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Master of Disguise

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Holmes, Holmes, Holmes and Holmes.note 

"I know a detective who once attempted to disguise himself thoroughly. The first policeman he met took him into custody."

A character who can be anybody during the course of the story. Giving a character this power and concealing its use from the audience for a "reveal" is very hard to pull off.

They may rely on extensive training and a vast collection of wigs, clothing, and stage makeup to pull off the fakery. Or, their powers could be Phlebotinum-driven, in that they have the physical ability to alter their very shape and size to perfectly match that of the person they are duplicating. In animation, this is often done by having said master of disguise go into a tornado-like spin to don or doff the disguise.

Expect them to be compared to chameleons (even if real chameleons can't hide themselves) and to be crucial to an Impossible Mission.

Their allegiances can go either way. Sometimes they're villains, sometimes they're heroes (though not usually Big Bad or The Hero themselves), and very often they're just Wild Cards.

See also Convenient Color Change; Latex Perfection; Master of Illusion; Shapeshifting; Wig, Dress, Accent; We Will Not Use Stage Makeup In The Future; The Power of Acting; Animal Disguise. Compare Clark Kenting. Master Actor is a subtrope that covers only the acting. Man of a Thousand Faces is when an Actor is a Master of Disguise. Someone may be Cast as a Mask.

A character who's a master of disguise but incapable of acting the part is an example of Perfect Disguise, Terrible Acting.

Not to be confused with Happy Madison Production's The Master of Disguise.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Aria the Scarlet Ammo: Riko Mine is another thief character with the ability to disguise themselves excellently. Because she is the great-granddaughter of Arsene Lupin, and Holmes's nemesis.
  • Saemon Kisaragi, a Kouga ninja from Basilisk, has the ability to alter his voice and physical appearance to match another's. More than just wearing disguise, he can shape his face like clay.
  • Cat's Eye:
    • Lupin's Bride, another character inspired by the Literature example. Her debut episode has her stealing a painting by posing as the artist who created it, with the real artist Bound and Gagged off-screen.
    • The Kisugi sisters, AKA the titular thieves. Their usual disguises are those of random police officers or invented persons, but Rui has disguised herself as either Mitsuko Asatani or Toshio (the latter was problematic and led to Toshio being Mistaken for Gay, as Rui has issues at actually acting like a man), and Hitomi has easily disguised herself as anything and anyone. In a pinch, the Kisugi sisters have also been known to quickly disguise themselves as random people they come across. In one episode Hitomi and Ai tie up and gag a pair of female wrestlers and steal their costumes, fooling the pursuing cops in the process.
    • The manga-only character Masato Kamiya, AKA the Phantom Thief known as The Rat, makes liberal use of disguises, mostly as a police officer. The Kisugi sisters can usually see through his disguises with little problem, but nobody else can, and he even managed to fool Rui on one occasion.
  • Sayoko Shinozaki from Code Geass. Source of much lulz when she impersonates Lelouch in an incredibly bizarre way in R2.
  • Honey Kisaragi a.k.a. Cutey Honey. Through the "Airborne Element Fixing Device", Honey is able to manipulate the air molecules in the air to create objects and change her appearance. Honey has a large array of transformations and disguises in the series, and she usually lists all the forms she took that episode before fighting that episode's monster.
  • Great Britain aka 007 of Cyborg 009. In fact, he was a brilliant classically-trained actor before being turned into a Cyborg.
  • In The Elusive Samurai, Genba can use his ninja skills and moldable clay applied to his mask to mimic anybody's voice, height, and appearance. Sometimes the fox ears on his mask stick out of his disguise, but very few people tend to notice or question them.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Envy is an example of this. Oftentimes he will disguise himself as various members of the army to get to places that he otherwise could not go. He also uses his power of shapeshifting to confuse people and take advantage of them. He used this tactic when he kills Hughes by disguising as Ross and Gracia. In the manga and in Brotherhood, he constantly uses this power to keep his monstrous true form hidden and in the original anime to hide his identity as Ed and Al's eldest brother..
  • Full Metal Panic!: Wraith, whose job in MITHRIL is to be a Master of Disguise. Kaname has no idea what he/she really looks like.
  • In one Hetalia: Axis Powers strip, China vents his frustrations to a panda and talks about how he's sick of all the foreigners and how Russia's planning to backstab him. The panda takes its head off, revealing Russia.
  • Akko from Himitsu no Akko-chan thanks to a magical mirror that allows her to transform into anything and anyone she wants, sometimes copying their abilities too.
  • Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple: Saiga Furinji reveals that he's capable of this. To what degree? He was disguised as the fat, short, bumbling, jolly mercenary John for most of the rescue mission to save Miu from Silcardo Junazard. To put it in perspective, Saiga is much taller and leaner than the John disguise, capable of cowing the members of YAMI's Nine Fists by simply speaking, and is physically capable of beating down several skilled assassins while covering up his daughter with his jacket. What makes it even better is that Sakaki Shio, one of the Ryouzanpaku masters and therefore someone you'd expect to be skilled enough to see through such a disguise, doesn't suspect anything at all.
  • Kill la Kill has Nui Harime, who disguises herself as a male student in order to draw Ryuko out of a Heroic BSoD and destroy Senketsu. The only hint as to her true identity before The Reveal is when "he" greets Mako from a stall in the girls' bathroom, plus the fact that she couldn't take off or move her distinguishing eyepatch, so she has it covered with her disguise's hair..
  • A rather curious subversion in Kimagure Orange Road. Kyousuke's cousin Akane is not a shapeshifter herself, but a psychic... and her Psychic Powers include making you believe she's somebody else you know. As far as we know, no other empowered Kasuga can copy said ability.
  • Lupin III, grandson of the Literature example, Arsene Lupin. His skinny body enables him to easily impersonate heavier subjects by padding disguises, usually filling them with gadgets and surprises in the process. He can even perfectly imitate voices.
    • In order to keep up with him, the rest of the cast, as well. However, Lupin is the best. Everyone else has had their disguises fail utterly at one time or another. Lupin can be unmasked, but it often seems to come only when he planned it that way. Two major examples from the series:
      • An episode of Lupin III: Part II has Lupin, Goemon, and Jigen disguised as Zenigata. When they're caught together, Goemon and Jigen admit their in disguise, and drag off the real Zenigata, claiming he's Lupin and they should surrender.
      • Lupin Family All-Stars: Every character is disguised as another character, except for the one disguised as the man in the iron mask. (the story comes from a manga chapter)
    • Despite being primarily Lupin's shtick, the other characters are perfectly capable of pulling this off, even well enough to fool each other. One Lupin III: Part II episode's villain turned out to be Fujiko all along, and in another, Zenigata managed to get the jump on Lupin (literally) by disguising as Fujiko.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS: Due of the Numbers. Shapeshifting Combat Cyborg that specializes in infiltration and assassination.
  • Schwarz Bruder from Mobile Fighter G Gundam is shown to be this in episode 18, where he took the form of an old man. It's not surprising, since he's ninja and all. He doesn't use this often though.
  • In Monster Johann dresses up as his sister twice. Once as a child for a completely inexplicable reason and then later as an adult just in order to fuck with everyone. No one saw that coming. As a variation on this trope, he also proves a master of disguising his identity and real nature (through sheer charisma) from various people right up until it's too late for them to do anything about it.
  • Moriarty the Patriot:
    • Bond is so good at disguises they managed to fool Sherlock Holmes when coming to meet him disguised as the king of Bohemia.
    • Sherlock is hardly a slouch himself and manages to fool Bond right back when he returns from his three-year adventure abroad.
    • Fred's most notable skill working under William is ability to impersonate just about anyone.
  • MW has Michio impersonating every female victim he kills.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • Anti villainess and Fate's minion Shiori has a specialized kiss that can steal the full appearance of the one she kisses, as well as the ability to lose her consciousness and think she's the person. Needless to say, no one figures it out once she switches with Asuna... until they meet up with the Governor General, that is. And it still takes quite a while to unmask her.
    • The series also has Kazumi Asakura, who's capable of becoming indistinguishable from whoever she chooses in order to (in this case, Shizuna-sensei) get the big scoop. Main lead Negi only managed to tell the difference thanks to the Marshmallow Hell she gave him, seeing as even though she's not bad herself, Asakura just couldn't compete with Shizuna.
  • One Piece has the Baroque Works agent Mr. 2 Bon Clay, who can shapeshift into anyone he's touched, going by undetected. Really useful when you're working for an evil mastermind who intends to ravage a country with civil war: just impersonate the king and frame him! The Straw Hats manage to find a counter to his power: drawing X's on their arms and hiding them in bandages to serve as both a mark of friendship and a means of identification.
  • A little-known one-shot manga by Kigitsu Katsuhisa (Creator of Franken Fran and Helen ESP) named Phase 20 has the mysterious legendary thief who calls himself "Twenty Faces". As the name implies, he's a pro at blending in and going by undetected.
  • Team Rocket from Pokémon: The Series disguise themselves as somebody or another, sometimes crossdressing, or in the case of Meowth dressing as another species, on average once an episode. Jessie "Jessebella" "Jessadia" "Jessalina" "Jessilinda" "Jessilynlyn" "Jessirilyn" has used so many deviations of her name with rather small (relatively — her big dress-up costumes are usually very detailed) changes to her outfit it isn't even funny. Ash and Co. never figure out who Team Rocket is until they out themselves — if they figure it out at all.
    • Early in the series, Team Rocket were legitimately good at disguising themselves. As they became less serious antagonists (a transition that didn't take very long at all), their disguises became more and more paper-thin.
    • A oneshot (well, two-shot) character, a girl named Duplica, was also a quick-change master, even able to impersonate Ash, Nurse Joy, and Officer Jenny in a flash. Her Pokemon of choice was, of course, a Ditto, and loosely based on Copycat Girl from the video games.
    • There was also the Phantom Thief Brody in the Hoenn series.
  • Pokémon Adventures
    • Green, through creative usage of her Ditto as a sort of Latex Perfection mask. Her disguises include Sabrina during the Rocket Team HQ assault in the Red/Blue arc and the old man with the Abra in the Pokemon League during the Gym Leader battle of the Gold/Silver/Crystal arc. Even Silver, the one who she's been with for the longest time, wasn't able to identify her until her Ditto flowed off to reveal her true face.
    • The Latias who's friends with Emerald is also able to do this by manipulating the refraction of light. She's actually a lot easier to identify than Green. Just look for females with her distinctive hairstyle.
    • Petrel has proven to be this in the HeartGold/SoulSilver arc, dressing up as the Johto Safari Zone owner, Eusine, Silver, and Lance... in the same page.
  • The Prince of Tennis:
    • Masaharu Niou and Hiroshi Yagyuu pretend to be each other during a doubles match, after all.
    • Mercilessly parodied with Koharu and Yuuji, who use disguises not to conceal their identities but to disrupt their rivals' concentration. To beat them Momoshiro and Kaidoh had to become Masters of Disguise, using lucha libre masks to confuse them back.
  • Ranma ˝:
    • Tsubasa Kurenai, a oneshot (twoshot in the anime, with a pair of cameos) character whose specialty is dressing up in elaborate costumes, mainly of inanimate objects, can blend in perfectly with his surroundings if he chooses. He's been a mailbox, a statue, the sign outside Ukyo's restaurant, a trashcan, a kasa-obake, a vending machine... and underneath the costume, he also dresses in women's clothes as an expression of his love for Bifauxnen Wholesome Crossdresser Ukyo Kuonji. He's so good at impersonating a woman that just about everyone he meets actually thinks he is one at first. He even has a girl's voice (unless he's angered; in that case, his voice becomes as male as you can hear it from someone his age)!
    • Another oneshot, Copycat Ken was a paparazzo who stole martial artists' techniques by becoming them and using all of their moves against them. The only one he couldn't copy perfectly was Happosai because he was just too perverted. So he trained Ken. He ended up with so many copies that he started mixing them up and became unable to change back.
  • Rurouni Kenshin:
    • Hannya, to the point that he actually mutilated his own face to make the process easier. The result is horrific, and it's understandable why the anime didn't include that bit (only showing us one of his eyes).
    • In the manga, Gein—The Dragon to Enishi Yukishiro, the final Big Bad—proves to be a Master of Disguise as well. He was disguised as his own puppet, Iwanbou, in order to spy on Kenshin from within Shishio's group—and Shishio, himself a villain who's always on his guard with most other people, never gave any indication that he knows of Iwanbou's true nature.
  • Sailor Moon has Sailor Venus and the title character, both using disguise magic to make themselves appear to be someone else. While Sailor Moon didn't use it often, Sailor Venus used it often and well in her own series.
  • In Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, Berg Katse is really good at disguise, especially considering he is a mutant who can switch genders at will.
  • The Chameleonian alien from Space☆Dandy is so good at disguising itself, it can actually make the person it's disguised as think that they're the Chameleonian.
  • Agent "Twilight" / Loid Forger from Spy X Family uses Latex Perfection frequently, such as the buyer of blackmail material so he can get his hands on it first to destroy it and even fakes his own capture by disguising himself as the grunt he also dressed as himself with a paper bag on his head. This goes hilariously wrong when he needs a wife for an interview at Eden College in order to get closer to his target, so his first idea was to dress his informant Franky as a woman, which falls flat since he's completely the wrong body shape. Loid also considered disguising himself as a child, but acknowledged this as completely impossible.
  • Tiger & Bunny has Origami Cyclone revealed in episode 8 and used later to infiltrate Jake and Kriem's hideout. It did not end well.
  • Mitsunari Yanagisawa from YuYu Hakusho has this as his Psychic Power: He can acquire the appearance, memories, abilities, etc. of the person he touches, male or female.

