open/close all folders
- In the Tintin comics, bumbling detectives Thomson and Thompson often attempt to go undercover by wearing ridiculously stereotypical disguises of whatever country they're in. One early book has them dress up in garish Chinese garb on a visit to Shanghai. They end up with a large crowd of pointing and laughing people following them. Another has them wearing traditional ceremonial garbs while undercover in Syldavia. As it turns out, they're wearing Greek costumes anyway.
- In The Hebrew Hammer, the main character and his love interest try to arrest the Big Bad at a Kmart by posing as a Gentile couple, complete with Southern accents, Christian paraphernalia, and American flags.
- Admiral Aladeen in The Dictator dresses head to toe in the American flag posing as an American tourist during a helicopter tour scene, where he and his cohort are Mistaken for Terrorist.
- Sasha Baron Cohen is frequently accused of abusing this trope in his films.
- Marty's flamboyant cowboy attire in Back to the Future Part III, which he did lampshade, but (1950s) Doc insisted it was fine to wear. Marty switched to more reasonable clothes as soon as he could.
- Gene Wilder's pathetic attempt to pass for African-American in the movie Silver Streak.
- Team America: World Police has a funny subversion. The main character's job is to infiltrate into a Muslim terrorist group. He simply wraps a towel around his head, superglues hair to his face, and says, "Dirka dirka Muhammed Jihad." It works.
- In Revenge of the Pink Panther, Inspector Clouseau goes undercover in Hong Kong in Yellowface, eye makeup for slanted eyes, a Fu Manchu mustache, a rice paddy hat, and a Qipao, while all the ordinary citizens around him wear business suits.
- In High Anxiety, Richard is wanted for murder and he and Victoria need to bypass airport security, so they disguise themselves as a loud, bickering elderly Jewish couple. Their reasoning is that the louder and more obnoxious they are, the more they'll be ignored.
- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Baron's two spies attempt to blend in as Englishmen by putting on plaid coats, deerstalker caps, holding a pipe aloft, and calling each other "Basil". A nearby family sees them pass and looks at each other in confusion.
- Adele Hasn't Had Her Dinner Yet has Nick Carter, the most famous American detective, arrive in Prague in overly traditional Czech attire with bagpipes and all which makes him stick out like a sore thumb.
- In The Man Who Was Thursday, Lucian Gregory repeatedly tries to infiltrate non-anarchist society by disguising himself as a capitalist, a priest, or a military man. It fails each time because, as he was raised on anarchist propaganda, he acts like an over-the-top strawman of these groups.
Gregory: When first I became one of the New Anarchists I tried all kinds of respectable disguises. I dressed up as a bishop. I read up all about bishops in our anarchist pamphlets, in Superstition the Vampire and Priests of Prey. I certainly understood from them that bishops are strange and terrible old men keeping a cruel secret from mankind. I was misinformed. When on my first appearing in episcopal gaiters in a drawing-room I cried out in a voice of thunder, 'Down! down! presumptuous human reason!' they found out in some way that I was not a bishop at all. I was nabbed at once. Then I made up as a millionaire; but I defended Capital with so much intelligence that a fool could see that I was quite poor. Then I tried being a major. Now I am a humanitarian myself, but I have, I hope, enough intellectual breadth to understand the position of those who, like Nietzsche, admire violence — the proud, mad war of Nature and all that, you know. I threw myself into the major. I drew my sword and waved it constantly. I called out 'Blood!' abstractedly, like a man calling for wine. I often said, 'Let the weak perish; it is the Law.' Well, well, it seems majors don't do this. I was nabbed again.
- Sergeant Colon does this in a downright racist manner in Jingo (as well as Malaproper, calling the Klatchians "brothers of the dessert" rather than the desert and asking "Had any baksheesh lately?"), to the point that onlookers assume he's a spy for a country other than the one he seems to be from, since no actual spy would be so obvious. And especially Ankh-Morpork, being a Proud Merchant Race run by a Magnificent Bastard, would never send such an idiot.
- 71-Hour Ahmed in the same book does this brilliantly. He keeps doing stereotypically "Klatchian" things (like offering to buy someone's wife for twenty camels) and speaking Morporkian badly, with a thick accent. It turns out that not only is he the police chief of Al-Khali, he was educated in the Assassins' Guild school and speaks Morporkian perfectly when he wants to. He actually puts on a slight Morporkian accent in Klatchian just to mess with people.
Live Action TV
- The Goodies attempt to pass themselves off as Scottish is so over-the-top that the Scot they are trying to fool declares that they must be English tourists.
- In Funky Squad, one of the square cops attempts to pass himself off a hippy by dressing as a cop's stereotype of a hippy. Not helped by the fact that he arrives driving a police car where he has crudely painted over the word 'Police' on the door so it reads 'Peace'.
- Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance: Raiden's idea of an "Authentic Civilian Disguise" while in Mexico is a Mariachi outfit which consists of a gaudy hat and an even gaudier poncho, draped over Raiden's otherwise completely unaltered cyborg body.
- In the "Honey Pot" episode of Archer, Sterling Archer attempts to seduce a gay man by dying his hair blond and wearing roller skates, skin-tight short shorts, and a shirt that says "Got Dick?"
- South Park: Cartman pulls this twice:
- He goes undercover with Butters into a Chinese restaurant wearing a dǒulì, false buck teeth, and slanty eyes so that he can get secret plans for PRC world domination.
- He also acts like a stereotype of retarded people to get into the Special Olympics - he loses so badly that he's given the Medal of Dishonor for it.
- Peter Griffin in Family Guy gets beat up after trying to disguise himself as a Jew, and doing this trope.
- In another episode, Peter infiltrates one of Meg's dates dressed in stereotypical Chinese garb, complete with buck teeth and paddy hat.
- Ben Haggerty (AKA Macklemore) caused controversy when he put on a disguise that included a dark colored wig with long sideburns and a large nose (to get to a club undetected) and then performed the song "Thrift Shop"... which wasn't exactly a good idea. Though it is worth mentioning that he denies that he was intending to promote any sort of anti-Semitic caricature when he came up with the outfit.
- The Chitty Chitty Bang Bang scene might be based on an incident during World War II when two German spies were arrested in Norfolk while dressed in spats and top-hats, both unsuitable to the terrain and hopelessly out of fashion by the 1940s.