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For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself

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"Halloween in New York City. ... A day when you fit in with everyone else... when even a teenage mutant ninja turtle can walk around in the open."

"Oh my, that [costume] is wicked! Who made that mask for you? IT'S EXACTLY LIKE THE 'WANTED' POSTERS!"

For the paranormal, their mere appearance in a blissfully unaware society can cause chaos and panic. Thus, they constantly have to hide their nature from those not in the know.

Except, that is, for one glorious day each year: Halloween. On this singular day, they can walk around openly and be among people who look like zombies, ghosts, goblins, sorcerers, and demons. And all that they'll receive are glowing compliments on the design and workmanship of their "costume" (well, usually, anyway) and possibly some candy. And they don't even have to spend any money on it.

This is the rare time when someone can be themselves among the populace and still do some good, or just have fun. They're also likely to enjoy a good Masquerade Ball.

While "Non-Humans and Halloween" is a popular use, the trope is really about how the circumstances of an event allow a normally secretive character to walk around in the open without destroying The Masquerade. It can, therefore, also happen at carnivals and costume parties or by just claiming to be a weirdo who likes to dress up at random times. In effect, they are masquerading as themselves, and even aside from having fun, there are advantages to being the unnoticeable Clark Kent rather than Superman. Similarly, this often results in the unusual sight of a superhero in their civilian identity but still wearing their actual costume.

A Sub-Trope of Genuine Imposter. Compare All Part of the Show, Your Costume Needs Work, Bruce Wayne Held Hostage, Mistaken for an Imposter, Hidden in Plain Sight, I Am Spartacus, Performer Guise, and Quirky Town.


Example subpages:

Other examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Inverted in Ayakashi Triangle: Garaku gets Matsuri, a human, to blend in inside a hidden ayakashi village with a yukata and a fox mask. The fox mask conceals human spiritual presence, so ayakashi assume Matsuri is a kitsune disguised as a pretty girl.
  • If Takato from Digimon Tamers isn't hiding him in a box, he's trying to pass Guilmon for a guy in a costume.
  • In Digimon Adventure several members of Myostismon's group walk around in broad daylight. Wizardmon pretends to be a street magician (a three-foot tall magician...); Pumpkinmon and Gotsumon were assumed to be kids in costumes.
  • Dragon Ball Super has a non-Halloween variation, where Gohan is hired to be a stuntman in a Great Saiyaman movie — and of course, he actually is the Great Saiyaman, but none of the crew knows this (other than his father-in-law Mr. Satan). At one point the crew gets suspicious since Gohan took the stunt costume home and later that day Saiyaman thwarted a bank robbery, but thankfully Bulma saves the day by saying someone broke into her workshop and stole the spare costume she'd made.
  • Although haunted houses in school festivals are pretty standard, Cute Ghost Girl Yuuko from Dusk Maiden of Amnesia decides to actually haunt it. While she's usually a rather ordinary schoolgirl, she ends up making almost everyone who enters run out screaming when she puts her mind to it. She even manages to briefly traumatize one of the main characters.
  • In the modern times, the titular Inuyasha went to Kagome's School Festival wearing a hat to hide his dog-demon ears. When the hat was knocked off in front of Kagome's friend, she paid no attention, assuming he was simply cosplaying as some other random dog-demon as there were dozens of background characters dressed in cosplay-esque outfits.
  • Hayasaka from Kaguya-sama: Love Is War provides a mundane example during the culture festival arc. Normally, she keeps her job as Kaguya's valet a secret from their classmates, but she ends up wearing her maid outfit when their class does a cosplay cafe.
  • Kaiju Girl Caramelise: When Kuroe Akaishi undergoes a Partial Transformation into Harugon at Destinyland, her date, Arata Minami, assumes that she has dressed up as "Johnny", a Destinyland-owned character resembling a cartoon dinosaur.
  • Love After World Domination: Fudo and Desumi are trying to get their picture taken together at the school festival but circumstances keep preventing it because Fudo is famous and Desumi is having trouble with another of the members of Gekko. Finally, they use their Transformation Trinkets to become Gelado Red and Reaper Princess and pretend to just be a couple of cosplayers. Since they're supposedly mortal enemies, the crowd is simply impressed by the ship.
  • Magic Kaito: Kaito dresses up as his Phantom Thief alter ego, Kaitou KID, for the skiing costume contest.
  • In Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, several of the cosplayers at Comiket are actually creatures from Tohru's world. Elma also goes to a mixer in her Spin-Off (not fully understanding the concept) with her horn and tail visible, and claims that it's cosplay. Tohru herself is just known as the "cosplay lady" at the shopping district.
  • Becomes a Discussed Trope in an Omake of Nanbaka. Upa says that he'll be going as a Jiang Shi for Halloween, while said child walks around in a Jiang Shi costume all the time.
  • In Our Home's Fox Deity, it's first lampshaded by the older of the recurring fox brothers by him commenting how advanced makeup is those days. It is then averted when a passerby sees him and runs away screaming MONSTER.
  • Shortly before his first battle with Mousse in Ranma ½, Ranma was stuck in girl form by a capricious Cologne. So Ranma, desperate to keep the girl-curse secret, decided to humiliate Mousse's fighting style by comparing his "Hidden Weapons" with cheap stage magic... and went on to fight "disguised as a girl" in a Playboy Bunny suit. The audience was pleased (especially with Mousse near-missing Ranma to the point he's left completely naked, only to be promptly dressed up by Akane), but Mousse didn't take it well. The trick kind of backfired when Ranma remained locked as a girl for a while afterwards, revealing his condition to the entire school (not that anyone cared; in the anime they somehow don't put the pieces together until a much later episode).
  • In Soul Eater Not!, both Shaula Gorgon and Kim Diehl are witches who dress up in stereotypical witch costumes for Halloween.
  • Played straight in Star★Twinkle Pretty Cure, when Yuni forgoes putting on a costume for a Halloween costume party in favor of just attending in her true form of an anthropomorphic cat.
  • Subverted in Suite Pretty Cure ♪ where Ellen and Ako actually wear costumes on Halloween. Ellen, who is actually a cat stuck in a human body, wears a cat costume. And Ako, who is the princess of Major Land, wears a princess costume.
  • In Gabriel DropOut, the fallen angel Gabriel attempts to do this by wearing her angelical clothes, but Vigne and Raphiel stop her from doing it and force Gabriel into wearing a cute werecat costume.

