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Mugged for Disguise

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Lord Bottom: I have dispatched a hundred soldiers to Lannoch! They will be returning now!
William Wallace: [indicating his disguise] Were they dressed like this?
[Lord Bottom's eyes widen]
William Wallace: Actually, it was more like fifty.

The heroes or villains need to get access to the enemy stronghold. But how? By Dressing as the Enemy, of course. That still leaves the question of how to get enemy (or otherwise deceptive) uniforms. The solution to this is a time-honored technique:

  1. Get the attention of the enemy mooks or some innocent victims.
  2. Lure the mooks offscreen.
  3. Add fight sound effects to the audio track.
  4. Wipe to a scene of the muggers dressed in the mooks' uniforms, which are always just the right size.

This specific setup is optimized for comedy and is usually Played for Laughs. If it is Played for Drama, one or more of the steps may be altered.

If the trope is subverted, the fourth step will be different:

  1. The plan to beat up the guards and pose as them won't even get off the ground, as the mooks will either beat up, kill, or capture the heroes that came up with the plan in the first place.
  2. The mooks are obviously a very different size from the heroes, but their uniforms fit perfectly anyway.
  3. The heroes steal and wear absurdly ill-fitting uniforms that squeeze them half to death or sag all around them. Bonus points if the disguise works anyway.

In either situation, the victims will be subject to one or more of these things:

  1. Death.
  2. Being Bound and Gagged and left in their underwear (possibly revealing Goofy Print Underwear or no underwear).
  3. Never being seen or mentioned again.
  4. Coming back and exposing the impostors (doesn't happen often, but sometimes it does).

