6 Hours Left to Support a Troper-Created Project : Personal Space (discuss)

Playing With / Secret Identity

Basic Trope: A heroic character, usually a superhero, maintains a separate and hidden identity other than their public heroic identity.
  • Straight: In order to disguise her identity, superhero Amazing Girl disguises herself as everyday woman Alice Ashley.
  • Exaggerated: In order to disguise her identity, Amazing Girl maintains hundreds of Secret Identities, of whom only one is Alice Ashley. They in turn have their own pseudonyms and alternative identities.
  • Downplayed: Amazing Girl disguises herself as Alice Ashley, but then she gives up on it.
  • Justified:
    • Alice Ashley wants to protect her friends, family and loved ones from violent retribution at the hands of her enemies but nonetheless wants to use her powers to do good.
    • Alternatively: Amazing Girl yearns to have a normal life outside of the pressures of being a superhero 24/7, and 'Alice Ashley' enables her to do this.
    • Or: Amazing Girl read superhero comics when she was a kid, so she's doing it the same way they did it.
  • Inverted:
    • Amazing Girl does not have a 'regular' identity, operating as a superhero 24/7.
    • Amazing Girl hides her identity when she is an everyday woman, but she use her real identity while fighting crime.
    • Alternatively: Alice Ashley eschews establishing a separate 'superhero' identity and opts to fight crime and use her powers under her own name.
  • Subverted: One of Amazing Girl's enemies discovers that she is, in fact, Alice Ashley.
  • Double Subverted: However, he doesn't know that Alice Ashley is merely a 'dummy' identity created by Alice to throw suspicion away from her real secret identity.
  • Parodied:
    • It is transparently obvious that 'Alice Ashley' is in fact Amazing Girl, because 'Alice' is too stupid to keep it quiet; she openly wears her superhero uniform on day-to-day business, answers to her superhero identity in normal conversation and can't resist telling people that she is actually Amazing Girl.
    • Superhero Alice Ashley disguises herself as everyday woman Amazing Girl.
  • Zig Zagged: Amazing Girl keeps changing names and secret identities and revealing / discarding them rapidly.
  • Averted:
    • The character maintains only one identity.
    • Everybody knows who Alice is and refer to her depending on if she is in superhero mode or not.
  • Enforced: "It'll give Amazing Girl a stronger link to the real world and our readers if we give her an everyday personality as well, rather than have her just be Amazing Girl all the time."
  • Lampshaded: "Alice, I'm so glad you're alright! Did Amazing Girl rescue you?" "... You could say that."
  • Invoked: "Whilst the world might ignore mild-mannered Alice Ashley, it shall marvel at the exploits of — AMAZING GIRL!"
  • Exploited: A villain who learns Amazing Girl's identity tries to go after Alice Ashley, counting on the fact that she'll be hindered by not being able to use her Cover Blowing Superpowers to their full extent for fear of giving her identity away.
  • Defied: "I'd go mad if I had to maintain a secret identity like some kind of superhero. I'll find another way."
  • Discussed: "Have you ever noticed how Amazing Girl and Alice Ashley never seem to be seen in the same room together?"
  • Conversed: "How come no one ever notices that Amazing Girl is just Alice Ashley with glasses on?"
  • Deconstructed: The strain of maintaining multiple identities psychologically fractures Amazing Girl to the extent that she is no longer sure which is the true personality; Amazing Girl or Alice? Furthermore, her superhero lifestyle takes its toll on her everyday life commitments, to the extent that she unable to hold down a boyfriend, a job, etc; similarly, her everyday life impacts on her superhero career to bad effect, such as being distracted from stopping a train crash by a date. Keeping the secret also takes it's toll on Alice / Amazing Girl.
  • Reconstructed: Amazing Girl manages to come to a compromise, managing to comfortably establish lives for both Amazing Girl and Alice.
  • Played For Laughs: Alice and Amazing Girl have to be in two places at the same time, prompting a lot of back-and-forthing and, no doubt, hilarity.
  • Played For Drama: Amazing Girl's arch-nemesis Dr. Bonerotter is holding Alice Ashley and her friends hostage and is threatening to kill them unless Amazing Girl shows up to stop him, forcing Alice to try and stop him without revealing her true identity.

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