note So it's actually not a good way of being stealthy. Perception Filter does not have these catches, because it affects the minds of the observers, making them subconsciously look in another direction or pay no attention to the subject, or erasing the subject from short term memory. It typically doesn't work on cameras and other objects that don't have a mind to screw with. Very often used by witches in fantasy, aliens in science fiction and anyone else trying to pass unnoticed amoung muggles. See also: Weirdness Censor, Invisible to Normals, The Nondescript. Compare Jedi Mind Trick.
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Anime and Manga
- Eyeshield21. One of the players for the Devil Bats, Ishimaru, is so plain that he's practically invisible, even on the field.
- In Ghost in the Shell's cyberpunk future, most people have cybernetic eye-implants, which allows sufficiently skilled hackers to essentially edit themselves out of people's vision; this trick is used in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex by the Laughing Man and Major when she's impersonating him.
- The villain of the sixth Kara no Kyoukai movie, God's Word, is able to use the Language of Magic to plant perfect suggestions into people's heads, such as "you will lose track of me", which makes it impossible to locate him for anyone who hears it even if he stands right next to them. This way, he becomes the only bad guy in the series to face Shiki and escape unharmed.
- In Mahou Sensei Negima!, the power of Natsumi Murakami's Pactio artifact is to eliminate the user and whoever they are in physical contact with from the perception of everyone else. The effect is apparently absolute, as even the Magic World arc's Dragon-in-Chief with a Reality Warping magical device was unable to see through it.
- In Saki, 'star player' of Tsuruga Academy, Touyoko Momoko, has a special ability to 'disappear' by blending into the background. Depending on how attentive her opponents are, it may take her a while to disappear, but once she does, the rest of the players at the table simply ignore her, as well as her discarded tiles - allowing her to pull off some truly insidious gambits. It doesn't work on Nodoka once she's in the zone - she's just seeing the entire table like a PC-monitor, and there's no room for tricks like that in Online Mahjong.
- People notice Kagero Usui from Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei only when his balding head is exposed. The reason is never explained.
- In A Certain Scientific Railgun, Miho Juufuku's power Dummy Check makes people less likely to notice her. While amplified by Level Upper, it also erases their memories of having seen her.
- Meleoron in Hunter ◊ Hunter has the ability which allows him and anyone he's touching to hide their presence. They can't be sensed by sight, sound, smell or even TOUCH.
- The protagonist of Kuroko no Basuke often goes unnoticed even off-court. With this and his misdirection skills combined, he plays a central role in the team by stealing the ball and shifting the trajectories of passes to suit his team without being noticed by the opponents.
- This is how Ayakashi and gods remain Invisible to Normals in Noragami. They're not invisible per se so much as very difficult for most people to ever notice unless they deliberately attract their attention.
- In Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches, there is an invisibility power, but since all the witch powers are Psychic Powers, it doesn't actually turn the user invisible. Instead, it messes with the victim's brain so they perceive the user as invisible. Those who haven't been affected by the power can still see the user.
- In an Archie Comics story, Jughead justifies his drab, downbeat style of dress to Veronica by showing her that it renders him de facto invisible to teachers, canvassers for charity, and such, in contrast to her bold, stylish fashions. At the end of the story, an impressed Veronica likewise starts dressing not to be seen.
- The Shadow has a protagonist with the power to "cloud men's minds" so that he is not seen, and used to be a classic example.
- In The Ballad Of Halo Jones, Glyph had their sex changed so often they ended up with a gender-neutral body and this ability. While they find it much easier to get whatever they want (being able to bypass a checkout counter and so on), they are very lonely since they can't turn off this 'power'.
- One of the people who was the eponymous Doctor Fate for a while, Inza Nelson, would switch between her civilian identity and Doctor Fate right in front of people, and got away with it by mind-controlling everyone in the area for a split second to not notice.
- It's used to explain how the Celebrity Paradox can exist in "A Time To Kill" (a fancomic from Rich's ComixBlog). The Tenth Doctor tells Donna that "the combination of sounds, vowels, consonants, cadence" of the James Bond standard introduction ("Bond, James Bond.") acts as an audio perception filter, meaning that Bond can introduce himself to people and they won't remember details about him, including the fact that he's the living embodiment of what should be a fictional character. Then, to demonstrate, the Doctor uses the line on Donna, and she instantly forgets everything he told her about Bond.