Usually involves Undressing the Unconscious. Sometimes leads to Delivery Guy Infiltration, Janitor Impersonation Infiltration, Not My Driver, Room Disservice, and He Went That Way. May overlap with Removing the Rival. Compare Disguised Hostage Gambit.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In the anime Agent Aika (or Aika), episode #4, her partner Rion Aida, was trapped in the ship of Hagen, when she was taken to her room (like a prison) by a blue delmo, Rion is very clever and daring then leverages that is alone with blonde delmo, when the two come into the room, Rion knocks her with some punches (the scene unseen) only the knocks are heard and the cry of the blue delmo, moments after Rion appears at the door wearing blue uniform of the blonde delmo, Rion runs in one direction and then show the scene of blond henchwoman on the floor, tied hands and feet, unconscious and only in underwear, the room door closes, enclosing it and Rion escapes from her cleanly and very easy.
  • Bleach: When infiltrating Soul Society, Orihime does this to two 12th Division officers to obtain shinigami uniforms for both her and Ishida. Ishida's left speechless by her combat skills. In the manga, she even apologizes to her gagged victims before leaving them hidden away.
  • Case Closed:
    • In the "Blue Mermaid Heist" story, Kaitou does this to Masumi Sera, leaving her Bound and Gagged in a bathroom stall. This proves to be crucial to how Conan actually solves the case since Kaitou didn't realize that the teenager he was impersonating was a girl. It was accidentally out of character for him because he typically copies a woman's clothing beforehand rather than knocking out and undressing her.
    • In a much earlier chapter, a crazy woman does this to her former employer's wife. She plans on ambushing and killing the man for firing her, but the bound and gagged wife manages to toss an S.O.S message to Conan and his friends before the killer can carry out the plan.
    • This is a hallmark of Magic Kaito in general. One of the specials has Kid actually pretending that he was a police officer who was mugged for his outfit, with the real cop kept Bound and Gagged out of sight.
  • Done on a number of occasions in Cat's Eye.
    • In one episode, Hitomi and Ai use some Knock Out Gas on a pair of female wrestlers and steal their costumes and masks. Mitsuko later finds the real wrestlers Bound and Gagged in their locker room.
    • In another episode, Hitomi actually does this to a male gangster. The man she replaced is shown tied up and gagged in his underwear.
    • There are a number of cases where this is also implied (the women often pose as guards or employees at the locations they plan to rob), but not shown.
  • Dirty Pair:
    • Yuri does this to an unfortunate train attendant in episode 20 of the anime. Humorously, she apologizes to the taped and gagged woman before locking her up in a cupboard.
    • In the comic, Kei and Yuri knock out a couple of "entertainers" to steal their costumes and sneak aboard a ship. Unfortunately, the "entertainment" they provide involves working as waitresses while dressed in tight Playboy Bunny outfits.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • In the Dragon Ball Z "World Tournament" Arc, Trunks and Goten beat up one of the Muggle competitors and steal his costume so they can use it to sneak into the adult division fights.
    • Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero: Piccolo knocks out a Red Ribbon Army mook and steals his uniform to infiltrate a RR meeting. Though it does cover up almost all of his body, no one notices the skin around his eyes is green thanks to the visor on his helmet.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • At one point, Erza Scarlet knocks out Erza Knightwalker and pulls the Impersonating the Evil Twin trick by stealing Knightwalker's armor. When the real Knightwalker wakes up and attacks her, she's left wearing little more than panties and a small makeshift cape (to cover up her breasts).
    • In Fairy Tale: - The Twin Dragons of Sabertooth, the members of the Abyss Horn guild kidnap Yukino and send an impostor back to Sabretooth in her stolen clothes. Sting immediately recognizes the new "Yukino" as an impostor since the real Yukino is never late.
  • FLCL episode #1. When Naota goes to the hospital to have the growth on his head looked at, the nurse turns out to be Haruko. During the scene, we see a nurse Bound and Gagged in her underwear. Haruko overpowered the nurse and stole her uniform. She wears it again in episode 5 "Brittle Bullet" when she's acting as a barber for Commander Amarao.
  • Variant done in Fushi No Ryouken. The three women ambush and tape up a pair of visiting police officers in order to steal their identities, but they leave them fully clothed.
  • Two instances in the Get Backers manga:
    • In the third volume, the Get Backers are tasked with retrieving a priceless violin that's currently under the possession of a mob boss. They decide to take advantage of the fact that he's hosting a party and invited a quintet of musicians to entertain his guests. They enlist the help of Paul, Natsumi, and Hevn to replace the musicians. (They needed to be five, as a quintet is composed of five musicians, and they needed Natsumi and Hevn because two of the musicians were women). They trick the musicians on their way to the mob boss' house by pretending that their car is broken down and, when they pull down to help, they knock them out and steal their clothes, their instruments, and their car. The real musicians are left Bound and Gagged in their undies inside the Get Backers' car. The same thing is hinted to also happen in the anime, but the stripped musicians aren't shown.
    • In the next volume, to reach the same mob boss who's playing at a concert, Ban (this time alone) mugs another musician. The man is briefly shown Bound and Gagged in his underwear.
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex:
    • In "¥€$," the Chinese assassin Fem kills a pair of bank employees and steals the clothes of one of her victims in order to infiltrate the mansion where her target (supposedly) lives.
    • In "Angel's Share", the Major does this to a special forces police officer in London, getting his attention by showing some leg (and cleavage) before knocking him out and stealing his uniform. It works better than many examples of this trope because the uniform includes a mask attachment that covers most of her face and the body armor is bulky enough to hide her figure.
    • In "Lost Heritage," the members of Section 9 operate under the assumption that an assassin is going to use a sniper rifle to kill a visiting Chinese politician. Togusa then finds a half-naked schoolboy Bound and Gagged in a bathroom stall, which causes Batou to realize that the assassin stole the boy's uniform to get close enough to the politician to stab him to death. Luckily, the Major is able to take him out right before the stabbing can occur.
  • An Invoked Trope in Golgo 13. Golgo is hired by the CIA to kill a Double Agent in a snowy area of Canada. He captures a henchwoman working for the agent, and leaves her stripped naked in a cabin so that she can't escape without freezing to death. Before leaving, he tasks a local girl with watching the prisoner and pays her with an expensive red coat. The henchwoman quickly knocks the girl unconscious and steals her clothing in order to escape, and heads off to find her boss. While the two of them are fleeing, the woman realizes too late that Golgo planned all of this, and that the red coat was meant to make her stand out as a target against the white backdrop of the terrain. Before she can warn her boss, Golgo kills both of them with a single shot.
  • Episode 6 of Hanaukyō Maid Team La Verité. In this Baseball Episode, the maid acting as an umpire is kidnapped (and shown hidden somewhere, tied up and gagged in her underwear), in order to be replaced with a Technology Department robot.
  • In the Haunted Junction manga, Kazumi and Mutsuki do this to two kids from a very prestigious art school to help Haruto when he's he's investigating the mysterious organization that is turning the usually friendly school spirits against the students and school staff.
  • In what is likely an intentional nod to the Terminator examples listed below, episode 2 of Hinamatsuri opens with Anzu knocking out a group of bikers and stealing the leader's clothing after arriving from the future.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency: After Joseph Joestar knocks down two German guards, he strips them down to their underwear and dons one of the uniforms. Considering his first try was a Paper Thin Harmless Lady Disguise, he finds it either "disappointingly easy" or "dropping his self-esteem".
  • Master of Disguise Kanako does this to Shinobu and Kaolla in chapter 92 of Love Hina, stealing their clothes and identities, and leaving them hidden Bound and Gagged inside some sculptures.
  • Lupin III: Extremely common for the franchise, given how much Lupin loves disguises.
    • An episode has Fujiko and Lupin tying up and gagging a pilot and stewardess so they can steal their outfits and replace them on a flight.
