Secret Identity Vocal Shift

A character changes voice while in costume. It is usually part of an attempt to disguise themselves. The voice change may be done by themselves, or done via external means, such as a mask or helmet with built in voice modulator.

This distinct from the more appearance-oriented Clark Kenting. This is an effective way to maintain a Secret Identity and it can also suggest a case of Secret Identity Identity if you consider that the person's two identities have totally different voices and mannerisms.

Compare Power Makes Your Voice Deep, when accessing your power (and, usually, disguising yourself in the process) grants you a different voice.


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    Anime and Manga 

  • The Dark Knight Trilogy
    • The deepening of Bruce Wayne's voice when he puts on the Batman costume is taken Up to Eleven- he sounds like he's gargling with gravel. Oddly, he still does this even when he's talking to people as Batman who know his secret identity.
    • He takes this to another level in Batman Begins where he has his normal Bruce Wayne voice, a raspy voice for talking to allies as Batman, and the gravel-gargling voice he uses when trying to scare the crap out of bad guys.
  • In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Batman uses an electronic voice modulator to alter his voice.
  • In Green Lantern, Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan plays with this a bit - speaking in his dramatic superhero voice when trying to impress Carol Ferris as Green Lantern, but she soon sees through this.
    Carol: I've seen you NAKED! Did you think I wouldn't recognize you because you covered up your cheekbones?!
  • Iron Man: Stark's Iron Man armor's helmet makes his voice more mechanical.
  • Parodied in Spiderman Homecoming, where Peter Parker's suit (also made by Stark)'s "Enhanced Interrogation Mode" gives his voice a comically deep filter.
  • Senator Palpatine/Darth Sidious in Star Wars. Palpatine loses the "normal" voice entirely after Mace Windu's attack, when he becomes Emperor.
  • In On Her Majesty's Secret Service, in the scenes where Bond is impersonating an expert on heraldry George Lazenby is dubbed by the actor who played the real expert.

    Live-Action TV 

  • The Ur-Example is probably the 1940s Radio Drama The Adventures of Superman, in which voice actor Bud Collyer shifted his speech down an octave whenever he switched from Clark Kent to the costumed hero. This carried over to his later work in Superman cartoons.

    Video Games 
  • Ratchet & Clank
    • In Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando, the Thief sounds like a digitally distorted man while wearing their costume, but she has a regular-sounding female voice once the costume is off.
    • In Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time, at one point, Ratchet pretends to be Dr. Nefarious in order to use the laser in his space station to destroy his fleet of ships. This disguise, of course, comes with that character's voice.
  • BlazBlue: Hakumen wears a full-body armor and a deep, echoing voice courtesy of the armor. His voice is actually much softer, courtesy of him being an alternate timeline Jin Kisaragi.
  • Done by two characters in The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel: "C" wears a helmet that modulates his voice, disguising his true identity of Crow, and Thomas notably adopts a deeper, more serious tone when he drops his facade of being a carefree, lackadaisical teacher and reveals he's actually the Second Dominion of the Gralsritter.
  • The Arkham Knight uses an electronic voice modulator to distort his normal voice. Given that Batman would recognize Jason's voice otherwise, it does its job well.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • In DuckTales, Fenton Crackshell is a nebbishy accountant with a voice to match, but when he puts on the Gizmo Duck costume, he becomes The Cape and starts talking in stock hero speak.
  • While less drastic than in the Nolan films, in Batman: The Animated Series, Batman has a lower voice than Bruce Wayne.
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man
    • Quentin Beck who is a fairly mild-mannered guy talks in a hammy faux-British accent when being Mysterio.
    • The Green Goblin has a personality so different from his civilian identity that it is appropriately represented by giving the two separate voice actors. Interestingly, this version of the Goblin isn't crazy (Well, technically. He's probably a psychopath, but he doesn't have multiple personality disorder).
  • In the 1960s Spider-Man series, Spider-Man's speaking voice is about an octave deeper than Peter Parker's, even when there's no need for it (e.g., when he's talking to himself and there's nobody else around).
  • Just like the original Batman, in Batman Beyond Terry's voice also changes in when he's in the bat-suit, though it's explained to be something the suit actually does somehow to help disguise his identity.
  • Unlike BTAS, The New Batman Adventures and following DCAU entries avert this, with Batman and Bruce Wayne having the same voice.
  • Also from DCAU, the Batwoman in Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman has a voice unlike her real identity (that is, any one of the three). This overlaps with Cast as a Mask as the Batwoman has a voice actress that doesn't voice any of the other characters.
  • Parodied by Buttercup/"Mange" in The Powerpuff Girls episode where they decide that they all need secret identities to be "real" superheroes.
  • In South Park, Kenny does this when dressed as Mysterion.