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* Both ''Series/BreakingBad'' and ''Series/BetterCallSaul'' have Gustavo Fring, who camouflages being one of the biggest drug kingpins in Albuquerque with his legitimate restaurant business and a reputation as a friend to law enforcement.

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* Both ''Series/BreakingBad'' and ''Series/BetterCallSaul'' have Gustavo Fring, who camouflages being one of the biggest drug kingpins in Albuquerque with his legitimate restaurant business and a reputation as a friend to law enforcement. In fact, the very first time we see him is when Walter White is in his restaurant, awaiting for his order and guessing which one of the customers is Fring. Meanwhile Gustavo is in the background, a humble manager explaining something to one of the employees.


* In Creator/FritzLeiber's ''The Big Time'', a piece of equipment, the "Major Maintainer", seemingly vanishes from the extra-temporal Place. The characters know that it couldn't have been removed from the room since it is the very machine whose presence maintains the Place's continued existence, but it's nowhere to be found even after they ransack the entire room. It turns out that [[spoiler:one of the characters had turned it inside-out, using one of the medical machines, and hid the resulting unrecognizable object among a gallery of equally abstract-looking alien art pieces]].

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* In Creator/FritzLeiber's ''The Big Time'', ''Literature/TheBigTime'', a piece of equipment, the "Major Maintainer", seemingly vanishes from the extra-temporal Place. The characters know that it couldn't have been removed from the room since it is the very machine whose presence maintains the Place's continued existence, but it's nowhere to be found even after they ransack the entire room. It turns out that [[spoiler:one of the characters had turned it inside-out, using one of the medical machines, and hid the resulting unrecognizable object among a gallery of equally abstract-looking alien art pieces]].

Added DiffLines:

* In ''Fanfic/AmazingFantasy'', the Venom costume completely the identity and build of the Bakugou of Earth-2018.688. He can blend back into a crowd simply by having Venom recede out of sight and walking around in his street clothes.


* ''ComicBook/{{Bullseye}}'' tells the FBI agents interrogating him that he has hidden the plutonium he stole in a local park under a big X. [[SarcasticConfession They assume he's being uncooperative]]. Once he kills them and escapes, Bullseye goes to meet his contacts:

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* ''ComicBook/{{Bullseye}}'' ''ComicBook/{{Bullseye|MarvelComics}}'' tells the FBI agents interrogating him that he has hidden the plutonium he stole in a local park under a big X. [[SarcasticConfession They assume he's being uncooperative]]. Once he kills them and escapes, Bullseye goes to meet his contacts:



* In ''FanFic/TheManWithNoName'', the ''[[Series/{{Firefly}} Serenity]]'' crew takes on [[Series/DoctorWho the Doctor]] as a passenger. They then proceed to forget that a valuable giant blue box from the EarthThatWas is sitting around in storage. Also counts is [[HumanAlien the Doctor himself]], as they are supposed to be looking for an alien, but they keep getting sidetracked.

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* In ''FanFic/TheManWithNoName'', the ''[[Series/{{Firefly}} Serenity]]'' crew takes on [[Series/DoctorWho the Doctor]] as a passenger. They then proceed to forget that a valuable giant blue box from the EarthThatWas is sitting around in storage. Also counts is [[HumanAlien [[HumanAliens the Doctor himself]], as they are supposed to be looking for an alien, but they keep getting sidetracked.



* In ''WesternAnimation/KuboAndTheTwoStrings'', Kubo finds a legendary sword deep in a cavern and its corresponding legendary armor at the bottom of a lake. Kubo spends the longest time searching for the helmet to complete the set and ultimately finds it [[spoiler:as the bell rung every morning in the village near where he lives.]] Though this trope applying ''did'' slow Kubo down a lot, he would have found it sooner had [[spoiler:the Moon King not appeared in his dreams to deliberately mislead him.]]

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* In ''WesternAnimation/KuboAndTheTwoStrings'', Kubo finds a legendary sword deep in a cavern and its corresponding legendary armor at the bottom of a lake. Kubo spends the longest time searching for the helmet to complete the set and ultimately finds it [[spoiler:as the bell rung every morning in the village near where he lives.]] Though this trope applying ''did'' slow Kubo down a lot, he would have found it sooner had [[spoiler:the Moon King not appeared in his dreams to deliberately mislead him.]]him]].



*** "Quicker Than the Eye" has a spy somehow pass a small object to his contact at a restaurant without being seen by the counterspies carefully watching for just such a transfer. [[spoiler:The object is roughly the size and shape of a coin, and no one thinks anything of the spy tipping the doorman as he leaves]].