    • Fujiko does this to a female army officer in another episode. She leaves her tied up and gagged in a locked room while strutting about in the woman's uniform.
    • Lupin does this to the Director of the New York police department in Lupin III: Episode 0: First Contact.
    • Happens in the pilot episode of Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine. Fujiko subdues a cultist and swaps clothes with him, leaving him bound and gagged in her dress. The poor thug ends up getting executed while Fujiko escapes in his uniform.
    • Lupin escapes from Zenigata during Lupin III: Dead or Alive by switching places with the bartender Zenigata has been hanging out with (along with a dash of Latex Perfection to prevent Zenigata from figuring out the switch until too late).
    • In the very first episode of Lupin III: The Italian Adventure, Zenigata thinks Lupin has done this to Mr. Lionello but is proven wrong when the real Lupin shows up. It turns out Zenigata was half right; someone did tie up and gag Mr. Lionello and steal his clothes for the heist, but it was Fujiko, not Lupin. This series also provides a Deconstruction (mixed in with Surprisingly Realistic Outcome) when Lupin is arrested on Italian soil: he can't be extradited to Japan as Italy doesn't have the death penalty and refuses to extradite criminals who risk execution such as Lupin, but under Italian law kidnapping to facilitate a robbery, such as this trope, is ground for the hard prison regime, thus legally justifying the increasingly harsh and desperate means used by Zenigata and the Italian prison guards to keep him in.
  • Macross:
    • In Super Dimension Fortress Macross (and the Robotech adaptation), Max pulls a random Zentraedi soldier into a bathroom and knocks him out to steal his uniform while trapped onboard an enemy ship. This example is notable for being done with a Humongous Mecha against a giant alien, meaning Max's mecha is the one wearing the disguise.
    • The novelization of Robotech lampshades how impossible this was and what an achievement this was for Max. Doubly so in versions of the universe other than the novel 'verse, which has mental interface controls — in the anime universes, Max is improvising with controls, programs, and likely limb-movement limits that were never intended to allow a mecha to put on clothing!
  • In the third episode, the title character of Madlax does this to an unfortunate maid while she infiltrates a hotel, leaving her Bound and Gagged in a closet while she dons her uniform.
  • Happens in an episode of Michiko & Hatchin, where Michiko mugs a matador for his costume and mask.
  • Aisha poses as a female wrestler named Firecat in episode 18 of Outlaw Star. After her teammates question her about the outfit, some banging is heard from a nearby locker, and the real Firecat falls out Bound and Gagged in her undies.
  • Mysterious Joker:
    • The protagonist is a Phantom Thief who frequently ties up and replaces people as part of his heists.
    • This is The Reveal of Chapter 50, which is about a young detective who is trying to help a family of musicians named the Otowas claim their inheritance. It turns out the people he's been talking to the entire story are actually thieves who left the real Otowa siblings Bound and Gagged in the basement after stealing their clothing and instruments to impersonate them.
  • Najica from Najica Blitz Tactics uses this tactic several times over the course of the series when she needs to infiltrate a place owned by a bad guy, knocking out an unfortunate (always female) mook in the process.
    • In Episode 5, while boarding the ship of Ricardo Kidel, who has purchased a nuclear missile in the black market with hopes of staging a coup in another country, Najica knocks out a sailor with plastic bullets and steals her uniform.
    • In Episode 9, Najica and Lila need to infiltrate a base belonging to a rebel militia group. They knock out two soldiers to steal their uniforms, leaving the two women Bound and Gagged in their underwear inside a guardhouse.
  • Sometimes happens in One Piece, like when Mr. 2 steals Hannyabal's outfit in Impel Down (except that he doesn't have much of an outfit to begin with), or when the dwarves in Dressrosa knock out two of Doflamingo's goons so that Usopp and Robin can "borrow" their clothes to get closer to Trebol and Sugar.
  • In Episode 10 of Penguindrum, Natsume disguises herself as a nurse, while the woman she stole the uniform from is briefly shown Bound and Gagged inside a locker.
  • Pokémon:
    • In the Red/Green/Blue arc of Pokémon Adventures, Red knocks out a Team Rocket Grunt and steals his uniform to get into their base. Diamond does this as well in his own arc.
    • The anime episode "The Punchy Pokémon" has a scene where Jessie and James steal the outfit and Pokémon of a man who was entering a tournament. The real competitor is shown bound and gagged in his underwear before being locked away in a bathroom stall by the villains.
    • Team Rocket also does this to a pair of security guards in another episode. While locking the bound and gagged guards in a closet, Jesse and James quip about having caught the men "off-guard".
    • In "Talkin' 'Bout an Evolution" Lance of the Elite Four knocks out a Team Rocket grunt and steals his uniform so he can infiltrate Team Rocket's base at the Lake of Rage.
    • In the episode "Hatch Me If You Can," Team Rocket traps Nurse Joy in a Pit Trap so Jessie can disguise as her and steal Ash's Larvitar, with James dressed up as a generic male doctor. But of course, Brock, being the G-rated Lovable Sex Maniac he is, is not fooled by Jessie's Nurse Joy impersonation for a second and goes over all the Invisible Subtle Differences between the two, including the obvious fact that the mouth on her Nurse Joy mask does not move when she speaks.
  • Pretty Cure: Near the end of HeartCatch Pretty Cure!, Erika and Itsuki, trying to catch back up to Tsubomi and Yuri, power down and take out a couple of Snackies to steal their uniforms. And despite the fact that you can see that their disguise barely works, it fools the other Snackies until they finally get wise.
  • The Read or Dream manga has a scene where a female villain plans to kidnap a young author by posing as the child's female manager. After the villainess reveals her true identity, the real manager is briefly shown bound and gagged in a bathroom, stripped of the clothing she had been wearing prior to being replaced.
  • In Sailor Moon episode 65, Calaveras and Petz pose as employees at a charm store as part of their evil plot. The real employees are briefly shown naked in the backroom after having been webbed up by the Monster of the Week, implying Calaveras and Petz stole their uniforms.
  • Science Ninja Team Gatchaman has the team members do this frequently. You'd think Galactor would at least ditch the face-hiding helmets. Bonus points for the ten-year-old member wearing an adult-sized uniform -and the most any goon notes is he's 'a little scrawny'.
  • In The Seven Deadly Sins, when Ban escapes from Baste Dungeon, he ends up in a fight with apprentice Holy Knight Jericho, whom he quickly curb-stomps and overpowers. Ban then decides to steal her armour, as he himself is currently shirtless, leaving a flustered Jericho to be found in her underwear by the other guards. Unfortunately for Ban, Surprisingly Realistic Outcome when he tries to put the armour on and realizes that the armour made for a woman shorter than him is too tight and he can't put it on.
  • The final story arc of Soul Eater features Kilik, Kim, and Ox using the robes of some defeated Arachnophobia grunts to infiltrate one of the madness relay stations.
  • Spy X Family: One instance where Loid is at the aquarium with Yor and Anya has him forced to disguise as a new worker in order to get close to a penguin that swallowed a microfilm. The guy is later seen unconscious in a locker.
  • In Strike the Blood, Reina arrives in the present Terminator-style, crouching naked in a ball of lightning. She immediately knocks Yukina out and steals her clothes. Since they are the same size and her face is very similar to Yukina's (for a good reason), Reina briefly fools the others into believing she is Yukina.
  • In an episode of Trigun, the heroes rescue and befriend a young girl named Jessica. At the very end of the episode, Nicholas hears some muffled whining and discovers the real Jessica Bound and Gagged among some rubble. He realizes too late that the "Jessica" Vash had earlier rescued is actually a life-like puppet made by Leonoff The Puppetmaster, which had stolen Jessica's clothes in order to get close enough to Vash to shoot him. Brad Takes The Bullet for him and dies.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Inspector Haga and Dinosaur Ryuzaki steal someone's outfit to enter the Kaiba Corp Grand Championship, in an example that has a surprising amount of similarities to the above example.
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds, Mukuro Enjo beats up Shira and steals his cloak, leaving him knocked out in his underwear.
  • In Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs chapter 37, Kogarashi tries to hide from Oboro in the nurse's office, only to see Oboro inside dressed as the nurse. She reveals that she used her portal ability to get inside, tie up and gag the real nurse, and then steal her uniform.