- Allirea's witchcraft in Luminosity primarily takes the form of becoming an Unusually Uninteresting Sight, a power that affects only those open to mental control.
- In Symbiosis:
- Pocket Watch, a hypno, puts a light mental suggestion on people to not to look at Ash to closely when he went to school.
- Sabrina put a mental suggestion on herself to not notice Captain Torch so he could get help before she went on her rampage.
- Lyra's curse in Background Pony is a variation of this. Although others are aware of her when she present, she is immediately forgotten in few seconds once they stop paying attention.
- In Calvin and Hobbes: The Series this is used several times by the MTM, including in the Series Finale to Season 5-
- Jack: How did you get here?
Calvin: MTM scrambled our life signs and put up a perception filter.
Andy: And yes, he does get all his gadget ideas from lame TV shows.
- Queen Of All Oni: The Lost Cathedral of Cortez, which was built to seal the entrance to the Vault of Endless Night, cannot be seen unless you are standing on the lot of ground it occupies.
- Blankman seems to have something like this, as any attempts to photograph him will fail, one way or another.
- In Empath: The Luckiest Smurf, the Psyches under the control of the Psyche Master purposely regard Empath as just being a "prototype Psyche", despite the fact that he looks like something that they're supposed to despise a Smurf. That is, until he's finally exiled from Psychelia upon his 150th birthday, and then he's treated as an outsider.
- In Make a Wish the slightly-seerish shopkeeper who sold Harry some travel equipment included a bracelet which was supposed to generate an SEP field which would render him unnoticeable unless he did something strange or aggressive. Since he never read the manual, it was kept on the lowest-power setting, which meant that people noticed him but were unable to recognize his features.
- In I Am What I Am, sufficiently powerful magic weapons create a Perception Filter so their wielders can carry them everywhere (including not setting off metal detectors). The only known exceptions are ones to large to carry around, which instead take on more convenient forms, such as Jonathan's staff becoming a cane or Cordelia's sword becoming a tattoo.
- The Gensokyo 20XX Series it seems, relied on this and Weirdness Censor (as in the case of Reimu's white hair or Chen's long nails), making this justified and hand waved, allowing them to live in some secrecy and it was shattered when someone uncovered it as stated by Amoridere:
"On the note of the non-human characteristics, well, Ran is a shapeshifter, being a kitsune, so they really wouldn't have noticed her and she also has been hiding them with hats, scarves, veils, and long dresses and Chen, being I'm not sure if she can shapeshift, had hers hidden by long dresses, and usually bandannas. On the note of Flandre, well, that's easy, with the help of treatments and spells, she TURNED human, a five year old with xeroderma pigmentosum, in order to escape and live in the Outside World, virtually undetected. On the note of how no one notices them outside of those factors, well, I guess that could be explained by the humans there not bothering to look, though, it would seem odd that they have woman with a hat or veil and wears a very long dress and a little girl with long nails but I guess that is how this world works, so it is a safe assumption that things don't seem too out of place in that circumstance whereas in our world we would have thought something of it. Eventually, later on in the series, someone does notice something and it throws their lives into turmoil."
- In Fist Of The Moon, it becomes a Running Gag that the Perception Filter that protects the Senshi's identity doesn't work at all, though it's because the Senshi have accidentally infuses the ones who can see through it with magic that nullifies the censor.
- The Jimeoin film The Extra has him using this in the climax.
- In Bram Stoker's Dracula, Gary Oldman is having his way with Lucy and as Mina comes down, he murmurs, "No. Do not see me." And she doesn't.
- The Red Lectroids in Buckaroo Banzai don't wear disguises to look human, they simply use a hypnosis device to be perceived as human.
- Father Brown
- Invoked in one story. Nobody takes this explanation seriously.
- Another variant, fully realistic and closer to Hidden in Plain Sight, appears in an aptly-named "Invisible Man".
- The Others in Night Watch use a variety: people don't just avert their eyes, they step aside instinctively.
