troperville

tools

toys

SubpagesADeathInTheLimelight
AGodAmI
AbusiveParents
ActionDad
ActorAllusion
AdaptationalVillainy
Adorkable
AffablyEvil
AfterTheEnd
AgonyOfTheFeet
AllThereInTheManual
AlliterativeName
AlphaBitch
AlternativeCharacterInterpretation
AmusingInjuries
AnachronismStew
AndIMustScream
Angrish
AntiVillain
Anvilicious
AnyoneCanDie
ArsonMurderAndJaywalking
ArtEvolution
ArtifactTitle
AscendedExtra
AttentionWhore
Awesome
AwesomeButImpractical
AwesomeMcCoolname
AxCrazy
BLAM
Badass
BadassAdorable
BadassBoast
BadassBookworm
BadassCreed
BadassGrandpa
BadassNormal
BalloonBelly
BatmanGambit
BetterThanItSounds
BettyAndVeronica
BewareTheNiceOnes
BeyondTheImpossible
BigBad
BigDamnHeroes
BigEater
BigNo
BigOlEyebrows
BittersweetEnding
BlessedWithSuck
BlindIdiotTranslation
BodyHorror
BoisterousBruiser
BookEnds
BoundAndGagged
Bowdlerise
BrattyHalfPint
BreakTheCutie
BreakingTheFourthWall
BreathWeapon
BrokenAesop
BrokenBase
BullyingADragon
BunnyEarsLawyer
ButtMonkey
CaptainErsatz
CaptainObvious
CardCarryingVillain
CarnivoreConfusion
CatchPhrase
CelebrityParadox
CentralTheme
CerebusSyndrome
ChainedHeat
CharacterDerailment
CharacterGush
CharacterSheets
ChekhovsGun
ChekhovsSkill
ChuckCunninghamSyndrome
Cliffhanger
CombatPragmatist
ComicallyMissingThePoint
CompletedMigrations
ConservationOfNinjutsu
CouchGag
CoversAlwaysLie
CowardlyLion
CowboyBebopAtHisComputer
CowboyCop
CrapsackWorld
CrazyAwesome
CreatorBreakdown
CreatorsPet
CurbStompBattle
CuteBruiser
DamselInDistress
DarkIsNotEvil
DarkerAndEdgier
DeaderThanDisco
DeadpanSnarker
Determinator
DethroningMoment
DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu
DieForOurShip
DisContinuity
DisproportionateRetribution
DistractedByTheSexy
DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything
DorkAge
DownerEnding
DracoInLeatherPants
DrivenToSuicide
DroppedABridgeOnHim
DumbMuscle
DyingMomentOfAwesome
EarlyInstallmentWeirdness
EarnYourHappyEnding
EldritchAbomination
EnemyMine
EnsembleDarkhorse
EpicFail
EstablishingCharacterMoment
EvenEvilHasStandards
EverythingsBetterWithDinosaurs
EvilCounterpart
ExactWords
ExecutiveMeddling
Expy
ExtremeOmnivore
EyeBeams
EyeScream
FaceHeelTurn
FacePalm
FamilyUnfriendlyDeath
FamousLastWords
FanDisservice
FanFic
FanNickname
FanPreferredCouple
Fanon
FantasticRacism
FatBastard
FieryRedhead
FirstNameBasis
FiveBadBand
FiveManBand
Flanderization
FoeYay
FollowTheLeader
ForWantOfANail
FourTemperamentEnsemble
FreakyFridayFlip
FreudianExcuse
FreudianTrio
Fridge
FridgeHorror
FromBadToWorse
FromNobodyToNightmare
FunWithAcronyms
Funny
FunnyAneurysmMoment
FurryConfusion
GenreDeconstruction
GenreSavvy
GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff
GetAHoldOfYourselfMan
GondorCallsForAid
GoodAngelBadAngel
GoofyPrintUnderwear
GroinAttack
GrowingTheBeard
Gush
HalfDressedCartoonAnimal
Hammerspace
HappilyMarried
HarmlessVillain
HarsherInHindsight
HaveAGayOldTime
Headscratchers
Heartwarming
HeelFaceRevolvingDoor
HeelFaceTurn
HeroicBSOD
HeterosexualLifePartners
HilariousInHindsight
HoYay
HoistByHisOwnPetard
HonorBeforeReason
HotBlooded
HumiliationConga
HypercompetentSidekick
HypocriticalHumor
IAmNotShazam
IdiotBall
IdiotPlot
IllGirl
ImageSource
ImprobableWeaponUser
ImprovisedWeapon
IneffectualSympatheticVillain
InformedAbility
InsistentTerminology
InterspeciesRomance
ItsAllAboutMe
JerkWithAHeartOfGold
Jerkass
JerkassWoobie
KarmaHoudini
KickTheDog
KidsAreCruel
KilledOffForReal
KillerRabbit
