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Stocking Mask
"Son, you got a panty on your head."

You probably want to disguise your face before, say, robbing a bank, to avoid getting caught. But you totally forgot to include that in your bank-robbing plan! You want something better than a Paper-Thin Disguise, but you can't get professional realistic masks. Time for the Stocking Mask.

This trope is Truth in Television, as:

  • 1. Stockings are cheap and available almost everywhere;
  • 2. They're light and easy to conceal, while taking little time to put on or take off;
  • 3. They can provide sufficient masking by distorting your face;
  • 4. Buying stockings is a mundane thing;

which makes it a popular choice among masks.

However, a stocking mask also has disadvantages, such as making the wearer's vision go fuzzy (of course you can cut out holes to reveal your eyes, but that would just complicate things), and very thin stockings can't cover your scars and such. And needless to say, it only covers your face. Also, due to its popularity, anyone wearing one of these in the street will be considered a Blatant Burglar.

Expect a Minion with an F in Evil to bring pantyhose instead.

Examples

Advertising
  • An advertisment for Via Rail showed a check-in clerk at an airport donning a stocking mask and proceeding to rip the customer off.

Anime and Manga
  • In the first chapter of City Hunter, the villain puts on one of these to mug/extort his target. His victim didn't recognize him until later, but the baddie takes off his mask in full view of the nearby Ryo.

Film

Literature
  • In Big Trouble, Snake and Eddie wearing pantyhose as masks, having shoplifted two pairs of "Hanes Control Top, for the full-figured woman, in jet black."
  • In Blaze, Dumb Muscle Blaze robs a grocery store but forgets to put the stocking on. Fortunately, he scares the salesclerk so much that he can't remember anything to identify him. Blaze later comes back to the same store, this time wearing the stocking, and even points it out to the clerk.
  • In one of the Discworld books, someone tells the Watch that they'll be able to identify the robber because "not many people wear a stocking on their head."

Live Action TV
  • The Benny Hill Show:
    • In one sketch the store clerk can't understand what the robber is saying, so he taks off the stocking mask in order to be understood (and showing his face in the process). The clerk recognizes him.
    • A trio of robbers hit a store; two of them are wearing one pantyhose (i.e., stockings with two legs) over their heads, so they can't move around separately from each other.
  • As were the two ice cream shop robbers from the Freddie Wong vid Don't F With My Cream.
  • A Flashback on My Name Is Earl shows Earl stealing books from a bookstore wearing pantyhose over his head.
  • Adam-12 had a store robbery with these. The guys tried to get away with hostages, but the officers hid themselves in such a way that they could grab them on the way out-with the help of a woman hostage and her Combat Stilettos-and the escape was thwarted. The masks are then pulled off.
  • A Played for Laughs allusion on MythBusters — at one point in a build, Tory took a break from stuffing dead quail into fishnet stockings, pulled one stocking over his head, and started playing robber.

Music
  • The video for Eagle-Eye Cherry's "Save Tonight" starts with a man buying stockings in a store. He robs a nearby butcher less than a minute later.

Western Animation
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "The Secret Box", Spongebob uses a stocking as a mask in order to sneak into Patrick's house to find out what he had in the box. When Spongebob puts on the stocking, his head briefly acquires the shape of a human leg.

Real Life
  • Real life robbers are well-known for this for reasons stated above, and lots of such examples can be found if you try googling "stocking mask robber" or such.
Sleep MaskWho Was That Masked Index?White Mask of Doom
Starting A New LifeDisguise TropesSwapped Roles

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