    Card Games 
  • The Ninja Burger card game features a delivery scenario in an anime convention. It gives a large positive bonus to stealth, presumably because a ninja should have no trouble posing as a cosplayer.

    Comedy 
  • Woody Allen did a routine where he bags a moose on a hunting trip, but it was only stunned, and wakes up tied to his fender riding in the city. Desperate to ditch the moose, he remembers a costume party he'd been invited to. He takes the moose there and tells the hosts "Hello...you know the Solomons." Things take a bad turn when the moose takes second place in a costume contest, to a couple dressed as a moose.

    Comic Strips 
  • An old Charles Addams cartoon in The New Yorker depicts an Alien Invasion in progress, with one of the diminutive extraterrestrials being greeted by a homeowner and told, "I'm sorry, sonny. We've run out of candy."
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • The scariest example, no doubt:
      Calvin: I'm yet another resource-consuming kid in an overpopulated planet, raised to an alarming extent by Madison Avenue and Hollywood, poised with my cynical and alienated peers to take over the world when you're old and weak!
    • In another comic, Calvin asks Hobbes to come up with the scariest costume possible.
      Hobbes: [affecting a "ferocious" look] Maybe I'll just go as myself!
  • RJ and Verne in Over the Hedge once went trick-or-treating without costumes. Being woodland critters, they were assumed to be humans in costume. Another year, they wore masks that looked like their CGI movie counterparts. Ironically, Verne thought he was going as "some sort of iguana thingy" — the very classification he hates getting from humans. He hates being mistaken for an amphibian. At least iguanas are still reptiles.
  • Peanuts:
    • A Sunday strip has Snoopy watching as costumed trick-or-treaters get candy from one house. After they've left, Snoopy goes up to the same house and kicks the front door, then grins and holds his paw out. In the final panel, he walks off munching candy while the unseen homeowners comment:
      "Who was it this time, dear?"
      "I couldn't tell... some little kid in a dog costume."
    • Subverted in another strip. Snoopy smiles as several kids in scary masks walk by. Then along comes Charlie Brown without a mask and Snoopy runs away screaming.
  • Played with in one Pearls Before Swine Sunday strip. Pig and Rat go trick-or-treating on Halloween, but when the neighbor sees they didn't bother to wear costumes, refuses to give them any candy. After the door slam, the two remove their (fake) heads to reveal that each character was disguised as the other.
  • Literally every Costume Ball The Phantom has ever gone to. The number of times he's shown up in "uniform", you'd think the bad guys would learn to ban that costume specifically.
  • The Wizard of Id: One Halloween, Gwen and then Rodney show up dressed as the Spook, but the King sees through each disguise right away. Then the real Spook, minus a costume, arrives...
    The Spook: Trick or treat!
    King: Hi, Spook.
    [The King gives him a lollipop, then chuckles as the Spook walks off.]
    King: Heh heh heh... you didn't fool me for a minute... [Beat] Wait a minute!
    Servant: [running in] Sire, the Spook has escaped!
    King: AAARRRGGHH!

    Fan Works 
Crossover

Danny Phantom

Good Omens

  • Dust Shalt Thou Eat: Crowley needs to enter a church (where the sacred ground will burn his feet) while looking like himself (a demon with snake eyes and big black wings). He waits for Hallowe'en, dresses up in drag and giant platform boots, and gets a lot of compliments.