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*** "Quicker Than the Eye" has a spy somehow pass a small object to his contact at a restaurant without being seen by the counterspies carefully watching for just such a transfer. [[spoiler:The object is roughly the size and shape of a coin, and no one thinks anything of the spy tipping the doorman as he leaves]].leaves.]]



** The Founder's Gallery is a collection of valuable secrets, and can only be found by gathering three particular artifacts. After Kyousuke has obtained all three, he realizes that the gallery [[spoiler:is on the floor below Aika's apartment. The same apartment he's in right now, ''which he's been using as a base for the entire series''.]]
** The seventh volume has the [[BigBad White Queen]] create numerous copies of herself. To defeat them, it's necessary to first find the original White Queen. [[spoiler:She's disguised herself as Aoi, Kyousuke's partner for the volume. This is particularly noteworthy because the real Aoi is physically identical to the White Queen and wears the same dress, so the White Queen literally only had to copy her behavior (and get the real one out of the way). Though unlike the previous example, Kyousuke actually figures this out before the White Queen reveals herself]].

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** The Founder's Gallery is a collection of valuable secrets, and can only be found by gathering three particular artifacts. After Kyousuke has obtained all three, he realizes that the gallery [[spoiler:is on the floor below Aika's apartment. The same apartment he's in right now, ''which he's been using as a base for the entire series''.]]
series'']].
** The seventh volume has the [[BigBad White Queen]] create numerous copies of herself. To defeat them, it's necessary to first find the original White Queen. [[spoiler:She's disguised herself as Aoi, Kyousuke's partner for the volume. This is particularly noteworthy because the real Aoi is physically identical to the White Queen and wears the same dress, so the White Queen literally only had to copy her behavior (and get the real one out of the way). Though unlike the previous example, Kyousuke actually figures this out before the White Queen reveals herself]].herself.]]



* Done [[FridgeBrilliance extremely cleverly]] in ''Series/AmericanHorrorStoryCoven''. The driving question of the whole series is who will become the next Supreme Witch, leader of the titular coven; she will be chosen by the Test of the Seven Wonders, a ritual determining who of the witches can perform seven difficult magical tasks. Though every witch on the show gradually reveals the power to do some of those tasks, Ryan Murphy actually revealed the solution in the very first episode [[spoiler: and every one after it--namely, in the ''opening credits.'' As each actor's name appears, a traditionally "mystic" image appears on the screen with them in the background. Sarah Paulson, who plays Cordelia--who becomes the Supreme at the series' end--has an image of Santa Muerte, or "Sister Death", a revered deity among the Mexica people. One of Santa Muerte's other names? The Lady of... ''the Seven Wonders''.]]

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* Done [[FridgeBrilliance extremely cleverly]] in ''Series/AmericanHorrorStoryCoven''. The driving question of the whole series is who will become the next Supreme Witch, leader of the titular coven; she will be chosen by the Test of the Seven Wonders, a ritual determining who of the witches can perform seven difficult magical tasks. Though every witch on the show gradually reveals the power to do some of those tasks, Ryan Murphy actually revealed the solution in the very first episode [[spoiler: and every one after it--namely, in the ''opening credits.'' As each actor's name appears, a traditionally "mystic" image appears on the screen with them in the background. Sarah Paulson, who plays Cordelia--who becomes the Supreme at the series' end--has an image of Santa Muerte, or "Sister Death", a revered deity among the Mexica people. One of Santa Muerte's other names? The Lady of... ''the Seven Wonders''.]] Wonders'']].



* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': The Key, which is why it was so important that Glory not find out that it was a person. If not for Ben's slip up to one of Glory's minions (and subsequent failure to kill said minion), she may never have found out in time.

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* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': The Key, which is why it was so important that Glory not find out that [[MacGuffinTurnedHuman it was a person.person]]. If not for Ben's slip up to one of Glory's minions (and subsequent failure to kill said minion), she may never have found out in time.



** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E12TheSoundOfDrums "The Sound of Drums"]]: Following up from the above, it turns out that, after escaping the end of the universe, [[spoiler:the Master, stuck on Earth because of the TARDIS' fused coordinates, has not only been there for the entire time that the Doctor has been travelling with Martha, but has been ''running for office'' in the Doctor's favourite country!]]

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** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E12TheSoundOfDrums "The Sound of Drums"]]: Following up from the above, it turns out that, after escaping the end of the universe, [[spoiler:the Master, stuck on Earth because of the TARDIS' fused coordinates, has not only been there for the entire time that the Doctor has been travelling with Martha, but has been ''running for office'' in the Doctor's favourite country!]]favorite country]]!



* The titular "Tale of the Big Why" in ''[[Series/TheAvengers The New Avengers]]'' turns out to be [[spoiler:the ''tail'' of a big ''Y'' - yes, it's a ShoutOut to ''It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World'']].