- They also use it for their property. That is why no Other has to worry about their car being stolen. If humans simply thought the car wasn't there, they try to park in that spot. This way, they don't perceive the car but also keep on driving. When Anton has to avoid using his powers in order to appear human, he suddenly has to be worried about leaving his car in a "bad neighborhood".
- Vampires (one of the weakest Other groups) experience Glamour Failure if a human looks in a mirror. The vampire would be visible in the mirror but not in direct line-of-sight. It is unknown if it's the same for other groups.
- In the Circle of Magic book Magic Steps, the kid Pasco develops the ability through his magic. Uses it to sneak around.
- Dina and her father from The Shamer Chronicles can make it so that others don't notice them.
- The Temps short story "Nothing Special" by Brian Stableford uses it for social commentry; the main character is a British paranorm of Asian origin, and we only get told what his power is in the last sentence - the rest of the story continually describes him as being ignored, but the reader doesn't make the connection.
- In the Lord Darcy books "invisibility" means that people just instinctively avoid looking where you are. They can still see you in a mirror, though. In one of the books a character asks "suppose they made the mirror invisible as well?" and is told they could, but you have to look somewhere, and the more places your eyes slide away from, the more likely you are to become suspicious.
- In the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the Mist serves this function: it blurs Greek mythological elements to all mortals (except those with the unique ability to see through it) and replaces them with something they can understand. For instance, a sword might look like a shotgun, and a hellhound can run through Manhattan unnoticed because everyone thinks it's a truck. Hence, there is a good reason why it's impossible for us to find a way to the 600th floor of the Empire State Building.
- It can affect demigods, too: in Sea of Monsters, when Tyson (a Cyclops) is outside Camp Half-Blood, Percy has to concentrate very hard or else it will appear to him that Tyson has two eyes instead of one.
- Deconstructed in the second volume: It turns out there's a second Roman Camp Half-Blood, but because of the mist the campers don't ever remember them as what they really were: half-bloods. Then you realize that Percy and other half-bloods throughout history have fought and killed some VERY peculiar monsters who seemed... almost human...
- Trained witches and Susan Sto Helit can "fade into the foreground". This seems to be a theme in Discworld: Pratchett maintains that if something is utterly outlandish and impossible enough (for example, a donkey standing on top of a very very high pole), humans will go out of their way to not notice it or subconsciously pretend it doesn't exist. Animals, who do not have the advanced mental perception filters humans have that enable them to see exactly what isn't there and not see what is, do not fall under the blanket of this trope.
- Discworld loves this — Death himself uses it to go unnoticed, though it may be a case of outright Weirdness Censor. An interesting effect in Mort is that crowds which unconsciously part to let Death through close right up again on his apprentice; they do know Mort is there, they just don't care.
- While still a student Lord Vetinari practiced standing so still that no one saw him. It worked.
- From The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
- The concept is parodied in Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal, because you can hide from it simply by putting your towel over your head. It's an animal that is so mind-bogglingly stupid that it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you.
- Also introduced is the "SEP Field" of Life The Universe And Everything, which makes things invisible very practically and effectively by causing people to believe that whatever is inside the field is Somebody Else's Problem.
- David Eddings:
- In the Sparhawk series of books, there are several different approaches to invisibility. The one most frequently seen, used by the Child-Goddess Aphrael (also known as 'The Nimble Goddess' or 'That damn sneaky thief that you just can't hate even though she just robbed you blind 'cuz her smile is so cute'), is basically this - she magically diverts people's attention, so they sorta' know you're there, but they don't pay attention to you. They'll even step out of the way to let you past, without noticing that they're doing it.
- The same is used briefly in the Belgariad, to make Garion's giant sword a bit less conspicuous. In the Malloreon, one is applied to a book of prophecy to keep unauthorized people from reading a certain passage. All the passages are clearly written and intact in every copy of the prophecies, simply written on an area of parchment the size of one letter.
- Then we also have the young boy and insanely clever budding thief, Gher in the Redemption of Althalus who can 'dodge' telepathic powers such as those from one of the companions, Leitha. As he describes it, he can tell where a telepath is aiming his or her mental "ears" and just "steps out of the way".
- In Star Wars Expanded Universe, while usually Jedi Mind Trick is utilized instead, some species can rather "hide their presence in the Force".
- A witch in His Dark Materials does this with magic. Will Parry is also implied to be able to do something like this.