Harry Potter

  • Halloween at the Burrow: Mentions Teddy announcing that Halloween is his favorite holiday because it's the only day of the year where he can change his appearance without receiving weird looks.
  • One Dracken, Two Dracken, Red Dracken, Blue Dracken: Harry's cousin Dudley invites him and his five husbands to a Halloween party. They all just put on a nice robe and tuck their wands in their pockets.
  • Shining Knight Under Duress: A potions accident resulted in Snape being turned into a vampire, while Hermione became part-basilisk and Harry and Luna part-deer. An adult Hermione is enthusiastic about Halloween because it's the one day of the year when their children don't have to wear a glamour in public.
  • Silent Conversations: Hermione's parents host a Muggle Halloween party and Harry's "costume" is his wand and one of his work robes.

Hellaverse

  • Helluva Boss fanfiction Dog-Breath and Birdbrain: Grace brings Octavia along to a friend's Halloween party where the host is specifically holding a contest for people wearing costumes in Octavia's likeness, as she's become Shrouded in Myth after being caught on camera shoplifting. Averted with Loona, however, with Grace noticing that some of her canine features are too lifelike to pass off as a costume. Loona tries it anyway later on with a pair of drunks who seem to fall for it, only for them to be perfectly sober undercover agents who lure her into an ambush.

Jackie Chan Adventures

  • Queen of All Oni: Jade goes in her new appearance for the Halloween chapter, going for maximum creepiness. Ratso, of course, actually asks where she's going to get a costume at the last minute. Everyone just stares at him.

Miraculous Ladybug

  • Can be found in a number of Halloween fics.
    • One premise, originating in a Tumblr post, involves Adrien being forced into a Chat Noir costume by Chloe, and Ladybug mistaking him for a transformed Chat Noir and dragging him into a fight without giving him the chance to transform. Fics using this premise include Chat Noir's Spooktacular Halloween, and The Bat's Out of the Bag (though it wasn't initially inspired by the above post). The two stories take notably different turns after Ladybug finds out he wasn't transformed: in the former, she cracks up laughing, especially when he tells her he was forced into it, only to panic later upon seeing Adrien in his now damaged costume; in the latter, she harshly calls out Adrien in private for his supposed recklessness, only to get a similarly harsh rebuttal from him about how she has no idea what his life is like, which reduces her to tears and forces him to follow her home to apologise.
    • A Treat Sweeter Than Candy has Ladybug and Chat Noir spending Halloween together transformed while posing as cosplayers to anyone who asks. This somehow results in Alya and Nino immediately recognising them as Marinette and Adrien despite having fallen for their Clark Kenting dozens of times before.

MonsterVerse

  • Abraxas: Empty Fullness: In the non-canon Halloween Episode, a human-sized Monster X goes out trick-or-treating and attends a block party with Mark, Madison, Ling, Ilene and the latter's daughters, going as theirself. They have to make sure people don't see their bioluminescence, their wings or their tail moving though.

My Little Pony

  • Past Sins: Nyx has to play Nightmare Moon in a school play. Unfortunately, her costume is damaged, but luckily she also happens to be Nightmare Moon reincarnated by a spell gone wrong. Of course, she doesn't know this at the time...
  • Triptych Continuum story "For Nightmare Night We Are Going As Ourselves": The Mane Six are stranded until morning after a mission in a faraway town, with little money and no food. Upon discovering a high-class Nightmare Night masquerade party, Rarity has them crash the party by pretending to be themselves (with Twilight pretending to be a pegasus pretending to be her). Plenty of Your Costume Needs Work ensues, along with disturbing revelations about what several non-Ponyville ponies think they know about the Mane Six, mostly courtesy of tabloids.

Power Rangers

  • Of Love and Bunnies: Rocky attends Power Rangers Day in a cheap, store-bought Red Ranger costume. However, the mask was too cheap even for him, so he opted for bringing his actual helmet with him.

Supernatural

  • Cinderwings: In this AU fic, the angels need to obtain a tablet from the Winchesters' castle to free themselves from the void they've been trapped in for centuries, but they can't hide their wings and they're afraid of what will happen if humans discover their existence, so they take advantage of a Masquerade Ball being held at the castle to send in Castiel to steal the tablet during the ball as he's the only one of them who can keep his wings immobile long enough to pass them off as just part of his costume.