KnightOfCerebus
KnightTemplar
LampshadeHanging
LargeHam
LastNameBasis
LauncherOfAThousandShips
Leitmotif
LethalChef
LetsGetDangerous
LightIsNotGood
LookBehindYou
MacGuffin
MadeOfIron
MagicPants
MagnificentBastard
Main
MakeMeWannaShout
MamaBear
ManChild
MassiveMultiplayerCrossover
MeaningfulName
MesACrowd
MilesGloriosus
MindRape
MindScrew
MisaimedFandom
MissingEpisode
Monster
MoodWhiplash
Mooks
MoralEventHorizon
MotiveDecay
MrFanservice
MsFanservice
MuggingTheMonster
MultinationalTeam
MundaneMadeAwesome
MundaneUtility
MustHaveCaffeine
MyGodWhatHaveIDone
NamesTheSame
Narm
NauseaFuel
NeedsMoreLove
NeverLiveItDown
NiceGuy
NiceJobBreakingItHero
NighInvulnerability
NightmareFuel
NinjaPirateZombieRobot
NoExportForYou
NoHoldsBarredBeatdown
NoIndoorVoice
NonIndicativeName
NoodleIncident
NotMeThisTime
NotSoDifferent
OffModel
OffscreenMomentOfAwesome
OldShame
OlderThanTheyLook
OlderThanTheyThink
OneManArmy
OneSceneWonder
OneSteveLimit
OneWingedAngel
OnlySaneMan
OurDragonsAreDifferent
OurVampiresAreDifferent
OurWerebeastsAreDifferent
OverlyLongName
PapaWolf
PaperThinDisguise
ParanoiaFuel
PetTheDog
PimpedOutDress
PintsizedPowerhouse
PopularityPower
PowerTrio
PrecisionFStrike
PunBasedTitle
PunchClockVillain
PunctuatedForEmphasis
QuirkyMiniBossSquad
Quotes
Radar
RagtagBunchOfMisfits
RealMenWearPink
RealityEnsues
ReassignedToAntarctica
RecycledInSpace
RedOniBlueOni
Redundancy
RefugeInAudacity
ReplacementScrappy
RequiredSecondaryPowers
RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap
RidiculouslyHumanRobots
RingRingCRUNCH
RoaringRampageOfRevenge
RuinedFOREVER
SadisticChoice
ScheduleSlip
SchmuckBait
SealedEvilInACan
SeinfeldIsUnfunny
SelfDeprecation
SerialEscalation
ShipTease
ShipToShipCombat
ShootTheShaggyDog
ShowWithinAShow
ShownTheirWork
ShrinkingViolet
SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism
SmallReferencePools
SmugSnake
SoBadItsGood
SomethingCompletelyDifferent
SortingAlgorithmOfDeadness
SpiritualSuccessor
StalkerWithACrush
StepfordSmiler
StuffBlowingUp
SuperWeight
SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute
SuspiciouslySpecificDenial
TakeThat
TearJerker
TemptingFate
TerribleTrio
TheBadGuyWins
TheChewToy
TheDogBitesBack
TheDragon
TheDreaded
TheFaceless
TheFool
ThePollyanna
ThePowerOfRock
TheReasonYouSuckSpeech
TheRival
TheScrappy
TheSmurfettePrinciple
TheUnintelligible
ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill
TheyChangedItNowItSucks
ThirdPersonPerson
ThoseTwoBadGuys
ThrowItIn
ThrowTheDogABone
TimeLord
TitleDrop
TonightSomeoneDies
TooDumbToLive
TookALevelInBadass
TookALevelInDumbass
TookALevelInJerkass
TotallyRadical
TropeNamers
TropersDoIt
TroubledProduction
TrueCompanions
Tsundere
TurnOfTheMillennium
UglyCute
UnfortunateNames
UnstoppableRage
UnusualEuphemism
UnusuallyUninterestingSight
UpToEleven
ValuesDissonance
VerbalTic
VillainSong
VillainTeamUp
VillainousBreakdown
VillainsOutShopping
VitriolicBestBuds
WallBangers
WarpThatAesop
WellIntentionedExtremist
WhamEpisode
WhamLine
WhatAnIdiot
WhatCouldHaveBeen
WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids
WhatHappenedToTheMouse
WhatMeasureIsANonHuman
WhatTheHellHero
Woobie
WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds
Woolseyism
WrongGenreSavvy
XMeetsY
Yandere
YouKnowThatShow
YouNoTakeCandle
YouShallNotPass
ZergRush

main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Paper Thin Disguise: Comicbooks
Uncle Scrooge almost sees through it... almost.