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* The titular "Tale of the Big Why" in ''[[Series/TheAvengers The New Avengers]]'' ''Series/TheNewAvengers'' turns out to be [[spoiler:the ''tail'' of a big ''Y'' - yes, it's a ShoutOut to ''It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World'']].



* ''Series/TheWire'' has a character example with The Greek. He rarely meets contacts directly, instead sitting and inconspicuously reading a newspaper nearby while his second-in-command Spiros talks to them, allowing him to know what's going on and remain anonymous.

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* ''Series/TheWire'' has a ''Series/TheWire'':
** A
character example with The Greek. He rarely meets contacts directly, instead sitting and inconspicuously reading a newspaper nearby while his second-in-command Spiros talks to them, allowing him to know what's going on and remain anonymous.



* ''Podcast/TheAdventureZoneBalance'' has [[spoiler: the Bulwark Staff, Lucretia's relic]], which appears [[spoiler: before the relics are even explained, and is mentioned in almost every arc.]]

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* ''Podcast/TheAdventureZoneBalance'' has [[spoiler: the Bulwark Staff, Lucretia's relic]], which appears [[spoiler: before the relics are even explained, and is mentioned in almost every arc.]]arc]].



* Most of the [[CosmicKeystone Keyholes]] in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsI''. [[Disney/TheLittleMermaid Atlantica's]], for example, is in Ariel's grotto among her treasures, and [[Disney/PeterPan Neverland's]] is on the face of Big Ben.

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* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'':
**
Most of the [[CosmicKeystone Keyholes]] in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsI''. [[Disney/TheLittleMermaid Atlantica's]], for example, is in Ariel's grotto among her treasures, and [[Disney/PeterPan Neverland's]] is on the face of Big Ben.



* In ''VideoGame/Persona4'', the protagonists spend most of the game at a loss for how a kidnapper keeps abducting people to throw into the Midnight Channel (which would require having a large television close by), sometimes during broad daylight or near heavily-populated areas, with not even the rescued victims remembering having seen anyone suspicious. The answer? [[spoiler:He's a [[DeliveryGuyInfiltration deliveryman]], and keeps the TV in the back of his truck.]] The TrueFinalBoss takes this even farther - [[spoiler:the Japanese goddess of death is the gas station attendant you talked to on your first day in town. She doesn't even have a ''character portrait'' until you reveal her true identity, so while many players know something's up when the hero suddenly gets lightheaded and begins DreamingOfThingsToCome, very few of them make the connection to shaking this character's hand - in actuality, that's the moment where she unlocks your powers.]]

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* In ''VideoGame/Persona4'', the protagonists spend most of the game at a loss for how a kidnapper keeps abducting people to throw into the Midnight Channel (which would require having a large television close by), sometimes during broad daylight or near heavily-populated areas, with not even the rescued victims remembering having seen anyone suspicious. The answer? [[spoiler:He's a [[DeliveryGuyInfiltration deliveryman]], and keeps the TV in the back of his truck.]] The TrueFinalBoss takes this even farther - [[spoiler:the Japanese goddess of death is the gas station attendant you talked to on your first day in town. She doesn't even have a ''character portrait'' until you reveal her true identity, so while many players know something's up when the hero suddenly gets lightheaded and begins DreamingOfThingsToCome, very few of them make the connection to shaking this character's hand - in actuality, that's the moment where she unlocks your powers.]]powers]].



* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'':
** [[spoiler: Master Payne's circus, in which the actors play famous sparks of the past, is a cover for minor sparks. At one point they take it up a notch by having Agatha hide with them and play ''her mother'' on stage]].
*** Subverted. The plan ends being self-defeating when the intentional quasi-anonymity of the players [[spoiler:results in the players failing completely to recognize Agatha's poorly-concealed heritage. They even realize she's a stronger spark than they usually deal with and note that this is potentially trouble, but if their entire strategy hadn't hinged on intentionally downplaying that kind of thing they would have known immediately exactly how extreme their situation was in time to avoid a significant chunk of the plot.]]

to:

* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'':
**
''Webcomic/GirlGenius'': [[spoiler: Master Payne's circus, in which the actors play famous sparks of the past, is a cover for minor sparks. At one point they take it up a notch by having Agatha hide with them and play ''her mother'' on stage]].
*** Subverted. The
stage]]. Subverted as the plan ends being self-defeating when the intentional quasi-anonymity of the players [[spoiler:results in the players failing completely to recognize Agatha's poorly-concealed heritage. They even realize she's a stronger spark than they usually deal with and note that this is potentially trouble, but if their entire strategy hadn't hinged on intentionally downplaying that kind of thing they would have known immediately exactly how extreme their situation was in time to avoid a significant chunk of the plot.]]plot]].