- Magic-users in Diana Wynne Jones's Deep Secret can put "don't-notice" workings on objects, though it works only as a weak Weirdness Censor.
- Harry Dresden, the protagonist of Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files novels, attempts to create a potion of invisibility. It's quite possible for him to become truly invisible with such a potion, but it won't hide him from the other senses of the giant super werewolf he thinks he's going to run into. Instead, he cheats by using the effects of this trope. The potion causes those around him to avoid paying any real attention to him and act as though he were so mundane as to be not noticeable—in this case, a janitor.
- This actually turns out to be a problem when he wants to get an Innocent Bystander's attention to warn them about the rampaging werewolf, but the potion's effects make it so that the bystander hears his yelling as meaningless smalltalk.
- In Barbara Hambly's vampire novels, starting with Those Who Hunt the Night, vampires who seem to appear and disappear are really doing this.
- In the October Daye series, the faerie have a spell that Toby refers to as a "Don't Look Here". It's good enough that people driving cars avoid the user without ever realizing the spellcaster is there.
- Elizabeth Bear's Promethean Age books have the "pass-unseen" spell.
- The protagonist of Nnedi Okorafor's Who Fears Death uses this trick to infiltrate an enemy town. She called it "going ignorable."
- Daniel Suarez' FreedomTM uses a technological version that only works on digital cameras (see: Ring of Aggys.)
- William Gibson's Zero History also does the technological variant (see: Ugly T-Shirt)
- Early in The Dragon Knight series, Jim magically invokes this several times as an economic substitute for true invisibility.
- The aliens from Peter Watts' Blindsight use a hard-scifi version. They detect the saccadic flickering of human eyes and only move in-between the flickers. On the one hand, it only works on a single observer. On the other hand, it is extremely effective against a single observer.
- The Science Fiction novel A Gift from Earth by Larry Niven features a protagonist with a form of invisibility. He has a psychic power that allows him to force others not to notice him. His unconscious use of this power when he's nervous makes his social life awkward, but it is quite useful for other things. The limitations are that he has to be looking someone in the eyes for it to work, but when it happens they will literally forget he was even there. It eventually became listed among the "officially recognized" psychic powers in Niven's "Known Universe" and was named "Plateau Eyes," based on the fact that the original novel was set on the colony world, Plateau.
- In J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the Knight Bus seems to work the same way as Hitchhiker's Guide's Somebody Else's Problem Field.
- As does The Leaky Cauldron and the door to St Mungos (when it's not disguised as an abandoned department store) and presumably most wizarding establishments.
- It's stated in GoF that the Wizards have spells that make Muggles remember stuff they had to do when they enter the AoE of the spell.
- In the Wheel of Time books Grey Men are people who have given their souls to the Dark One, and as a result always blend into their surroundings. They are used as assassins in public areas, quite capable of walking right up to someone and stabbing them without ever being noticed. They are quite cleverly dealt with in the textual medium by casual insertion into a descriptive passage, so that the reader is likely to ignore them as well as the characters.
- The Grey Men in Momo can do their work effectively because they are visible but inconspicuous. They can reconnoiter without being noticed, or persuade people into saving time without being remembered.
- The novel Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes combines this with Invisible to Normals. The eponymous "Nobodies" are humans who have the supernatural ability to be completely unnoticeable and unmemorable. Most people don't see them, even when they're standing two feet away, and those who do have, at best, fleeting recollection of them. (For example, the main character laments that she has several yearbooks filled with generic greetings like "Have a great summer" because she's made no lasting impression on anyone.) However, Nobodies can see each other and there are also gifted humans called Sensors who can detect them with one of their five senses.
- In Barbara Hambly's Dragonsbane, Jenny Waynest attempts to use one of these to sneak past a group of bandits, but Gareth — not realizing the situation — disrupts the spell.
- A common stand-in for invisibility in Stephen King's works is the ability to become "dim", mostly used by villainous characters, which causes anyone that's not intimately related to the character to ignore them as if they weren't there at all.
- In The Saga of Recluce, this is one difference between white wizards and black mages. Black mages weave a cloak of light around themselves, causing a more mundane form of invisibility (with the caveat that they're also blinded), whereas white wizards actively stop the mind from focusing on them. "Wizards' roads" use the same trick, letting it seem as though villains like Antonin can be everywhere at once.
