Follow TV Tropes

Hiding Your Heritage

Go To

A character covers up their ethnic background or nationality.

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
Pichu-kun on May 6th 2016 at 9:55:46 AM
Last Edited By:
jamespolk on Feb 18th 2018 at 11:07:13 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

A character hides their ethnic background for whatever reason, though fears of persecution or hiding their family are the usual causes. This involves trying to "pass" as another race (usually white) and might include creating a Naturalized Name. If the person doesn't pass well-enough this is a Pass Fail.

Compare to Hide Your Otherness for fantasy variants, Hiding the Handicap for when a character wants to hide a disability rather than their ancestry, Fauxreigner for when a native-born character claims to be a foreigner, and Really Royalty Reveal when a character is revealed to have royal heritage. If biracial, the character is likely trying to avoid Half-Breed Discrimination. Super Trope to Pass Fail.


Examples:

Anime & Manga

  • Kallen Kozuki from Code Geass is half-Japanese and half-Britannian. She passes as Britannian amongst Britannians (and goes by "Kallen Stadtfeld"), but prefers to be seen as Japanese.
  • One Piece:
    • Portgas D. Ace's mother tried to hide the fact that he is the son of the Pirate King, Gold Roger, by postponing his birth until long after Roger's death, because the Marines were hunting pregnant women and young mothers for the possible chance that Roger may have a child. Only Ace himself, Garp (his adopted grandpa), Luffy and Sabo (his adopted brothers) know about this fact.
    • It's revealed in later chapters that Sanji was actually a prince of Germa Kingdom, son of the infamous conqueror Vinsmoke Judge. Sanji was told by Judge in the past to not reveal his heritage to anyone before Sanji exiled himself.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Due to the persecution that the Ishvalans face, Scar, on a journey of vengeance to kill as many state alchemists in the country of Amestris following their committing of the Ishval Massacre, hides his heritage by way of wearing sunglasses to avoid revealing the distinctive red irises that Ishvalans have.
  • Soul Eater: Averted in one set of episodes. Black Star and Tsubaki on assignment go to a village to track down and detain a weapon. However, the duo encounter hostility due to the former's relation to the murderous, avaricious, and soul stealing Star Clan (of which Black Star was the only one spared by Lord Death due to being only an infant and thus not having taken part in those afflictions committed by his family). Rather than keeping a low profile and keeping any part of his heritage a secret, Black Star, given his arrogant nature, proudly proclaimed who he was and made their mission all the bit more difficult.

Comic Books

  • The graphic novel Incognegro is a period-piece about a light-skinned reporter who passes for white in order to write about racial hate crimes in the South.
  • In Anya's Ghost, Anya hides the fact she is Russian by saying that her last name is "Brown" instead of "Borzakovskaya". She eventually decides to own up to it.
  • Miss Martian is actually not a Green Martian. She is a White Martian who simply passes as a Green Martian. Martian Manhunter was the last Green Martian at the time (though the New 52 changed that). M'gann is a White Sheep amongst her Always Chaotic Evil race.

Film — Live Action

  • Imitation of Life follows Peola (in the 1934 version) and Sarah Jane (in the 1959 version), a light skinned black girl who can quite easily pass for white, trying her best to deny her mother and her previous life altogether. It doesn't end well. In the 1934 version Peola is humiliated when her dark-skinned mother comes to meet her at school as a child, and later she has to quit her job when her mother tracks her down at work. In the 1959 version it's worse for Sarah Jane— her white boyfriend beats her senseless when he finds out, and she gets fired from her job as a cabaret dancer when her mother comes looking for her.
  • In Slow Burn, a white DA has been braiding her hair and passing for mixed in order to foster support in her African-American constituency.
  • Veiled Aristocrats is a 1932 remake of the lost 1927 film The House Behind The Cedars. Both films were directed by Oscar Micheaux. It's about a light-skinned black man named John who has been passing as white for 20 years. He comes home and persuades his younger sister Rena to come live with him and also pass as white. Rena however doesn't enjoy lying about her background and the film ends with her declining to marry a white man to elope with her black ex-boyfriend. The original 1927 film was originally banned due to its bluntness about race. It was only allowed to be released after several scenes were cut.