Unsorted

  • In Arcadia or Bust, as Claire and Jim find him new clothes to wear (Jim having finally removed his armor), he and Claire are confused for conventioneers at a Horror Convention in the town nearby. They join the costume contest there and win enough prize money to buy a night in a hotel and a used pick-up truck to transport the Heartstone faster.
  • In Chapter 30 of the Negima! Magister Negi Magi short-story collection A Day Indoors, Kotaro rises to the challenge of playing the Big Bad Wolf in Little Red Riding Hood by transforming into his Wolfman form.
  • In Dream Journal of Harry J Potter, one of the chapters (all of which are supposed to be dreams Harry has) is a Halloween where Harry (and Lily) are dressed as Santa's elves, Sirius goes as Santa Claus, James goes as his stag form, and Remus goes... as a werewolf.
  • For the Glory of Irk: Every year on Halloween, Captain Rose just ditches her disguise and walks around in her normal Tangean form, which people keep mistaking for an elf costume. All the Irkens who arrive on Earth to support the exiled Tallest do the same.
  • Inverted in Frozen Hearts (Finmonster). Wreck-It Ralph is attending a Halloween party where he meets Sully, the CEO of Monsters, Inc.. Sully is attending as Richard Nixon, because, as he points out to Ralph, "I have to be a monster all year long, might as well be something different for Halloween."
  • In Kimberly T's Gargoyles, after the gargoyles are exposed as real, Xanatos spends a considerable amount of money to create a wide range of authentic-looking gargoyle costumes for Halloween. This has the obvious advantage of allowing the clan to go out in public so long as they paint 'seam lines' on themselves (and Brooklyn only has drinks with straws as his beak would be too obviously real), and Xanatos also creates subtle 'flaws' in the costumes compared to real gargoyles so that the Quarrymens' attempt to frame the gargoyles for assault is swiftly exposed as fake.
  • In the Halloween Episode of The New Adventures of Invader Zim, Norlock points out that he and the Irkens can do this since the humans are so oblivious they wouldn't be able to tell that they're real. It works.
  • In Only off by a Little Harry's Muggle adoptive father invites Amelia Bones to a Halloween costume party at his place of employment, the theme of which happens to be magic in general.
  • Past Sins:
    • An unofficial sequel, Nightmare Night and Nyx, does this with a young filly changeling named Flitter. Bonus points for actually being on the in-universe equivalent of Halloween.
    • Another fanfic, Unwelcome Changes, features Luna meeting a theatrical troupe who needs somepony for the same role.
  • In the Bleach Fanfic Please Stop Eating The Hell Butterflies, the Halloween Episode list stipulates that Komamaru is not allowed to go to Halloween as himself. Mayuri, however, is.
  • In chapter 19 of Gamma Cavy's paired set of stories, Bond Snapshots Satoshi and Bond Snapshots which tie into a previous work of hers, Satoshi and Daisuke who are not really human anymore due to sealed magic backlash go to a costume birthday party fully bewinged and wearing clothes that belonged to their now sealed other halves Dark and Krad. No one figures it out, which is why they did it.
  • In the Action Prologue of Teen Titans: The Call of Blood, Helena Wayne wears what is described as Robin-themed Elegant Gothic Lolita to a party.
  • Played with in Harry Potter/Justice League of America crossover Terminal Justice, where the League come to believe that Harry, who's going under the alias "Mr. Black," is actually the Archangel Gabriel. When he attends a League Halloween party while dressed as Gabriel, one of the members asks whether it's fair for him to attend as "himself."