  • In a Silver Age Superman comic, actors are being auditioned to play Superman in an alien race's film. Since all humans look alike to the aliens, a severely overweight, middle-aged actor gets the role, because he heroically saves the day. The aliens can't distinguish him from Superman physically, but his bravery was enough to get him cast.
  • In one of the original Justice Society of America comics, Johnny Thunder puts on a cap and gown and an obviously fake mustache (that make him look like... Conan O'Brien in a cap and gown with a big mustache, for some reason) to fool some criminals, who are more puzzled than fooled.
  • Green Arrow, despite having facial hair that can most kindly be described as 'extremely distinctive' used to hide his identity as Oliver Queen behind a mask that was little more than a pair of tiny, diamond-shaped pieces of cloth with eyeholes cut out. Finally subverted in Longbow Hunters, when Shado openly expressed surprise that it was supposed to be a secret. Oliver Queen was also the mayor of his city. So literally the Mayor with very distinct facial was fighting crime in a lazy disguise and it worked. Also subverted in Mia Dearden's origin story.
    Mia: Oh, please! I'm not a total idiot! That little mask you wear doesn't exactly Batman your face. And the beard's a dead giveaway, too.
    • Pointed out by Linkara in The Stinger to his review of Identity Crisis, expressing disgust at Green Arrow's claim that they had to "work at" keeping their secret identities (through mindwipes).
    • Lampshaded in the New 52 Justice League of America series. Green Arrow wakes up in a hospital bed and finds he's still wearing his mask, and is told by Steve Trevor that they left it on to protect his identity. Ollie bemusedly points out that the mask does very little to actually protect his identity if he's not wearing his hooded costume.
  • In The Tick comic, the story "Night of A Million Zillion Ninja" features scores of evil ninja standing around a house that they are staking out, each one holding a single twig. To passers-by they state, "We are a hedge. Please move along." The homeowner is entirely fooled, though he doesn't remember planting a hedge in the first place.
    • The Superman Expy, Caped Wonder took Clark Kenting Up to Eleven. He wore glasses, which fooled everyone except the Idiot Hero. A fight between the two heroes occurs and the glasses are broken. The Caped Wonder does the "nerd glasses" hand signals in order to disguise himself when a co-worker shows up.
  • In PS238, it is suspected that this may be Tyler Marlocke's only super power. Keeping your secret identity in this world full of supers is described as being "as hard as keeping your email from spammers." Yet no one recognises him as Moon Shadow. Not his classmates, not his parents. He goes so far as to leave the room as Tyler and come back as Moon Shadow and nobody figures it out. He's very disturbed by this.
    Tyler: That shouldn't have worked!
    • However, his non-superpowered best friend is unaffected by this, to the point of wondering why Tyler is wearing a silly costume when he first meets Moon Shadow.
    • Taken Up to Eleven by Toby, a clone of Tyler that has superpowers. Due to how he was made, he has all of Tyler's memories... except, somehow, the ones related to Tyler being Moon Shadow.
  • From Astérix Conquers America.
    Gaul: Halt! Who Goes there?
    Caesar: A barrel you dolt!
    Gaul: Oh, a barrel.
    • In "Asterix in Switzerland", in order to sneak past the Romans, Petitsuix disguises Asterix and Obelix with a bow and arrows.
      • In all fairness, the Romans in Geneva did not know Asterix and Obelix by sight, so all the disguise was supposed to achieve was to make them appear like Helvetii, not foreigners.
    • In Asterix and Cleopatra, Obelix attempts to disguise himself as an Egyptian worker in order to get some magic potion by wearing an Egyptian headgear. Getafix is not fooled, to Obelix's utter bafflement.
  • From Sonic X, Dr. Eggman wears these all the time, usually fooling everyone except for Sonic.
  • Clark Kenting. Hilariously parodied here: I'm Superman, Idiot!!!!
  • Several of the Young Avengers:
    • Kate's "mask" is a pair of sunglasses (hopefully she never wears those when not in costume).
    • Cassie and Eli wear actual masks, but their secret identities are already closely associated with the legacies they take on: Cassie, publicly known as the daughter of the second Ant-Man, wears a variant of his costume and doesn't hide her hair or most of her face (Domino Mask); Eli's grandfather is likewise publicly known to have been the prototype Captain America, and Eli, likewise with a Domino Mask, is the Patriot. Both have been easily found out (though, thankfully, not by villains).
    • Wiccan has no mask at all and yet somehow avoids detection.