* ''Webcomic/NeverSatisfied'': During the fourth test, where all the competitors have removed their [[AmplifierArtifact magic focus jewelry]] to avoid injuring each other, Philomena confesses to Lucy that [[spoiler:she can't operate the quartz shooters without an emerald to act as a focus. Later, she uses the emerald attached to her familiar's head to shoot Peony and herself, ending the test.]]

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* ''Webcomic/NeverSatisfied'': During the fourth test, where all the competitors have removed their [[AmplifierArtifact magic focus jewelry]] to avoid injuring each other, Philomena confesses to Lucy that [[spoiler:she can't operate the quartz shooters without an emerald to act as a focus. Later, she uses the emerald attached to her familiar's head to shoot Peony and herself, ending the test.]]test]].



* Creator/AndyKaufman and Cindy Williams of Series/LaverneAndShirley briefly dated, and she used to love riding around town in [[TheAllegedCar a beat-up old car that Bob Zmuda (Andy's producer) owned]]. He bought it for fifty bucks on a whim and the car was in such poor shape it had literal holes worn in the chassis (Zmuda used to pass a handkerchief through it as a party trick). She loved it though because when they'd go out in public, no one would bother them, because they figured there was no way two famous TV actors would be driving around in a piece of crap like that.

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* Creator/AndyKaufman and Cindy Williams of Series/LaverneAndShirley ''Series/LaverneAndShirley'' briefly dated, and she used to love riding around town in [[TheAllegedCar a beat-up old car that Bob Zmuda (Andy's producer) owned]]. He bought it for fifty bucks on a whim and the car was in such poor shape it had literal holes worn in the chassis (Zmuda used to pass a handkerchief through it as a party trick). She loved it though because when they'd go out in public, no one would bother them, because they figured there was no way two famous TV actors would be driving around in a piece of crap like that.


Can overlap with FailedASpotCheck, ItWasWithYouAllAlong, PublicSecretMessage, ShaggySearchTechnique, or NobodyHereButUsStatues. Can be a sub-trope to MacGuffinBlindness.

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Can overlap with FailedASpotCheck, ItWasWithYouAllAlong, PublicSecretMessage, ShaggySearchTechnique, LuckBasedSearchTechnique, or NobodyHereButUsStatues. Can be a sub-trope to MacGuffinBlindness.


* Most of the [[CosmicKeystone Keyholes]] in the original ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts''. [[Disney/TheLittleMermaid Atlantica's]], for example, is in Ariel's grotto among her treasures, and [[Disney/PeterPan Neverland's]] is on the face of Big Ben.

to:

* Most of the [[CosmicKeystone Keyholes]] in the original ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts''.''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsI''. [[Disney/TheLittleMermaid Atlantica's]], for example, is in Ariel's grotto among her treasures, and [[Disney/PeterPan Neverland's]] is on the face of Big Ben.

Added DiffLines:

* ''{{Film/Vamps}}'': Cisserus turns out to have her coffin inside of [[spoiler: Grant's Tomb.]]


* British television presenter and serial pedophile Creator/JimmySavile was incredibly talented at doing this, to the point where his predilections were an open secret within British comedy circles but not much further out. In 2000, he even [[SarcasticConfession said]] on ''Series/HaveIGotNewsForYou'' that he was "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtUuOIXLawg feared in every girls' school in this country]]" to the laughter of the audience (but noticeably ''not'' the panellists).

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* British television presenter and serial pedophile Creator/JimmySavile was incredibly talented at doing this, to the point where his predilections were an open secret within British comedy circles but not much further out. In 2000, he even [[SarcasticConfession said]] on ''Series/HaveIGotNewsForYou'' that he was "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtUuOIXLawg feared in every girls' school in this country]]" to the laughter of the audience (but noticeably ''not'' the panellists). Ian Hislop noted later, ""It's a brilliant disguise: you dress up as a pedophile."



* Creator/AndyKaufman and Cindy Williams of Series/LaverneAndShirley briefly dated, and she used to love riding around town in [[TheAllegedCar a beat-up old car that Bob Zmuda (Andy's producer) owned]]. He bought it for fifty bucks on a whim and the car was in such poor shape it had literal holes worn in the chassis. She loved it though because when they'd go out in public, no one would bother them, because they figured there was no way two famous TV actors would be driving around in a piece of crap like that.

to:

* Creator/AndyKaufman and Cindy Williams of Series/LaverneAndShirley briefly dated, and she used to love riding around town in [[TheAllegedCar a beat-up old car that Bob Zmuda (Andy's producer) owned]]. He bought it for fifty bucks on a whim and the car was in such poor shape it had literal holes worn in the chassis.chassis (Zmuda used to pass a handkerchief through it as a party trick). She loved it though because when they'd go out in public, no one would bother them, because they figured there was no way two famous TV actors would be driving around in a piece of crap like that.