    Films — Animation 
  • In Batman and Harley Quinn, Harley has been spending her parole working at a diner where the waitresses wear sexy versions of superheroine/supervillainess costumes. While she likes that it keeps her out of sight of the heroes, she's mostly pissed that it's the only job she can get due to her extensive criminal record.
  • Catwoman: Hunted: To infiltrate Minerva's party, Selina disguises herself with her Bronze Age Catwoman costume.
  • Quasimodo gets to enjoy the Feast of Fools in Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame... up until the "unmasking". What comes after that is a Hope Spot and then down, down, down, downhill.
  • In this manner, alligator Louis in Disney's The Princess and the Frog gets to fulfill his lifelong dream of playing jazz to a captive audience, as people at Mardi Gras think he's in costume.
  • In the TMNT movie, Michelangelo passes himself off as a ninja turtle impersonator by donning a large fake-looking turtle head and sticking a fake zipper onto his chest. No one seems to take notice.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Addams Family movie, Wednesday declares that she is going dressed in her normal clothes as "a homicidal maniac" stating "They Look Just Like Everyone Else!."
  • The opening of the film version of American Splendor features this, as young Harvey Pekar is shown trick-or-treating as himself (he didn't believe in pretending to be something else). He doesn't get any candy.
  • In flashback, the protagonist of the Anonymous Rex TV movie recalls trying this as a kid, only to be dragged home by his father because his "amazingly realistic Velociraptor costume" drew too much attention.
  • Inverted in 1992's Batman Returns, in which Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle come to Schreck's costume ball, as themselves (no costume). Despite this, they accidentally revealed their secret identities to each other. In their minds, "Batman" and "Catwoman" are their true identities, with "Bruce Wayne" and "Selina Kyle" being the real costumes.
    • Schrek accuses Bruce of coming dressed as a "trust-fund goodie-goodie." Later, when Bruce reveals himself to Selena, Schrek sees him and, briefly bemused, asks:
      Schrek: Bruce Wayne...why're you dressed up like Batman?
      Catwoman/Selena Kyle: Because he is Batman, you moron!
  • The Field Guide to Evil: In "What Ever Happened to Paganus the Pagan?", the goblin attempts to mingle with drunken revelers who are dressed in pagan costumes of animal skins and horns. His masquerade does not last long.
  • Gooby: Willy can't bring Gooby in public due to him being a big talking bear, but on Halloween he basically blends right in, making it the only time he can go out in public.
  • Agent Myers covers for Hellboy and Sammael this way in The Movie. "Great costumes, huh?"
  • In Hocus Pocus all the action takes place on Halloween. Therefore, the three witches are hardly out of place and move about the town freely. They even become the center of attention as the "entertainment" at the town's big costume party. The Witches themselves are at first confused by the whole thing (they get scared when a girl dressed as an angel "blesses" them, and mistake a man dressed as Satan for the real deal), but once they realize it’s all a big costumed party, they make great use of this trope to put their plan in motion without anyone besides the protagonists opposing them.
  • In House on Bare Mountain, Dracula, the Frankenstein Monster and Krakow the Wolf Man all enter the costume party and everyone assumes they are guests in costume.
  • In The Idle Class, Charlie Chaplin plays both The Tramp and a wealthy man staying at a resort. On the night of the Masquerade Ball, the rich man gets the visor of his suit of armor stuck. The Tramp then wanders into the masquerade ball and is taken to be the rich man disguised as a tramp.
  • In Idle Hands two undead teens turn up to the school dance — one of them with the murder weapon still embedded in his skull. When asked who made their costumes, they give the name of their killer.
  • In Love Me Tonight, Maurice is a poor tailor who is believed by the local Blue Bloods to be royalty traveling incognito. For a Masquerade Ball, he wears his everyday casual suit, turtleneck, and flat cap.
  • In The Knight Before Christmas 14th Century English Knight is transported to 2019 Ohio wearing plate armor and chain mail. He lands in the middle of a Christmas festival called "The Christmas Castle", so he doesn't look out of place as people assume he is staff. Though they do comment that his costume is better than everyone else's, and the other actors assume he's a method actor as he never drops "the bit".
  • Used hilariously illogically in The NeverEnding Story III: Escape from Fantasia. Somehow, it's the first day of school, Chinese New Year, and Halloween all at the same time. The only reason why any of this happens is that the latter two events allow the fantastic characters to be out in the open.
  • The main character of Once Bitten doesn't realize that he's turning into a vampire and subconsciously dressing the part. When he attends a Halloween dance party, people guess by his choice of clothes that he's in a vampire costume, which confuses him.
  • The fourth Scary Movie has an alien (based on the "Billy" puppet from the Saw franchise) who met his girlfriend at Mardi Gras, and defended his being there by saying that he "blended in."
  • In the sci-fi comedy Spaced Invaders, the titular Martians land in a small farming town on Halloween and are mistaken by most people for kids in costumes.
  • Spider-Man Trilogy: Spidey managed to play this off on an ordinary day in Spider-Man 2, as everyone knows Spider-Man doesn't need elevators. What the guy thought he needed such a detailed and form-fitting costume for is another question. To be fair, though, they are in New York. The guy probably thought he downloaded the plans for a form-fitting, detailed Spider-Man costume off the Internet... just like people can do in the real world. There's an extended cut of the movie in which the guy does realize that it's the real Spider-Man. He reveals that he works for a marketing firm and that Spidey needs to do more with his image. He suggests a line of Spider-Man-branded cologne. That should be called Thwip.
  • Tales of Halloween: In "The Night Billy Raised Hell", Mr. Abaddon is a horned demon. On Halloween night, he strolls the streets with his horns out, with everyone assuming that he is in costume.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze: In the climax, Tokka and Rahzar shove Raph into a nightclub where Vanilla Ice is performing. Initially the audience and Vanilla Ice are freaked out by the sudden appearance of mutant humanoid animals, until they just start thinking that the guys are just people in costumes. This allows the Turtles to dance to the Ninja Rap.
  • Slightly parodied in Transformers (2007) when Sam is trying to find his Grandfather's glasses and the Autobots are walking around in the backyard. He tells the anxious robots to wait for him and stay low. A minute later he turns around and the Autobots have turned into their incognito alternate modes... parked in the backyard. Obviously they don't blend in.
    Sam: THIS IS NOT A TRUCK STOP!
  • In Twin Falls Idaho, a girl convinces a pair of conjoined twins to attend a Halloween party as "Siamese twins." Everyone at the party assumes that it's just a costume.
  • Venom: Let There Be Carnage: When Venom and Eddie have a falling out, the former separates from the latter and body-surfs across different hosts (on account of Eddie being one of the precious few compatible hosts that can survive being merged with Venom). At one point, Venom happens upon an underground rave party, where he blends in among the revelers who think the massive alien monster is just another reveler in a costume that was made especially well.
  • In Zorro, the Gay Blade, Don Diego attends a Masquerade Ball in his Zorro costume. At first the Aldante thinks he's caught Zorro, but then all the Dons (and later all the men invited to the party at all) show up in Zorro costumes, insisting they got a message from him telling them to do so.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Último Dragón and Rey Mysterio Jr. at WCW Halloween Havoc 1997, the infamous event where the latter lost his mask to Eddie Guerrero.
  • In 2014 World Wonder Ring STARDOM adopted Fukumen's Mask Fiesta but since STARDOM isn't a lucharesu promotion, it was moved from July to October to be held alongside their Halloween party. This had the side effect of what few masked luchadors were present for the former keeping their regular masks for the latter.
  • Stephanie McMahon dressed as a witch for the 2002 Halloween Episode of WWE SmackDown, though wrestling fans saw it as this.

