Follow TV Tropes


Fake Identity Baggage

Go To
Flash Thompson's prank was Doomed from the start.
When a mage takes a name wrongfully, he finds it is more than merely letters and a sound.
Mage: The Awakening, Summoners sourcebook

A character impersonates somebody or creates a false identity for a particular goal. Unfortunately, they hit a bit of a snag when the person they impersonate has some baggage that derails the imposter. This includes the impersonated person owing some dangerous people money, having a family the imposter didn't know about or the impersonated being a target for assassination. In the case of the identity being created by the impostor, they could end up attracting some people who want the fake identity to provide a service or object the imposter cannot, or the created identity could be the type of person a dangerous individual may dislike (i.e. pretending to be an assassin could incur the wrath of a person who hates assassins). This may or may not result in the imposter's ruse being exposed.

This is a rather realistic outcome when it comes to identity theft. As they say, "no man is an island" so it isn't surprising that a person being impersonated might have people in their lives that could cause complications for the imposter.

Can potentially result in The Real Remington Steele.

Usually happens because the imposter Didn't See That Coming. May lead to Preferable Impersonator if the imposter decides to start fixing what his victim messed up. See Mistaken Identity for when a person is mistaken for another due to a misunderstanding rather than an intent to impersonate. See also Becoming the Mask and Shapeshifter Identity Crisis when the imposter is consumed or becomes at risk of becoming consumed by their fake identity. Compare with Assimilation Backfire when absorbing or copying a being comes with drawbacks, and with Stolen Credit Backfire when a character gets in trouble by stealing another person's deeds but not their identity.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • One Piece: The "Return to Sabaody" arc has Demalo Black, a low-bounty pirate who gets the idea to impersonate Luffy in order to gain power. Black’s flaunting of his "reputation" leads to unwanted attention from the marines as well as other pirates who plan on killing Luffy to bolster their own reputations. Black gets his ass kicked by Sentomaru in a Curb-Stomp Battle, while the rest of his crew (who abandoned him after his real identity was revealed) are Buried Alive by Caribou.
  • Spider-Man: Fake Red: A high school student named Yuu stumbles upon Spidey's costume in a garbage bin after an altercation with some bullies. He takes it home, thinking it's just a well-made replica and realizes his mistake when he accidentally activates the web-shooters. As a joke, he puts on the costume and stands dramatically on a rooftop, leading to some people down below calling for his help with a burning building. Yuu almost kills himself rescuing a small child, and begins walking around with the costume hoping to figure out a way to return it to the real Spider-Man. Unfortunately, he keeps putting it on to engage in heroics due to the mask's anonymity giving him Chronic Hero Syndrome and not wanting to besmirch Spider-Man's good name.

    Comic Books 
  • Captain Marvel (Marvel Comics): When Mar-Vell first arrived on Earth as part of his investigation mission, note  he discovered a crashed plane and the dead body of rocket scientist Walter Lawson. When Mar-Vell noticed his own resemblance to the deceased man and the fact he was en route to a military base that was one of the targets of their mission, Mar-Vell assumed Lawson's identity. He was able to use his own advanced knowledge of technology to aid in his deception (noting that compared to Kree technology, the tech Lawson was working on barely rated as advanced for Kree children). However, what Mar-Vell couldn't have known was that Walter Lawson was also involved with some very shady people, and was naturally caught off-guard when they came calling to demand "Lawson" complete his contract.
  • Judge Dredd: One storyline involves some crooks disguising themselves as Judges so they can commit crimes without anyone trying to stop them. Instead, they get drafted by Dredd to help combat violent crime, and all end up being killed.
  • Spider-Man:
    • Amazing Spider-Man Issue #5 has Flash Thompson try to scare Peter using a Spider-Man costume as a prank. Unluckily for Flash, Doctor Doom is tracking Spider-Man in order to either recruit him to fight against the Fantastic Four or use him as bait. Because Doom is tracking Spidey by detecting his Spider-Sense, when he discovers Flash-as-Spidey waiting for Peter he naturally assumes he's found his prey and knocks him out. Meanwhile, a totally oblivious Peter walks by the scene, idly wondering why his Spider-Sense is acting up.note 
    • Spider-Verse: Downplayed. Jessica Drew infiltrates Loomworld, the home universe of the Inheritors. Upon discovering that her Loomworld counterpart is an ally of Morlun's, she poses as her in order to infiltrate the Inheritors' mansion and gather information. However, she is shocked and disgusted to learn that her Loomworld counterpart isn't just an ally of the Inheritors, but also Morlun's lover. Her Loomworld counterpart is also a dancer, which forces Jessica to come up with an excuse when Morlun asks her to dance with him. Despite this, she is still able to obtain the information the heroes need.
  • X-Men: Dark Beast abducts and impersonates his heroic counterpart Henry McCoy. However, this task is made much more difficult due to him lacking Henry's vast scientific expertise, requiring him to bluff his way through some of the questions he is asked.
  • XIII: XIII infiltrates an embassy by posing as an arms dealer. One of the soldiers there is particularly contemptuous towards him because the man he is posing as is known for selling things like napalm and defoliating agents, which the soldier considers too dangerous or cowardly to be used as weapons.

