woman Vanessa takes down is around 300 pounds — yet the uniforms fit Austin and Vanessa perfectly.
- Near the climax of Honeymoon in Vegas, Sarah Jessica Parker mugs a random showgirl and appropriates her dress in order to sneak past some casino guards.
- The Roger Corman B-movie Big Bad Mama features the mostly-female gang of criminals (lead by the titular "Mama") impersonating a group of singers and musicians in order to infiltrate a fancy party. The real singers are left in the parking lot, bound and gagged in their long johns. Another scene has the women robbing a building using a stolen truck and caterer uniforms, but what they did with the real caterers isn't shown.
- Played for dark drama in the climax of Midnight Express.
- Subverted in Scary Movie 4, when Cindy and Brenda pull two "village" women into the bushes, and after a brief scuffle the women emerge looking disgruntled but with their outfits intact ... followed by Cindy and Brenda, who were the ones actually beaten up. They later settle for spare garments from a clothesline.
- Variant occurs in Rat Race: Cuba Gooding Jr.'s character tricks a bus driver into giving him his uniform (so he take the bus and get ahead on his treasure hunt), by saying the clothes are to help his birthing wife.
- In The Lion Roars, while at a celebration, Cecilia Cheung pulls an unsuspecting chorus dancer behind a nearby curtain and later shows up dressed in her clothes and veil. This is less a reason to sneak into any enemy bases than it is to spy on her husband, whom she suspects of cheating.
- James Bond
- Dr. No. Bond knocks out one of Dr. No's workers and steals his radiation suit so he can infiltrate the nuclear reactor room.
- You Only Live Twice. Bond and some imprisoned astronauts take out several SPECTRE guards and steal their uniforms.
- Diamonds Are Forever. During the opening sequence several doctors leave a building and another doctor enters. We then see a man lying behind some bushes wearing underclothes. After the other doctor gets inside he pulls off his mask and cap to reveal himself as Bond. Bond took out the doctor and stole his medical clothing so he could investigate inside.
- Moonraker. While in Drax's Elaborate Underground Base, Bond and Dr. Goodhead knock out two of Drax's employees and put on their yellow jumpsuits.
- In The Living Daylights, the Russian assassin strangles (with his earphones' cable) a milkman to steal his uniform and get into the MI-5 safehouse. The milkman isn't the enemy; he just had the right outfit.
- In The Borrower, a sex offender, wounded and captured by the Police, escapes from hospital by knocking out a female police officer, leaving her bound and gagged on his hospital bed, and walking out of the hospital wearing her uniform. Her entire uniform, including her underwear.
- Geena Davis did this to a nurse in Earth Girls Are Easy, because she needed the nurse's uniform.
- In Stripes, Bill Murray and company pose as civilians and take the two guards at the enemy base hostage, with Murray taking a uniform from one of them.
- In The Dark Knight, the Joker and his goons do it to an entire police honor guard, then do a spot-on impression of the honor guard — thus smuggling seven loaded rifles right past every cop in the city and directly up to the Mayor's stage.
- Super 8: Joe's father does this to escape the air force base.
- The Naked Gun
- In the first film, Frank pulls this off on both an umpire and opera singer Enrico Pallazzo.
- Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult has Frank and Jane mugging "Weird Al" Yankovic and Vanna White, who are on their way to the Academy Awards. After being stripped of their clothing and invitations, the two celebs are left bound and gagged behind some bushes.
- Done numerous times by The Three Stooges, though often with the clothes not fitting properly.
- Judge Dredd. While on the run from the law Dredd knocks out a Judge and steals his uniform so he can masquerade as a Judge.
- During Casey Jones' infiltration of the Foot headquarters in the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, Casey does this to a Foot Soldier in order to steal his uniform to blend in with the others and find Danny, who he followed there. The two eventually end up rescuing Splinter, who the Shredder has just ordered killed.
- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. After the fight in Dorian Gray's mansion Secret Service agent Sawyer explains how he came to be Dressing as the Enemy among the Fantom's mooks.
Sawyer: I followed you, and knocked out a straggler, and I took his place.
- In Night Train to Munich, they steal uniforms from some Nazis to get away
- In Get the Gringo, the heroes escape from a Mexican prison at the end by posing as a group of surgeons. The real surgeons are left bound and gagged in the operating room, some stripped of their scrubs.