Literature

  • When the titular character of Sanry meets Miss Laura she describes her as the "prettiest white woman I ever saw". Ms. Laura takes in Sanry and her friend Lucy and lets them work for her during the final portion of The American Civil War, right after slavery had been abolished. Not soon later, Sanry finds out that Miss Laura is what used to be called an "octoroon" (people who are 1/8 black), and that she hides her curly hair underneath a head scarf. Sanry is amazed that a black woman could be so rich and high class like Miss Laura.
  • The Benjamin January series, set in New Orleans in the 1830s, contains several characters with black ancestry passing as white; it's made clear that exposure will have awful consequences, even several generations down the line.
  • Black Like Me is an example of short term passing, and a rare example of a white man passing as a black man. The author John Howard Griffin actually artificially darkened his skin under the care of a doctor and journeyed through the American South to get a first-person perspective on what it was like to be black.
  • One of the main themes of Caucasia. Birdie and Cole Lee are both half-black-half-white and at different times must attempt to pass for one or the other to fit in or blend into the surroundings. Cole has darker skin and kinky hair, so she has difficulty passing as anything but black, but Cole uses speech, mannerisms and even modifications to the way she looks to try to pass as either.
  • In Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, George Peavey has twin sons, Jasper, the light-skinned one, and Artis, the the dark one. Jasper later joins a club in Birmingham whose members are so light their pictures have made it into the paper as those of a white organization. There's a chapter where his daughter goes shopping in a department store, pretending she's white, when her uncle Artis runs into her. She reacts in such a way, though she knows who he is, that the store staff believes he's harassing her.
  • A subplot in The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, concerns a mixed-race girl who was given up for adoption by her mother because she looked white, and in 1950's Mississippi the social pressure on the mother was too much. The girl later returns to her birth mother in Jackson, where she deliberately passes for white at a Daughters of the American Revolution meeting, then lets everyone there know that she is, in fact, black (and indeed, a member of the Black Panthers). It does not end well.
  • The Lions of Little Rock is a young adult novel set in Alabama in the 1950s, just as schools are being integrated. The main character learns that Liz, the new girl at her school, wasn't just tan from the summer but African-American. Liz is then ostracized by peers of both races. She was able to pass until being seen at a black church, though.
  • Nella Larsen's 1929 novel Passing is entirely about examining this phenomenon- it contains three "black" women, one who has basically switched to a white identity by continuously passing, one that can pass, but doesn't,and one who passes occasionally out of convenience. It does not work out well for the first two in the end.
  • In The Freedom Maze by Delia Sherman, a girl who counts as white in 1960 goes back in time to 1860, where because of her suntan, curly hair, and resemblance to her plantation-owning ancestors she is classified as black and assumed to be the offspring of a wayward son of the family and one of his slaves, making her a slave herself. After she returns to her own time, she is assumed to have run away and an advertisement is issued. In the description of her it says, "Could pass for white." Researching her family history, she learns that after the Civil War, the aforementioned wayward son inherited the plantation and passed off his former-slave wife as a white woman from France so as their descendant, the protagonist really does have a few black genes.