    Audio Plays 
  • Big Finish Doctor Who:
    • In The Church and the Crown, Rouffet and Delmarre knock out three of Buckingham's soldiers and steal their uniforms so that the two of them and Peri can infiltrate Buckingham's chateau to look for the Doctor.
    • Storm Warning: Before the adventure started, Charlie got junior steward Simon Murchford drunk, left him passed out in the stables, and stole his papers and kitbag to take his place on the R101.

    Comic Books 
  • The Adventures of Tintin: Late in Cigars of the Pharaoh, Tintin intercepts a member of the drug-trafficking ring's council and steals their klan-esque uniform. The victim is mentioned "being found unconscious" in a phone conversation that reveals the council is infiltrated but gets no further mention or appearance, including when Tintin dramatically unmasks all others. As a consequence, that person's identity is never revealed to the reader (though Tintin presumably saw their face when he stole their hood).
  • Asterix and Obélix do this twice in the album Asterix and the Goths: first with Roman legionaries, then with some Goths (not these ones). It gets complicated when the legionaries are found (and assumed to be the Gauls the Romans are looking for), and the Romans immediately start accusing each other of being the Gauls, to the considerable chagrin of centurion Cantankerus.
    Cantankerus: They're all quite thick, and I'm their leader! *sob!*
  • Batman:
    • Gotham City Sirens features a scene where the gals take out some henchwomen and jack their gear.
    • In the Batman: Harley and Ivy collection, there is an issue where the girls try to sneak into a museum opening by posing as members of an entourage. After someone jokes about the entourage being too large for anyone to keep track of the real members, two young women (presumably the groupies Harley and Ivy replaced) are shown bound and gagged in a dark room.
    • The comic book prequel to Batman: Arkham City has Harley Quinn murdering a female security guard and stealing her outfit. How she managed this isn't clear, as the mugging happens entirely offscreen.
    • In the first issue of Harley's Little Black Book, Harley Quinn renders Wonder Woman unconscious with some Knockout Gas and then steals her costume so that she can stop some bad guys. Wonder Woman later wakes up and comes to her assistance... in Harley's discarded and very ill-fitting costume.
    • The very first issue of the 2011 Catwoman series has the title character posing as a bartender as part of a heist. The real bartender is quickly discovered taped up and gagged in a closet, blowing Catwoman's cover.
    • Knight and Squire show us how they do it in Merrie Olde England.
    • An issue of the '90s Catwoman series had the title character tying up and gagging a maintenance worker so that she could steal the worker's uniform and infiltrate the building where they were employed.
    • In Robin: Joker's Wild, the recently escaped Mr. J returns to his hideout and apologizes for showing up in a green suit instead of his usual purple. He said that it was difficult enough finding someone his size with a green suit, let alone a purple one.
    • In the controversial Batman Incorporated #3, a young schoolteacher is chloroformed by some thugs and replaced by a female Leviathan agent. The impostor wears the woman's stolen clothes and glasses, with the only tip-off to the reader being that she has different hair and eye colors.
    • The Brave and the Bold #166 has a female mercenary being hired to impersonate Black Canary. The real Black Canary is held bound and gagged in her undies while the impostor dons the heroine's trademark fishnet outfit in order to fool Batman.
  • An issue of Birds of Prey features a scene where Black Canary finds a nurse tied up and stripped of her uniform. Turns out that the "nurse" that her partner passed in the hallway was an escaped lunatic wearing the stolen uniform.
  • The first Black Orchid employed this trope quite often. Nearly every one of her adventures had her infiltrating a gang by tying up the leader's girlfriend/secretary/any random bystander and taking her place. Often, her deception would not be revealed until the end of the story, when the real, replaced woman was discovered.
  • In Black Widow (vol. 1) #1, the title heroine's rival, Yelena Belova, tapes up and gags a young flight attendant in an airport restroom in order to steal her uniform. She then stashes the unconscious attendant in an empty stall and scrawls "Out of Order" on the door with lipstick. After wishing the woman "Sweet dreams", Yelena takes her place on a flight so she can spy on the real Widow.
  • Captain America:
    • Happens in the "Femizon" storyline. Black Mamba and Asp mug two female security guards working for Superia, and escape in their outfits. Humorously, the ladies only needed new clothes in the first place because they had opted to give their own costumes to Captain America and Paladin, who needed to disguise themselves as women for a complicated escape plan.
    • The Serpent Squad do this to a group of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents in another issue. While stripping the dead woman she plans to impersonate, Sin jokingly mentions that they have to be sure not to get any blood on the uniforms, a detail usually ignored in other instances of this trope.
    • In a much earlier issue of Captain America and The Falcon, Madame Hydra did this to Viper after shooting him. She took his Code Name as well in an attempt to claim she was "honoring" his legacy.
  • Danger Girl:
    • An early issue has feisty heroine Abbey mugging a waitress for this purpose. The disguise works, though she does find the uniform a bit too small.
    • The "Army of Darkness" series employs this twice in one issue. Sydney Savage infiltrates a psychiatric hospital by subduing a doctor and stealing her uniform. Meanwhile, the patient she is attempting to rescue knocks out a security guard and steals his uniform.
  • During an issue of Deadpool, Wade and his team of mercenaries are hired to sabotage a satellite by hijacking a space shuttle. At one point, one of Wade's teammates complains about her suit being too bulky. The scene shifts to the cargo hold, where the real astronauts are shown tied up with their mouths taped shut.
  • A hallmark of the Diabolik series. One story published in an Italian fashion magazine even has Eva knocking out and stealing the clothes of several models. The real models are found bound and gagged in a closet at the end of the story. Notably, this series does not present the trope as almost harmless as it's usually done: it's still a kidnapping, and victims are often traumatized.
  • Femforce:
    • Issue #43 contains a scene where Tara steals an Amazon uniform in order to infiltrate their base. The woman she ties up appears to have been following Joystick's lead.
    • Issue #48 features a scene where Lady Luger yanks a passing woman into an alley so she can appropriate her clothing in order to flee the city undetected.
  • Non-enemy variation: R. Crumb's Fritz the Cat is fleeing from the police who busted up a pot party. He spots a drunk rich guy in top hat/monocle/tails and cheerfully escorts him into an alley — next panel he's greeting his pals in the park in the guy's clothes.
  • G.I. Joe:
    • In one comic, a female Cobra agent ties up and gags a restaurant hostess and steals her uniform so she can plant a microphone in the General's hat.
    • An old issue of G.I. Joe: Yearbook has Scarlett defeating the Baroness and her mooks offscreen, and then leaving them all bound and gagged in a closet. She strips Baroness of her catsuit and uses it as a disguise in order to rescue her friends.
    • G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (IDW):
      • Issue 184 has Clutch and Rock 'n' Roll infiltrate Cobra by knocking two Cobra soldiers unconscious and taking their uniforms.
      • Dawn disguises herself in issue 239 by putting on the uniform of patrol officer Forester after knocking her out.
  • Robyn steals a robe from a cultist to infiltrate the Church of Many Eyes in Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Robyn Hood #7.
  • Hawkeye:
    • Kate Bishop does this to Madame Masque in an issue, leaving the villainess bound and gagged with her mouth duct-taped shut. This ends up annoying Masque so much that she becomes Kate's extremely dangerous Arch-Enemy out of sheer humiliation. She even revenged herself on Kate by turning the tables on her (with a Grand Theft Me cloning twist) a few years later in Kate's solo Hawkeye series.
    • Kate did the same thing in an earlier issue. She infiltrated the Circus of Crime by replacing the group's female archer (who luckily had the same body measurements), with the real archer left beaten, bound, and gagged in her dressing room.
  • Indiana Jones: In The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones #30, Indy snatches a member of a Chinese warlord's army and uses his robe and coolie hat as a makeshift disguise to infiltrate a gathering of rebel soldiers.
  • In Lady Mechanika #4, Mechanika knocks out a party-goer and steals her masquerade costume.
  • A particularly unpleasant variation in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume 1, when Hawley Griffin beats a policeman to death with a brick and takes his uniform. It should be emphasized that 1) Griffin doesn't need a disguise at that point, 2) Griffin is invisible and so wearing a policeman's actually makes him more conspicuous. He later explains that he was cold.
  • In Lori Lovecraft: Repression, Thalia Dubois knocks out movie star Rene Claude and steals his costume so she can sneak on to set and murder Lori.
  • One Mickey Mouse comic has Mickey get knocked out for his costume by a crook looking to get away. Unfortunately for Mickey, he got Easy Amnesia from the blow and is wearing the crook's old outfit, so the other criminals mistake Mickey for him.
  • The Punisher does this in "Round Robin, the Sidekick's Revenge", a six-part story in Spider-Man's comic, ambushing Number III (probably killing him, seeing as this is the Punisher) and taking his robes and cowl to infiltrate the Secret Empire's HQ. (He even comments to himself how fortunate it is that the leaders' cowls have synthesizers to disguise their voices when he has to speak to the other leaders of the group.)
  • Spider-Man:
    • The Chameleon in the original Spider-Man comics has done this quite a bit; he does it twice in his debut appearance in the first issue from 1962.
    • While driven mad by hunger, Venom does this to an unfortunate group of bikers in an issue of Ultimate Spider-Man.
  • An example mixed with Disguised Hostage Gambit in Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #19. Magna Tolvan swaps clothes with Bounty Hunter Tam Posla, and leaves him Bound and Gagged for the Rebellion to find while she escapes with Aphra.
  • When the Thuggee cultist Ravan joins the Suicide Squad, he practically brags that he didn't get any blood on the uniforms he has just acquired for the team, leaving Bronze Tiger to remember just what kind of person Ravan is.
  • Thomas Valiant, Ostrich, and Feral mugged some staff by knocking them out and tying them up to get their uniforms to blend in. They are going to pay them alot of money for compensation.
  • In Thunderbolts 25, Crimson Cowl decided to take revenge against the Thunderbolts by creating her own Masters of Evil (the group that the bolts were originally part of) with 25 super-villains. After she captured Moonstone, five bolts decided to infiltrate the group by knocking out five members and stealing their costumes. Charcoal puts on M'Baku the Man-Ape's suit. Songbird is dressed as Lodestone. Jolt is dressed as Joystick. Atlas is Shatterfist, and Hawkeye pulls up the Constrictor's mask.
  • Happened to the Marvel hero Torpedo, who was taken out and replaced by a female Dire Wraith. After the alien was killed, Torpedo's suit was eventually bequeathed to the New Warriors member Turbo.
  • Wolverine:
    • A one-shot has a scene where X-23 steals the uniform of a waitress as part of an undercover operation. She tapes the real server's mouth shut and locks her in a closet.
    • In an issue of New X-Men, X-23 knocked out Dust and stole her Burqa. It turned out that Dust was about to walk into a trap set by William Stryker, so Laura rendered her unconscious and went in her place. The hail of gunfire that would've killed Dust had no effect on X-23 thanks to her Healing Factor.
    • Venom #13 has another X-23 example. This time, she knocks out a cocktail waitress in an elevator and steals her devil girl costume to infiltrate Blackheart's casino.
  • Wonder Woman
    • Wonder Woman Volume 1: In issue #3, Baroness Paula Von Gunther escapes from prison by replacing a guard and stealing her uniform.
    • In issue #6, the first appearance of the Cheetah, the villainess ties up and impersonates an Olympic athlete named Kay Carlton so that she can attend an athletic tournament being held on Paradise Island.
  • X-Men:
    • Issue #207: Phoenix sneaks into the Hellfire Club and uses her mind-controlling abilities to put a waitress to sleep. She then steals her uniform so as not to be recognized upon entering the main section of the Club.
    • Wolverine's short-lived second costume was stolen from Fang, a member of the Shi'ar Imperial Guard.
    • During a story in which the X-Men are out in space and (through a complicated series of events) have traveled back in time to the Skrull homeworld just as it is about to be destroyed by Galactus, Wolverine pulls this again, killing a Skrull who is wearing that same second costume in order to disguise himself as Skrull-Wolverine after he got cut off from the rest of the X-Men. In a somewhat ironic twist, it is revealed a short time later that that Wolverine was also a Skrull impostor, while the real one had been turned into one of Apocalypse's Horsemen.