- In Carry On Jack, Sally (Juliet Mills) steals the uniform of Midshipman Albert Poop-Decker (Bernard Cribbins) and takes his place on the frigate Venus.
- In Parker, Parker knocks out a male nurse and steals his uniform to escape from the hospital.
- In Bandidas, Maria and Sara do this to a group of masked French showgirls.
- In La Grande Vadrouille (Don't Look Now... We're Being Shot At! in the USA, The Great Stroll elsewhere) the heroes (3 British aviators and 2 Parisians on the run from Germans) set a trap on an evening Paris street. Alan MacIntosh dressed as a woman strolls next to an open manhole, passers-by look at "her" and fall into the hole, where they are beaten and undressed. Bonus points for the speed of undressing and sorting the clothes and footwear. Minor subversion in the next scene: next morning Lefort realizes that he took too small shoes and forces Bouvet to give him his.
- Fujiko mugs Lupin in Strange Psychokinetic Strategy, switching his suit for her prison uniform, leaving him to be captured by Inspector Zenigata.
- Quicksilver mugs a Pentagon security guard for his uniform during the jailbreak sequence in X-Men: Days of Future Past. He leaves the real guard duct-taped to a wall and gagged.
- Red. When Frank Moses is caught breaking into CIA headquarters, an alert goes out for a bald man wearing a bloodsplattered white shirt. He starts a fire, then mugs one of the firemen, carrying out his unconscious body and wearing his fire helmet. The body is checked to make sure it's not Frank (the fireman has hair of course) but Fireman Frank is let through the perimeter check. The trope is Played for Laughs when the Badass Crew have to infiltrate a political convention at a hotel. A waiter is shown taking out the garbage to an industrial bin when he's suddenly yanked into it by persons unknown, later revealed to be one of the team.
- "Your clothes. Give them to me. Now."
- In Space Mutiny, David Ryder and Lea both steal Enforcer uniforms from different soldiers. When this was shown on Mystery Science Theater 3000, Tom Servo mocks the fact that the obviously shorter Enforcer's uniform suddenly fits David's big, muscular frame.
- In The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal Lector escapes from custody wearing the uniform and FACE of one one of his jailers.
- It is not rare for Lone Wolf to kill some Evil Minions for clothes before sneaking into enemy strongholds. This can happen in Book 5 to a Vassagonian messenger, in Book 12 to a Drakkar horseman, in Book 13 to a Cener Druid or in Book 16 with an Acolyte of Vashna. It helps that most enemies Mooks are either Faceless Goons or In the Hood.
- In the Discworld novel Jingo, Nobby and Colon try to pull this on a couple of guys in Al Khali and in the usual subversion, get mugged themselves and have their clothes stolen.
Nobby: Well, we could always lure some more people into this alley and try it again.
Colon: Nobby, we're alone in a foreign port, and you're dressed only in your, and I use this word with feeling, unmentionables. This is not the time to start talking about luring people into alleys. There could be talk.
- Harry Potter
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Ron and Harry sneak Crabbe and Goyle a sleeping potion, stuff them in a broom closet, and steal their shoes and several hairs to complete a Polyjuice Potion disguise. The film makes this a straighter example as they also steal Crabbe and Goyle's uniforms, since Slytherin uniforms are different from Gryffindor uniforms in the movies. (The stated reason was because Crabbe and Goyle are freaking tanks. In the book, of course, Hermione planned ahead and nabbed some spare ones.)
- Harry, Ron and Hermione use the same technique to infiltrate the Ministry of Magic in Deathly Hallows.
- David Edding's The Belgariad:
- In the fifth book, Silk knifes some mooks for their robes. One drawback of the technique is highlighted when they then have to find a way to arrange the robes so that the tears and bloodstains aren't evident.
- Done again about halfway through the Malloreon, when the group needs Karand disguises to crash a ceremony.
- The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge. Jim diGriz and his wife Angelina mug two police officers for their uniforms in order to escape a dragnet, only to find that they're wearing ladies' underwear. After knocking out two more policeman Angelina suggests taking a peek at their underwear too, but Jim prefers that some illusions should remain untarnished.