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: Big M. and Little M. frequently take on a number of paper thin disguises - from salesmen to a mother and child to Sailor Moonnote  of all people in Big M.'s case - to perpetrate their evil plans, and they have a tendency to work, convincing even the Supermen.

    Audio Plays 
  • The Elysium Project has Mirage, a test subject of the eponymous Elysium Project. Mirage's specialty is using his powers to make himself look like other people.

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Elektra sometimes wears disguises to get close to her target.
    • Mr. Fantastic, of the Fantastic Four, has infrequently used his stretching powers to assume a different face. His wife Sue has recently learned that her invisibility powers are simply the ability to manipulate light waves and thus she can use this to change her appearance.
    • Spider-Man villain, The Chameleon. He wears exquisitely made latex masks, is a skilled mimic, and his own mask is equipped with voice changer software.
      • For a time, the Chameleon also used a holographic belt that could instantly create an image of whoever he wanted to pose as.
      • Chameleon is also astounding at being able to imitate someone. When he posed as Tigra, Avengers Academy member Finesse (who prides herself on knowing a person through their fighting moves) is in denial Chameleon could duplicate Tigra's micro-expressions enough to fool her.
        Chameleon: Well...that's why I'm a professional.
    • Mystique, X-Men - she's a shapeshifter, and is quite comfortable as either a man or a woman. On the other hand, she has more difficulty maintaining a shape that is different in mass than herself. For example, when she spent a few years pretending to be a Governor's wife, using the name Mallory Brickman, part of her disguise was that she was about twice her normal weight. Since she was going to have to maintain this image for a very long time, she gained weight, to bring her own mass up to the same amount as "Mallory".
    • The Black Widow being a trained espionage agent has this as one of her skills.
    • The Scourge of the Underworld, a collective group of assassins trained to eliminate super-villains, each is one, and through a combination of makeup and Latex Perfection can impersonate nearly anyone to get close to a target. It's this and their efficiency that has left the Scourge as The Dreaded for many villains.
  • The DCU:
    • Batman sometimes disguises himself to infiltrate places, gather intel he couldn't acquire in his costumed identity or his civilian identity as Bruce Wayne, plant listening devices in criminals' lairs, etc. He's been everything from Beneath Notice janitors and security guards to a streetwise thug nicknamed "Matches Malone."
      • His foe Clayface is a shapeshifter. He has fought a number of other masters of disguise over his career, such as False Face, Chimera, and Jane Doe.
      • Catwoman would certainly qualify, as she often employs elaborate disguises for her heists. In a pinch, she's also been known to appropriate the outfits of unfortunate victims.
      • Both the Joker and Harley Quinn are extremely good with disguises and impersonations as well.
      • Mary Wills, a.k.a. Roberta the Girl Wonder, an obscure character from The Golden Age of Comic Books. As indicated by her name, she was a Distaff Counterpart to Robin (the very first, in fact). While her career didn't last long, she was shown to be very good at disguising herself. In fact, whenever she and Robin worked together, he often asked her to disguise herself and go undercover to help him catch criminals.
    • Black Orchid's M.O. involved mugging and replacing a minor female character in each story, with her involvement only revealed at the very end.
    • Cosmo, the Phantom of Disguise, one of the detectives who featured in Detective Comics before it became an all-Batman title, could disguise himself as any occupation (or any race, although those stories are pretty cringe-inducing in retrospect) through clever use of costumes and make-up.
    • The Chameleon, an actor turned assassin who once came gunning for Jonah Hex.
    • The entire premise of Human Target, along with a healthy dose of Becoming the Mask for the Vertigo Comics mini-series. In the original comic books, Chance often relies on disguises, though it can be said that he doesn't impersonate, he becomes (often resorting to Magic Plastic Surgery, which is kind of cheating).
    • The King, a Golden Age hero. Using a combination of the target's clothing and a bit of stage magic, the King could become whoever he wished to be. His most frequent adversary was the Witch, who rivaled his ability to disguise himself.
    • Nemesis, a master of Latex Perfection.
    • In the earlier Superman stories, Jimmy Olsen could disguise himself so well that Perry, Lois, and even Superman had trouble recognizing him.
    • The Warlord (DC): Using the Apokoliptan technology supplied to her by Desaad, the assassin Y'Smalla could create flawless disguises.
    • Wonder Woman
      • Wonder Woman (1942):
      • The Duke of Deception could craft himself any disguise he wanted out of ectoplasm, though his boss Mars was usually pretty good at seeing through them.
      • Eviless manages to pass herself off as one of the Holliday Girls even to the girl's close friends and to Diana and Steve who had faced her before in her guise as one of the Saturnian Empire's slavers.
      • Steve Trevor doesn't often go far out of his way to disguise his appearance but when he does even his closest friends and girlfriend have been fooled.
      • Wonder Woman (1987): The Olympians all have guises they usually use for their manifestations, but they're not limited to them, a fact which Ares and Athena take full advantage of to walk among humans even if they have certain elements they cannot change and which would give them away to a careful observer (mostly their eyes).
  • Diabolik and his partner Eva Kant from the Italian comic Diabolik. The only way to unmask them is to pinch their faces to check for Latex Perfection... And even that has failed on occasions due to them being particularly creative or simply opting for Wig, Dress, Accent (this happens so rarely that the police never sees it coming).
  • The Disney Mouse and Duck Comics have many examples:
    • The Phantom Blot is possibly the most famous, who, in American stories, puts Latex Perfection over his hood (American stories never remove his hood).
    • Paperinik (Donald Duck's Anti-Hero alter ego) is rather good thanks to the use of Latex Perfection and very good acting skills, to the point that his Clark Kenting act holds because everyone just assumes he wears a Donald Duck mask under his Domino Mask. He becomes even better in Paperinik New Adventures, having access to devices that make him appear to have a completely different body shape (including that of a tree) or have a flame around his head.
    • Classic Paperinik villain villain "Il Trasformista", his name being Italian for The Master of Disguise, has this as his whole schtick. He's good enough that the only time Paperinik or anyone else saw through his disguise was when he disguised himself as Donald (not a disguise Paperinik would fall for, for obvious reasons), and he later broke out thanks to masks made out of breadcrumbs.
    • Appropriately enough, Fantomius the Gentleman Thief, the one whose journal inspired Donald into becoming Paperinik (even using his costume and, early on, many of his gadgets), and his partner/fiancee Dolly Paprika are this too, complete with Latex Perfection.
    • In the spy-themed PIA stories, Daisy: as part of Scrooge's Private Intelligence Agency, she specializes in taking a disguise appropriate to the situation and infiltrate the enemy base to cause damage or just hang around in the background until she can whack the villain in the head, with the early stories just have her disguise as a relevant character with little to indicate it was actually her until she has either returned to the base after completing her job or just whacked the villain.
    • This is a somewhat widespread ability in Paperinik New Adventures. Besides Paperinik, we have:
      • One and Two, at least through video screens and holograms. Justified because they're both incredibly powerful Artificial Intelligences, so it's easy game for them to make up an incredibly realistic image.
      • The Raider, through the use of 23rd-century technology, can easily mask himself even as people smaller than himself.
      • 23rd-century characters have often done the same, most notably the Gryphon (the Raider's successor in a Bad Future and son), who disguised himself as the Raider himself, and a droid made specifically to take on Paperinik's appearance through holograms.
      • The Evronians have a number of Shapeshifting Super Soldiers with this ability, the most notable being Grrodon.
      • The Creature from PKNA #11 developed this ability after crossing through dimensions.
    • Possibly the best one of all: Miklos, the Grey Mouse, who, thanks to creative use of Latex Perfection and stilts, can easily disguise himself as people twice as tall as him. Also, he's extremely able to disguise himself as Mickey, using their extreme resemblance and acting skills to fool even his friends.
  • Shapeshifter, one of the main villains in Comico's Elementals series.
  • Ninjas in Empowered. One of them even disguises as a dog!
    • Then we have Ninjette, who, while a ninja herself, is on a whole different level, as she once consummated a marriage as the groom. Other ninjas are still wondering how she did it, with her clan still teaching about this to their children even after she defected.
  • Jarael does this several times in Knights of the Old Republic. She poses as a full-blooded Arkanian, a staff member at an arena, and two Jedi. It turns out the derelict ship she grew up in was parked over an abandoned clothing warehouse, so she played a lot of dress-up as a kid.
  • The Spirit: his arch-nemesis The Octopus is an accomplished Master of Disguise. As he is also The Faceless, the only clue the reader has to his identity at any time is when his hands are visible; he always wears purple gloves with three yellow stripes appliqued onto the back. It has been established that he has the same height, weight, and general build as the Spirit, so he frequently chooses to impersonate the Spirit in order to implicate him or to confound the cops into shooting at the wrong guy.
  • Lord Shilling, the British spy who was the Arch-Enemy of Tomahawk, was a master of disguise.
  • The Unknown Soldier uses latex face masks to perfection.
  • W.I.T.C.H.: Lord Cedric has a Shapeshifting, and knows how to disguise someone without using any magic or power. He uses the latter talent to bring Vathek (who looks like an ogre) around Heatherfield without nobody being the wiser.
  • In Rawhide Kid #49, Rawhide battles a villain known as the Masquerader. As no one had ever seen his true face he was able to easily disguise himself so no one would guess that he was a gunfighter. He was even able to disguise himself as people of different ethnicities, such as a Chinaman and Mexican. He even impersonated Kid Colt in order to put the two gunslingers at each other's throats.
  • Mortadelo's specialty in the titular comic book. In some gags he uses one of his disguises to run away or hide from the wrath of his colleagues or his boss.
  • The Knight Watchman's enemy Mr Mask in Big Bang Comics. Having had his face mixed with an experimental rubber while planting a bomb at a novelty factory, he can change his appearance like Clayface.