    Comic Strips 
  • Dick Tracy: In the Rughead arc, Rughead does this to a cab driver, stealing his uniform and his cab.
  • In one Garfield strip, the titular cat takes a kid's clothes in order to get into a bakery and snag some donuts.

    Fan Works 
  • In Black Widow's Bad Luck, the eponymous Avenger steals the uniforms of two mooks and an assassin (as well as leaving them Bound and Gagged, or at least knocked out, and stripped to their Goofy Print Underwear, including swastika-print panties) as part of a plan to infiltrate the operation of Sin, daughter of the Red Skull, and stop her acquiring a gem that will grant her god-like powers. Unfortunately for Black Widow, she gets caught when the assassin recovers and exposes her, resulting in her being stripped to her "lucky" Hello Kitty underwear (something she had been privately dreading happening).
  • Heart of Ashes gives two examples.
    • After Smaug vanishes in horrible pain into the forest surrounding Vathvael, Kathryn and Faervel device a plan to get out of the chambers the former's confined in. They summon a maid who's knocked out by Faervel and placed in Kathryn's bed. Dressed as the maid, Kathryn exits the palace with Faervel under the pretense that the Seer is resting.
    • A couple of chapters later, Smaug, back in his human form and wanted as "Cail Agonn", sneaks into the castle by killing two guards patrolling at the walls and dressing himself in another guard's uniform.
  • Lupin III does this to Sola-Ui in Just an Unorthodox Thief.
  • MCU Rewrites: In Avengers: Civil War, Sharon Carter infiltrates the Raft Prison where Clint Barton, Sam Wilson, and Scott Lang are being held in order to break them out. She knocks out a female guard and takes her uniform. While in uniform, she plants a device that will disable the cameras, releases Clint, Sam, and Scott, plants several bombs to blow up the prison, and leads them to the getaway helicopter.
  • In To The Night Sky, Roy and Edward assault and disrobe guards to escape the psychiatric ward in which they have been tortured. If Roy can pass as a nurse, Edward is much too small — and a double amputee to boot — to sell the trick so ultimately stays in his hospital gown.
  • In With Strings Attached, George has to become Bayanis so he and Paul can infiltrate the warehouse. Except that Paul had already wrapped her up in her own robes (well, she tried to order him to kill the others), so all they have to do is strip her, and John immobilizes her in warm ice.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, Bruce knocks out one of the warders at Blackgate and steals his uniform when he escapes.
  • In the 2006 animated film Hoodwinked!, the Wolf and Kirk try infiltrating Boingo's tramway terminal lair to rescue Red with disguises. They get Kirk's disguise by luring Boingo's muscle man Dolph away, where they overpower him and steal his ski uniform. So that he won't be recognized, Kirk also wears a ski mask. Funnily enough, Boingo must be blind or very irritated if he is unable to notice that "Dolph" has magically changed his weight and grown a beard almost in a matter of seconds.
  • Played with in Kung Fu Panda 2 when Po is trying to sneak into Shen's fireworks factory. He knocks out two wolf guards, but instead of taking their uniforms (which would clearly be too small for him), he just holds them up in front of his face, using the guards themselves as the disguise. This actually works, since no one gets a very good look at him.
  • In The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, Wyldstyle beats up one of Queen Waterva's Royal Guards and uses its armor to try and get closer to the altar's sound system. However, Sweet Mayhem sees through Wyldstyle's disguise when she tries a stealth takeout and the two of them have a duel.
  • Parodied in Recess: School's Out. T.J. and Principal Prickly knock out two guards in the school, then put on their outfits and try to trick the rest of the security detail into a trap. Trouble is, the guards are all physically fit soldier types; T.J. is a ten-year-old boy and Principal Prickly is a paunchy middle-aged man, so...
    T.J.: [in a deep voice] Uh... Dr. Benedict wanted to speak to us about a very important matter.
    Security Team Member: Hey! You two aren't guards!
    T.J.: [normal voice] ...RUN!
  • In Disney's Robin Hood, Little John ambushes the Sheriff of Nottingham and put on his clothes during the jailbreak scene. The Sheriff spends the rest of the climax in his underwear.
  • In Shrek 2,
    • Shrek mugs one of the workers in the Fairy Godmother's potion factory, but the outfit is so small that it only fits over his head.
    • Later, Shrek steals a passing nobleman's clothing when he realizes that in human form his old clothes don't quite fit. As he leaves, he calls back "Some day, I will repay you! Unless of course I can't find you, or I forget."
  • Wreck-It Ralph: Ralph needs to get into Hero's Duty to earn a medal, but since Ralph isn't really a bad guy, the space marine helpfully knocks himself out so Ralph can mug him without resistance. Of course, considering his mental state and level of intoxication, Ralph may have been doing him a favor. Stealing his underwear and putting him in Zangief's briefs probably wasn't necessary, though.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In 49th Parallel, Hirth knocks out Brock and steals his uniform and dog tags as part of his plan to sneak into the US.
  • In Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, when Dolphins' star player Dan Marino is filming a commercial for Isotoners gloves, two players are supposed to tackle him, but the actors stagger out of their dressing room, while the hired goons carry him off to a waiting getaway car.
  • In Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Austin and Vanessa pull this off to infiltrate Dr. Evil's lair. Of course, since this is Austin Powers, there's a twist: the guy Austin mugs is about 6'10", and the woman Vanessa takes down is around 300 pounds — yet the uniforms fit Austin and Vanessa perfectly.
  • In Bandidas, Maria and Sara do this to a group of masked French showgirls.
  • In Bank Shot, Ballentine ambushes a construction worker and steals his clothes as part of his plan to break out of prison.
  • Batman: In The Dark Knight, the Joker and his goons do it to an entire police honor guard, then do a spot-on impression of the honor guard — thus smuggling seven loaded rifles right past every cop in the city and directly up to the Mayor's stage.
  • When the convicts escape from the prison transport in Becky, they kill the guards and steal their uniforms, which they later use to fake a roadblock and lure a motorist into an ambush. Of course, they were probably going to kill the guards regardless.
  • The Roger Corman B-movie Big Bad Mama features the mostly-female gang of criminals (lead by the eponymous "Mama") impersonating a group of singers and musicians in order to infiltrate a fancy party. The real singers are left in the parking lot, bound and gagged in their long johns. Later, at the same party, one of the thieves also does this to a server. Another scene has the women robbing a building using a stolen truck and caterer uniforms, but what they did with the real caterers isn't shown.
  • Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey: "Dude, we're in heaven and we just mugged three people!" While the outfits would fit the three of them, they don't wear the outfits that would personally fit.
  • In Blazing Saddles, Bart gets two KKK hoods for this purpose with the Where da White Women At?. Unfortunately they don't cover his hands.
  • In The Borrower, a sex offender, wounded and captured by the Police, escapes from hospital by knocking out a female police officer, leaving her bound and gagged on his hospital bed, and walking out of the hospital wearing her uniform. Her entire uniform, including her underwear.
  • Occurs in the Our Gang short Boxing Gloves. Mary Ann pulls Jackie from his ringside seat, steals his clothes, and takes his place.
  • Braveheart:
    • Near the beginning of the film, Wallace steals the uniform off an English soldier in order to escape the village.
    • Later, Wallace and his men kill English soldiers and steal their uniforms to sneak into a fort.
  • In Carry On Jack, Sally (Juliet Mills) steals the uniform of Midshipman Albert Poop-Decker (Bernard Cribbins) and takes his place on the frigate Venus.
  • In Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, after the spies accidentally abduct Lord Scrumptious and his chauffeur, they steal their clothes. One dresses in Scrumptious' suit and top hat and rides in the backseat of His Lordship's luxury convertible, while the other wears the chauffeur's uniform and drives the car.
  • In Clownhouse, the three escaped lunatics murder three circus clowns and steal their clown costumes.
  • In the 1982 Conan the Barbarian movie:
    • Subverted when Conan knocks out a member of the Doom Cult to infiltrate Thulsa Doom's lair. It doesn't work, however, as Conan gave a stolen amulet to a guard to establish his bona fides. Suspicious, the guard takes it to his boss, and they easily locate Conan among the thousands of cult members simply because he's moving and acting differently from the fervent cultists.
    • Earlier in the film, Valeria is seen sneaking up on a female cultist attending a human sacrifice. The movie cuts to Conan for a bit, and when it cuts back to Valeria she's standing where the unfortunate cultist was standing, dressed in her robes.
  • In Cradle of Fear, The Man murders the two traffic cops who arrive to investigate Nick's crash, then takes the uniform from one of them and uses it to gain access to Fenham Asylum.
  • Day Watch: An occult variant — Anton is attacked by an assassin of the Day Watch; once the assassin's knocked out, Anton takes his clothes — and, using an indentation his face left in the snow, his appearance — to infiltrate a function.
  • In Death Spa, David/Catherine kills Jeffery and steals his pirate costume to infiltrate the Mardi Gras party and kidnap Laura.
  • In The Devil's Double, when Latif Yahia, Uday Hussein's Body Double, passes through a checkpoint during the Gulf War, he flashes an ace of spades card, the sentry salutes and allows his motorcade through. The next day on the way back, the Latif repeats the process, with the sentry giving him a confused look. Latif then manages to spot a bloody corpse stripped to his underwear, and the motorcade has to shoot their way out of an attempted hit.
  • In Die Hard 2, a deleted scene shows two of Stuart's Mooks shooting and killing two Dulles Airport painters, then stealing their van and uniforms. The scene, which would have happened after the scene with the phony electrician killing the church custodian, if left in the final film, explains where the henchmen acquire the disguises they use when they ambush and kill the airport's SWAT team.