  • The entire point of James Weldon Johnson's The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man. The nameless protagonist is a very light-skinned "octaroon" (or less) in the late 19th-early 20th century, who is nonetheless raised as black (albei a very sheltered kind of black, only mingling with the black upper crust and with an unusually large number of white people in his social circle (easier to believe in New England). A gifted pianist, he spends his young adulthood in that field, eventually learning ragtime music and touring Europe with a rich white man. However, he eventually quits ragtime after seeing a lynching, decides to pass as white, and becomes a businessman and marries a white woman, who does not realize his heritage. The book is based in part on Johnson's life (he could pass if he grew his facial hair right), but also on the lives of others Johnson knew.
  • This is part of the backstory of the Fannie Flagg novel Welcome To the World, Baby Girl! The (blonde, blue-eyed) protagonist's mother turned out to be of mixed race, the daughter of a German woman and a very light-skinned African American man who had moved to Europe to escape from the racial discrimination of the United States, but had been forced to move back with the rise of Hitler. She could, physically, pass for white without trying, but had spent her adult life in terror of being "outed" by someone who knew about her backgroundwhich was the reason for her secretive and evasive behavior during the protagonist's childhood.
  • Gustave de Beaumont's novel "Marie; ou, L'Esclavage auxtats-Unis" ("Marie, or Slavery in the United States"), published in 1835, is the first known novel featuring Black-White racial passing.
    Narrator: Public opinion, ordinarily so indulgent to fortune-seekers who conceal their names and previous lives, is pitiless in its search for proofs of African descent.... There is but one crime, of which the guilty bear everywhere the penalty and the infamy; it is that of belonging to a family reputed to be of color. Though the color may be effaced, the stigma remains.
  • Mark Twain's Puddn Head Wilson has the son of a wealthy family and a slave getting Switched at Birth. This is possible because the slave boy has only the barest fraction of African ancestry, so he looks exactly the same as any other white person. The book highlights the stupidity of slavery and racism.
  • The title character of Queenie is a beautiful half-caste girl born in Mumbai during The Raj. Fair enough to pass for white, she conceals her Indian parentage and makes her way to London, where her looks and talent get her noticed by a film producer who helps propel her to stardom in the still-overtly racist Hollywood of the 1930s. The novel is considered a Roman Clef — author Michael Korda based the story on the life of his aunt, legendary actress Merle Oberon (see entry under Real Life).
  • The titular character of The Sheik is a European pretending to be an Arab. He mostly gets away with it, too; the only way the female protagonist finds out he's not is because his best friend, a Frenchman, gives him away.
  • In The Human Stain by Philip Roth, the elderly professor Coleman Silk is a pale-skinned black man who spent his entire adult life posing as Jewish in order to avoid institutional racism in the 1950s. He goes so far as to cut his family out of his life entirely, claiming that they had died. Ironically, he's forced into retirement after being accused of racism by two black students, but maintains the pretense even then.
  • Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter, who tried to cover up the fact his father was a muggle because pureblood supremacy was one of the causes he could use to rally his servants around him. The only one of his servants who seems to be aware of it is Barty Crouch Jr, who admits to feeling sympathy for Voldemort because "we both had disappointing fathers."
  • Jacob's Rescue: In this account set in Poland during the Holocaust, Jacob stays with a family named the Roslans in order to avoid capture by the Nazis. In addition, he is joined by his brothers Sholom and David and also has the aid of his uncle in hiding him from the Nazis. Jacob's uncle and David are able to more easily pass as non-Jewish (in David's case because he has straight, blond hair), of which brings Jacob some envy towards David as the latter can go about more freely with less concern of being captured and taken away.
  • In The Roman Hat Mystery by Ellery Queen, a blackmailer has been going after several of the novel's characters. One of them was being threatened with this trope; the character in question had a black ancestor (but appeared Caucasian).