* AndyKaufman and Cindy Williams of Series/LaverneAndShirley briefly dated, and she used to love riding around town in [[TheAllegedCar a beat-up old car that Bob Zmuda (Andy's producer) owned]]. He bought it for fifty bucks on a whim and the car was in such poor shape it had literal holes worn in the chassis. She loved it though because when they'd go out in public, no one would bother them, because they figured there was no way two famous TV actors would be driving around in a piece of crap like that.

to:

* AndyKaufman Creator/AndyKaufman and Cindy Williams of Series/LaverneAndShirley briefly dated, and she used to love riding around town in [[TheAllegedCar a beat-up old car that Bob Zmuda (Andy's producer) owned]]. He bought it for fifty bucks on a whim and the car was in such poor shape it had literal holes worn in the chassis. She loved it though because when they'd go out in public, no one would bother them, because they figured there was no way two famous TV actors would be driving around in a piece of crap like that.

Added DiffLines:

* AndyKaufman and Cindy Williams of Series/LaverneAndShirley briefly dated, and she used to love riding around town in [[TheAllegedCar a beat-up old car that Bob Zmuda (Andy's producer) owned]]. He bought it for fifty bucks on a whim and the car was in such poor shape it had literal holes worn in the chassis. She loved it though because when they'd go out in public, no one would bother them, because they figured there was no way two famous TV actors would be driving around in a piece of crap like that.


* In the ''Literature/{{Acacia}}'' trilogy ''The Song of Elenet'', a spellbook containing the most powerful and dangerous spells known to humanity turns out to be an unmarked book in the royal library.
* ''Literature/AlexRider'': In the opening chapter of ''Never Say Die'', a top-secret helicopter is stolen and disguised, by tilting it vertically and covering the fuselage with plywood, like a windmill. Agents searching the area assume the windmill is too small to hide the helicopter inside and so never look there.
* Ariel Jardell in ''Literature/{{Ariel|Block}}'' invokes this as her rationale for keeping her SecretDiary in an ordinary spiral notebook with her school stuff.

to:

* In the ''Literature/{{Acacia}}'' trilogy ''The Song of Elenet'', a spellbook containing the most powerful and dangerous spells known to humanity turns out to be an unmarked book in the royal library.
* ''Literature/AlexRider'': In the opening chapter of ''Never Say Die'', a top-secret helicopter is stolen and disguised, by tilting it vertically and covering the fuselage with plywood, like a windmill. Agents searching the area assume the windmill is too small to hide the helicopter inside and so never look there.
* Ariel Jardell in ''Literature/{{Ariel|Block}}'' invokes this as her rationale for keeping her SecretDiary in an ordinary spiral notebook with her school stuff.
!!!'''By Author:'''



* ''Literature/BelisariusSeries'':
** The rescued Indian princess travels with the heroes in the guise of a common whore, while the bad guys scour the entire country for her. At the time they're traveling in a caravan ''with the bad guys''.
** Belisarius pulls off similar stunts throughout the series:
*** In the first book, his wife hides the meetings of their fellow conspirators by insinuating they're guests at orgies she's supposedly having.
*** Belisarius conceals the fact he's got an entire unit of Kushans (formerly prisoners who change sides) by having them wear different uniforms but otherwise traveling with him.
* In Creator/FritzLeiber's ''The Big Time'', a piece of equipment, the "Major Maintainer", seemingly vanishes from the extra-temporal Place. The characters know that it couldn't have been removed from the room since it is the very machine whose presence maintains the Place's continued existence, but it's nowhere to be found even after they ransack the entire room. It turns out that [[spoiler:one of the characters had turned it inside-out, using one of the medical machines, and hid the resulting unrecognizable object among a gallery of equally abstract-looking alien art pieces]].
* The narrator of ''Born Again'' accidentally opens an anniversary card that acknowledges that her parents had sex before marriage. Knowing she'll get in trouble for seeing it and that her mother regularly searches her room, she hides it on her desk, under a newspaper. She says she saw Series/MacGyver do it.
* In ''Literature/BridgeOfBirds'', the main characters are searching for a lost goddess kidnapped by the Duke of Ch'in at one point and Li Kao says that the duke could have asked the Man of the Mountain to transform her into a single petal in a field full of flowers or something else of a similar NeedleInAStackOfNeedles nature. Of course, it turns out to be much simpler than that: [[spoiler:after all, why would the notoriously greedy duke bother to hide a worship-inducing goddess when he can pass her off as his wife and collect all the riches her admirers shower on her?]]



* Creator/DianaWynneJones' ''Literature/{{Chrestomanci}}'': In ''Literature/TheMagiciansOfCaprona'', the true words to the hymn ''Angel of Caprona'' that will solve everything are [[spoiler:just the old words in Latin, carved onto humongous angelic statues in plain view]].