    Video Games 
  • During one mission in Dishonored, Corvo sneaks into a masked ball by wearing his creepy assassin's mask, which is on wanted posters all over the city. He can even sign his own name on the guestbook. The other guests think he's some random gentleman who's trying to be funny. Considering the plague that's ravaging the city in the story, it may very well be a Shout-Out to "The Masque of the Red Death". The main difference is that Corvo's less about spreading plague and more about spreading horrible, horrible death to anyone who crosses him...or alternatively, something much worse.
  • In League of Legends, Dr. Mundo has a skin, released as part of a Halloween-themed update, in which he is dressing up as himself.
    Dr. Mundo: Mundo dresses up as himself a lot, or else he forgets. Has happened before.
  • Genji of Overwatch, ninja turned into a cyborg to save his life after his brother tried to kill him, has this to say on the subject:
    My Halloween costume? Cyborg Ninja.
  • In Saints Row: The Third, when the Saints rob a bank at the start of the game, the Saints all wear Johnny Gat caricature masks, including Johnny Gat. In their defense, the Saints by this time have sold out and become criminal celebrities; people robbing a bank in Johnny Gat masks wouldn't be that bizarre in-universe.
    Johnny Gat: Hell yeah! Who doesn't want to be Johnny Gat?
  • In Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, everyone drives something related to their character. Sonic drives a sports car modeled to look like him, Ryo drives a motorcycle, the Bonanza Bros. drive their getaway car, etc. However, Opa-Opa, being a sentient spaceship, doesn't drive a car; he races with himself as his car.
    • Similarly, in the sequel, NiGHTS and Reala transform into cars a la their own games, although at least they have Nightopians and Nightmaren sitting in the driving seat. Also, there's the equally-sentient AGES, a SEGA-themed robot that transforms between a Daytona stock-car, an After Burner plane, and a Dreamcast controller depending on the location.
  • Most people in Skullgirls know Eliza as a diva singer who happens to wear a very gaudy and revealing outfit. Less people (those people being Samson, Leviathan, and the Medicis) know that she's actually an ancient being, and that outfit she wears is the same one she wore back in the game's equivalent to ancient Egypt.
  • One mission in Spider-Man (PS4) requires you to go to a Halloween party to look for someone while in full costume.
  • ToeJam & Earl Mission to Earth let the alien protagonists go up to houses and pretend to be trick or treaters to get a random item.
  • The free RPG Maker game Trick & Treat is set on Halloween and features two girls dressed as a witch and a pumpkin maid. The former is an actual witch and the latter is a magically animated construct that the witch made from a pumpkin to use as her personal maid.
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, a few NPCs mistake Nosferatu players for a body-modification buff... and one of them compliments you on the work done on your ears.
    • Of course, a few NPCs also assume that the Nosferatu PC's just wearing a mask: in a particularly amusing case, Venus politely informs the PC that there are no mosh pits in her establishment and redirects you to a Death Metal show in a different club.

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner goes to a convention cosplaying as himself, which, in this case, means wearing a propeller cap over his propeller cap and taping a paper star over his red star T-shirt.
    • Another episode has Strong Sad apparently entering a Strong Sad look-alike contest only for Coach Z to immediately disqualify him for that very reason. Turns out it was actually Homsar in an EXTREMELY detailed and lifelike costume.
  • In the Red vs. Blue 2008 Hallowe'en special, everyone dressed up as Caboose...including Caboose, who didn't know it was Hallowe'en.
  • In the Smashtasm 2010 Halloween special, Super64 tells H and Lamp:
    Super64: I've decided to dress up as myself for Halloween this year, as a reminder to kids everywhere to always Be Yourself.
    H: I hate you. I really do.
  • In the SuperThings episode "Basketball Match", Enigma, still a wanted fugitive at this point, wishes to support his childhood friend Clowny for the Hero Dunks' final basketball game of the season, as he's the team's coach. He also needs Clowny's help in a portion of his big plan, but can't risk being seen. In the end, he goes "as [he's] always been", wearing a modified version of his childhood clothing, the outfit that is still in his trademark colors and with his question mark motif still on it. Luckily, the outfit works, along with keeping everyone unaware of him, minus Clowny.
  • The Legend Of Luo Xiao Hei has the heroes go to an anime convention. Diting, an Elfin with very noticable horns and differently colored skin, is able to pass just fine there and gets quite a few positive comments. He later admits that he goes to anime conventions every year when he's able since it allows him to have a relatively peaceful experience in the human world and it's one of the very few places where he can appear as himself.