Live-Action TV

  • The Angel episode "Are You Now, or Have You Ever Been" involved a half-black woman who was fired from her job at a bank in the 50s when it was learned she had been passing as white. The earlier episode "Hero" also has a demonblooded youth sneer to Doyle that Doyle's life must have been a cakewalk compared to his own, as Doyle, while also part-demon, is "passing" (i.e., looks human, unlike the boy).
  • Cold Case:
    • One episode dealt with the murder of a pale-skinned Negro who had been passing as a white in the 1950s.
    • Another episode had an aversion with a black female victim from the early 1930's or so, whose secret white lover tried in vain to get her to pass for white so they could run away together. The actress was clearly black but camera effects lightened her complexion.
    • "Colors" featured an African American baseball player (the victim) and his passing-as-white girlfriend.
  • One episode of Law & Order has a black guy who spent his whole adult life passing for white. He's only found out after his second wife was killed when they considered taking back their darker-skinned baby they had given up for adoption. His first wife killed the second in order to maintain the illusion of an all-white family for her son, who was attending a very upper-class-white school with subtle social discrimination against non-whites. Or, so she said, until it was revealed that she'd never wanted to take custody of their son in the divorce, had to be bribed to do it, and she was really just a big ol' racist.
  • One Blue Bloods episode has Erin trying to get an apparently light-skinned black rapper to testify against an associate in a murder. His white parents turn up during The Teaser; his skin color is implied to be from cosmetics, e.g. spray-on tan. He says he identifies more with working-class inner-city blacks despite being a middle-class white guy from suburbia.
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Drumhead" Simon Tarses is one-quarter Romulan, but claimed to be one-quarter Vulcan to avoid prejudice.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: In Cry Wilderness, Jim is a Native American who avoids most of the stereotypes associated with those characters. Jonah and the bots joke that he's actually German: other people just assumed Jim is Native American, and he never bothered to correct them.
  • One case of Caso Cerrado involved a woman pressing charges against her husband because he refused to have biological children with her. She was black and he was mixed-race, albeit white passing. His grandmother was black but began to pass as white and married a white man. She was dying and wouldn't allow her grandchildren any inheritance if they had children with black or brown women.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: In Cry Wilderness, Jim is a Native American who avoids most of the stereotypes associated with those characters. Jonah and the bots joke that he's actually German: other people just assumed Jim is Native American, and he never bothered to correct them.
  • In Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Jacqueline dyes her hair blonde and wears contact lenses to hide her Native American heritage.

Mythology & Religion

  • The Bible: In the Book of Esther, the titular heroine hides that face that she is Jewish from the Persian court, for fear of persecution. She keeps this secret until a climactic dinner with the king and his chief advisor, to reveal that she and her people have been targeted for genocide by the royal orders and to beg him to stop it.

Theatre

  • In Show Boat. Steve is white, and his wife Julie is mixed-race, passing for white (their marriage was a crime in the South at the time). When someone tips the local sheriff off and he comes to arrest them, Steve quickly cuts Julie's hand and swallows her blood; when the sheriff arrives, he asks, "You wouldn't call a man a white man that's got Negro blood in him, would you?" He swears to having that blood in him (and thus, he pretends to be passing for white); the two are able to leave the boat, and the South, in peace.

Video Games

  • In Final Fantasy X, Rikku hides her true identity as an Al Bhed from Wakka because he's prejudiced against Al Bhed.
  • In Assassin's Creed III, Achilles worries that his protege, Ratonhnhake;ton, won't be accepted amongst the American colonists if they know that he's half-English, half-Native American, so he gives him a new name, Connor, and tells him to pass himself off as a Spaniard if anyone questions his heritage.
  • Inverted in Arcanum by Gar, a human who, by a freak accident of birth, has the appearance of a full-blooded orc. He keeps his human heritage secret because his own existence brings shame in his family (orcs being frequent victims of Fantastic Racism) and because the freakshow act he performs in needs the customers to believe he's an orc in order to be a success.

Western Animation

  • Miss Martian is a White Martian in Young Justice, just like in the comics, however her reason for hiding it is different. It's instead written like a more traditional example of this trope. In this verse, White Martians and Green Martians co-exist, however White Martians suffer Fantastic Racism back on Mars. M'gann is half-White and half-Green, though physically she looks like a White Martian.
  • Family Guy: In "Family Goy", Lois discovers that her mother hid the fact that she was Jewish so Carter could get into country clubs. She found out when Dr. Hartman went through her family's medical history and mentioned that her grandmother was a Holocaust survivor.
    Lois: Oh my God, so Grandma Hebrewberg was actually Jewish?
    Babs: Yes. When she moved to America, her family changed their name. It was originally "Hebrewbergmoneygrabber".

