A minor obtains a fake ID, most often a driver's license, to hide the fact they are Really 17 Years Old in order to buy an age-restricted item, usually alcohol, or to enlist in the military.
Usually the identification is made by a forger, but sometimes it is stolen from an older sibling or an Identical Stranger, or was issued by the government under false pretenses.
- Super Bad: Fogell gets a dubious fake ID, a Hawaiian driver's license that just says "McLovin", to buy booze for a party. Somehow, this fools the clerk at the liquor store, and seemingly fools the two cops responding to the robbery that occurred as Fogell was buying alcohol, who even invite him to ride along with them, but they eventually reveal they knew it was fake all along and just wanted to have some fun and show him not all cops are assholes.
- A humorous example occurs in The Breakfast Club, when Andrew discovers Brian's fake I.D. whilst rifling through his wallet. Brian actually messed it up and it says he's 68 years old.
Andrew: What do you need a fake I.D. for?
Brian: So I can vote.
- In Vegas Vacation, underage Rusty obtains a fake ID to gamble. While it might fool the pit bosses if he was only interested in playing nickel slots, he soon starts winning cars and sends them to a motel on the city outskirts, which would have been checked by the casino.
- Parodied in 21 Jump Street. Schmidt and Jenko, undercover cops in their mid-twenties, decide to throw a Wild Teen Party in order to get close with the high school drug dealers. At one point, they wonder how they are going to get alcohol for the party, since neither one has a fake ID. Right after saying this, they burst into laughter, go to the liquor store and buy shopping carts full of it.
- The song Fake ID from the 2011 remake of Footloose has the singer trying to buy one of these.
- Better Luck Tomorrow: The gang all have fake IDs, which they use to buy liquor and go to casinos despite being 16-17. When the ID cards are called out as fake, they bribe the person checking it, which in one case involves giving a police officer in Vegas several hundred dollars.
- M*A*S*H, "Sometimes You Hear the Bullet". Hawkeye discovers a young private, Walter (Ron Howard), is actually named Wendell and stole his brother's ID to enlist in the Army. Hawkeye decides at first to let this slide, but after an old friend turns up as a patient and dies, Hawkeye reports Wendell to the MPs.
- Grounded for Life: Brad learns a Jerk Jock, Scott, (who used to bully Brad) has a fake ID and asks him to buy beer for him, but Scott rips him off. Sean and Eddie coerce him into buying the beer for real, but just as Scott tries to buy the beer, a cop walks in, checks his ID and arrests him.
- Inverted on Bar Rescue. To prove his point that 18+ events are not worth the problems they cause with underage drinking, Jon has a 23-year old woman borrow her underage friend's ID and have security mark an X on her hand so the bartenders know she's underage, which washes of almost immediately.
- Happy Days episode "The Skin Game", Richie and Potsie use fake IDs to get into a strip joint (where it turns out they don't strip down, shall we say, "substantially", this being the '50s, much to Richie's chagrin). He is later caught by his father, who also happened to be visiting there that night.
- Diff'rent Strokes episode "The Older Woman", where Willis uses a fake ID — along with a fake mustache — to get into a nightclub. While he narrowly misses just-happened-to-be-there Mr. Drummond, Willis is found out when the older woman he picked up at the nightclub comes to visit him at home.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer "Beer Bad," Xander has a fake ID so he can work as a bartender.
- Friday Night Lights, Tim Riggins has one that identifies him as a member of the military. It's heavily implied that the liquor store owner is well aware it's a fake, but he lets Riggins buy beer anyway because he's a Panther.
- The first episode of Cheers has an obviously underage kid (who looks about 12) attempting to buy a beer using a military ID that says he's 38.
- Hey Dad..!: In one episode, Debbie borrows Nudge's driver's licence so she can get into a nightclub. Interestingly, this plot worked when the episode was originally aired as at the time New South Wales licences did not have a photo and could have only the driver's initials: in this case 'G. Noritas', allowing Debbie to claim to be 'Geraldine'. Not long afterwards, the law changed in New South Wales requiring the licence to have the driver's full name and photo.
- In Friends episode "The One With The Thanksgiving Flashbacks", it was revealed that Chandler and Ross apparently had fake IDs when they were college freshmen. Ross was 'Clifford Alverez' and Chandler was 'Roland Chan'.
- In Community episode "Mixology Certification", Annie (who is only 19) is talked into using the ID of Britta's friend to get into the bar with the others. She is pretty nervous but the coup works out.
- The song "David Ashley Parker from Powder Springs" by Travis Denning is about a minor who acquires a fake ID, which he uses to buy beer for friends and get into bars. According to Denning, the song is a true story, and David Ashley Parker is a real person.
- American Greetings has a birthday card whose outer cover states "You're 21 today!"; inside, it goes on "...that makes you what, 27 on that fake ID you've been using?"
- When Helen from Penny and Aggie crosses to Something*Positive and applies for a job at Nerdrotica, she has a fake ID that says she's 19. Unfortunately, it also says she's male, and lived at 6969 Hermaphrodite Way, Duckburg. And the moral is "if you're gonna have a bully make your fake I.D., always check it first. I mean, uh, fake I.D.s are bad, kids."
- Undergrads: In "Drunks" Nitz decides to try drinking for the first time and has his friend Gimpy make him a fake ID after his friend Jessie reveals her own. His other friend, Rocko, has a homemade ID (pictured) that is just his photo stapled to a piece of cardboard with "I am 21 so drinking is yes" written on it, which somehow gets him several bars (most likely the bouncers didn't care). Gimpy meanwhile starts a business of making fake IDs for underage drinkers.
- The Simpsons:
- In "Bart on the Road", during a hastily organized Take Your Kid to Work Day which sees Bart spend the day with his aunt(s) at the DMV, Bart makes a fake driver's license stating he is 25, rents a car and convinces Milhouse, Nelson and Martin to come with him to a World's Fair in Knoxville, TN (which was actually held in 1982).
- In "Duffless", Homer sings a version of "It Was a Very Good Year" by Frank Sinatra, changing the lyrics to "When I was 17, I drank some very good beer, I drank some very good beer I purchased with a fake ID, my name was Brian McGee..."
- In "Much Apu About Nothing", Kearney tries to buy cigars and beer with a fake ID and assumed name. Apu recognizes Kearney immediately (his claims of his "adultivity" didn't help), but is impressed by the ID's quality. Apu asks where he got it, to obtain forged citizenship papers to avoid deportation, in exchange for letting Kearney keep the food he was trying to shoplift at the same time. Oddly, this was shortly after Kearney started being portrayed as well-over drinking age despite being in elementary school.
- Doug: In "Doug's Minor Problem", Nic-Nacs, a new product that helps you relax, but is not available to minors, comes to town. Roger uses a fake ID to buy 200 to sell to the rest of the school. Roger's ID◊ is just as bad as Rocko's, saying it was issued by the "NOTAFAKE CORP" and listing his age 34, instead of a date of birth.
- Gravity Falls: In "Head Hunters", Dipper and Mabel get into a Bad-Guy Bar with two of these. Behold, Sir Dippingsauce (Age 45) and Lady Mabelton (Age 21). Good thing the bouncer was too disinterested to really care about the google eyes and macaroni.
- Audie Murphy's sister altered his birth certificate so he could enlist in the US Army. He went on to become the single most decorated soldier in US history. His gravestone lists his false date of birth.