- A complicated variation in X-Wing: Iron Fist. The Wraiths already have a disguise, but they need to get into the local enemy base, so they have two members start a Bar Brawl and get a batch of Imperial pilots caught up in it. Then they show up to arrest everyone involved, knock out or stun the Imperials, disguise themselves as stormtroopers, and are able to get a ride on a speeder that's going out to fetch Imps who'd been out on the town, claiming that the guys they're lugging around lost a fight. It works, and they get in.
- Nynaeve, from The Wheel of Time, occasionally mugs people for clothes to sneak herself and her friends into enemy strongholds. The trope is played more realistically than usual, since the clothes fit badly more often than not. Sometimes going so far that the members and their roles in the group are determined by the acquired clothes. Whoever was designated for a specific task beforehand due to their skills might get assigned a different task or even not take part at all because the disguise they'd need doesn't fit.
- In the Vorkosigan Saga novel Shards of Honor, some members of Cordelia's crew ambush a Barrayaran patrol and steal their uniforms, as part of their plan to rescue her.
- In Telzey Amberdon story "Lion Game" this is crossed over with Mugging the Monster: two street thugs stalk Telzey (a high-powered telepath) into a dark alley. A few minutes later, Telzey emerges, wearing one of their jackets.
- Dick Tracy: In the Rughead arc, Rughead does this to a cab driver, stealing his uniform and his cab.
- MAD Super Special Fall 1980. In The Moronic Woman (a The Bionic Woman parody), Jammy Summons (Jaime Sommers) and Oscular (Oscar Goldman) have infiltrated the enemy palace. In order to get a guard's uniform for Oscar to wear, Jammy walks around knocking out guards until they find one who is Oscular's size. Oscular puts on the uniform and they go to the office of the dictator.
- Dragon Warriors RPG. In an example of play an escaping thief knocks out a member of a party of fishermen. She takes his tunic and disguises herself as one of them so she can join them in strolling through the main city gate to safety.
- One of the missions in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City has Tommy and Lance do this to a pair of police officers for their outfits.
- Tales of Symphonia requires you to do this in the second Desian Ranch you have to infiltrate. You have to wander around for Random Encounters after this plot point comes up, and then only the ladies of the group get uniforms because the male ones will always be "Too damaged".
- In one portion of Final Fantasy VI, Locke has to steal soldiers' and merchants' uniforms in order to get around a town once The Empire takes over. Rather than knock them out, though, he just uses the "Steal" command to snatch the clothes right off their bodies.
- Final Fantasy VIII has a small portion of the game where Selphie and the team she is given are required to dress up as enemy soldiers in order to sneak into a missile base. Somewhat subverted in that they first steal a car, which had the uniforms in the back, rendering the need to knock out guards moot... They do it at the base anyway.
- Final Fantasy IX Zidane and Blank do this to infiltrate Alexandria Castle at the beginning of the game. Put a stage fight as part of the play, run away from the crowd and into the castle, lure two Pluto Knights that were nearby, knock them out and steal their outfit. When Zidane refuses to wear the helmet because it stinks, Blanks lists all that's wrong with his own armor. Its owner was apparently bigger than the actor ...
- Medal of Honor: An early installment has the player take out a Nazi officer in order to infiltrate a u-boat.
- Played straight in the Hitman games. Oftentimes, Agent 47 will need to mug several people for their uniforms in order to get to his target. Becomes one of the biggest complaints/sources of jokes about the game. When the Chinese limo driver steps into an alley to take a leak and comes back white, bald, and half a foot taller... no-one bats an eye.
- The Assassin's Creed series has Ezio Auditore stealing armor from guards on occasion, usually so he can carry a box of valuables around without being attacked.
- Metal Gear Solid
- The Elder Scrolls
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Once imprisoned, you can kill the Jailor and don the full guard attire, to be able to leave both the prison and town without guard confrontation. But with few exceptions, the NPCs in Oblivion don't react differently to you no matter what clothes you're wearing. The Guards wouldn't react any differently to you if you were wearing Guard armor or going around stark naked.
- Also played straight, subverted or averted in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, depending on your race. You can steal a Thalmor uniform during the quest to infiltrate the Thalmor Embassy; however, this only works properly if you are Altmer. If you are another type of elf or a human, it will only work from a distance, at close up the Thalmor will detect the ruse. If you are Orc, Khajiit or Argonian, this will fail from the start and look really ridiculous.