*** In "The Erymanthian Boar," Poirot is tasked with tracking down the dangerous mobster Marrascud at a Swiss chalet, and the case is seemingly solved when Marrascud's body turns up. But Poirot proves that the body is ''not'' Marrascud--rather, the mobster has disguised himself as a waiter at the chalet (who interacts with the guests daily), killed the actual waiter, and secretly arranged for a plastic surgeon to arrive at the same time to permanently disguise him.
*** In "The Girdle of Hippolyta," a rare Reubens painting themed after Hercules meeting Hippolyta is swiped around the same time that a young girl named Winnie traveling to a finishing school in France via the Chunnel is kidnapped. Oddly, Winnie definitely boarded the train in England, but somehow vanished during the ride, and later turns up unharmed, but drugged. Poirot eventually realizes the two crimes are connected: one of the art thieves who [[OlderThanTheyLook looks about twelve]] disguised herself as Winnie (who'd already been kidnapped at that point) and concealed the priceless Reubens under a shoddily-painted watercolor to be gifted to the headmistress of the school. The crooks knew that nothing was less likely to be searched than a girl's trunk, and [[NearVillainVictory would have gotten away with it]] had it not been for the headmistress's policy of [[SpannerInTheWorks reviewing her students' suitcases]] upon arrival.
*** In "The Apples of the Hesperides," a rich man tasks Poirot with finding a priceless golden goblet featuring a tree engraving, with emeralds as "apples." The goblet was purchased at auction but vanished before it could be delivered. Though Poirot engages his web of contacts all over the world to find the treasure, he eventually finds the goblet being used for daily masses by a small group of nuns in Northern Ireland. He realized that since the cup was so precious, it had to be hidden "where material values did not apply"; that, plus the fact that the thief who stole it from the auction house had a daughter who became a nun, pointed to a convent.

to:

*** In "The Erymanthian Boar," Boar", Poirot is tasked with tracking down the dangerous mobster Marrascud at a Swiss chalet, and the case is seemingly solved when Marrascud's body turns up. But Poirot proves that the body is ''not'' Marrascud--rather, Marrascud rather, the mobster has disguised himself as a waiter at the chalet (who interacts with the guests daily), killed the actual waiter, and secretly arranged for a plastic surgeon to arrive at the same time to permanently disguise him.
*** In "The Girdle of Hippolyta," Hippolyta", a rare Reubens painting themed after Hercules meeting Hippolyta is swiped around the same time that a young girl named Winnie traveling to a finishing school in France via the Chunnel is kidnapped. Oddly, Winnie definitely boarded the train in England, but somehow vanished during the ride, and later turns up unharmed, but drugged. Poirot eventually realizes the two crimes are connected: one of the art thieves who [[OlderThanTheyLook looks about twelve]] disguised herself as Winnie (who'd already been kidnapped at that point) and concealed the priceless Reubens under a shoddily-painted watercolor to be gifted to the headmistress of the school. The crooks knew that nothing was less likely to be searched than a girl's trunk, and [[NearVillainVictory would have gotten away with it]] had it not been for the headmistress's headmistress' policy of [[SpannerInTheWorks reviewing her students' suitcases]] upon arrival.
*** In "The Apples of the Hesperides," Hesperides", a rich man tasks Poirot with finding a priceless golden goblet featuring a tree engraving, with emeralds as "apples." "apples". The goblet was purchased at auction but vanished before it could be delivered. Though Poirot engages his web of contacts all over the world to find the treasure, he eventually finds the goblet being used for daily masses by a small group of nuns in Northern Ireland. He realized that since the cup was so precious, it had to be hidden "where material values did not apply"; that, plus the fact that the thief who stole it from the auction house had a daughter who became a nun, pointed to a convent.convent.
!!!'''By Work:'''
* ''Literature/{{Acacia}}'': In ''The Song of Elenet'', a spellbook containing the most powerful and dangerous spells known to humanity turns out to be an unmarked book in the royal library.
* ''Literature/AlexRider'': In the opening chapter of ''Never Say Die'', a top-secret helicopter is stolen and disguised, by tilting it vertically and covering the fuselage with plywood, like a windmill. Agents searching the area assume the windmill is too small to hide the helicopter inside and so never look there.
* Ariel Jardell in ''Literature/{{Ariel|Block}}'' invokes this as her rationale for keeping her SecretDiary in an ordinary spiral notebook with her school stuff.
* ''Literature/BelisariusSeries'':
** The rescued Indian princess travels with the heroes in the guise of a common whore, while the bad guys scour the entire country for her. At the time they're traveling in a caravan ''with the bad guys''.
** Belisarius pulls off similar stunts throughout the series:
*** In the first book, his wife hides the meetings of their fellow conspirators by insinuating they're guests at orgies she's supposedly having.
*** Belisarius conceals the fact he's got an entire unit of Kushans (formerly prisoners who change sides) by having them wear different uniforms but otherwise traveling with him.
* In Creator/FritzLeiber's ''The Big Time'', a piece of equipment, the "Major Maintainer", seemingly vanishes from the extra-temporal Place. The characters know that it couldn't have been removed from the room since it is the very machine whose presence maintains the Place's continued existence, but it's nowhere to be found even after they ransack the entire room. It turns out that [[spoiler:one of the characters had turned it inside-out, using one of the medical machines, and hid the resulting unrecognizable object among a gallery of equally abstract-looking alien art pieces]].
* The narrator of ''Born Again'' accidentally opens an anniversary card that acknowledges that her parents had sex before marriage. Knowing she'll get in trouble for seeing it and that her mother regularly searches her room, she hides it on her desk, under a newspaper. She says she saw Series/{{MacGyver|1985}} do it.
* In ''Literature/BridgeOfBirds'', the main characters are searching for a lost goddess kidnapped by the Duke of Ch'in at one point and Li Kao says that the duke could have asked the Man of the Mountain to transform her into a single petal in a field full of flowers or something else of a similar NeedleInAStackOfNeedles nature. Of course, it turns out to be much simpler than that: [[spoiler:after all, why would the notoriously greedy duke bother to hide a worship-inducing goddess when he can pass her off as his wife and collect all the riches her admirers shower on her?]]
* Creator/DianaWynneJones' ''Literature/{{Chrestomanci}}'': In ''Literature/TheMagiciansOfCaprona'', the true words to the hymn ''Angel of Caprona'' that will solve everything are [[spoiler:just the old words in Latin, carved onto humongous angelic statues in plain view]].