  • Subverted in Don Rosa's story "The Last Lord of El Dorado", in which Flintheart Glomgold follows Scrooge and his nephews with a series of incredibly obvious disguises (including a female waitress and a nun - Glomgold's beard made things even more obvious). When he reveals himself, however, Scrooge mocks him and tells him that he'd known all along it was him. (Donald was fooled, though.)
    • Hey, he's still better at disguises than the Beagle Boys. At least he doesn't wear a black mask while he's trying to disguise himself as a waitress. They pulled it off well a number of times. A group of Beagles wearing hollowed out Robots passed undetected for robot workers, and a latex mask was all it took for each of them to look like a grizzled old lighthouse keeper. And those are examples of when they were really making an 'effort''. Their favourite disguise is a false beard.
    • Magica De Spell tends to use magic for her disguises, but unless copying someone who looks nothing like her, she tends to end up looking like herself in different clothing and a wig. Add to this the fact that even allowing loads of Negative Continuity, she must have pulled off the same trick almost as many times as the Beagle Boys. You'd think Scrooge would learn to beware of groups of identical stout guys with beards and sunglasses or duck women with green eyelids making him offers that are too good to be true. But since most writers in the comics aren't anywhere near Don Rosa's level, one of their favourite moves for getting the story going is to hand Scrooge the Idiot Ball at the beginning, to this effect or some other.
      • At least Magica often uses various kinds of hypnotic perfumes or other substances to make Scrooge a bit more suggestible, though they usually aren't effective enough to actually make him give up money, let alone his First Dime.
  • Justified in The Maxx. The Isz have a latent psychic ability that convinces people looking at them that they're actually human whenever they put on a disguise, despite the fact that they're little dark blue Plant Aliens with lots of teeth. Note that this apparently only works on people who don't know they're doing it.
  • Super Goof is just Goofy in long underwear, but only his nephew Gilbert can recognise him.
    • On House of Mouse, when everyone tries to figure out who Super Goof is, they come to the conclusion that it's Dumbo.
  • In the original four part Sonic the Hedgehog comic, Sonic manages to fool Robotnik into thinking he's been roboticized with just some fake teeth and glasses. Then again, that's what Robions looked like back then.
  • For a while, Captain America disguised himself as a hero known as The Captain. The costume looked identical to his normal Captain America costume except for darker colors and a slightly different chest-insignia. He even threw a shield around which was also had a slight color-change. Here is a cover depicting both costumes. This costume somehow fooled everyone, including his allies in The Avengers. The costume would later be worn by the USAgent.
    • The reason he put on this new costume was that the US government forbade him to use the old one. The reason it fooled anybody is that John Walker (the future USAgent) was wearing the old costume, and the government didn't reveal that they'd brought in a new Cap. Since Rogers and Walker have very similar body types and both costumes include upper-face masks, they can pass as each other fairly well by switching costumes.
  • An early Paperinik story has every belittled husband in Duckburg dressing up as Paperinik and playing mean pranks on their Paperinik-worshipping wives to ruin his reputation. Despite the fact that none of them look remotely like him (most of them aren't even ducks!), it works perfectly - At least until the real Paperinik takes action and exposes them.
  • In the 10th issue of W.I.T.C.H., Will manages to pull this one off with Vathek.
    Will: We'll kill two birds with one stone!
    Vathek: Dou you plan to disguise me as a bird or a stone?
  • Wolverine's disguise when roving Madripoor when he and the other X-Men were thought dead consisted of an eyepatch and refraining from using his claws. An old friend eventually informed the 5'3" tall extremely hairy man with the odd hairstyle that the only reason none of those who knew him called him on it was fear of getting gutted.
    • Jubilee also remarked once how lame a disguise it was. (Seeing how she was one of a select few people who he didn't mind sarcastic comments from.)
  • Subverted slightly in the Sensational She-Hulk graphic novel. After being taken hostage by S.H.I.E.L.D., the heroine manages to escape from her cell by reverting to human form and slipping through the bars. However, her attempt to pass through the Helicarrier incognito as Jennifer isn't very successful; no one actually recognizes her, but when someone notices she's barefoot, it's sort of suspicious. (Of coure, it's doubtful she thought it would work, but it's not like there were any better options.)
  • In issue #3 of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW), Pinkie's plan for avoiding themselves getting mixed up with disguised Changelings is to wear costumes of themselves so that they can recognize each other.
  • Iznogoud: Iznogoud's idea of disguising himself as a pumpkin seller is to carry a pumpkin around. And it works, too. It works so well his own guards won't let him back into the palace until he drops the pumpkin!
Anime & MangaPaper-Thin DisguiseFan Fic
Mr. FixitImageSource/Comic BooksPooled Funds

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
21173
38