- In Pact, magical practitioners have the ability to see connections between people and objects that denote the relationships between them. The simplest and most straightforward form of magic is applying power to cut a connection, which has this effect-people fail to notice the person or object they were tied too, or forget what they were talking about. Advanced manipulation of connections falls under the schools of enchantment and illusion, the use of which is suggested to be a major contributor to the existence of the Masquerade which has people unaware of when magical disaster strikes-the location will exist on a map, but nobody will ever go there.
- In Rumor's Block Unimportant creates one of these by splitting his presence across multiple universes. This includes anything he's holding, like a flashlight, but it's dangerous for him to use it on other people.
Live Action TV
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The First Evil can pick and choose who sees and hears it.
- Doctor Who is the Trope Namer. It's used to explain why the TARDIS can go unnoticed even though it's mode-locked in its anachronistic police box form (with some help from the natural human Weirdness Censor, of course). Other examples include the pavement-stone-lift used by Torchwood's Cardiff branch (it was permanently imbued with the TARDIS's field during the rift storm in "Boom Town").
- The Chameleon Arches, Gadget Watches Time Lords can store their memories in, have filters to stop the newly-created disguise personality opening them. They'll keep the watch with them, but will assume it's broken unless their attention is specifically drawn to it.
- In the 2007 finale, the Doctor extends the effect to the TARDIS keys he and his companions carry, allowing them to avoid detection after Mr Saxon has them declared public enemies.
Doctor: It just shifts your perception a tiny little bit. Doesn't make us invisible, just unnoticed. Oh, I know what it's like! It's like when you fancy someone and they donít even know you exist. That's what it's like.
[He rushes off to do something, leaving Martha stewing in frustration.]
Jack: (To Martha) You too, huh?
- In "The Vampires of Venice", the titular vampires only look human due to a complicated perception filter that combines with an actual emitter that changes their appearance to disguise their true form (though basic survival instincts prevent it hiding their teeth). The emitter scans the subject's mind to find out what they expect to perceive and then change the wearer to look like that. This is used to explain why they don't show up in mirrors - the subject's brain doesn't actually know what to fill the space with.
- It's possible to beat the perception filter with sufficient training. The Master reveals that he can detect people using filters. Suzie in the Torchwood episode "Everything Changes" reveals that she has trained herself to resist the "invisible lift's" perception filter. Some human organisations like Torchwood One and the Church condition their personnel against perception filters as part of their mental intrusion defense training.
- Used to terrifying effect with the Silents, who you forget you encountered as soon as you are no longer looking at them.
- In Dark Angel one man turns out to be a genetically engineered precog with a "stealth frame". People avoid eye contact with him and willfully forget that he's there.
- An episode of Captain America used a gadget created by the Red Skull, which emitted high-frequency sound-waves to make mooks invisible to people.
- A villain in The X-Files episode "Unrequited" could make a blind spot appear in the middle of people's eyes and hide in it: People could see everything around it, but when trying to look directly at him, didn't see anything and their brain extrapolated the world without him.
- In Misfits this is Simon's power. When it's active, his power goes so far as to make observers perceive doors as remaining closed when he opens them.
- The invisibility spray in an episode of Get Smart is described as working this way.
- An episode of Syfy Channel's Alphas had a woman named Griffin whose power is essentially this, although it is presented as traditional Invisibility. Rosen postulated that her powers operate by allowing her to hide in blindspots of those who look at her.
- Person of Interest: On the season 3 finale, Root reveals that the Machine's plan has not been to defeat Samaritan; Decima Technologies is simply too powerful, and the best that can be achieved is to keep Team Machine safe. Root and the Machine therefore set up a perception filter so that Samaritan ignores the new cover identities set up for the team (and a few programmer allies of Root's).
- In both Vampire: The Masquerade and Vampire: The Requiem, the vampiric power Obfuscate works this way.
- Legend of the Five Rings has an Air Spell that does this.
- Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Apart from psionic invisibility, which is, obviously, a Jedi Mind Trick, regular Invisibility is an illusion spell, so it affects the visual perception of the observers so they won't see the invisible target.