  • In Disaster on the Coastliner, hijacker Jim Waterman chloroforms a train engineer so he can steal his uniform.
  • Geena Davis did this to a nurse in Earth Girls Are Easy, because she needed the nurse's uniform.
  • In Eternal, Pope knocks out the doorman at Elizabeth's Venetian mansion and steals his robe and mask to infiltrate her masquerade.
  • In Firestorm, Shaye and his followers steal uniforms from the firefighters they capture: including resident Butt-Monkey Sherman, leaving him in his underwear (or naked. He is only seen from the waist up).
  • In A Fistful of Dollars, a US Cavalry company are murdered and their uniforms stolen to allow Ramon and his men to stage an ambush on the Mexican troops.
  • In Gamera vs. Zigra, Lora Lee hypnotizes a trio of Japanese pearl divers in order to steal a swimsuit from one of them. Later, she does the same thing to a fleeing woman so that she can use her outfit.
  • In Get the Gringo, the heroes escape from a Mexican prison at the end by posing as a group of surgeons. The real surgeons are left bound and gagged in the operating room, some stripped of their scrubs.
  • In La Grande Vadrouille (Don't Look Now... We're Being Shot At! in the USA, The Great Stroll elsewhere) the heroes (three British aviators and two Parisians on the run from Germans) set a trap on an evening Paris street. Alan MacIntosh dressed as a woman strolls next to an open manhole, passers-by look at "her" and fall into the hole, where they are beaten and undressed. Bonus points for the speed of undressing and sorting the clothes and footwear. Minor subversion in the next scene: next morning Lefort realizes that he took too-small shoes and forces Bouvet to give him his.
  • The Gray Man (2022). Sierra Six is thoughtful enough to ask the villain he's mugging (while they're pointing a gun at him) if they have the correct jacket or shoe size.
  • Near the climax of Honeymoon in Vegas, Sarah Jessica Parker mugs a random showgirl and appropriates her dress in order to sneak past some casino guards.
  • Indiana Jones:
    • In Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones drags a Nazi guard offscreen and steals his uniform, but it's too small, so when another guard berates him for his slovenly appearance, he beats that guard up and steals his (better-fitting) uniform.
    • In The Last Crusade, Indy knocks out a Nazi officer and steals his uniform at the book burning rally. Later, he follows a zeppelin attendant to an off-screen area to get his uniform as Nazi agents approach him and his dad. Amusingly, much like the example in Raiders, the zeppelin attendant's uniform is too small for Jones. He manages to squeeze into it but is visibly uncomfortable.
  • In Invention for Destruction, Hart and Jana ambush Count Artigas' two aeronauts and steal their uniforms, which include full face breathing masks, and use them to access the balloon and escape the Volcano Lair.
  • James Bond:
    • Dr. No. Bond knocks out one of Dr. No's workers and steals his radiation suit so he can infiltrate the nuclear reactor room.
    • You Only Live Twice. Bond and some imprisoned astronauts take out several SPECTRE guards and steal their uniforms.
    • Diamonds Are Forever. During the opening sequence, several doctors leave a building and another doctor enters. We then see a man lying behind some bushes wearing underclothes. After the other doctor gets inside he pulls off his mask and cap to reveal himself as Bond. Bond took out the doctor and stole his medical clothing so he could investigate inside.
    • Moonraker. While in Drax's Elaborate Underground Base, Bond and Dr. Goodhead knock out two of Drax's employees and put on their yellow jumpsuits.
    • In The Living Daylights, the Russian assassin strangles (with his earphones' cable) a milkman to steal his uniform and get into the MI-5 safehouse. The milkman isn't the enemy; he just had the right outfit.
  • In Jingle All the Way, Myron (Sinbad) did this during the Wintertainment holiday parade, leaving the actor who was to play Turboman's arch-enemy Dementor and leaving him Bound and Gagged, so he could assume the role, as Howard (Arnold Schwarzenegger) had found himself playing Turboman for the parade.
  • Judge Dredd. While on the run from the law Dredd knocks out a Judge and steals his uniform so he can masquerade as a Judge.
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. After the fight in Dorian Gray's mansion Secret Service agent Sawyer explains how he came to be Dressing as the Enemy among the Fantom's mooks.
    Sawyer: I followed you, and knocked out a straggler, and I took his place.
  • In The Lion Roars, while at a celebration, Cecilia Cheung pulls an unsuspecting chorus dancer behind a nearby curtain and later shows up dressed in her clothes and veil. This is less a reason to sneak into any enemy bases than it is to spy on her husband, whom she suspects of cheating.
  • Looney Tunes: Back in Action: DJ boards the casino stage to talk to Dusty Tails by kidnapping one of the Yosemite Sam-background dancers and wearing his tiny jacket and mask.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe: A plot point in Iron Man 3. Part of Killian's master plan involves capturing Rhodey and having Eric Savin assume his identity by donning his armor.
  • The Naked Gun
    • In the first film, Frank pulls this off on both an umpire and opera singer Enrico Pallazzo.
    • Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult has Frank and Jane mugging "Weird Al" Yankovic and Vanna White, who are on their way to the Academy Awards. After being stripped of their clothing and invitations, the two celebs are left bound and gagged behind some bushes.
  • In Night Train to Munich, they steal uniforms from some Nazis to get away.
  • Masazuka from Ninja was denied a flight from Tokyo to New York due to bookings being full. So he stealthily kills a bespectacled Japanese civilian in an airport bathroom, taking his victim's flight tickets, clothes and glasses to sneak his way back to New York.
  • Happens off-screen in Once Upon a Spy. When Chenault is trapped by Valorium and his mooks and about to be killed, tannehill appears wearing the uniform that the tour guide had been wearing earlier and leading a tour group that she uses to extract Chenault.
  • Our Man Flint: Flint kills a security guard on Galaxy Island (by crushing him with a forklift) in order to steal his uniform.
  • In Parker, Parker knocks out a male nurse and steals his uniform to escape from the hospital.
  • In Prom Night, Fenton escapes from the hotel by donning the uniform of the bellhop he murdered and slipping out during the evacuation.
  • Variant occurs in Rat Race: Cuba Gooding Jr.'s character tricks a bus driver into giving him his uniform (so he take the bus and get ahead on his treasure hunt), by saying the clothes are to help his birthing wife.
  • Red (2010): When Frank Moses is caught breaking into CIA headquarters, an alert goes out for a bald man wearing a blood-splattered white shirt. He starts a fire, then mugs one of the firemen, carrying out his unconscious body and wearing his fire helmet. The body is checked to make sure it's not Frank (the fireman has hair of course) but Fireman Frank is let through the perimeter check. The trope is Played for Laughs when the Badass Crew have to infiltrate a political convention at a hotel. A waiter is shown taking out the garbage to an industrial bin when he's suddenly yanked into it by persons unknown, later revealed to be one of the team.
  • In The Revengers, Quiberon knocks out a guard and steals his uniform when he sneaks into 'the Hole' to free Benedict.
  • In Richie Rich, Herbert Cadbury is framed for a crime and arrested. Later, the person who framed him decides to tie up loose ends and sends an assassin into the prison to kill him. Cadbury defeats him, then puts on the assassin's clothes as he escapes, as his prisoner uniform would make him stand out.
  • Ring of Fear: After escaping the asylum, O'Malley knocks out a railroad worker and steals his clothes. He then dresses the worker in his asylum uniform and pushes him in front of a train to convince the authorities that he has died.
  • In Robin Hood: The Rebellion, Robin and his men strip the armour and uniforms off Guy of Gisborne and men and use them to infiltrate the Sheriff's castle.
  • In The Scarlet Claw, the killer leaves Judge Brisson's housekeeper Bound and Gagged in her slip when he steals her cloths to disguises himself as her to get close enough to the judge to murder him.
  • Subverted in Scary Movie 4, when Cindy and Brenda pull two "village" women into the bushes, and after a brief scuffle the women emerge looking disgruntled but with their outfits intact ... followed by Cindy and Brenda, who were the ones actually beaten up. They later settle for spare garments from a clothesline.
  • Scooby-Doo: When Shaggy swings into a henchman near the end, he disguises himself by putting the henchman's clothes over his own. He removes the disguise when he goes to attack Mondavarious.
  • In Sherlock Holmes (1932), Holmes knocks out Hans and takes his welder's outfit-—including full face mask-—and uses it to infiltrate Moriarty's gang.
  • Shoot to Kill. The main plot is set up when the unseen killer—to escape a police dragnet—has to Kill and Replace a member of a fishing expedition. As he doesn't have his own gear he uses that of the man he killed, so foreshadowing of his identity is provided when he complains to the guide that his boots don't fit properly.
  • In The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal Lector escapes from custody wearing the uniform and face of one of his jailers.
  • In Sky Bandits, Barney and Luke mug a pair of drunk British officers and steal their uniforms so they can gain access to the officers club. Barney later steals a uniform off a German airman and gives it to Luke so he can infiltrate the airship base.
  • In Smokin' Aces, Lazlo murders Hugo and steals his tracksuit to infiltrate the penthouse (combined with Latex Perfection).
  • Spaceballs does the same when Lone Starr and Barf infiltrate Spaceball City. Made especially funny when you realize that neither of the mooks is anywhere near John Candy's size. Becomes a Brick Joke when they run into two mooks dressed in underwear.
    Guard 2: And beat the shit out of us too!
  • In Space Mutiny, David Ryder and Lea both steal Enforcer uniforms from different soldiers. When this was shown on Mystery Science Theater 3000, Tom Servo mocks the fact that the obviously shorter Enforcer's uniform suddenly fits David's big, muscular frame.
  • Star Wars:
    • In A New Hope, TK-421 and TK-422 are lured onto the Millennium Falcon, where Han stuns them in order to steal their uniforms. Unfortunately, they're not the right size.
      Luke Skywalker: I can't see a thing in this helmet.