Feedback: 57 replies

May 6th 2016 at 9:57:48 AM

I took some examples from Pass Fail that don't seem to be about failing, just passing.

May 6th 2016 at 10:26:59 AM

The Fire Emblem Tellius series depicts this by the Laguz numerous times, achieved by them wearing hoods to cover their ears.

May 6th 2016 at 10:35:43 PM

Do we have a related trope about hiding your family's identity? Being associated with a certain family is bad for them.

May 8th 2016 at 3:17:44 AM

Video Games

  • Final Fantasy X. Rikku hides her true identity as an Al Bhed from Wakka because he's prejudiced against Al Bhed.

May 8th 2016 at 10:52:11 AM

Compare Fauxreigner when a native-born character claims to be a foreigner.

TV:

  • One Blue Bloods episode has Erin trying to get an apparently light-skinned black rapper to testify against an associate in a murder. His white parents turn up during The Teaser; his skin color is implied to be from cosmetics, e.g. spray-on tan. He says he identifies more with working-class inner-city blacks despite being a middle-class white guy from suburbia.

Jul 25th 2016 at 3:00:20 PM

On multiple occasions in Star Trek Mr. Spock has to disguise his Vulcan ears and eyebrows with a headband, hat, helmet, etc.

Jul 25th 2016 at 4:39:11 PM

There was a Sweet Valley High book where a character named Rosa pretended to be white (down to claiming her ancestor's were on the Mayflower) in order to join a sorority.

Jul 25th 2016 at 5:19:26 PM

An episode of Save By The Bell reveal that Slater's father hid the fact they were Latino by changing his last name.

Jul 25th 2016 at 11:50:02 PM

Comic Books

  • For most of his career, the Marvel hero Crusader was forced to conceal the fact that he was actually a Skrull. He ended up being killed during Secret Invasion after getting outed by Delroy Garrett, the new 3-D Man, whose powers allowed him to see through Skrullish disguises.
  • One of the Civil War: Frontline stories involved an Atlantean man who'd spent several decades posing as a normal human.

Literature

  • In The Man In The High Castle, Frank Frink is a Jewish man living in a world where the Axis Powers took over the United States. Naturally, he is forced to hide his Jewish faith in order to survive.

Live Action TV

  • The Americans is a series about Phillip/Mischa and Elizabeth/Nadezda, two Russian spies who've spent nearly three decades posing as American citizens.
  • In Burn Notice, Michael has assumed several cover identities from outside of the US. In fact, he first met Fiona while posing as an Irishman named Mickey.

Jul 26th 2016 at 1:12:11 AM

^ those Comic Book examples are Hide Your Otherness

Same goes to Spock example

Jul 26th 2016 at 2:36:29 AM

Final Fantasy X: Subverted by Yuna, since despite being half-Al Bhed through her mother (and has one normal, one spiral-shaped pupil), she isn't discriminated against, as her father was the Summoner who brought a ten-year respite from the recurring giant monster Sin.

Jul 26th 2016 at 4:50:02 PM

^ that looks more like subverted Halfbreed Discrimination, not this. Yuna doesn't seem to try to hide anything, does she?

Nov 27th 2016 at 6:58:47 PM

Anime and Manga

  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Due to the persecution that the Ishvalans face, Scar, on a journey of vengeance to kill as many state alchemists in the country of Amestris following their committing of the Ishval Massacre, hides his heritage by way of wearing sunglasses to avoid revealing the distinctive red irises that Ishvalans have.

Nov 27th 2016 at 9:13:03 PM

  • The Bible: In the Book Of Esther, the titular heroine hides that face that she is Jewish from the Persian court, for fear of persecution. She keeps this secret until a climactic dinner with the king and his chief advisor, to reveal that she and her people have been targeted for genocide by the royal orders and to beg him to stop it.