- Prototype takes this to a gruesome extreme: the ones "mugged" for Alex's disguise don't survive the consumption of their DNA.
- The Spy can evade German patrols by dressing as a German soldier, and one of his options for procuring a uniform is to KO a soldier with ether and steal his uniform, leaving him Bound and Gagged; he can't mug the dead for obvious reasons. On the other hand, the disguise only works on enemies who are of lower or equal rank to the uniform's original wielder, ie. a random private's uniform will hide you from other privates but not from a lieutenant.
- In Commandos 2 and 3, anyone can mug enemy soldiers for uniforms. However, it only works for a limited time except for the Spy who can stay disguised indefinitely. Oh, and only the Spy can use officer uniforms but if he happens to wear one, he can order lower-ranked enemies around.
- Not quite a video game, but in the intro of the Cartoon Network game Rave Slaves, Jack pulls a passing raver into the bushes and steals his disguise to infiltrate the club where Aku's DJ is hypnotizing the teenagers with evil music.
- Played straight in Fallout: New Vegas. You can steal uniforms from certain organizations, and most Mooks will take the disguise at face value. Smarter characters, leaders, and guards are more likely to see through it.
- Many, many times in Kingdom of Loathing, players acquire an outfit to disguise themselves in unfriendly areas by 'beating up' enemies. In an aversion of the 'perfect fit' part of the trope, almost no enemies drop all useable parts of the outfit they're wearing — you have to keep mugging them to collect a fully wearable ensemble.
- One episode of The Fairly OddParents has the Bronze Kneecap mug the director of the Crimson Chin movie and take his place to ruin the film and discredit his arch-enemy.
- Shego of Kim Possible once yanked a male waiter off-screen and came back with the uniform somehow fitting perfectly.
- Family Guy
- In an episode, Peter does this, and is then told they don't need disguises. So he does it again to a random passerby who was wearing the same clothing he normally wears.
- Another when Brian, Stewie and Mort beat up the Nazi guards and steal their uniforms. The uniforms happened to fit Brian and Stewie perfectly.
- Hey Arnold!: Helga needs a way into Arnold's house without being noticed. A Camp Fire Lass comes to the door. Helga lures her into the alley, stock sound effects occur as said Camp Fire Lass gasps, "Unhand me!" and the doorbell rings to reveal Helga on the threshold with the girl's uniform and cookies. Then in the end of the episode, after Helga leaves the house, she gets chased through town by the Camp Fire Lass in her underwear and the army of Girl Scouts.
- Stan on American Dad! refers to this tactic as "playing Identity Theft".
- Subverted in The Simpsons episode "Viva Ned Flanders." Homer and Ned try to beat up and strip some guards to hide out from the angry Vegas mob that's been chasing them, but the guards beat Homer and Ned up and leave them in their normal clothes.
- A handful of these occur on G.I. Joe.
- One episode has Lady Jaye sneaking into a Cobra sub-base and mugging a random worker for her outfit. Cobra Commander, though, isn't fooled for an instant.
- Lady Jaye and Flint do this to a pair of pilots in another episode, leaving them tied up with their mouths taped. Curiously, the uniform fits Jaye perfectly despite being meant for a large male.
- Young Justice
- Occurs in the episode "Downtime". After trouncing two of Black Manta's henchmen, Kaldur'ahm and Garth don their uniforms in order to get close enough to Manta to take him down. This almost works, but Manta notices the Atlantean weaponry on Kaldur'ahm's belt, and immediately opens fire on the two boys.
- Cheshire seemingly does this TWICE in the episode "Targets", first to a gift shop employee and then to a female server at an Asian tea ceremony. Both take place offscreen.
- The heroes do this in the penultimate episode of the series, mugging and replacing a number of members of the League of Assassins. What they did with the men and women they stole the uniforms from isn't stated.
- Used by the Chameleon in an episode of The Spectacular Spider Man. The audience is initially lead to believe the villain has been defeated, but then Spidey finds a cop bound and gagged in his underwear in the back of a police van. Turns out that one of the "officers" that had walked off in the background was actually Chameleon in disguise.