* ''Literature/KeysToTheKingdom'': ''Superior Saturday'' uses and references the trope, as the Simultaneous Nebuchadnezzar is kept on a shelf of similar bottles, which is referred to as the 'purloined letter'.
* Melisande's plan to escape into La Serinissima in ''[[Literature/KushielsLegacy Kushiel's Chosen]]'' relied on this trope. Her looks were so striking that anybody looking for her would have an easy time spotting her. She decided to walk out in the open as [[spoiler:Prince Benidicte's]] new D'Angeline wife who wore a veil because of her faith in the goddess Asherat.

to:

* ''Literature/KeysToTheKingdom'': ''Superior Saturday'' uses and references the trope, as the Simultaneous Nebuchadnezzar is kept on a shelf of similar bottles, which is referred to as the 'purloined letter'.
"purloined letter".
* Melisande's plan to escape into La Serinissima Serenissima in ''[[Literature/KushielsLegacy Kushiel's Chosen]]'' relied on this trope. Her looks were so striking that anybody looking for her would have an easy time spotting her. She decided to walk out in the open as [[spoiler:Prince Benidicte's]] new D'Angeline wife who wore a veil because of her faith in the goddess Asherat.



* In ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', Birgitte -- better known as Birgitte Silverbow, Hero of the Horn, eternally reincarnating LivingLegend of innumerable generations -- goes by her real name and does nothing to hide her [[ImprobableAimingSkills astoundingly good archery]]. On the rare occasion that someone draws the connection between her and ''the'' Birgitte, she pulls some {{sarcastic|confession}} variant on NeverHeardThatOneBefore.

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* In ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', Birgitte -- better known as Birgitte Silverbow, Hero of the Horn, eternally reincarnating LivingLegend of innumerable generations -- goes by her real name and does nothing to hide her [[ImprobableAimingSkills astoundingly good archery]]. On the rare occasion that someone draws the connection between her and ''the'' Birgitte, she pulls some {{sarcastic|confession}} variant on NeverHeardThatOneBefore.



* Done [[FridgeBrilliance extremely cleverly]] in ''Series/AmericanHorrorStoryCoven''. The driving question of the whole series is who will become the next Supreme Witch, leader of the titular coven; she will be chosen by the Test of the Seven Wonders, a ritual determining who of the witches can perform seven difficult magical tasks. Though every witch on the show gradually reveals the power to do some of those tasks, Ryan Murphy actually revealed the solution in the very first episode [[spoiler: and every one after it--namely, in the ''opening credits.'' As each actor's name appears, a traditionally "mystic" image appears on the screen with them in the background. Sarah Paulson, who plays Cordelia--who becomes the Supreme at the series' end--has an image of Santa Muerte, or "Sister Death," a revered deity among the Mexica people. One of Santa Muerte's other names? The Lady of...''the Seven Wonders.'']]

