Any character secretly living another life (or even more than that) can be a very powerful plot device in fiction, allowing for any number of stories. What kind of life is being led normally? What kind of life is being led secretly? Will the secret life be revealed? If not, how will it be avoided? If it is revealed, how soon in the story, and what are the repercussions?
And this is Truth in Television, where reveals of such lives make up quite a number of scandalous tales.
Compare Double Consciousness.
A Super Trope to:
- Deep Cover Agent
- The Masquerade (whole groups of people living two lives)
- Naughty by Night
- Rich Idiot with No Day Job
- Secret Identity (and all its Sub tropes)
- Seemingly-Wholesome '50s Girl
- Triple Shifter (don't they sleep?)
- Two-Person Love Triangle
Examples That Don't Fit In The Sub Tropes:
- In Tokyo Ghoul, some Ghouls choose to establish human identities and live as humans. The staff of Anteiku balance running a Coffee Shop by day with being the peacekeepers of the 20th Ward by night, while several characters struggle to balance an active school life with their night-time activities of protecting their territories and satisfying their Horror Hunger for human flesh. Then there's a major Chekhov's Gunman of the series, author Takatsuki Sen, who balances her life as a famous novelist with being the leader of Aogiri Tree.
- Don't Become an Otaku, Shinozaki-san! feels like she's in this situation. On the one hand, she befriends otaku Kaede and Micchy with the intent of "saving" them from Otaku life. On the other, she was previously a Lovable Alpha Bitch in middle school. She tries to keep her growing otaku side hidden from everyone who isn't Kaede, Micchy, and their own friends. Akina "feels like" this because she eventually realizes, to her horror, that the only person in her class who thought Akina wasn't an otaku was Akina herself.
- Angel in Angel. Schoolgirl by day, hooker by night.
- Platt & Matix in In The Line Of Duty The FBI Murders are regular businessmen and churchgoers on top of bank robbers.
- Neo from The Matrix leads a double life as a regular white collar worker Thomas Anderson and an infamous hacker of international renown.
- Theodora, in Theodora Goes Wild is a kinky novel writer, but don't tell her aunts—-or anyone else in her small, prudish town.
- The narrator of the song "Junk Food Junkie"
In the daytime I'm Mr. NaturalJust as healthy as I can beBut at night I'm a Junk Food JunkieGood Lord, have pity on me
- Paulo Thiago is a UFC welterweight fighter who initially was noticed for an underdog victory by knockout in his UFC debut against perennial contender Josh Koscheck... however, his legend took off in the US when it was revealed that his day job is being a member of the Brazilian capital's military police special operations battalion — aka BOPE.
- He's a member of the unit in Brasilia, not the unit in Rio de Janeiro on which the book and movie were based, but the distinction is usually lost in the US, which the UFC has never tried to correct — in fact, at UFC 134: Rio his entrance music was the Elite Squad theme song, complete with the (Brazilian) crowd singing it.
- Sharon from the Street Fighter EX series works as a nun by day, dutifully and painstakingly making it her mission to take care of orphans living at the monastery where she was raised. At night, however, she moonlights as a cool and collected highly-ranked secret agent usually employed by an unknown intelligence group to carry out assassinations.
- American Dad! had many forms of this.
- Roger became a master of this when he took up frequent disguising, to the point where the show found many ways to play with this.
- As on the picture, Hayley turned out to be an award winning cook, dressing up like a 1950s housewife despite her far left wing views.
- Action Pet Perry the Platypus in Phineas and Ferb acts like a normal pet around his family, but is actually a badass secret agent.
- Also, apparently Ferb.
- The Steven Universe episode "A Single Pale Rose" reveals that Rose Quartz was truely Pink Diamond all along, and she was Running Both Sides for the entirety of the Gem War, even for her "assassination".
- The Winx in World of Winx pose as talent scouts for a reality tv show, hiding their identity as fairies while in pursuit of an abductor of talented youngsters.
- In TOME, Zetto and Kirbopher are really the same character using different accounts. While Kirbopher is a main character and a friend to the other members of the main cast who cares about nothing more than having fun, Zetto is the co-leader of the hackers, and is obsessed with finding and wiping out the Forbidden Power.