    Comic Strips 
  • The villain Harley Niav AKA "Puttypuss" from the Dick Tracy comic strip. The writers admitted he was a riff on the villain Anyface from Fearless Fosdick; the parody of Dick Tracy in Al Capp's Li'l Abner strip.
  • One arc in Conchy involves a Pygmy master of disguise disguising himself as a banana on the beach. Partway through, he is joined by another Pygmy master of disguise disguised as a starfish. Eventually the starfish deserts and the banana is caught when an Islander hears him whistling the national anthem.
  • Mandrake the Magician: Recurring adversary The Clay Camel is a criminal master of disguise. And later his daughter, The Brass Monkey.
  • Nick Carter: Nick's old nemesis, Stalinslao Moulinski, is able to perfectly disguise himself as anyone and anything, with the Running Gag of having Nick finally realizing his involvement in the story and uncover him with the following exchange of words: "Hold on, this is not X, but Stanilsao Moulinsky in one of his best disguises!" (removing the mask)"Well yes, damned Carter, you foiled me again!"

    Fan Works 
  • Cat-Ra: As in canon, Double Trouble is very good at impersonating people and approaches Catra under three different identities with her none the wiser to prove just how effective their shapeshifting is.
  • Averted with George in With Strings Attached. Though he can become a perfect copy of anyone, he knows he can't adequately pull off an impersonation because he can't readily suppress his accent, act, or otherwise seem convincing. When he has to become the woman Bayanis, he spends the entire time praying no one will ask him to say or do anything. When he becomes a goblin, every detail about him besides his shape is wrong, and he has to rationalize every one of them when he is questioned. Luckily for him, in these cases, no one is expecting an impersonator.
    • Continues in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World. One example: George takes the form of Folse Tarmi to get past some robots, and worries that his accent will trip him up. Luckily he doesn't need to speak to them.
  • League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Tempest Rewrite: Emma and Orlando flawlessly pass themselves off as Belle and Bambi for their assassination plot
  • TITANOMACH: Hayden manifests the ability to seamlessly transform into anyone after becoming a Guardian. He can also do the same thing to anyone. For added paranoia, the implication remains that this power is theoretically accessible to any Hunter.
  • Plan 7 of 9 from Outer Space. Thanks to a chameleon mask and a bad set designer, Dr. Zarkendorf claims to have been the most evil men who have ever lived, including Yellow Peril supervillain Hung Long, the "Bugger Being from Galaxy Five", and even Adolf Hitler! Unfortunately in this Alternate History Hitler is only known as a writer of bad pulp novels, so no-one is impressed.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Day of the Jackal. The mysterious killer seeking to assassinate Charles De Gaulle adopts a number of guises related to the fake identities he's stolen or created to evade the dragnet put out to catch him, but most importantly when he impersonates a disabled French war veteran to smuggle his rifle past De Gaulle's security cordon. He's so good at this trope, even after his death the authorities admit they have no idea who the Jackal really was.
  • Pistachio Disguisey in The Master of Disguise is a parody, but his family, the Disguiseys, play it straight. Pistachio himself begins to play it straight by the end of the film.
  • Several Peter Sellers characters. Some merely fancy themselves as this, such as Inspector Clouseau, but others, like Claire Quilty, are dangerously good at it. Chance the Gardener has a knack for blending in. Also, Peter Sellers himself: see, for example, Dr. Strangelove where he plays three characters.
  • Spoofed in Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! by Sam Smith, a black man who disguises himself as such notable non-black people as Hitler, Abe Lincoln, George Washington, and a blonde girl, all while making not the slightest effort to disguise his skin color. He even managed to convince the tomatoes that he was one of their number until he forgot and asked for ketchup.
  • Zelig (played by Woody Allen) is pathologically capable of blending in with important people, due to a childhood need to fit in. This enables him to impersonate a surgeon, a sex god, and a member of Hitler's inner circle (among other politicians), despite having no particular skill and being Jewish. He can even change his race, causing the Ku Klux Klan to pronounce him "a triple threat".
  • Peyton Westlake, a.k.a., Darkman
  • In Superman: The Movie, Christopher Reeve's performance turned Superman into one of these, convincingly disguising himself as mild-mannered Clark Kent. His success had less to do with props than body language and vocal mannerisms.
  • In the old Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce Sherlock Holmes film series, Rathbone was nearly impossible to identify most of the time, other times his nose gave him away. Also, just scroll down a little to the literature section for more info.
  • Kirk Lazarus of Tropic Thunder is a master actor. He is a blue-eyed blond-haired Australian playing a black Sergeant and while he was doing that he managed to pose as a Vietnamese Farmer.
  • Eames in Inception can pose as anyone during a dream when necessary. Thus, he's called "The Forger."
  • Artemus Gordon in Wild Wild West. He can become President Grant, a fur trapper, or a rather ugly woman. (He isn't perfect, however. His Grant disguise didn't fool West because he had a Harvard right, and West knew that the real Grant went to West Point.)
    • Gordon and Grant actually share an actor. Kevin Kline did a great job of playing Gordon-as-Grant doing an almost perfect impression of Grant.
  • Undercover Brother. Undercover Brother uses Latex Perfection twice, to appear as an elderly janitor and James Brown. He uses ordinary disguise techniques to become a Rastafarian golf caddy and corporate executive Anton Jackson.
  • Irwin M. Fletcher (Chevy Chase) from Fletch.
  • Zartan from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
  • In Adele Hasn't Had Her Dinner Yet, Nick Carter is America's greatest detective and his disguises are "proverbially perfect", however, his intention to blend in with the crowd fails epically when he arrives in Prague. His books had perfect information about people and their life in the Bohemian countryside, but apparently not so much about life in towns, so he's immediately recognized by the Director of Police and a newsboy. Nick is also not pleased to learn that everything gets noised abroad in Bohemia and that his arrival was not kept a secret. However, his disguise as Professor Bocek was amazing, down to being a Master Actor, and also his disguise as an Arabian gentleman when he was leaving for Egypt was truly impressive.
  • Horace Badman alias Hogo Fogo in Lemonade Joe. He sports wigs, fake beards and moustaches, glasses, dark glasses, hats, make-up... His own brother didn't recognize him when he was disguised as a black trumpet player and an old blind man.
  • Julius Caesar's unnamed spy from the Asterix movie Asterix Meets Cleopatra. He disguises himself as everything from a brick to a plate of fruit.
  • French film Secret Defense has main character Diane, who pulls off a disguise on the fly.
  • J-Men Forever is a Gag Dub of a dozen different Republic Film Serials from the 1930-50s, so this trope is used to handwave why the Big Bad looks like a dozen different supervillains.
  • Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace plays up the idea of Sherlock Holmes as a master of disguise, with Holmes donning multiple disguises over the course of the movie.
  • Don Gallico, a.k.a. 'Gallico the Great', in The Mad Magician. He has developed Latex Perfection masks which, along with his skill at mimicry that allows him to imitate their voices, allow him to assume the identities of Ormond and Rinaldi after he murders them; fooling even those who know them.
  • Prof. Moriarty is given this ability (more typically assigned to Sherlock Holmes himself) in The Sleeping Cardinal, with Holmes saying he has a 100 aliases and 100 identities.
  • Harriet: One of Harriet's most iconic skills during her "Moses" missions. She impersonates high-class women and even crossdresses as a male sailor to stay under the radar.
  • A Murder of Crows: The Serial Killer turns out to be one of these, disguising himself as an old Englishman, a young police officer, and a biker in succession without Lawson realizing they're the same man until he finds his costumes. Justified as he is a drama professor, and obviously a talented actor too.