    Webcomics 
  • Abe & Kroenen take advantage of the local fan convention to walk around New York unhindered. Abe also suggests they do this when accepting trick-or-treaters to Kroenen's house—after Kroenen finally agrees to get into the spirit of things, he finds out Abe just wanted to use him and his horrifically mutilated face as decoration.
  • In Avialae, Gannet sees a Halloween party as a chance to not have to hide the wings he began unexpectedly growing for once by dressing up as an angel with "fake" wings.
  • Averted with in this storyline of Bruno the Bandit: The monsters visit a party disguised as humans.
  • As seen on their cast page, the creators of Casey and Andy once went to a Halloween party dressed as their webcomic selves.
  • Forcibly invoked (and subverted) in the webcomic Charliehorse when Preson suggests — in great detail — that Charlie the succubus take the opportunity to attend a Halloween party as herself. Turns out she'd rather go as Cinderella, instead.
  • One Cyanide and Happiness strip has a character react in fear to the Purple-Shirted Eye Stabber (a recurring character who's Exactly What It Says on the Tin). The man laughs and assures him it's a costume. The last panel shows him pulling up his purple shirt to reveal an identical purple shirt underneath and brandishing his knife, indicating he's the real thing after all.
  • In an early Dragon City comic, bipedal dragon Erin Parrity goes trick-or-treating with some humans. Bonus points for not only not wearing a costume but also not wearing anything at all.
    Human kid: Oh wow! That's a neat costume!
    Erin: Thanks. My parents helped me make it.
  • Inverted in the Halloween arc of Erma when the titular Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl decides to dress up like a normal elementary schooler while her friends go in costume. No one takes her seriously and she gets next to no candy until her friends encourage her to play the trope straight, which she does quite well.
  • The Jaegermonsters in Girl Genius take advantage of the fact that people dressed as Jaegermonsters are popular entertainment on several occasions. Played with when Da Boyz accompany Lady Jenka to a costume party ... wearing obviously fake Jaeger heads.
  • Grace of El Goonish Shive apparently considered (off-continuity) the Halloween "costume" of a squirrel-girl with three tails and antennae. Also, Liz.
  • In an It's Walky! Halloween strip, Joyce (dressed as a harlequin) criticises Jason for not having his costume ready. He replies he's going as James Bond.
    • In Shortpacked!, Robin asks Mike (who has just learned that he's going to be a dad), what his costume is, as he is wearing his normal work clothes. He says his costume is "Father". Considering that it's Mike Robin concedes that this is pretty scary.
  • Maggot Boy takes place in one of the safe cities after a Zombie Apocalypse. Davey and Chainey, two highly anomalous zombies who retained their personalities and are living undercover in the city, try trick-or-treating as zombies, with a bit of scotch tape on their faces to make their stitch marks look fake. It falls flat due to being way too soon.
  • In A Magical Roommate, Alexis and X always dressed as witches for Halloween. But after they ended up sprouting fairy wings on their 21st birthday, X's roommate Aylia suggested that they go as human-sized black fairies instead. X loved this idea, as the costume required zero effort on her part (In fact, it took less effort than her usual outfits, as she didn't have to conceal her wings).
  • The title character in Terinu is a four-and-a-half-foot tall alien with a seven-foot-long prehensile tail, gray skin, and horns. He gets around because most humans assume he's a "moddie" with extensive plastic surgery and prosthetics, created for a sick weirdo's amusement. Squick
  • In Marvel's T.E.S.T. Kitchen series, the volunteers at the Halloween F.E.A.S.T. soup kitchen are all dressed up in superhero costumes. Peter Parker takes the opportunity to wear a black Spider-Man suit.
  • Vampire Girl: While not for Halloween specifically, Levana does decide to dress up as a vampire for a hospital staff costume ball.
  • In Welcome to Chastity Mei goes to Rayya with strong evidence that their roommate, Gwen, might be a witch, Rayya tells Mei she's being ridiculous, only for Gwen to barge into the room wearing a stereotypical witch outfit for the college Halloween party.
  • In Weregeek, the hardcore geeks are safe from the Hunters on Halloween... a truce has been established, because the risks are too high; the hunters can't tell "real" cosplayers from those dressing up for the occasion. Hiding one's costuming hobby in a costume holiday!
  • In the The Whiteboard Halloween party storyline in 2003, there's a Cameo by Kevyn Andreyasn, who's wearing his normal outfit from his "home" comic. He explains it as coming dressed as a clone of himself.
  • Played with in Zebra Girl, where Sandra, a human trapped in a demon body, plans to go out undisguised on Halloween... until she suddenly finds herself back in her human form. Turns out demons become more powerful on Halloween, and she can thus change her appearance with illusions at will. She decides to go out as her human self, sans costume, because she probably won't get another chance to do it for another year.