      Princess Leia: Aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?
    • Certain Expanded Universe sources claim that stormtrooper armor has built-in protection from mugging for disguise. If the helmet is removed without pressing a hidden button, its built-in HUD turns off and only gets in the way of vision, and that's why Luke cannot see a thing in this helmet.
    • Hampered in Solo when Chewbacca rips the arms off the guard, sleeves and all.
      Han: Great. Nice work; that guard was just the size of uniform I needed!
  • In The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men, the Merrie Men snatch two of the Sheriff's servants, steal their livery, and use the disguises to ransack the Sheriff's quarters and deliver his wealth to the ransom table.
  • Fujiko mugs Lupin in Strange Psychokinetic Strategy, switching his suit for her prison uniform, leaving him to be captured by Inspector Zenigata.
  • In Stripes, Bill Murray and company pose as civilians and take the two guards at the enemy base hostage, with Murray taking a uniform from one of them.
  • Doubly subverted in Suits on the Loose. When the two juvenile delinquents encounter Mormon missionaries at a restaurant, at first they just steal the missionaries' car. However, they soon realize the missionary uniforms could make good disguises.
  • Super 8: Joe's father does this to escape the air force base.
  • During Casey Jones' infiltration of the Foot headquarters in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Casey does this to a Foot Soldier in order to steal his uniform to blend in with the others and find Danny, who he followed there. The two eventually end up rescuing Splinter, who the Shredder has just ordered killed.
  • Terminator:
    • The Terminator opens with the killer cyborg robbing a bunch of punks for the clothes on their backs. When they try to fight back, he destroys them in five seconds. The correct fit problem is averted; the punk is wearing a jacket too big for him, and Reece is shown checking the size on his shoes before putting them on, and selecting the correct size jacket, when stealing them from a clothes store.
      Terminator: Your clothes. Give them to me. Now.
    • In Terminator 2: Judgment Day when the Terminator walks into a biker bar to steal his clothes, we see a Robo Cam view of him scanning the bikers and the waitresses until he finds one whose clothes match his size.
  • ¡Three Amigos!. While Carmen is held captive in El Guapo's fortress, she knocks an already sleeping guard totally unconscious. Dusty Bottoms then dons the guard's clothing so he can impersonate him.
  • Done numerous times by The Three Stooges, though often with the clothes not fitting properly.
  • In The Tournament, Tomko kills a bellboy and steals his uniform in order to deliver some Room Disservice to Lai Lai's room.
  • TRON: An unintentional version occurs when Flynn attacks one of Sark's guards. When Flynn grabs the guard he absorbs the guard's red coloring, thus succeeding in Dressing as the Enemy.
  • In Voyage of the Rock Aliens, the aliens come across some teenagers making out in cars and teleport their clothes onto themselves, leaving the original owners in their underwear. The aliens don't end up keeping the costumes.
  • In The War Wagon, Lomax knocks out a Bandito and steals his sombrero and serape to get close to Levi in the bandito camp.
  • What's the Worst That Could Happen?: Edwina and Windham steal uniforms from the wait staff they leave Bound and Gagged when working the auction.
  • Occurs in The Wizard of Oz. The witch's guards tackle the heroes and they fall behind some rocks. After some scuffling, the heroes pop up wearing the uniforms. The uniforms do indeed fit perfectly, but the Cowardly Lion has a hard time hiding his tail.
  • Implied in Wonder Woman when Diana is shown sizing up Fausta Grables while trying to enter a swanky German party. The next time Diana is seen, she's sporting Fausta's lovely dress.
  • Quicksilver mugs a Pentagon security guard for his uniform during the jailbreak sequence in X-Men: Days of Future Past. He leaves the real guard duct-taped to a wall and gagged.
  • Yellowbeard. Mr. Moon knocks out the boatswain's mate leading a press gang, dons his uniform, and takes his place.