to:

* Done [[FridgeBrilliance extremely cleverly]] in ''Series/AmericanHorrorStoryCoven''. The driving question of the whole series is who will become the next Supreme Witch, leader of the titular coven; she will be chosen by the Test of the Seven Wonders, a ritual determining who of the witches can perform seven difficult magical tasks. Though every witch on the show gradually reveals the power to do some of those tasks, Ryan Murphy actually revealed the solution in the very first episode [[spoiler: and every one after it--namely, in the ''opening credits.'' As each actor's name appears, a traditionally "mystic" image appears on the screen with them in the background. Sarah Paulson, who plays Cordelia--who becomes the Supreme at the series' end--has an image of Santa Muerte, or "Sister Death," Death", a revered deity among the Mexica people. One of Santa Muerte's other names? The Lady of... ''the Seven Wonders.'']] Wonders''.]]


* Late in ''VideoGame/TheSilverCase'', the location of the Shelter Kids experiments (and, by proxy, the source of the game's massive conspiracy) is divulged to you by Tokio Morishima. Where is it, you may ask? [[spoiler:The Mulholland drug store that Tokio went to all game, which has a secret entrance to the underground complex that's right behind its vendor machine.]]

to:

* Late in ''VideoGame/TheSilverCase'', the location of the Shelter Kids experiments (and, by proxy, the source of the game's massive conspiracy) is divulged to you by Tokio Morishima. Where is it, you may ask? [[spoiler:The Mulholland drug store that Tokio went to all game, which has a secret entrance to the underground complex that's right behind its vendor vending machine.]]

Added DiffLines:

* Late in ''VideoGame/TheSilverCase'', the location of the Shelter Kids experiments (and, by proxy, the source of the game's massive conspiracy) is divulged to you by Tokio Morishima. Where is it, you may ask? [[spoiler:The Mulholland drug store that Tokio went to all game, which has a secret entrance to the underground complex that's right behind its vendor machine.]]

Added DiffLines:

* Done [[FridgeBrilliance extremely cleverly]] in ''Series/AmericanHorrorStoryCoven''. The driving question of the whole series is who will become the next Supreme Witch, leader of the titular coven; she will be chosen by the Test of the Seven Wonders, a ritual determining who of the witches can perform seven difficult magical tasks. Though every witch on the show gradually reveals the power to do some of those tasks, Ryan Murphy actually revealed the solution in the very first episode [[spoiler: and every one after it--namely, in the ''opening credits.'' As each actor's name appears, a traditionally "mystic" image appears on the screen with them in the background. Sarah Paulson, who plays Cordelia--who becomes the Supreme at the series' end--has an image of Santa Muerte, or "Sister Death," a revered deity among the Mexica people. One of Santa Muerte's other names? The Lady of...''the Seven Wonders.'']]

Added DiffLines:

** Dame Agatha used the trope a few times in ''The Labours of Hercules'', a Hercule Poirot short story collection:
*** In "The Erymanthian Boar," Poirot is tasked with tracking down the dangerous mobster Marrascud at a Swiss chalet, and the case is seemingly solved when Marrascud's body turns up. But Poirot proves that the body is ''not'' Marrascud--rather, the mobster has disguised himself as a waiter at the chalet (who interacts with the guests daily), killed the actual waiter, and secretly arranged for a plastic surgeon to arrive at the same time to permanently disguise him.
*** In "The Girdle of Hippolyta," a rare Reubens painting themed after Hercules meeting Hippolyta is swiped around the same time that a young girl named Winnie traveling to a finishing school in France via the Chunnel is kidnapped. Oddly, Winnie definitely boarded the train in England, but somehow vanished during the ride, and later turns up unharmed, but drugged. Poirot eventually realizes the two crimes are connected: one of the art thieves who [[OlderThanTheyLook looks about twelve]] disguised herself as Winnie (who'd already been kidnapped at that point) and concealed the priceless Reubens under a shoddily-painted watercolor to be gifted to the headmistress of the school. The crooks knew that nothing was less likely to be searched than a girl's trunk, and [[NearVillainVictory would have gotten away with it]] had it not been for the headmistress's policy of [[SpannerInTheWorks reviewing her students' suitcases]] upon arrival.
*** In "The Apples of the Hesperides," a rich man tasks Poirot with finding a priceless golden goblet featuring a tree engraving, with emeralds as "apples." The goblet was purchased at auction but vanished before it could be delivered. Though Poirot engages his web of contacts all over the world to find the treasure, he eventually finds the goblet being used for daily masses by a small group of nuns in Northern Ireland. He realized that since the cup was so precious, it had to be hidden "where material values did not apply"; that, plus the fact that the thief who stole it from the auction house had a daughter who became a nun, pointed to a convent.

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