  • Sherlock Holmes. Since he rarely warns even his allies about this, he's managed to (almost?) get himself arrested at least once. Oh, and he's equally good at faking himself-plus-condition, from mortal illness to opium addiction, whenever it serves the case he's on.
    • He does point out that it's painful to take a foot off your height for hours on end.
      • He also FREQUENTLY fools Watson and several Inspectors, amazingly enough.
    • At least once, Holmes's disguise was also mostly due to acting, in "The Final Problem"—Watson is supposed to meet Holmes at a train station and instead is joined by an old Italian priest in a cassock. The priest changes his expression for a moment and Watson realizes it's Holmes. (The cassock is his only physical disguise.)
      • Then there's the pastiche character, his sister, Enola Holmes, who regularly fools him. Knowing how he thinks certainly helps and she plans her disguises accordingly.
  • The original Arsčne Lupin, gentleman thief, had this down to an art and inspires several imitations. Notably, his appearance doesn't get much attention in the novels because he never looks the same twice. In his first short story, he confesses to the narrator that he no longer even recognises his own, undisguised face in the mirror.
  • Fantômas, the villain of his own series by Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre, is one of the more brutal examples of this. One of his defining features is always appearing in various disguises and then getting rid of the persona through faked deaths, explosions, and mass murder. The same is true of his rival the Inspector Juve, sans the death count, who uses an equal number of disguises to try and bring Fantômas to justice.
  • The 1980s Micro Adventure series by Scholastic - which combined BASIC programming with a children's espionage storyline - had a recurring support agent called the Chameleon, the finest actor alive. His own mannerisms and appearance were as bland as dishwater, making him an ideal blank canvas for whatever role he needed to portray this time.
  • The Stainless Steel Rat. For crook turned secret agent Jim DiGriz this is a basic survival technique, seeing as he works in a universe of omniscient surveillance and paranoid secret policemen. Can range all the way up to full body surgery.
  • Alias in the Evil Genius Trilogy, who teaches Disguise at the Axis Institute, and frequently arrives to class disguised as one of his own students. One of the 3 teachers that escaped the institute alive.
  • In the Pulp Magazines of the '30s, this was practically a stock superpower:
    • The Avenger. Richard Henry Benson, of the 1930's pulps was a master of disguise. He suffered a horrible emotional shock that deadened the nerves in his face which he could mold like putty. (Ah, the innocence of the '30s!) He carried around a disguise kit with wig, contacts, make-up, etc to go along with the putty face. Later when his face came back to life, he invented a serum that had the same effect.
    • Doc Savage, which is pretty amazing when you consider his extraordinary physical appearance — roughly 6'6" (2 meters) tall, perfectly muscled, bronze skin and eyes, and yet he frequently fools his closest associates.
    • The Shadow was a disguise master in his magazine adventures; made slightly easier in his case considering how few people ever truly saw his face.
    • The Spider: unsurprising in that he was a Follow the Leader of The Shadow.
    • Dr. Coffin, another pulp Proto-Superhero, actually lived this trope full-time: he'd been a popular film star but was forced to fake his own death and take on a new identity after killing a gangster under circumstances where proving self-defense wasn't feasible. As his character was based on Real Life disguise-master Lon Chaney, this wasn't difficult for him, and the use of false personas to trick criminals into confessing became his chief strategy as a crime-fighter.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • The birdman Kaird, who is of a very rarely-seen species, but has elaborate prosthetics and suits and so on - Star Wars generally averts We Will Not Use Stage Makeup In The Future - to disguise himself as anything from a human to a Hutt. He'll also use less extensive measures. Whatever works.
    • Face Loran from the X-Wing Series. He uses makeup and prosthetics, but his main tools of disguise are his extensive acting experience and the fact that he comes from a planet whose hat is observation and control of body language.
    • Nom Anor in the New Jedi Order. His people, the Yuuzhan Vong, have genetically engineered a creature called an ooglith masquer that acts as a second skin that can alter the wearer's features dramatically, even allowing them to impersonate members of other species (though since they're basically humanoid, impersonating some species requires more extensive alteration). Anor, though, is a master actor and spy on top of that- with a masquer and the right prep time, he can fool anyone except a Jedi (since the Anti-Magic nature of the Vong means they don't show up in the Force).
  • Erast Fandorin is so good at this that some characters get confused, which of his appearances is the real, original one.
  • Betty Bent from the Kiki Strike books: Her parents are costume designers for the Metropolitan Opera, and she's so good at disguising herself that can appear as pretty much anyone the Irregulars needs her to be.
    • She had a Freudian Excuse for disguising herself: Betty explains to Ananka in the first book that she used to be really weird-looking, and people would make fun of her for how she looked. So she started disguising herself so people wouldn't give her a hard time about her looks.
  • The villainess in The Girl With The Golden Bouffant, a Les Yay spoof of James Bond, isn't recognised despite turning up as a girl in a mink bikini or a stewardess conducting an 'intimate' lifebelt drill demonstration on the heroine.
  • Jay, from the Paladin of Shadows series after the first one. Kurt Schwenke is also suggested to be this, in A Deeper Blue.
  • Nymphadora Tonks from the Harry Potter series is a metamorphagus who can change any part of her appearance at will, which she says was very helpful in the disguise section of her Auror exams.
  • Count Olaf from A Series of Unfortunate Events, being an actor, has an infinite amount of costumes at his disposal, especially from his evil troupe. He's been everything from a Sikh gym teacher, to a submarine captain, to a carny. No one second-guesses the tall lanky man with an eye tattoo on his ankle except the Baudelaire kids.
    • Fernald, a.k.a. "the hook-handed man." is arguably even better, since even the Baudelaire kids fall for his disguises. And he doesn't even have to take off his hooks to do it, he just hides them.
    • Taken to an extreme in The Unauthorized Autobiography, which implies it is a common ability of VFD members and mentions people disguising themselves as a chest of drawers, a street, and a pickup truck.
  • Locke Lamora and the rest of the Gentlemen Bastards are quite adept at changing personas, thanks to their Unlimited Wardrobe and talent for mendacity.
  • Sauron in The Silmarillion, thanks to his Shapeshifting ability, turns himself into a giant vampire bat, a giant werewolf, and the most friendly, helpful, likeable, not-at-all-evil angelic being you'll ever meet (not). Beren and Lúthien successfully shapeshift themselves into Elite Mooks by wearing the pelts of their demonic enemies.
  • The Confidence-Man has the confidence man himself. He sneaks on a riverboat on April Fools' Day, and puts on more than eight different disguises, becoming a different character tailored to be one that would be able to con money out of each passenger, all while testing the confidence in their morals and perception.
  • Discworld:
    • Moist von Lipwig. Though this is equal parts disguising himself and his natural appearance; he was born with the most forgettable face in the world, the sort of person that someone would look at and think, "I wonder if I've seen that man before", and is average in every way—he describes himself as "about", as in "about twenty to thirty, about average height", etc. He disguises himself with removable things like glasses, flashy clothing, or horrifyingly thick ear hair, all of which are more memorable than his actual features.
    • The title character of the opera Il Truccatore in The Phantom of the Opera pastiche Maskerade. The title actually means "The Master of Disguise" (on the Disc; in reality, it means "The Make-up Artist"), and is sometimes loosely translated as "The Man with a Thousand Faces" (as a Shout-Out to Lon Chaney ... who of course, played the Phantom of the Opera).
  • Agent Pendergast has an almost superhuman ability to look like a different person with little more than a change of clothes. In Reliquary, he even makes his disguise as a hobo more convincing by imbibing an illegal hallucinogen.
  • Burke from Andrew Vachss's books is no shapeshifter, given the hard-realistic setting, but with the aid of makeup, changes of clothes, and putting on a different persona has been able to pass himself off as different people
  • Raffles, being more or less an Evil Counterpart of Sherlock Holmes is also quite good with disguises.
  • Faceless Men in A Song of Ice and Fire are assassins who through their training are able to completely alter their appearances. Some kind of magic is involved, but also basic theatre techniques if that will suffice.
  • Toni Ware in The Pale King has at least twenty distinct voices and differently-colored contact lenses.
  • Time Scout's Chuck Farley. He disguises his face, his mannerisms, everything.
  • Tzigone of Counselors and Kings is a former street performer and natural mimic, which allows her to pull a dizzying array of impersonations- particularly since she's flat enough to pull a convincing male. It's very hard to pick Tzigone out of a group of people if she doesn't want you to (the fact that half the Big Bad Duumvirate has been after her most of her life makes such skills essential).
  • Vigilante Man Mack Bolan (aka The Executioner) calls this "role camouflage", which is based on psychology rather than physical disguises. He knows that no one will associate the friendly telephone repairman or smooth elite hitman from New York with the notorious blacksuited One-Man Army.
  • The Hunger Games: The District 6 female Morphling's talent. She uses it to appear from thin air in order to protect Peeta. Haymitch said this is how both District 6 Morphlings won their games.
  • Amelia Peabody: Sethos and Ramses
  • The Belgariad's Guile Hero Silk is talented enough to sit down at his lifelong friends' restaurant table and go unrecognized, purely by manipulating his facial muscles. He's a Living Legend in his country's spy agency for good reason.
  • Wayne of Wax and Wayne uses numerous disguises, sometimes aided by his Time Stands Still powers. He firmly believes in the application of Wig, Dress, Accent, especially the accent.
  • In River of Teeth, Archie is the most skilled conwoman around and an expert at disguise and acting, passing as both a Southern Belle and as a Southern Gentleman at different points of the story.
  • The Big Bad of Bulldog Drummond uses several identities in the course of the novel (including "Carl Peterson", the alias by which he is usually known), each so distinct in appearance and body language that a person could meet two of them close together and never realise they were the same person. The hero himself only spots the connection after noticing that they share an unconscious habit when impatient that Peterson himself is not aware of.
  • John Buchan's Richard Hannay thrillers:
    • Otto von Schwabing, The Dragon of The Thirty-Nine Steps and the Big Bad of Mr. Standfast, to the point that on occasions Hannay spends hours in his company without recognizing him, and on one occasion Hannay knows that a certain person must be him in disguise but still has trouble seeing through the deception. About halfway through Mr Standfast, Hannay happens to see von Schwabing's true self show through in an unguarded moment, and from that point on is always able to recognise him whenever he sees him but not when he only hears him speaking out of the darkness.
    • Sandy Arbuthnot in Greenmantle, The Three Hostages, The Courts of the Morning and The Island of Sheep. In each, there's a scene where Hannay meets him in disguise without having the slightest clue that it's him, even though they're friends and have lived in close quarters for an extended period. (In The Courts of the Morning, since Hannay is not involved, the surprise falls on Archie Roylance instead.)
  • In An African Millionaire: Episodes in the Life of the Illustrious Colonel Clay by Grant Allen, Clay is a conman and master of disguise who repeatedly scams a corrupt South African mining magnate, each time in a different guise and never recognized until it's too late even after it's happened often enough that the mark is actively on the look-out for him.
  • In The Haunting of Drearcliff Grange School by Kim Newman, Alfred Wax can impersonate any real or imaginary person with the aid of a few costume pieces or props and, it's suggested, a Glamour that causes people to overlook any shortcomings in his disguise or his performance. The limitation is that he can never return to a persona he's already done before — and that includes his own real self. The closest he can manage to being himself is to invent a persona that might plausibly be something like himself and impersonate that; he claims that even he doesn't remember what his real face looked like.
  • It Walks By Night opens with the revelation that a dangerous psychopath, Alexandre Laurent, has escaped and intends to take revenge on Raoul de Saligny. Laurent is known to be skilled at impersonation, and to have visited a crooked plastic surgeon before heading for Paris. Any of the principal male characters could be him since they're all of similar height and build.
  • The title character of La Marmoset, the Detective Queen by Albert W. Aitken is always in disguise when working. Indeed, she successfully poses as the heiress she was hired to find, and the deception is only revealed when she confesses.
  • Angels of Music, a Massive Multiplayer Crossover by Kim Newman, reuses La Marmoset as a major character; scenes from her perspective show her maintaining at least the surface thoughts of the character she is posing as, and giving them an extensive backstory to assist in this, not unlike a method actor. Angels also portrays Eliza Doolittle as a vocal eqivalent, able to create the impression of being another person simply by adopting a different voice and manner.
  • Ascendance of a Bookworm: Ferdinand's spy Justus has a real appearance that makes him The Nondescript, which allows him to choose what distinctive features to have when disguised. It's also not unheard of him to dress up as a woman to go into places where men aren't allowed, such as gender-segregated social events.
  • Number Four in The Big Four is a former actor who is not only able to lose himself in a role but has had his teeth removed, allowing him to change the shape of his face with different sets of false teeth. Like Carl Peterson, he has an unconscious tell that Poirot spots.