- In the game's third edition (and its offshoot Pathfinder), this is spelled out even more clearly - some forms of invisibility are glamers (mind-affecting tricks), while others are images (visual illusions.) It's important because of the wide range of enemies, some of whom (zombies and giant ants, for example) have no mind to affect.
- In Mage: The Ascension, Mages can buy this ability as the background "Arcane", which means people tend to forget them right away after seeing them.
- Entertainingly, Arcane impacts basic object permanence at high levels, also impacts paperwork, and cannot be turned off. This tends to result in a fair degree of sociopathy in high-Arcane players: why rent that car when the official records showing you paid will disappear in minutes and the clerk is going to forget he rented it and call it in stolen anyway? Just steal a car in the first place.
- Mage: The Awakening, the game's spiritual successor/sequel, has a less powerful version of the same skill, which can be suppressed.
- In Rifts and the other Palladium game, this is extraordinarily frequent. Just like the real ninjutsu example below, ninjas in Ninjas & Superspies and Rifts have the ability to cloud the minds of others with chi as well as use numerous arts of invisibility that combine prowling and sneaking with misdirection and manipulation of human psychology. Psychics can use Invisible Haze, which is similar.
- In Los Angeles 2035, one of the 40 mutant powers is "passive invisibility", classified as a PSI mutation and giving the mutant a bonus to sneak checks.
- Exalted features a Stealth Charm for Solar Exalted, Easily Overlooked Presence Method, that functions like this.
- One character in Zeno Clash uses a very creative variety of this trope: he wants to be invisible. Being invisible means there's nobody who can see him... so he tears out the eyes of every living creature he finds.
- In Second Sight the "charm" ability works by making the people around you not consider you a threat. This also means it can be used to calm down allies (useful when escort an ally when she's been pumped full of drugs) but it won't work on machines (like security cameras and metal detectors) and attempting to use it when a hostile NPC can see you causes their anger to burn out your powers. From a programming point of view it also allows the developers to leave the NPCs reaction animations unchanged (enemies just act like friendly NPC when you walk past them).
- The Jedi Knight games use this as the basic effect for Force Persuade/Jedi Mind Trick (depending on which entry you're playing); you're still visible, you just "persuade" the Mooks that you're not really there. Overlaps with Jedi Mind Trick.
- Koishi Komeiji of Touhou uses her power over the subconscious mind in this way to move about unnoticed by others.
- The Stone Mask in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask has this effect, making the player "inconspicuous as a stone." Link can't see an NPC wearing the mask without the help of the Lens of Truth.
- The aliens in X-Com: UFO Defence and Terror From the Deep are able to locate X-Com bases by detecting brain waves (UFO) and using Molecular Control-based sensors (TFTD). The Mind Shield/M.C. Generator facilities can prevent UFOs from finding a base by jamming their sensors.
- In Pillars of Eternity, the Grieving Mother uses her Cipher abilities to make others see her as a random peasant beneath notice. However, the Watcher is able to break her filter through their soul-seeing powers. Not even the other companions notice her; asking Hiravias about her will cause him to wonder why some random woman is following you around.
- In Rusty and Co., Yuan-Tiffany brought along an amulet to be invisible to vampires.
- Jix had one arc where an Ambis used a perception filter instead of the usual Holographic Disguise. It was set to make him look like some sort of animal that the viewer thought harmless, so most everyone saw a dog, but Jix's insanity made her immune, and Atra didn't know what a dog was and saw something from their homeworld.
- In Dragon Mango, the temple of Sharkey is protected by a filter -- only the people who know it's there can see it beyond realizing that there's a building there, enough to not walk into it.
- In When She Was Bad, Gail and Amber have this is part of their powers. No matter how public Gail's crimes are, no matter how many witnesses see her, no one can recall her face afterwards. Even when Amber tries to directly tell the police that Gail is the culprit, her calls end up being ignored or forgotten. The same power also protects Amber's identity: when a recording is made of her flying, her face appears as The Blank.
- Squigley recently developed this power in Sinfest. Being Squig of course it backfired
- The gamma in Shadow Unit Season 1 Episode 7 "Overkill" had this as a superpower.
- This is one of the Slender Man's powers. Unless he's targeting them directly, people don't notice him at all. If they happened to have a camera with them, they will promptly shit bricks when they watch the footage.