    Fan Works 
  • Earth and Sky: After capturing Diamond Tiara, Chrysalis returns to society impersonating her in order to take revenge on the Mane Six. It's only when she arrives that Chrysalis learns that Diamond Tiara is Hated by All, meaning that she can barely feed and the reason she was able to catch Tiara in the first place was that she was trying to Run for the Border due to having committed several crimes, which Chrysalis is nearly arrested for.

    Films — Animation 
  • Rango: When he arrives in the town of Dirt, the titular character pretends to be a tough drifter who somehow managed to kill seven opponents with one bullet. This results in an outlaw named Bad Bill challenging him to a gun fight. Rango is only saved when a hawk that had chased him earlier shows up and frightens Bad Bill away.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Big Momma's House: Malcolm encounters this problem in the first and second movies when he disguises himself as Big Momma.
    • In the first movie, Malcolm has to fend off the advances of Big Momma's lecherous boyfriend and has to deal with Big Momma's obnoxiously nosy neighbor. He also finds himself serving her role as a midwife, which he clearly isn't comfortable doing.
    • In the second movie, Malcolm encounters a woman who hates Big Momma for stealing her boyfriend and tries to goad Malcolm into a fight. Malcolm's partner Kevin has to talk him out of rising to the bait.
      Kevin: Malcolm, listen to me. You are not Big Momma, okay? You are a highly trained field operative, and you do not throw down with a 65-year-old woman!
  • Date Night: Phil and Claire steal another couple's dinner reservation at a fancy restaurant. Unfortunately for them, the couple they pose as are involved in a blackmail plot against a local politician which puts Phil and Claire in the crosshairs of two crooked cops working for the blackmailer.
  • Machete:
    • Senator McLaughlin disguises himself as a Mexican immigrant in order to escape the climactic shootout, only to be slain by the racist rednecks he was with in the opening scene of the film. What makes it more hilarious is that, unlike Camaleón in the sequel, the disguise is very unconvincing (it's basically just Robert DeNiro in Brownface). McLaughlin even finds it ironically funny as he dies.
    • Machete Kills: The Chameleon meets his end when (in disguise as a Mexican) he runs into a redneck militia who hate Mexicans and intend to kill him. He takes off his disguise to "reveal" that he's actually Canadian... but it turns out the rednecks hate Canadians too.
  • The Man in the Iron Mask: The musketeers succeed in subduing Louis and replacing him with his identical twin brother Philippe during a masquerade ball held at the palace. Unfortunately, none of them count on Christine, who has just discovered that Louis set up her husband to be killed in battle, publicly accusing "Louis" of murder. This also causes D'Argatan to see through the ruse when he notices Philippe's reaction is uncharacteristic for Louis.
  • Mr. Nobody: In a timeline Nemo is driven to make life choices with the flip of a coin after feeling dissatisfied with his rich life. He ends up at an airport where a man at the reception is waiting for "Daniel Jones" and Nemo decides to pretend to be him. He's taken to a fancy hotel, but while taking a bath it turns out that whoever Daniel Jones was, he was headed for a trap, and thus Nemo gets assassinated in his place.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl: Elizabeth Swann lies to Captain Barbossa about her identity, not wanting to reveal to him that the woman he's holding prisoner is actually the daughter of the Governor of Port Royal. Unfortunately, the name she chooses happens to belong to a former crewmate of Barbossa's, whose blood he needs to lift the curse on him and his crew, leading Barbossa to mistakenly believe he can use Elizabeth to break the curse.
  • Reindeer Games: Rudy impersonates his cellmate Nick who was killed in a riot two days before they were to be released from prison. Using Nick's identity, Rudy enters into a relationship with Ashley, a woman Nick was exchanging letters with while in prison. At first it seems like Rudy has finally caught a break in life, but it turns out that Ashley is in league with a gang of thieves who were using her to rope Nick into a plan to rob a casino Nick used to work at. The climax reveals that Nick faked his death and that the idea to rob the casino was his, with Rudy taking his identity being exactly what Nick counted on.
  • Sommersby: Richard Gere plays a man who adopts the identity of a soldier who died in The American Civil War. It turns out that the dead man had committed a murder before he died, and Gere's character will have to admit his real identity or stand trial for murder in the dead man's place.
  • Titane: Alexia adopts the identity of a young boy who disappeared when he was a child in order to flee the manhunt pursuing her. She isn't expecting to develop real (family) affection for the boy's father, who would prefer to treat her as his own (even after finding out she's pregnant) rather than accept his son is gone.