  • Villains by Necessity: Sam was once one as part of his assassin work, with a vast costume wardrobe which he used to disguise himself as anyone who could take him near his target. After he fell on hard times the costumes were all sold off and he never uses this skill in the book.
  • Flambeau the Gentleman Thief in Father Brown. In his third encounter with Brown, the priest, who is always portrayed as being very skilled at seeing someone's true self, utterly fails to recognise him until he realises how the crime was committed.
  • the secret lives of Princesses: The Faceless Princess is unrecognizable. No one knows what she looks likes or where she is.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Parodied on Arrested Development with a private eye who always wears a rather bad disguise, but who completely fools the delighted Lucille.
  • In The A-Team, team leader John Smith did this at the start of every episode, but he only used it to fool potential clients until he decided they were O.K. Then he'd take off the disguise right in front of them.
  • False Face from the Batman (1966) TV show (who was based on a one-shot comics villain). He also appeared in one episode of each Batman: The Brave and the Bold and Batman Beyond.
    • His actor Malachi Throne even allowed him to be credited as "???" for his first few appearances.
  • Prince Ludvig the Indestructible from the second series of Blackadder is this. It proves to be his undoing, as his overly elaborate costume at a fancy-dress party sets him apart. Especially since, from info purposely given by Blackadder, he was impersonating the court's Dunce Of Disguise. But then in The Stinger he somehow disguises himself perfectly as the queen (still played by the same actress but with his voice).
  • The Company You Keep: As part of their con artist skills, the Nicolettis are adept at putting on various disguises to blend in for their cons.
  • An episode of CSI had an old Vegas mob boss who was thought to be dead come back as one of these, killing his betrayers with a different disguise.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Master in the classic series tended to do this, up to the point that BBC credited the actor with an anagram to keep up the suspense. Leon Ny Taiy = Tony Ainley anyone?
      • Moreso the Anthony Ainley version than Roger Delgado. Delgado's Master tended towards Paper-Thin Disguise using various translations of Master for his name.
    • The new series Master manages this due to The Nth Doctor. Nobody realizes Professor Yana is him, and he later regenerates into Mr. Saxon, a mysterious figure who's been hovering at the edge of things all season. He then travels a year back in time to become said Mr. Saxon. As usual, there's a Significant Anagram: Mister Saxon = Master No. Six. However, The Powers That Be have said that was wholly unintentional, and that when a character's title is simply "Mr.", it's easier to make a Master anagram than avoid one. However, Saxon really is the sixth form of the Master: there's Delgado, zombie, Ainley, Roberts, Prof. Yana, and now Mr. Saxon. Assuming you count both actors playing the zombie as one incarnation, and don't count Gordon Tipple from the start of the film. Or the twelve incarnations before Delgado we never saw.
    • It's lampshaded, along with Paper-Thin Disguise, in "The End of Time". A botched resurrection leaves the Master stuck with his old, highly-recognisable face and no resources. He's reduced to dyeing his hair, wearing scruffy clothes, and trying to stay out of sight.
      The Master: The master of disguise... stuck looking like the old Prime Minister!
    • "World Enough and Time": Simm's Master manages, for a decade, to hide his true identity from Bill, justifying his disguise as such:
      "Of course, they are rather necessary when you happen to be someone's former Prime Minister!"
    • "Spyfall": the Master's new incarnation manages to fool even the Doctor for a while, until he slips up and says that he isn't much of a runner, only for the Doctor to point out that O's file says that he's a sprinter. Then "O" reveals that he did tell the Doctor to look for the invaders' "spymaster" or rather spyMaster.
  • The Dolls of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse are imprinted with many different personalities for their engagements.
    • One of them, however, is portrayed by the friggin' genius named Enver Gjokaj, who can be everybody, and probably is. His acting alone is reason enough to watch the show.
  • Discussed on Elementary as Sherlock openly notes that even the best latex masks and wigs have limitations, that just looking like a person isn't enough to stand up to close observation when the posture, the behaviour, or even just the voice don't match. It's possible to not look like oneself, but next to impossible to look like a specific other person to their friends. That's why the murderer of the week impersonated a certain elderly woman at night having a seizure seen through a dirty window, neatly obscuring or explaining away any discrepancies.
    Sherlock: There is no such thing as a master of disguise. If there was, I'd be one myself.
  • The F.B.I.: In "The Chameleon", the FBI pursue a Con Man and wife murderer who is an expert at changing his appearance.
  • On The Flight Attendant, Buckley Ware / Feliks has been stalking Cassie in various disguises since the start of the series and killed Alex while heavily disguised.
  • Get Smart
    • There are at least three episodes about Disguise Masters. First one is about the man who pretends to be Chief to kill a very valuable witness. Second one is about the leader of ACB (third organization; it has both CONTROL and KAOS as its enemies) who disguised himself as fellow agent (one of the first on-screen black agents). Third one is about Chameleon: he disguised himself as Larabee, Admiral Hargrave and even as 99, all to infiltrate a secret counsel.
    • The unfortunate Agent 13 is a variation. Max will approach a vending machine or some other innocuous object and start talking to it, only for it to be revealed that 13 is hidden inside (with a Running Gag of 13 complaining about his horrible working conditions instead of briefing Max). There's another CONTROL agent who disguises himself as a shapely chorus girl (played by a woman with a dubbed male voice).
  • Spoofed in The Goodies with the villainous Nasty Person, who says he got his Master of Disguise from Sussex University.
    Tim: You say you're the Most Naughty Man in the World, how come we've never heard of you?
    Nasty Person: Because I am a master of disguises. Look, these are some of my greatest triumphs! [unveils pictures of Richard Nixon, Enoch Powell, Idi Amin and David Frost] All me!
    • Later they fool Nasty Person's brainless henchman into thinking he's disguised himself as the Goodies, all three of them. At the same time.
  • On Gotham, Jeremiah Valeska, one of the show's take's on the Joker, is one of these. After his twin brother, Jerome, is killed, it appears that he is sending messages to both his followers and his enemies beyond the grave, until, during one of the recordings, "Jerome" begins to peel prosthetic scars off of his face, revealing that it has been Jeremiah sending the messages the entire time. He also got the Joker's characteristic bleached skin when Jerome exposed him to insanity gas (which, besides driving people insane, causes "minor cosmetic effects" in those exposed to it), but is able to hide that he was exposed to the gas with skilled application of makeup. He would have had to be pretty knowledgeable about professional makeup application techniques and products to make his skin look natural enough to fool everyone around him. It's possible that he is so knowledgeable about stage makeup and facial prosthetics because he was raised in a circus.
  • Sylar from Heroes recently joined the members of this trope. In addition to a ton of other powers, goshdangit. Even before he gained the ability to full-on shapeshift in Part 4, Sylar was fond of using a variety of fake accents and stolen uniforms to trick people into trusting him or gain access to places he wasn't supposed to be.
  • How I Met Your Mother: Some of Barney's cons to get women (though not usually) involve a disguise. For instance:
    • He dressed up as an old librarian at a girls club.
    • He wore aging makeup and claimed to be an old man from the future.
    • He hooked up with a lesbian by dressing as one himself.
    • He wore three costumes in a Halloween Episode so he can pick up the same girl he failed with earlier while in disguise.
  • Christopher Chance, star of the quickly cancelled TV series Human Target.
  • Due to her Zany Schemes on I Love Lucy, Lucy sometimes resorts to this, and is skilled enough she can even fool her husband and friends once in a while.
  • JAG had several. The eponymous assassin Hemlock in ”Hemlock”, rouge DSD agent Clark Palmer in ”Imposter”, and Al-Qaeda associate Sadik Fahd in ”Persian Gulf”.
  • Kingdom Adventure: Dagger has shades of this; he can put on disguises and not get recognized by the heroes for quite some time, and can disguise his voice pretty effectively if necessary, as well. The audience never has difficulty figuring out who he is, though.
  • Robbie Rotten from the children's show LazyTown qualifies. Although his disguises are obvious to the audience, he regularly manages to fool the denizens of Lazy Town with his disguises on a Once per Episode basis. He even sings about it.
  • Leverage: While the team as a whole qualifies, this is Sophie's key job.
  • The Lone Ranger put on fairly good disguises not too infrequently since all he really had to do was remove his mask and add a beard or something - and the beard was more to keep the audience from seeing his true face, since if he were to ever show himself just plain maskless to other characters on the show, only Tonto would ever know who he was.
  • Arch-enemy Murdoc from MacGyver (1985) was said to be a master of disguise. But his disguises were so bad that viewers only fell for them because his appearances were spread out enough that the audience had forgotten what he looked like.
  • Parodied by Col. Flagg of M*A*S*H, who thinks he's one of these, while in reality absolutely anyone can see through his disguises. Mostly due to the ridiculous ones he tries to pull off.
  • Mission: Impossible. Rollin Hand (Martin Landau) and Paris (Leonard Nimoy), thanks to their famous Latex Perfection masks. The revival had Nicholas Black: he was the one to wear the masks because he had an acting background.
  • Spoofed in Monty Python's Flying Circus, with a contact agent disguised as a dog. He proudly describes the painful-sounding surgery required to fit him into the costume. On-screen, he looks more like a victim of taxidermy.
  • Played with in Person of Interest which has a Running Gag involving Root appearing in various unexplained disguises. However, this isn't to fool people (she's always clearly recognisable) but because she has to keep changing her identity to keep ahead of the Artificial Super-intelligence that is hunting her.
  • Jared, the Pretender from The Pretender, had an entire series based around this. While he never changed his physical appearance, he would adopt an extremely wide array of different jobs, mastering all of them in an astonishingly short timespan.
  • In Season Two of The Punisher (2017) we have Amy, a teenage grifter who teams up with Frank Castle. In "Nakazat", she switches from waitress to schoolgirl guise in a matter of seconds while being followed and gets away with it. Earlier she dresses in a Judy Garland outfit to get Frank into a child pornographer's studio.
  • Square One TV: In the Mathnet serial "The Kalpurnian Kugel Caper" Mathnet's CIA contact is a master of disguise, at various times disguised as an old lady, a dog, and a llama. Subverted when George thinks that the CIA man is disguised as a lamp pole.
  • The Changelings in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine are actually a race of almost liquid amoeba that can change their shape to about anything. While the changeling in the main cast can only rudimentarily mimic humanoid features, more skilled ones can impersonate any person and even fooled close friends for years.
    • Speaking of Star Trek, Isaac Asimov once suggested to Roddenberry that Kirk might make a good one of these.
    • Because he's a hologram, The Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager can mimic anyone so long as an image of them is uploaded into the main computer.
    • Altered Suliban in Star Trek: Enterprise can change their appearance to resemble other humanoids, including specific people.
  • Woody of the sitcom Sun Trap is an undercover journalist with a knack for voices. To aid him in his investigations, he has a seemingly limitless wardrobe of Paper Thin Disguises that seem to fool everyone.
  • Several characters in Super Sentai can do this, mostly the Pink Rangers.
    • Quite prominently Soukichi Banba (a.k.a. Big One) from J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai.
    • One memorable battle from Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger even had Mei fighting the villains' master of disguise, Lamie, with both often switching costumes.
    • Also it is noted that in Dai Sentai Goggle Five, Goggle Pink/Miki Momozono is designed to be a Shout-Out (or Expy) to Cutey Honey above, since she just needs to spin around to change clothes without flinging them off (even going as far as switching from Goggle suit to a sexy Flamenco dancer outfit right off bat).
    • Shurikenger of Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger made his own version. He has no name or human appearance. As a result, he has no definite actor other than his voice actor. His human form is always that of some passerby, played by a past sentai hero until he reveals himself by transforming — with the past hero's transformation pose! (Except Battle Kenya's; since they didn't have transformation poses, Kenji Ohba's Shurikenger awesomely, hilariously does his Space Sheriff Gavan pose, which is much more elaborate than any Sentai one, and not counting that he also does Daigorou Oume/Denzi Blue and chose to skip that one to add more surprise.)
  • Tales of the Tinkerdee: Apparently Taminella the witch is this in-universe, as she successfully tricks other characters into believing she is Santa Claus, the Prime Minister, the Princess, and a sculptor. That being said, from the audience's perspective, every disguise she pulls off is a Paper-Thin Disguise.
  • That's So Raven's titular character always wears funny disguises to help her friends undercover.
  • Artemus Gordon, on The Wild Wild West even fooled Jim West occasionally. However, his disguises weren't allowed to be too good as a result of Executive Meddling, fearing that Viewers Are Morons and would be confused.
  • Word of Honor: Zhou Zishu. For a decent portion of the story, he wears a fake face to hide his true identity. However, this disguise doesn't hide his skill as a martial artist from a prominent sect, which is one of the reasons Wen Kexing becomes so interested in him.