Nov 28th 2016 at 7:15:35 AM

Live Action Television

  • The Star Trek The Next Generation episode "The Drumhead" has an Enterprise crew member claim to be half-Vulcan to explain his pointed ears. He's actually half-Romulan and afraid of being suspected for a recent explosion on the ship.

Nov 28th 2016 at 9:40:51 AM

Compare Hiding The Handicap, for when a character wants to hide a disability rather than their ancestry.

  • Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter, who tried to cover up the fact his father was a muggle because pureblood supremacy was one of the causes he could use to rally his servants around him. The only one of his servants who seems to be aware of it is Barty Crouch Jr, who admits to feeling sympathy for Voldemort because "we both had disappointing fathers."

  • In Assassins Creed 3, Achilles worries that his protege, Ratonhnhake;ton, won't be accepted amongst the American colonists if they know that he's half-English, half-Native american, so he gives him a new name, Connor, and tells him to pass himself off as a Spaniard if anyone questions his heritage.

  • Inverted in Arcanum by Gar, a human who, by a freak accident of birth, has the appearance of a full-blooded orc. He keeps his human heritage secret because his own existence brings shame in his family (orcs being frequent victims of Fantastic Racism) and because the freakshow act he performs in needs the customers to believe he's an orc in order to be a success.

Nov 28th 2016 at 10:41:25 AM

  • In The Human Stain by Philip Roth, the elderly professor Coleman Silk is a pale-skinned black man who spent his entire adult life posing as Jewish in order to avoid institutional racism in the 1950s. He goes so far as to cut his family out of his life entirely, claiming that they had died. Ironically, he's forced into retirement after being accused of racism by two black students, but maintains the pretense even then.

May 1st 2017 at 6:57:22 PM

Anime & Manga

  • Happens in Skip Beat, when international modeling superstar and actor Ren Tsuruga has been dying his hair and wearing colored contact lenses for years to pass for a full-blooded Japanese man. In truth he's only one quarter Japanese, and naturally a blond with bright green eyes.

May 1st 2017 at 10:38:33 PM

Does this count?

  • In One Piece, Portgas D. Ace's mother tried to hide the fact that he is the son of the Pirate King, Gold Roger, by postponing his birth until long after Roger's death, because the Marines were hunting pregnant women and young mothers for the possible chance that Roger may have a child. Only Ace himself, Garp (his adopted grandpa), Luffy and Sabo (his adopted brothers) know about this fact.

It's hiding your parent's identity (and thus what family you belong to), not racial traits. They're both "heritage", right?

May 11th 2017 at 1:10:13 PM

I think this is a trope.

  • In Anyas Ghost, Anya hides the fact she is Russian by saying her last name is Brown instead of Borzakovskaya. She eventually decides to own up to it.

May 11th 2017 at 1:46:16 PM

In the Star Trek The Next Generation episode "The Drumhead" Simon Tarses is one-quarter Romulan, but claimed to be one-quarter Vulcan to avoid prejudice.

May 11th 2017 at 3:08:50 PM

  • Family Guy: In "Family Goy", Lois discovers that her mother hid the fact that she was Jewish so Carter could get into country clubs. She found out when Dr. Hartman went through her family's medical history and mentioned that her grandmother was a Holocaust survivor.
    Lois: Oh my God, so Grandma Hebrewberg was actually Jewish?
    Babs: Yes. When she moved to America, her family changed their name. It was originally "Hebrewbergmoneygrabber".

Jun 1st 2017 at 2:33:42 PM

  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: In Cry Wilderness, Jim is a Native American who avoids most of the stereotypes associated with those characters. Jonah and the bots joke that he's actually German: other people just assumed Jim is Native American, and he never bothered to correct them.

Jun 1st 2017 at 5:11:02 PM

This is often the reason for Nom De Mom.

Jun 1st 2017 at 6:50:49 PM

I hope no one would mind me mentioning this, but what was wrong with my Fullmetal Alchemist example?

