1 Days Left to Support a Troper-Created Project : Personal Space (discuss)

Playing With / Clark Kenting

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

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