  • In the music video for "Beautiful Stranger", this is used by Austin Powers chief Basil to explain the many looks of Madonna, portrayed as a Femme Fatale Spy who has seduced the top agents of British Intelligence.
  • Gene Simmons' "Man Of 1000 Faces", from the KISS Solo Albums. "I can put on any face; you won't know me, but it's no disgrace."

  • Red Panda Adventures:
    • In the original series, a set of six episodes in which the Red Panda was a World War II secret agent, the Red Panda was often accompanied by Australian secret agent Baboon McSmoothie, Man of a Thousand Faces. With a special drug, he could change his face to anyone else's at will and even get the voice with concentration. Over the course of the series, he stops needing the drug for this power and it simply becomes a natural superpower for him. He makes an appearance in the main Red Panda Adventures universe episode, "The World Next Door", where his attempt to impersonate the Red Panda fails because, while he can nail the voice, their masks are completely different. His counterpart in the main universe, Brian McSweeney, also appears in the series. Once to steal an artifact to keep it out of Nazi and Japanese hands, and another to help the Red Panda's team infiltrate a Nazi base.
    • John Archer, a Ridiculously Human Robot who serves the Canadian army during World War II, initially uses the alias "John Doe" because, as a machine, his face can literally be replaced with a face matching anyone else's as needed. This makes him an invaluable operative when it comes to infiltration. Late in the series, when describing his time in the Allied Super Services to the Flying Squirrel, he notes that, while he doesn't feel like he fits in with other superheroes, there is an Australian he gets along well with.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • "Stone Cold" Steve Austin often stalked Vince McMahon this way. A noteworthy example was on the October 6, 1998 episode WWE Raw, in which Austin, disguised as a doctor, lunged at an injured McMahon at the hospital, proceeding to beat the holy hell out of him. He also stalked McMahon as a cameraman earlier on.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Sakashima the Impostor, from the Magic: The Gathering Kamigawa vignettes.
    • Also a possible in-universe explanation for the "Ninjutsu" mechanic from the same block, where an unblocked attacking creature can be replaced by a creature with Ninjutsu, already attacking. A possible explanation is that they're retroactively assumed to have been perfectly disguised as the creature they replace.
    • The above can also result in a cascading scenario of a single ninja going through multiple disguises in successive turns by repeatedly casting Ninjutsu on the "same" creature. Taken at face value, this means that the mysterious ninja could have worn several disguises on top of each other, and still no one could figure out who he was.
  • Any and all Lunars in Exalted have the ability to disguise themselves perfectly by Shapeshifting.
    • Any Exalt with Charms dedicated to disguise can be this. Solars, in particular, can convincingly disguise themselves as anything up to and including a decently powerful local deity.
  • With the appropriate stunt in Spirit of the Century, characters can disguise themselves thoroughly enough that they don't even have to declare in advance what they are disguising themselves as. They simply declare that they are going undercover and leave the party. At any later point, they can declare that any of the background NPCs is really the player in disguise. However, there's a drawback: if another character is tipped off or has reason to suspect that the disguised character is in the area, they can make a roll against the character. If they win, they get to pick which NPC the player is disguised as ("Wait a minute - you're the Emerald Emancipator!").
  • There are several Prestige Classes in third edition Dungeons & Dragons that focus on this skill, focusing on creating and maintaining cover identities and gaining certain bonuses to using them. The Prestige Class descriptions mention that use of these methods is usually cover for less legal activities. Everyone has the 'disguise' skill available to them, but these extra classes are where the masters are.
  • Warhammer 40,000: The Callidus assassins wear this as their hat. They dose themselves with polymorphine, a drug that allows humans to shapeshift as long as they have the required mental discipline; everyone else gets an instant Shapeshifter Swan Song. On top of this, the Callidus are capable of mastering the voice and mannerisms of their targets after only a few moments of observation, and even store weapons inside their flesh. Their only weakness seems to be impersonating Tyranids; they can do it, but it's a one-way transformation.
    • A number of Inquisitors can also lay claim to this trope. Notably, enough Inquisitors have disguised themselves as Rogue Traders over the centuries that it's become a stereotype in-universe.
    • The Alpha Legion are an entire Legion of eight-foot-tall killing machines that can disguise themselves as either other Space Marines or normal humans. And if they can't pull a particular role off, they'll draft Mooks who can. Their Primarch(s) may possibly still be alive and masquerading as an ordinary Alpha Legionaire.