Jun 2nd 2017 at 12:33:12 AM

I heard that the Third Hokage wanted Naruto to not know of his parentage (his parents died when he was still an infant) by giving him the surname Uzumaki (his mom's surname) instead of Namikaze (his dad's surname). Dunno why though.

Jun 2nd 2017 at 6:30:50 AM

  • Star Trek: Spock typically tends to identify more as a Vulcan than a Vulcan Human hybrid.

Jun 2nd 2017 at 7:25:06 PM

Another One Piece

  • it's revealed in later chapters that Sanji was actually a prince of Germa Kingdom, son of the infamous conqueror Vinsmoke Judge. Sanji was told by Judge in the past to not reveal his heritage to anyone before Sanji exiled himself.

Jun 12th 2017 at 8:44:02 AM

This may or may not work for a page quote, depending on your understanding of the word "Jew":

Patsy:You see, sir, I'm a Jew. King Arthur: You're a Jew? Why didn't you tell me? Patsy: Well, that's not the sort of thing one would tell to a heavily armed Christian.

Jun 12th 2017 at 10:49:32 AM

In The Roman Hat Mystery by Ellery Queen, a blackmailer has been going after several of the novel's characters. One of them was being threatened with this trope; the character in question had a black ancestor (but appeared Caucasian).

Jun 17th 2017 at 1:46:08 AM

Needs to mention the "hiding your family identity" in the description

Jun 17th 2017 at 8:45:05 AM

I second Getta's suggestion to adding a mention of hiding family identity to the description. I also wish to add another example as well.

Literature

  • Jacob's Rescue: In this account set in Poland during the Holocaust, Jacob stays with a family named the Roslans in order to avoid capture by the Nazis. In addition, he is joined by his brothers Sholom and David and also has the aid of his uncle in hiding him from the Nazis. Jacob's uncle and David are able to more easily pass as non-Jewish (in David's case because he has straight, blond hair), of which brings Jacob some envy towards David as the latter can go about more freely with less concern of being captured and taken away.

Aug 17th 2017 at 9:01:59 AM

It's been two months without any comments. Should we launch it?

Aug 17th 2017 at 3:30:09 PM

^ Possibly after adding any remaining examples in the comments.

Aug 22nd 2017 at 4:37:47 PM

So, is that Spamalot quote a good page quote or not?

Aug 22nd 2017 at 10:27:31 PM

In the TV show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, one character dyes her hair blonde and wears contact lenses to hide her Native American heritage.

Aug 23rd 2017 at 6:30:56 AM

Do we really not have this? Wow.

Aug 25th 2017 at 6:44:00 AM

^ Afaik, no. I noticed Pass Fail existed but no trope for just passing.

Aug 25th 2017 at 2:07:27 PM

Real Life

  • Dan Burros, as leader of the American Nazi Party and Kleagle in the United Klans of America, tried to hide his Jewish heritage, before killing himself once an article revealed it.
    • Similarly, Frank Collins, cofounder of the National Socialist White People's Party, tried to hide his Jewish heritage, including a father former inmate of Auschwicz.
  • It was common, in countries with nobility, for a family of rich commoners, to pass themselves as having Blue Blood.

Aug 25th 2017 at 2:33:31 PM

Spock doesn't count. If anyone asks he'll admit to being half human. Choosing to focus on the lifestyle of one part of your heritage doesn't automatically mean you're avoiding another part.

Aug 26th 2017 at 2:04:45 AM

Web Animation: on RWBY, Blake hides her cat fanus heritage with a bow.

Sep 7th 2017 at 6:52:15 PM

Anime and Manga

  • Soul Eater: Averted in one set of episodes. Black Star and Tsubaki on assignment go to a village to track down and detain a weapon. However, the duo encounter hostility due to the former's relation to the murderous, avaricious, and soul stealing Star Clan (of which Black Star was the only one spared by Lord Death due to being only an infant and thus not having taken part in those afflictions committed by his family). Rather than keeping a low profile and keeping any part of his heritage a secret, Black Star, given his arrogant nature, proudly proclaimed who he was and made their mission all the bit more difficult.