- Batman Beyond
- False Face does this in the episode "Plague", where he steals the uniform of an airline employee. The real worker is later found bound and gagged in his undies.
- Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker has one of the Dee Dee twins briefly posing as Jordan Pryce's girlfriend Amy as part of an attempted assassination. The real Amy is left bound and gagged at the docks. Note in this case the twins didn't steal her clothes, they simply took her out and pretended to be her.
- The title character does this to a yacht crew member in the episode "Skorpio".
- A female terrorist and her henchmen do this to a group of hotel employees in the episode "Swiss Miss".
- A major example takes place near the end of the second season of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Azula, Ty Lee, and Mai ambush Suki and the Kyoshi warriors, and the next time Azula and her friends are shown, they are clad in the stolen Kyoshi outfits. The fates of Suki and her teammates wouldn't be revealed until the third season, where we find out they were taken captive and placed in a Fire Nation prison after being mugged.
- In the Batman/Superman crossover, Harley Quinn knocks out Lex Luthor's female limo driver and takes her place. She doesn't steal the whole outfit though, just the woman's hat.
- The RoboCop: Alpha Commando episode "H-2-Uh-Oh" features a villainess who can turn herself into water. While infiltrating a military base, her powers wear off, and she reverts to her (completely unclothed) human form. She spots a guard exiting the ladies' room and tackles her back inside. Punching sounds are heard, and the villainess walks out of the restroom in her newly appropriated clothes.
- The Herculoids episode "The Crystalites". Several Crystalite guards are knocked out and their uniforms stolen so Gloop, Gleep and Zandor can infiltrate the enemy compound to rescue Tarra and Dorno.
- Teen Titans
- One episode of Chowder has the main character running away to join the Flying Flinger Lingons. When Mung and Shnitzel goes to bring him back they spot a pair of what appears to be Flinger Lingon performers sitting in the hill. The two attempt to knock them out with a mallet but the rubber suit bounces back and hits our heroes instead. Then Truffles reveals that the suits were empty and they could have just taken it instead.
- In Green Lantern: The Animated Series, Hal and Kilowog mug a couple of Red Lantern guards (armored mooks, not to be confused with actual Red Lanterns) for their disguises. This works for normal-sized Hal, but Big Guy Kilowog is out of luck and ends up getting caught while struggling to put the uniform on.
- One House of Mouse episode had Humphrey the bear kidnap Merriweather the fairy so he could steal her outfit and so he could take Princess Aurora's birthday cake.
- One episode of Rick & Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in All the World has Chuck (Alan Cumming) posing as Carrie Underwood so he can sing the national anthem at a baseball game. The real Carrie Underwood is shown tied up and ball-gagged in a locker room.
- On Adventure Time, Finn and Jake attack two actors to infiltrate the Fire King's palace, then get a ridiculously As You Know explanation of who they're disguised as from another member of the troupe.
- While it usually doesn't involve mugging, spy agencies often counterfeit or steal identity documents of random people as cover for their operatives. Mossad in particular has really bad rep for this, having been caught in the eighties doing this and promising not to do it again, and in 2004 when they promised not to do it again, and in 2010 where they promised not to do it again.
- A group of inmates called the "Texas 7" escaped from a Karnes County prison by doing this. They ambushed a group of guards and civilian maintenance workers, tied and gagged them, stole their clothing, and then left them locked away in an electrical room.
- In Germany, an escaped murderer in the early 2000s killed a man who looked similar to him and was living by himself to get his ID and get through police controls.
- Combined with Working the Same Case: In 2013, it was suspected that 211 gang member Evan Ebel's assassination of Tom Clements, the head of the Colorado Department of Corrections, may have had shades of this. The police theory is that on March 17, Ebel shot and killed a pizza delivery man named Nathan Leon, then stole some of Leon's items, like his uniform and a pizza carrier. He used the two items as props two days later, and posed as a pizza delivery guy to get into Clements' house, then shot him. The suspected connection came two days after the Clements killing when Ebel was killed in a police shootout in Texas. A gun found in the wreckage of his car, a black Cadillac matching the description given by eyewitnesses of the car driving away from Clements' house after the killing, was matched by ballistics to the bullets used against Clements, while a pizza delivery shirt and an insulated delivery carrier from Leon were also found.