  • Lone Wolf: In The Masters of Darkness, Lone Wolf infiltrates the Darklands' capital, Helgedad, by taking a ride on a giant land vehicle while disguised as Darklord Ghanesh's servant. However, Lone Wolf becomes the target of an assassination attempt by a venomous Plaak in his cabin during the journey. His disguise didn't fail him; it's just that minions of the Darklords are as much of a fractious lot as their masters, and the target was the person whose identity he usurped.

  • Brat Farrar: The protagonist attempts to pass himself off as Patrick Ashby, who went missing years earlier, in order to claim Patrick's inheritance. He discovers that Patrick was actually murdered, and that the murderer is still around, knows perfectly well that he isn't the real Patrick, and will have no compunction about murdering him too if he causes trouble.
  • Cheri Bibi: The eponymous character is a man falsely accused of a crime he didn't commit. He undergoes Magic Plastic Surgery to take on the identity of a rich man but much to his bad fortune, the person he is impersonating is the true perpetrator of the crime and is being blackmailed by his associates.
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:
    • Ron poses as Reginald "Reg" Cattermole, a member of the Magical Maintenance Department, in order to infiltrate the Ministry of Magic. While in disguise, Ron bumps into Yaxley, the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, who threatens Cattermole's wife who is accused of being a Mudblood unless he fixes his enchanted windows.
    • Meanwhile, Harry is impersonating Albert Runcorn, who, as Arthur Weasley told him, ratted out Cattermole to begin with.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 30 Rock: In "Reunion", Liz and Jack attend the former's high school reunion where Jack is mistaken for a former popular student named Larry Braverman. Jack at first goes along with it because he likes the attention until Larry's ex-girlfriend reveals that she had a son with him. Naturally, Jack is not interested in taking responsibility for a son that isn't his and immediately gives up the ruse.
  • 3rd Rock from the Sun: In "Dick Solomon of the Indiana Solomons", Dick gets an invitation to a family reunion meant for a different Richard Solomon. Dick decides to attend because the family hasn't seen Richard since he was a child. Dick is overjoyed to experience what it's like to have an extended family, but Richard's cousin Jacob is instantly hostile towards him. Dick soon learns that Richard's father was ousted from the family furniture business by Jacob's father, and Jacob assumes that Dick has only returned to stake a claim on the family's money since the business has been doing so well.
  • Angel: Subverted in "Carpe Noctem". The villain of the episode is an old man named Marcus who frequently swaps bodies with younger and healthier men to live out his fantasies. Angel becomes his latest victim and he is surprised to discover that he is a vampire. However, Marcus sees this as a boon since a vampire's body won't expire unlike the other bodies he stole. In fact, the only problem Marcus ever had while inhabiting Angel's body was when he briefly mistook Angel for a homosexual.
  • Banshee: The main character is an ex-convict who witnesses the town's new Sheriff being murdered by thugs and then assumes his identity. He finds himself under threat from the same local mob boss that sent those thugs, along with many others.
  • Chuck: In "Chuck Versus The Fake Name", Team Bartowski captures an assassin named Rafe Gruber so that Chuck can impersonate him and acquire information about his target. The first complication occurs when one of the mobsters Chuck is working with learns that Casey is an agent and Chuck is forced to torture him in order to maintain his cover. The second comes when Chuck discovers that Rafe's target is his teammate Daniel Shaw. A combination of the real Rafe escaping and killing the mobsters, and then Casey killing Rafe spares Shaw.
  • CSI: NY: In "And Here's to You, Mrs. Azrael", an angry mother kills a comatose teen whom she blames for the drunken car crash that killed her daughter. However, Hawkes reveals to the mother that the girl she killed was her own daughter, who exploited the fact she looked almost exactly like the girl who died in the crash to use her ID to enter a bar because she was still legally underage and didn't switch back the IDs before having the crash. The mother is taken away by the cops as she has a breakdown over having killed her own daughter.
