Playing With / Clark Kenting

Basic Trope: A Superhero uses a very weak/flimsy disguise to hide their Secret Identity.
  • Straight: Super Alice puts on a dress and glasses to become Alice, and nobody can tell they're the same.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Super Alice doesn't even bother taking off her super suit, only putting a nametag that says "Alice" on it, and no one can tell they're the same.
    • Super Alice is able to disguise herself completely with only a pair of transparent contact lenses.
  • Downplayed: Super Alice puts on a dress and dark glasses, and pretends to be blind as Alice, it fools most people who don't know her well.
  • Justified:
    • Alice is a masterful actor and her body language and speech patterns is enough to fool most people.
    • The glasses are an ancient magical artifact that prevents anyone from recognizing Super Alice's true identity.
  • Inverted: Super Alice wears a mask that covers her whole face and changes her voice, yet everybody knows that Alice and Super Alice are the same person.
  • Subverted: Super Alice puts on a dress and glasses and goes into work as Alice, but all her coworkers call her Super Alice anyway.
  • Double Subverted: Super Alice is just their nickname for her, and they still have no idea that she actually is the famous Super Hero Super Alice.
  • Parodied: Alice's disguise is awful. She continually introduces herself as "Super Alice... Uh, I mean Alice, just plain Alice", and she is constantly demonstrating her superpowers at work, yet everybody falls for it, even laughing when somebody does suggest that Alice and Super Alice could be the same person.
  • Zig Zagged: Super Alice's disguise is pitiful, but everyone falls for it. But wait, everyone is only pretending to be fooled by the disguise to humor Alice. But Bob actually does seem to be fooled by the disguise. But he's faking it too to hide her true feelings for Super Alice. But Alice has actually fooled them all anyway, because not only is she Super Alice, but she's also Evil Alice, who often fights herself in huge battles as a form of entertainment.
  • Averted:
    • Alice doesn't bother with the Secret Identity at all.
    • Alice's disguise is actually well thought out in order to prevent people from learning that her and Super Alice are the same.
  • Enforced: "We need the Secret Identity to fool people in universe, but we need the readers to still be able to tell it's her. Draw Alice and Super Alice the same, but put glasses on her to fool the other characters."
  • Lampshaded: "Alice and Super Alice look nearly identical, don't they? We should really try to get the two of them in the same room together. That would be so bizarre."
  • Invoked:
    • The villain uses hypnosis to convince everyone that Alice and Super Alice are different people to give Alice the false impression that her pitiful disguise is actually working so the villain can go after Super Alice's loved ones at any time, and Super Alice won't think to have any security protecting them.
    • The people who are around Alice on a daily basis know full well that Alice and Super Alice are the same person, but they feel that Alice has earned the right to feel like she has a normal life and so don't let on.
  • Exploited: Super Alice uses her superpowers to get even with a scummy coworker and get away with it.
  • Defied: Super Alice is told by other heroes to don a simple disguise, but refuses on the basis that the public has a right to know who she is, and so she's answerable to the law should anything go wrong.
  • Discussed: "Super Alice doesn't wear a mask; whoever she pretends to be during the day can't be disguised all that well, can she?"
  • Conversed: "Why can't they tell it's Alice? Come on! That disguise is so obvious!"
  • Deconstructed
    • Super Alice's disguise works because all her co-workers have the IQ of cabbage. As soon as any of the villains find out Alice exists, they immediately guess who she is and kidnap her family.
    • Alternately: It turns out the government is paying a group of actors and agents to give Super Alice a normal life when off work, in order to prevent her snapping from the stress.
    • The audience can't suspend their belief because of the obviousness of the disguise, are disgusted with how stupid the people around the Clark Kenter can't seem to realize the two are one and the same, so the work dies due to lack of support.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Super Alice secretly dislikes secret identities because it feels dishonest to her, but continues to have a Secret Identity to protect her loved ones. But she subconsciously devises a disguise full of holes to lessen her feeling of being dishonest, reasoning that if anyone really is fooled by her disguise, it's because of their own level of stupidity.
    • Super Alice puts on her dress and goes into work as Alice, seemingly fooling her coworkers... only to later discover that they knew all about her but were respecting her desire to live a normal life when off duty.
    • Not even the audience was in on the secret at first, the Secret Identity being a supporting character. Upon learning of the hero's Secret Identity, they grudgingly admit that it was an effective disguise because even they were fooled.
  • Plotted A Good Waste: The fact that no one ever sees through Alice's terrible disguise is one of the early signs that something is not quite right about the world; the people have been hypnotized, Super Alice's in a Lotus-Eater Machine that convinces her no one knows who she is, Alice's actually just a crazy woman in an asylum, etc.


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