Feb 15th 2018 at 9:41:55 AM

^^ Falls under Hide Your Otherness.

Should this trope have IRL examples?

I think this is ready for launch. Any thoughts? Is OP around?

Feb 15th 2018 at 11:31:03 AM

  • Juice Ortiz spends a great deal of season 6 of ''Sons Of Anarchy" hiding the fact that he's half-black. Juice looks to be a light-skinned Hispanic, considers the club his only family, but black members have never been allowed, despite the club's vocal hatred of White Nationalist and their long-running alliances with the all-black Niners and the off-shoot, all-black motorcycle gang, the Grim Bastards (they are illegitimate, Sons in all but name because of their race). Juice's secret becomes a point of contention and leverage when the Feds press him to become a mole, threatening to out his heritage to the Sons. When it's all finally settled, the Sons realize how much damage the archaic rule caused and Jax's final Heroic Sacrifice is made in exchange for officially annexing the Grim Bastards as full Sons and striking the segregating rules from the rule book.

Feb 15th 2018 at 11:40:45 AM

Star Smashers Of The Galaxy Rangers has a war between two races of giant scorpion-like aliens, a black (good) and a white (evil) one. An albino of the black race has been sent to the enemy planet as a spy.

Feb 15th 2018 at 12:47:03 PM

  • Daughter Of The Lilies: Thistle has an enchanted hood that only shows her eyes to hide the fact that she's at least part-cave elf.
  • Sherlock Holmes: The big reveal of "The Yellow Face" is that the suspicious client's wife had a black daughter from a previous marriage, so when she brought the girl over she had her wear an Uncanny Valley mask to hide her race (naturally, the mask is what convinced the husband that something fishy was going on). The story is notable in that Holmes was caught completely off-guard, expecting an entirely different person behind the mask.

Feb 15th 2018 at 10:04:18 PM

Another one for the Mark Twain subset:

Literature

  • Injun Joe is the main antagonist in Twain's The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer, who is identified as the killer of Doc Robinson in the graveyard by witness Tom Sawyer. Narrowly escaping justice, Injun Joe dons a wide straw hat and a poncho, and assumes the identity of a deaf-mute Spanish beggar. In this guise he's able to monitor the town's progress on his whereabouts, and clandestinely cache his ill-gotten booty. Ultimately, Tom Sawyer once again outs the villain: "'Tain't a Spaniard, it's Injun Joe!"

Feb 16th 2018 at 8:25:16 AM

Please remember to redlink works titles which don't have pages yet.

Also:

  • Quincy ME: The episode "Passing" has the murder victim of the week be an African American man who was "passing" as white. His white wife tries to deny it because she doesn't want their children to be thought of as black, but Quincy points out that since he was a carrier of the sickle cell gene then her kids really do need to know for the sake of their own health.

  • The A Team. The bad guy of the A-Team remake movie is a white American general trying to pass as an Arab Sheik; mainly by wearing a keffiyeh and growing a beard.

Feb 16th 2018 at 9:53:53 AM

Film

  • Kapo is about a teenaged Jewish girl who assumed the identity of a freshly deceased Gentile criminal to avoid the gas chamber at Auschwitz. It works, but she's still sent to a nightmarish slave labor camp.

Feb 16th 2018 at 9:57:50 AM

I edited the main entry to link to the now-existing work page for the 1959 version of Imitation of Life.

Feb 16th 2018 at 10:14:38 AM

  • 1 to the Spamalot quote.

Feb 16th 2018 at 10:57:33 AM

I think this is ready for launch once all the examples are collected in the main entry. Has anyone taken ownership of this?

Feb 17th 2018 at 3:21:08 PM

I take it no one has taken ownership. So I will, and I will launch this shortly, unless anyone sees a reason not to.

Top