  • Hannah Montana: The b-plot of "Lilly's Mom Has Got It Goin' On" has Jackson and Rico swap roles for a day to live in each other's shoes. Jackson is more than happy to put Rico through the indignities the latter forces on him everyday as his boss until he learns that Rico has been picking on a kid with a unibrow and said kid's big brother wants to make Rico pay for that.
  • The Flash: Played for Laughs in "Who is Harrison Wells". Hannibal Bates, a shape-shifting criminal who can impersonate anyone, takes on Barry's form after tying him up and locking him in a closet. Hannibal is completely unaware that Barry is the Flash, so when Caitlin finds him and gives him updates on what their crimefighting team of scientists is doing, Hannibal has to try really hard to act like he understands. Cringe Comedy ensues.
  • How I Met Your Mother: In "Where Were We?", Marshall is depressed over his breakup with Lily. He tracks her online credit statement and discovers charges for a hotel in New York. Thinking Lily is seeing another guy, Marshall goes to the hotel room and punches out the guy who answers the door. It turns out that the guy isn't Lily's boyfriend and Lily wasn't dating anyone at all; the man Marshall hit was an identity thief who had stolen Lily's credit card and was making purchases in her name.
  • Law & Order:
    • Law & Order: Organized Crime: In season 2, Stabler uses the identity of a dead crook named Eddie Wagner in order to infiltrate the Albanian Mob. His cover is threatened when Wagner's 19-year-old son unexpectedly shows up.
    • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit:
      • In "Serendipity", a doctor murders a pregnant woman and inserts a tube with the blood sample of another man into his arm, so that his DNA sample doesn't match the DNA of her baby. It turns out that the man he took the blood sample from is a pedophile whom the NYPD is after. The doctor's choices are to keep quiet and be convicted of child molestation, or admit the deception and in doing so all but confess that he killed the pregnant woman (since he went to such lengths to hide the DNA match). He ultimately chooses the latter choice, only to be murdered by the real child molester who was afraid the doctor would reveal his identity.
      • In "Stranger", a badly abused young woman, whose real name is Kristen, was kidnapped and raped for years by her father. Upon escaping, she took the identity of Heather Hollander, who disappeared. The SVU investigation eventually reveals that Heather's older sister Nikki actually killed her, a fact her mother was aware of and covered up. Nikki tries to kill Kristen to keep her secret, and the Hollanders are completely destroyed anyway.
      • "Complicated" has a similar premise to the above. A 21-year-old woman poses as a girl named Emma Lawrence who went missing ten years ago. It turns out that the girl was actually killed by the father who covered it up and made it look like she had been abducted. The SVU team fears that this will put her in danger from the killer who may be paranoid of her exposing the secret.
  • Leverage:
    • "The Ice Man Job": The team plans to take down a diamond merchant who has framed their client for theft. This involves Hardison posing as a diamond thief nicknamed "The Ice Man". Unfortunately, the plan hits a snag when the Russian crooks working for the merchant kidnap Hardison in order to make him steal diamonds from their boss after he screws them out of a payment deal.
    • "The Morning After Job": Hardison and Eliot pose as police officers to steal documents Sophie needs to pose as a member of the Justice Department. While they are successful in getting the documents, they are also tasked with transporting a witness back to county lockup.
  • Leverage: Redemption: This trope is invoked and played straight in "The Mastermind Job". A man named Milton writes a book based on the Leverage Team's accomplishments and casts himself as Nate Ford, taking credit for his role as the mastermind. The Leverage Team tries to convince him not to publish it by making him think he is being targeted by some of the people they took down. Unfortunately, Milton's false claims have drawn the attention of a man who wants him to steal a scarab from his ex-wife, a feat Milton is incapable of performing. Thus, the team's goal changes to saving Milton's life.