- The Protectors of the Plot Continuum Agents get this while on a mission, but only from canonical characters, and only as long as they don't actively draw attention. It's Hand Waved as the world itself subtly trying to help them save it from the Mary Sue (or whatever else the canon breach of the week is).
- One girl in the Josie stories of the Whateley Universe has this. When she goes to the police station to turn in a criminal, the police keep not noticing her, to the point that she finally has to dictate her account on a tape recorder and leave it with a note saying 'play me'.
- Worm has a whole class of superpowers involving this, known as "Strangers".
- When Imp's power is active, anyone nearby immediately forgets her presence and involvement in events, even if they were physically touching her.
- The villain Nice Guy has a lesser version where he makes everyone around perceive him as a friendly harmless bystander, someone to be politely dismissed and then summarily ignored.
- SCP Foundation:
- SCP-268, a hat that gives its wearer one of these. Wear it long enough, and it's permanent.
- SCP-055 is a "self-keeping secret." No one knows (or more accurately, no one remembers) how it came into foundation possession, who devised its containment procedures and why, what it is, or even that it exists. This effect even goes so far as to apply to documentation on the SCP; many reports, photos, and videos of it exist, but as soon as you stop looking at any of them you will forget all about them. Because of this, it's The Dreaded; nobody knows what else it does, and it could be horrendously dangerous without anyone knowing. It's implied that it most likely is horrendously dangerous.
- In Tales of MU, the gnomes have this as an unconscious ability, and it tends to get stronger the more of them that are together. A gnomish professor has to remind her class she's there and is completely ignored by the administration.
- Ninjitsu. Yes, there is real life ninjutsu, it is not magic. It's a martial art, and yes, it has camouflage techniques. and it actually works as a whole class of techniques for doing this, based on human psychology and perception, it boils down to blending in with the background. Documented ninjitsu lessons even cover such things as how to hide in the middle of an open field (it involves crouching into a non-human shape, so someone at a distance will just see a blob and think it's a bale of hay or whatever).
- Note also that ninjas didn't wear black pajamas and sneak around all the time. They mostly hid in plain sight by costuming as someone their targets (generally samurai and nobility) wouldn't care enough about to notice: common farmers and villagers.
- Spies are trained that way to sneak around, avoiding being chased, et cetera, often by means of being The Nondescript.
- Similarly, a part of Social Engineering. Act like you belong there and maybe wear some kind of simple disguise matching what people expect others to wear, and no one will notice or question you. Is that person really someone that works in your building that forgot his keycard? Did you pay attention to the pizza guy you let into your apartment building when you were leaving?
- When little children play hide-and-seek, often a child will close his eyes, and think that nobody will notice him. When a child's mind hasn't developed yet, they think that if they don't possess a piece of knowledge, nobody else does.
- Peekaboo is based on the fact that children (below a certain age) do not know that something can exist without them observing it.
- Knowing that things exist even if you can't observe it is called Object Permanence - maybe Perception Filters override this logic. It is something that all children learn at a young age.
- Some children instead do this so they might more precisely hear anyone looking for them and thus can avoid being spotted off-guard, particularly if they are in a hiding place where their vision is limited anyway.
- Stage magicians, clowns, fortunetellers, and similar performers are actually trained to do exactly this. It again boils down to tricks on human psychology really.
- This video is a famous trick test. You think you're supposed to count the number of times the people in the video pass basketballs to each other, but what you're really supposed to be looking for is the gorilla.
- Derren Brown played this trick on a film student in this video. All he does is speak a bunch of nonsense, then add "You just simply don't see me". Then he intentionally plays out a scene from the old The Invisible Man film. The camera focuses on the student's face a lot, and you can see how his vision is deliberately unfocused, as if he can't help it, and how freaked out he is when Derren picks up a doll, as if the doll is moving on its own.
- Snipers use what is called a ghillie suit, which is essentially random scraps of cloth and burlap, often augmented with local leaves and twigs. It breaks up the lines of the human body, making it extremely difficult to see them. Though meant for long range disguise, snipers have reported patrols and guards (even ones actively looking for them) that walked right past them, sometimes so close they were almost stepped on.
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