    Video Games 
  • Metal Gear Solid:
    • Decoy Octopus is quite possibly the most detail-obsessed Master of Disguise ever, being able to flawlessly mimic a person's speech and mannerisms, and either ingesting or injecting himself with the blood of the person he's imitating. But he's unable to fool The FOXDIE pathogen, which kills him.
    • Although not to the level of Decoy Octopus, Liquid Snake himself is also implied to be this as well, especially seeing how he managed to disguise himself as Master Miller.
  • Mimi from Super Paper Mario is astoundingly good at this, at least in looks; she can't pull off the personality of her target terribly well.
  • The Spy in Team Fortress 2 has this as his class ability. When activated, he looks exactly like the class he's imitating—body shape, face, and voice. Though to his own teammates, he just looks like the Spy wearing a cardboard mask with his disguise target drawn on it. While he doesn't duplicate their weapons, nor can he match the running speed of faster classes (Trying to disguise as a Scout is a remarkably bad idea), there's still a whole metagame on 'Spy-checking,' how to maintain the disguise and not give yourself away too quickly.
  • The dragons in World of Warcraft are able to assume humanoid forms, generally High Elvish, but there are exceptions, such as human or even gnome forms. Notably, Onyxia used to live in the human city of Stormwind, under the disguise of human Lady Katrana Prestor, where she was subtly influencing political decisions to the Black Dragonflight's favor. Some dragons appear to be worse than others at this: thus, the leader of Red Dragons Alexstrasza takes on the guise of a Blood Elf of High Elf, but even in the guise she keeps her distinctive dragon horns and red color. Since she doesn't actually hide the fact she's a dragon, perhaps she does this on purpose.
  • In Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft there is a Master of Disguise card, which shows a hot female Blood Elf... but it's actually a male Tauren. They don't call him Master of Disguise for nothing.
  • Agent 47 in the Hitman series is truly a master of disguise. Being able to take on the identity of pretty much anyone without raising an alarm despite being bald and having a barcode on his head. Granted, his disguises (that is, changes of clothes) are meant to hold up to cursory examinations, aside glances, and to people who haven't met the person he's impersonating. In the first three games this often even crossed racial and ethnic boundaries, but in Blood Money he could no longer disguise himself as someone with a notably different skin tone (though later games once again lets him disguise himself as almost anyone).
  • Nemesis from Mission Mode from Yandere Simulator is this. She can impersonate any female student flawlessly, with only her following you to repeatedly stab you telling her apart, which is usually hard to notice in a crowded area.
  • Sasuke from Sengoku Basara has the ability to perfectly disguise himself as other characters using Ninja techniques.
  • In Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, Petrel desperately wishes he was this (he keeps make-up in his belt for just such a purpose), but the two times he disguises himself (As Giovanni in Team Rocket's hideout and as the Director in the Radio Tower) are completely pointless, and his disguise fails to fool the player anyway. Amusingly enough, the player's disguise works perfectly, until your Rival comes along...
  • In Pokémon Platinum, Looker claims to be a Master of Disguise (he uses the exact term) and admittedly, he manages to get into the Team Galactic base undetected by disguising himself as a Grunt.
  • Professor Layton:
  • Parodied in the SPY Fox games, where Fox only has to put on the Mook uniform to get past the real ones. However, he still needs to go into more depth in order to get past advanced security.
  • The main character in Mind of the Master is one of these. You get to pick one of three disguises at the beginning and each of them affects gameplay differently.
  • Arfoire of Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 has the power to "Copy," being the Anthromorphism of Digital Piracy. Due to that, she can copy others' appearances, general mannerisms, and abilities. She uses it to take Blanc's place as Lady White Heart of Lowee.
  • In Fallout 4, Deacon is the top intelligence agent of the Railroad and often uses disguises, wigs, and reconstructive facial surgery to change his appearance. Deacon will actually be present and keeping an eye on you on several occasions prior to your first meeting with the Railroad: for example, he's the bald and helmetless Diamond City guard who stands and watches Piper argue with the mayor, and he's also there to meet you as a drifter in Goodneighbour, hanging out outside the shops. When you recruit him as a companion, he'll continue to change his outfit depending on where you are. The only thing that doesn't change regarding his disguises is his Cool Shades.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse, you seem to rescue Flynn at Tsukiji Konganji, but much later they turn out to be Shesha, who has not only grown very strong after being defeated several times but can assume human forms and not just his trademark snake forms.
  • Frank Fontaine from BioShock. Or as you might know him, Atlas. After revealing his identity he brags somewhat about his skill at disguising himself and taking on new personas, recounting the time he successfully passed as "a Chinaman" for six months. This might not sound so impressive when you consider that Rapture's local phlebotinum makes Magic Plastic Surgery possible and easy, but Bioshock Rapture clarifies that all of those transformations were before he ever heard of Rapture.
  • Freaky Flyers: The Final Boss Pilot X always shows up at the end of each character's adventure mode by revealing he was disguised as a random person or object, before challenging them to a battle in outer space. Said disguises include a gynoid, a camel's hump, barbequed roadkill, and himself.
  • Dot the Disguise Gal from Club Penguin is, as her name implies, very good with disguises. While in the DS games she's able to disguise herself as, among other things, a snowman, a mailbox, and a tree, she's also able to make disguises for other penguins, making a crab costume for the player in Herbert's Revenge.
  • Mission: Impossible (Konami): Matching his specialty in the show, Nicholas Black's special tool is a limited supply of disguises. While they only last a few seconds, enemies on patrol will ignore you if you walk in front of them. Alerted enemies will not be fooled (Though enemies set to constantly attack will stop attacking), and neither will electronic surveillance, like cameras or laser tripwires.

    Visual Novels 
  • Danganronpa:
    • This is the talent of the Ultimate Imposter in Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair. At the beginning of the game, he is introduced to everyone as Byakuya Togami, one of the survivors of the previous game. It's a pretty exact disguise... except that the Imposter weighs twice as much as Togami does. However, he's so good at impersonating people that his weight doesn't stop him from fooling anyone. His true "identity" isn't revealed until long after his death, but his Free Time and Dangan Island segments reveal that he has impersonated multiple people in the past and has no identity of his own.
    • In Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony, Tsumugi Shirogane, the Ultimate Cosplayer can assume someone else's identity, surpassing even the Ultimate Imposter in that regard. Unlike the Imposter, Tsumugi can somehow change her body's shape and size and can switch appearances in the blink of an eye. In return, she is incapable of disguising herself as a real person and can only dress as fictional characters. She apparently has an allergic reaction if she tries to cosplay as a real person, as seen when she tries on Kaede's clothing in Chapter 1.
  • The Big Bad of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies is an international spy who has a large number of Latex Perfection masks that allow him to look like anyone he wishes. Such as Detective Fulbright, who he pulled a Kill and Replace on years before the game even began and has been impersonating ever since. At one point he notes that he spends so much time in disguise that he has actually forgotten his own identity and what his real face looks like.

    Web Comics 
  • In The Last Days of Foxhound Decoy Octopus becomes a straight-up shapeshifter: He can disguise himself as anyone (including Berthold, who is a wolf) by using specially prepared solutions of the target's blood, and assimilates all of their physical mannerisms including genetics, physical abilities, and... Clothing? Better not think too much about that one. At one point, Mantis and Ocelot even force Octopus into obtaining a Liquid disguise just by force-feeding him Liquid's blood. The comic's continuity even explains how FOXDIE is able to kill him in spite of his freakish genetics: It was programmed to kill all witnesses to Shadow Moses, including the person Octopus was disguised as at the time.
  • Ren from Tower of God successfully infiltrated Evankhell's Hell by dressing up as the instructor Yuga. Though that might not have been that hard, considering what Yuga looks like.
  • Girl Genius: Mister Wooster pulls off a number of disguises, this one possibly taking the cake as that particular "Corbettite" has been showing up all over in the post-Beast-battle pages without being found out.