    Web Original 
  • During Ink City's Halloween Party, Souji and Yosuke dress up as their Personas — a clever twist on the whole "Thou art I, and I am thou" concept. Not that they see it as so clever once Discord turns everyone into their costumes...
  • One of the many Halloween celebrations at Kakos Industries featured a Halloween party with a demon theme. They even gave out a cool prize for the best costume. Then they gave it to someone who was actually wearing a costume. Corin apologizes to Balthazaar, but notes "you know how you look."
  • Due to Applied Phlebotinum, the superpowered Tennyo in the Whateley Universe stories now looks remarkably like Ryoko from Tenchi Muyo!. Her roommate decided that the whole team would go to the Whateley Academy Halloween party as Tenchi Muyo characters, with Tennyo as Ryoko. Given that these teenagers have superpowers, getting a Washu and even a Ryo-Ohki wasn't a problem.
    • It's also specifically mentioned that for aspiring superheroes or supervillains, going to the school Halloween party as 'my future super identity' is considered gauche.

    Real Life 
  • According to others in the industry and frequent convention goers, Nabeshin has a habit of intentionally losing his translator escort in the crowds of fans, and then waiting in line to get in to his own panels. He, of course, does this when he, and dozens of his fans, are in full Nabeshin cosplay.
  • In an interview, guitarist Slash stated that he can go out as himself on Halloween, and someone even said "Hey, your Slash is pretty good, but I know someone with an even better one!"
  • A bank robber who was nicknamed "the Gap-Toothed Bandit" for his resemblance to Alfred E. Neuman was arrested after going to a Halloween party dressed in the same get-up he wore on his robberies. And telling people he'd come "as a bank robber." Someone recognized him from his wanted poster and called the cops. Maybe he tried to deliberately invoke "Your Costume Needs Work" and failed.
  • Sort of inverted by one of the few anecdotes in which someone got the verbal better of Winston Churchill. Lady Nancy Astor, the first woman in Parliament, had invited him to a "fancy dress" (i.e., costume) party, and when he came by to RSVP the invitation, he wondered aloud "What should I come as?" She responded, "Why don't you come sober?"
  • Teenage fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson admitted to breaking the "no Halloween costumes" rule at her suburban Chicago High School and getting away with it because people had gotten used to her wearing outlandish outfits to school.
  • Accidentally done by Tim Curry. He decided to attend a showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and was kicked out because they thought he was a Tim Curry fan dressing up as him. Not helping was that there had been a problem with crazed Tim Curry fans during this time frame resulting from his portrayal in the movie.
  • San Diego ComicCon is unsurprisingly a place where this has happened a number of times. Given that many of the convention's more popular celebrity guests walk around wearing masks or costumes that obscure their faces in order to move around relatively undisturbed by fans, it's inevitable that some would dress as themselves.
    • In 2011, Andrew Garfield wore a very cheap Spider-Man costume to the panel for his own Spider-Man movie and stood at the microphone for audience questions.
    • Bryan Cranston attended wearing a Walter White mask in 2013.
    • Tom Hiddleston wore his Loki costume on stage to the Thor: The Dark World panel in 2013, although that may not have been a disguise so much as a publicity stunt for the panel.
    • Hugh Jackman wore his Wolverine costume around for part of the convention in 2013. Despite the fact that he was probably the third celebrity to do this exact thing in as many days, the only reaction he got to the costume was a fan telling him that although the costume was good, he was "too tall" to convincingly cosplay the character.
    • United States Senator John Lewis, who had been one of the "Big Six" activists of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, came to ComicCon in three consecutive years (2015-17) wearing the same coat and suit he wore during the Selma to Montgomery march in 1965. He even led a Civil Rights march at each convention.
  • Former WCW wrestler Glacier dusted off his old costume for Halloween 2014.
  • Many celebrities like to go to Madame Tussauds and pretend to be the wax figures of themselves as a Practical Joke.
  • In a gag related to Clark Kenting, Henry Cavill wandered around New York Times Square with massive posters advertising Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice with his face on them, wearing a Superman outfit, and no one recognized him. The only person who addressed him was a shop employee asking him not to film there.
  • Some Wiccans and other Neopagans who cannot practice openly due to community prejudice may wear stereotypical witch costumes on Halloween just for the subversive thrill of being recognized as a witch without the backlash they would normally face.
  • Monica Lewinsky was invited to a '90s-themed costume party years after the scandal. She was reluctant at first (for obvious reasons), but eventually decided to go with it and just came wearing a beret.
  • Eri Akiyama, best known as Akira Amiyama in Kamen Rider Hibiki, attended Komiket (a noted Japanese convention) in 2019 cosplaying… Akira Amiyama.


 
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Alternative Title(s): This Is My Costume, For Halloween Im Going As Myself

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Venom, The Life of the Party!

Venom enjoys his newfound freedom from Eddie by taking time to be himself at a rave party.

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