  • Orphan Black: Sarah witnesses the suicide of a woman named Beth who looks exactly like her, and decides to impersonate her so she can steal Beth's money. Unfortunately, she soon learns that Beth was a police officer being investigated for shooting a civilian and now has to avoid a murder conviction. Things get even worse when someone tries to assassinate her thinking she is Beth. It's revealed that Beth was investigating a secret human cloning project, which drags Sarah into the world of international conspiracies, amoral experiments, and religious fundamentalism. As the show continues, this becomes one of its favorite tropes. One highlight is Sarah impersonating the villain Rachel and being forced to interrogate Allison, who is impersonating Sarah.
  • The Outer Limits: "Skin Deep" has a nerdy guy acquire a device that allows him to change his appearance. He murders a handsome coworker and steals his identity, reveling in his new popularity and hot girlfriend. He is murdered by a loan shark to whom the handsome coworker owed money.
  • The Pretender: This is Played for Laughs in the episode "Cold Dick", where Jarod takes the identity of a missing private investigator to complete one of his cases. Every time he introduces himself as said private investigator, the person he's introducing himself to punches him.
  • The Twilight Zone: This results in the Karmic Twist Ending of "The Four of Us Are Dying". Petty criminal Arch Hammer has the ability to change his face, which he uses to trick a trumpet player's grieving girlfriend and extort a gangster for money. However, after shapeshifting into boxer Andy Marshak to hide from mobsters, he runs into Marshak's father, who has a bone to pick with his wayward son. The next time Hammer takes Marshak's face, he finds that this time his father has a gun.
  • The Twilight Zone (2002): In "Future Trade", Martin Donner is offered a deal from a strange business called Future Trade that will allow him to trade his life for another man's. Martin is dissatisfied with his mundane life and jumps at the offer when he finds out that the man Jack is wealthy and married to a beautiful woman named Francesca. Martin does briefly wonder why the other guy was willing to trade this seemingly perfect life for Martin's own unsatisfying life, but he ignores his doubts. Just as the trial period of one day is about to end, Francesca reveals that Jack had been a serial adulterer and she was sick of it. She reveals this right when she poisons Martin and has her new beau throw him into the pool to drown him. Martin realized too late what Jack was trying to escape when he made the deal.
  • Will & Grace: Jack and Grace attend an Annie convention in "Performance Anxiety". Grace, who wanted to play Annie when she was a kid but was denied the opportunity, decides to live out her dream by posing as a beloved actress who played the character. Unfortunately, the actress Grace impersonates had sabotaged another woman to get the iconic role, and said woman is at the convention and is very pissed off at the person she believes Grace to be.
  • You: Joe kidnaps and impersonates Will Bettleheim. He then learns that Will owes money to a vicious crime lord who mistakes him for Will and chops off his finger to motivate him to get the money.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • Henry Stickmin Series:
    • In Infiltrating the Airship, Henry attempts to sneak past a group of Toppat Clan members having a conference by disguising himself as a fellow member. Another member mistakes him for a guy whose wife is about to go into labor and sends him away.
    • In Fleeing the Complex, Henry and Ellie sneak past a pair of guards by wearing their 'uniform' (just a hat due to the nature of the game) only to come face-to-face with three escaping convicts, who immediately attack the duo.
  • Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time: The Mario Bros. quartet find what they believe to be Princess Peach with some kind of Shroob stuck to her face, imprisoned beneath Past Gritzy Desert and take her back to the present day Peach's Castle. In actuality, she is Princess Shroob pretending to be Princess Peach. The Bros. decide to leave "Peach" in her bedroom for the time being. While they're away, Bowser shows up and kidnaps her, mistaking her for the real Peach. Shortly thereafter, the two of them fall into a Time Hole that takes them back to the past.
  • Overwatch: As a young man, Cole Cassidy sought to free himself from the yoke of a law-abiding life, and joined the Deadlock Gang under the alias of "Jesse McCree". However, once the group were caught only he took the chance to become a Boxed Crook - and then the titular organization he worked for collapsed; all while he was still too afraid to admit the truth. New Blood focuses on his efforts to correct this, starting with disavowing his false identity.