    Western Animation 
  • The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan: Stanley Chan is this combined with Cosplay. Sometimes his disguises are very useful, sometimes... not quite so much.
  • American Dad!: Roger has an entire warehouse full of disguises and usually ends up disguised at least once (if not multiple times) per episode. Of course, many of his disguises are Paper Thin, but no one seems to notice, most of the time.
    • In some episodes, Roger has even managed to disguise himself as inanimate objects such as a bedroom safe.
  • Around the World with Willy Fog: Main antagonist Transfer the wolf is a sinister master of disguise hired by London Club to ensure Willy Fog lose the wager. Viewers can spot his disguise from the way his one eye gleams red.
  • Pablo in The Backyardigans episode "Le Master of Disguise".
  • Batman: The Animated Series:
    • Batman would occasionally disguise himself for undercover work in the criminal underworld.
    • Actor Matt Hagen was known as "The Man of a Thousand Faces" even before his transformation into the shape-shifting villain Clayface.
    • Harley Quinn was remarkably successful at this, fooling the police by disguising herself as another police officer in "The Joker's Favor", a lawyer in "The Man Who Killed Batman", and a security guard in "Joker's Millions". (One of many reasons that has led some fans to believe she's faking the insanity and can "turn it off" whenever she wants to.)
  • In The Beatles episode "No Reply," the boys encounter Anyface, villainous master of disguise who has made himself up to look like Paul. When a singing performance and a truth-telling test fails, what gives Anyface away is that he doesn't run when hysterical female Beatle fans arrive.
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids: This is Merrilee's role in the team.
  • The titular character in the classic short "Mike the Masquerader" (from Famous Studios / Paramount, responsible for the Casper the Friendly Ghost shorts). His attempts to deal with an elephant that witnessed his bank heist formed the meat of the cartoon.
  • CB Bears. Undercover Elephant is stated to be a Master of Disguise, despite being elephant.
  • Danger Mouse: Agent 57 (a pun on Heinz's "57 varieties") was originally this, before later becoming a shapeshifter. We never saw his true form, but his son Agent 58 appears in the remake and is a mimic octopus.
  • Flying Rhino Junior High: The James Bond-esque secret agent parody episode "Live and Let Spy" has one of Earl's henchmen, The Impostor, being one of these, utilizing disguises of the Latex Perfection variety to impersonate Edna the lunch lady and Mrs. Snodgrass. During his proper introduction by Earl, he demonstrates his disguise ability by removing a mask of his normal face to reveal rubber masks of another teacher, Principal Mulligan and Ratticus.
  • G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero:
    • Zartan. Whether he uses actual masks or has the power to shapeshift Depends on the Writer.
    • Zartan also has a little sister named Zarana, who is similarly gifted with disguises. Seems it runs in the family.
    • To a lesser extent the Baroness and Scarlett were both masters of disguise, but they always used rubber masks. Scarlett invariably botched it anyway, but Baroness could easily be, for example, a highly decorated prison warden. (In one episode, the Baroness wore a disguise so convincing she fooled Destro, her supposed lover.)
  • The Houndcats: Puttypuss.
  • Inspector Gadget:
    • Brain is an interesting case. Whatever he wears never seems to be more than a Paper-Thin Disguise to the viewers (due to the fact that, well, he's a dog) but he strangely seems to fool almost everyone else with them.
    • The episode "The Infiltration" featured the very hammy master of disguise Presto Change-O, who could impersonate anybody almost flawlessly, although his paler complexion, menacing eyes, and all that teeth are still visible, yet no one else seems to notice those flaws.
  • Jorel's Brother: Grandma Juju's talking duck, Gesonel. He can perfectly disguise as anyone and anything, even being able to imitate other people's voices.
  • Kim Possible:
    • Camille Léon.
    • Oddly enough in an earlier episode, Ron Stoppable pulled off this trope, using a latex mask to impersonate Mr. Dr. Possible. In a later episode, Monique helped Kim impersonate Camille after Camille framed Kim for stealing an upcoming fashion line.
  • Agent Xero from the rejected Nick Toons pilot The Modifyers.
  • My Little Pony: Masquerade. Her thing was making costumes, and she sometimes made them for the rest of the cast too, when multiple characters had the need to be sneaky-like.
  • The Hooded Claw in The Perils of Penelope Pitstop. No matter his disguise, he will often either retain the voice of Paul Lynde or his distinct facial features (most notably his big nose).
  • Sedusa from The Powerpuff Girls (1998). In her first appearance, she posed as a woman named Ima Goodlady (the words "I am a good lady" mixed together). She also disguised herself as Ms Bellum and disguised Ms Bellum as herself.
  • Regular Show: Doug from the episode "Temp Check" is able to make himself look and sound exactly like Rigby, and even somehow memorizes almost everything about him, making himself indistinguishable from the real thing.
  • Sanjay and Craig features Craig, the talking snake master of disguise half of the titular duo.
  • Scooby-Doo:
  • She-Ra: Princess of Power:
    • False-Face, who shares a name with a Batman villain with the same gimmick.
    • Imp was typically used by the Horde for information gathering against the Rebellion. He was very much able to shapeshift into any form he wanted and his transformations were so flawless the characters encountering him in a shifted state tended to treat him accordingly. Examples include Kowl perching on top of him when he was a footstep in a ladder, Bow tossing him when he became a stick, and Catra even drinking from him when he was mimicking a goblet. Though most of his transformations tended to retain his blue color scheme, on at least two occasions (as a ground rodent and as a hanging painting) Imp showed the ability to alter his coloration at will. The only limitation here seemed to be Imp wasn't able to become anything more massive than himself, although he did take on the abilities of whatever thing he was pretending to be.
    • Part of She-Ra: Princess of Power's every episode was to watch the scenery for the character Loo-Kee, who tended to be hidden amongst the scenery. While sometimes he was easy to find, there were several times it was very difficult to pick him out of the background. It's not sure if this would count as being a Master of Disguise, but it certainly makes him a Master of Hiding.
  • The Simpsons: Sideshow Bob is very good at disguising himself. He disguised himself as Krusty and framed him for armed robbery of the Kwik-E Mart. He pretended to be a Western restaurant owner to lure the Simspons into a trap. He even used plastic surgery to switch his and his cellmate's faces so he can take his cellmate's release.
  • Skysurfer Strike Force: Cerina is this in some episodes.
  • The Snooper and Blabber short "Person to Prison" has criminal Quick-Change Quentin, who can perfectly disguise himself as anybody and anything.
  • Sonic Underground: Dingo is something of a Master of Disguise, though his powers are controlled by his partner Sleet making this a form of Involuntary Shapeshifting.
  • Sym-Bionic Titan:
    • Octus (a robot) normally takes on two disguises: Newton and Mr. Lunis. It's shown that he can alter the appearance of the latter when hiding from the cops and the former when trying on a prom tux.
    • The Monster of the Week in "The Ballad of Scary Mary" is able to do this, disguising itself as other students and also enlarging itself to fight Sym-Bionic Titan. It takes advantage of Shapeshifter Guilt Trip.
  • Top Cat: One episode has a criminal who can do this, and used this to disguise himself as Officer Dibble.
  • Transformers: Prime: Makeshift. He was apparently capable of transforming into anyone he wanted. He was also killed off at the end of the episode.
  • The Venture Bros.: David Bowie, via shapeshifting and psychic powers. Also see below.
  • Walter Melon: The eponymous character, who would regularly take on the appearance of the heroes he was substituting for, could do so so well that apparently even those with intimate knowledge of the hero were unable to spot the difference (with one exception when he did his Karate Kid, the expy of Mr. Myogi claimed he watched Walter Melon and stopped him before he could kiss Daniel's girl). Simultaneously he wasn't the only one as his assistant Bitter Bug and his rival Sneero also displayed such ability, typically taking on the roles of needed sidekicks and villains respectively without anyone noticing.
    • Its interesting to note that, though Walter and Sneero encountered each other during almost every episode of the show, neither one ever recognized the other as a substitute hero/villain.
    • Also, in the same series, Amelia, who always takes the role of the female lead and yet nobody notices it.

    Real Life 
  • Octopuses are well known to be much better at changing their color than even chameleons. The Mimic Octopus, however, has specialized in impersonating completely different creatures like flatfish, snakes, giant shrimp, lion fish, seahorses, sea anemones, jellyfish, and seemingly whatever else it wants. It not only assumes the form of the creature but also acts like one, fooling most other animals. In fact, their existence wasn't discovered until 1998.
  • Older Than Radio: Chilean La Résistance leader Manuel Rodríguez Erdoíza.
  • SS chief Heinrich Himmler was only apprehended because he'd worked so hard on preparing his forged documentation that it was actually suspicious to find someone who had all his papers in order in the chaotic Germany immediately after the war's end.
  • Another Chilean example: actor and stand-up comedian Stefan Kramer.
  • Ted Bundy: Part of the reason he was able to elude the authorities for so long was his generic looks, which allowed him to completely change his appearance very easily.
  • Assassin and terrorist Carlos the Jackal, so much so that he got his nickname from a fictional Master of Disguise and became a fictionalized nemesis for Jason Bourne; see The Day of the Jackal, above.
  • Capt. Kazimierz Leski of Polish Army. After the fall of Poland in 1939, he began to operate for the Underground State as intelligence and counterintelligence officer. He was traveling across Europe, usually impersonating various German officers and specialists and extracting vital information for the Allies. He has been captured several times (by Soviets, Germans and Soviet-controlled Security Officein post-war Poland) but was able to escape using his disguise skills.
  • Infamous American "welfare queen" Martha Louise Miller, better known by one of her many aliases, Linda Taylor. Welfare fraud was just one of her many crimes. She went by many identities of different races and ages, and one of her husbands described her going into the bathroom for an hour and looking like a completely different person when she came out.
  • Isadore Einstein (no relation to Albert Einstein), the Man of a Thousand Faces. His talent at disguise helped him make nearly 5,000 arrests in his five-year career as a Prohibition officer.
  • Dutch actress and media personality Wendy van Dijk is famous for her tv-shows in which she disguises herself as a foreign interviewer and fools unsuspected guests. Her most famous character is the Japanese reporter Ushi. Other characters include Loesie and Dushi.
  • Lon Chaney, the silent movie actor, was so famous for his skill with makeup that he was called "The Man with the Thousand Faces".
  • 1980s British impressionist Phil Cool was famous for his ability to actually contort his face to look like his famous subjects, without using any make-up (he could switch from target to target in real-time on TV, in close-up).


Video Example(s):


Meet the Spy

The spy is able to disguise himself as an enemy combatant and can even turn invisible.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (15 votes)

Example of:

Main / MasterOfDisguise

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