    Web Comics 
  • Darths & Droids: "Han Solo" is reimagined as a serial identity thief who murders the real Han (read: Greedo) in cold blood before stealing his ship. Han's outstanding gambling debt gets him in trouble with Jabba the Hutt. The fact that the original Han was a shapeshifter also draws the attention of Boba Fett (also a shapeshifter in this continuity) who wants to replace his damaged splanch with Han's. He doesn't seem to have learned his lesson in the 30-year time gap between trilogies, as no less than three separate parties are after him due to the misdeeds of the men whose identities he has taken on.
    Finn: You're Han Solo?
    Han: I used to be. The name's Xasha now.

    Western Animation 
  • Dan Vs.: Invoked in "Dan Vs. Dan". A Doppelgänger steals Dan's identity and even quickly wins over the few people still loyal to the real Dan. But when the doppelganger takes Dan's identity, he unknowingly takes Dan's criminal record as well. The real Dan gets his revenge by intentionally skipping his trial for crashing his car into a church, resulting in the imposter getting arrested in his place.
  • Family Guy:
    • In "Save the Clam", Meg gets a job at the local funeral home, and Chris takes one of the corpses so he can sneak into R-rated movies. When the body decomposes in the local pool, Meg forces Chris to pose as the dead man at his funeral so she won't lose her job, and while there, they find out that the man was an organ donor and that a woman just lost her face in a freak accident. Cut to Chris with his face ripped off.
      Chris: Meg, though you cannot tell, I am frowning.
    • In "The Lois Quagmire", Peter, Brian and the kids order a pizza while Lois is away. While they're eating the pizza, the delivery guy dies while using their bathroom. Since Lois had forbidden them from ordering a pizza, the five have to get rid of the body, but find themselves having to make the remaining pizza deliveries so no one learns of his death. This results in Meg having to impersonate the pizza guy by inserting herself into his clothes while he is still wearing them and manipulating his corpse like a puppet. Unfortunately, some of the deliveries they make come with some unpleasant experiences such as standing in a police lineup and delivering a pizza to a place guarded by vicious dogs.
  • Futurama: In "The Prisoner of Benda", Bender uses the Professor's mind-swapping machine to take over the body of visiting Robo-Hungarian Emperor Nikolai and steal his crown jewels. While Bender enjoys the luxuries of Nikolai's yacht, Nikolai's fiancée Flavia and cousin Basil reveal that they've been having an affair and are planning to assassinate Nikolai. Bender tries to save himself by revealing that he's not really Nikolai, but all that matters to them is that Nikolai's body is dead, not who's inside it.
  • Looney Tunes: In "Hare Brush", Elmer is a millionaire who thinks he's a rabbit, and Bugs switches places with him at the insane asylum so he'll be waited on. However, Bugs receives hypnotherapy that brainwashes him into thinking he is Elmer. And on top of that, "Elmer" ends up getting arrested for tax evasion... which may have been the real Elmer's plan all along.
    Elmer: I may be a screwy wabbit, but at least I'm not going to Alcatwaz.
  • Megas XLR: In "Ultra Chicks", Jamie pretends to be Coop to impress a squadron of alien girls. This bites him in the ass when the girls recruit him to help them fight a monster terrorizing their planet.
  • The Simpsons:
    • "Homie the Clown" revolves around Homer becoming a regional Krusty performer. He looks so much like Krusty that people mistake him for the real deal and treat him like a celebrity. Unfortunately, the disguise also fools mob boss Fat Tony whom Krusty owes money to. Worse, when Fat Tony's goons grab Homer, he protests he isn't Krusty but Homer Simpson... except the goons also have an issue with Homer too. Homer keeps throwing out fake names (including Barney Gumble and Benedict Arnold), but each time he does so the goons have a reason to rough up the identity he gives.
    • The police show up looking for Nelson at the end of "Bart Star". Thinking Nelson is wanted for a petty offense, Bart claims to be Nelson to get out of playing junior football. However, the charge is actually for burglary and arson, and Bart ends up getting a ride to the slammer.
    • In "Double, Double, Boy in Trouble", Bart switches places with a rich lookalike named Simon Woosterfield, but the swap turns out to be a trick by Simon to escape his stepsiblings who are plotting to kill him for his inheritance.
  • Snooper and Blabber: In "Monkey Wrenched", Snooper and Blabber chase an escaped monkey into a supermarket, where a battle axe wife orders her diminutive husband not to move an inch or else. Seeing that they look alike, the monkey switches places with him to fool the detectives, resulting in the wife mistaking him for her wayward husband and clobbering him.
    Man: Boy, I sure feel sorry for that monkey.
  • Spider-Man: The Animated Series: In "The Spider Slayer", Flash Thompson in a misguided attempt to stick up for Spider-Man dresses up as the Web-Slinger and tries to intimidate Peter Parker to make him stop taking pictures of Spider-Man that Jameson will use to slander his hero. Unfortunately for Flash, this results in him being captured by Spencer Smythe who mistakes him for the real Spider-Man. After rescuing Flash, Spider-Man tells Flash "Now you know what kind of trouble this costume attracts."