  • It is not rare for Lone Wolf to kill some Evil Minions for clothes before sneaking into enemy strongholds. This can happen in Book 5 to a Vassagonian messenger, in Book 12 to a Drakkar horseman, in Book 13 to a Cener Druid or in Book 16 with an Acolyte of Vashna. It helps that most enemies Mooks are either Faceless Goons or In the Hood.

  • An old joke (almost always passed off as a "true story") has an inversion, with the guy who usually gets mugged playing the trick. A bus driver is tasked with taking twenty inmates from a local insane asylum to one in another country; at one point, he stops for some reason and leaves the keys in the ignition. The inmates escape, and the bus driver rushes into the streets, announcing that the next twenty people who get on board the bus will win a free vacation. Some passerby happily climbs aboard... at which point the driver carts them to the asylum and is sure to tell the doctors there that the "patients" suffer from a mass delusion that he tricked them onto the bus. There's no physical interplay involved, but the driver does steal their identities forcefully, so it seems like a variation of the trope.

  • David Edding's The Belgariad:
    • In the fifth book, Silk knifes some mooks for their robes. One drawback of the technique is highlighted when they then have to find a way to arrange the robes so that the tears and bloodstains aren't evident.
    • Done again about halfway through the Malloreon, when the group needs Karand disguises to crash a ceremony.
  • In Lawrence Block's The Canceled Czech Evan and four Stern Gang members knock out several guards and appropriate their uniforms after Greta lures them into the bushes and convinces them to undress.
  • Discworld:
    • In the novel Jingo, Nobby and Colon try to pull this on a couple of guys in Al Khali and in the usual subversion, get mugged themselves and have their clothes stolen.
      Nobby: Well, we could always lure some more people into this alley and try it again.
      Colon: Nobby, we're alone in a foreign port, and you're dressed only in your, and I use this word with feeling, unmentionables. This is not the time to start talking about luring people into alleys. There could be talk.
    • In The Colour of Magic, Rincewind and Twoflower knock out two Chelonauts and wear their uniforms as an escape plan. However, things go awry when they're eventually caught out and end up falling over the edge of the world.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Ron and Harry sneak Crabbe and Goyle a sleeping potion, stuff them in a broom closet, and steal their shoes and several hairs to complete a Polyjuice Potion disguise. The film makes this a straighter example as they also steal Crabbe and Goyle's uniforms since Slytherin uniforms are different from Gryffindor uniforms in the movies. (The stated reason was that Crabbe and Goyle are freaking tanks. In the book, of course, Hermione planned ahead and nabbed some spare ones.)
    • Harry, Ron, and Hermione use the same technique to infiltrate the Ministry of Magic in Deathly Hallows.
  • In The Iron Teeth, Blacknail's cloak that he uses to pass for a human got trashed while on the road to Daggerpoint, so he lures a guy away from a merchant caravan and robs him for a new one.
  • Nick Velvet: In "The Theft of Leopold's Badge", Sandra Paris knocks out a dancer and steals her costume - leaving the dancer Bound and Gagged in a maintenance closet - to give her access to a gallery where she plans to steal a Van Gogh.
  • In the Relativity story "Easter Eggheads", a pair of Stupid Crooks known as the Buffalo Brothers mug a guy who'd been hired to play the Easter Bunny for his costume. Unlike most of their schemes, this one actually works.
  • In Six of Crows, Inej and Nina, members of the Anti-Hero Team of thieves, infiltrate the Ice Court by knocking out a group of girls of the Menagerie (basically high-class prostitutes wearing elaborate costumes) with Nina's powers. They then take the place of two of them, stealing their clothes in the process. The real girls are left Bound and Gagged hidden inside a cupboard.
  • The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge. Jim diGriz and his wife Angelina mug two police officers for their uniforms in order to escape a dragnet, only to find that they're wearing ladies' underwear. After knocking out two more policemen, Angelina suggests taking a peek at their underwear too, but Jim prefers that some illusions should remain untarnished.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • A complicated variation in X-Wing: Iron Fist. The Wraiths already have a disguise, but they need to get into the local enemy base, so they have two members start a Bar Brawl and get a batch of Imperial pilots caught up in it. Then they show up to arrest everyone involved, knock out or stun the Imperials, disguise themselves as stormtroopers and are able to get a ride on a speeder that's going out to fetch Imps who'd been out on the town, claiming that the guys they're lugging around lost a fight. It works, and they get in.
    • Honor Among Thieves: On the heavily Imperial world of Cioran, a junior Imperial officer attempts to detain Han and Chewie but is really no match for them, and swiftly finds himself dazed and naked in an alley. Han uses the man's uniform and gear to throw his weight around on Cioran as he searches for Rebel spy Scarlet Hark. The poor-fitting uniform and Han's nonregulation haircut make the disguise less than perfect.
  • In Isaac Asimov's science fiction novel The Stars, Like Dust, the protagonist (Biron) is a fugitive from an arrest order, and he and two members of the royal family (Artemisia and Gillbret) are seeking to flee the Palace. Biron jumps a guard and takes his uniform so he can pose as a common soldier escorting the two members of the royal family. The issue of finding an enemy mook whose uniform fits is addressed: Gillbret carefully maneuvers the captain of the guard into leaving a suitably large soldier "on guard" outside Artemisia's room (where he can be easily lured in for Biron to attack). Gillbret later also mentions the "advantage of a uniform", that anyone will see only "a soldier and nothing else". The hapless guard is naturally left Bound and Gagged.
    Gillbret: I would suggest you leave a guard at Lady Artemisia's door...Pick a large one. Take that one. A fine uniform our guards have, Artemesia. You can recognize a guard as far as you can see him by his uniform alone.
  • In Telzey Amberdon story "Lion Game" this is crossed over with Mugging the Monster: two street thugs stalk Telzey (a high-powered telepath) into a dark alley. A few minutes later, Telzey emerges, wearing one of their jackets.
  • Vorkosigan Saga: In Shards of Honor, some members of Cordelia's crew ambush a Barrayaran patrol and steal their uniforms as part of their plan to rescue her.
  • Nynaeve, from The Wheel of Time, occasionally mugs people for clothes to sneak herself and her friends into enemy strongholds. The trope is played more realistically than usual since the clothes fit badly more often than not. Sometimes going so far that the members and their roles in the group are determined by the acquired clothes. Whoever was designated for a specific task beforehand due to their skills might get assigned a different task or even not take part at all because the disguise they'd need doesn't fit.
  • A resourceful bellhop in Las Vegas invokes this for the title character in The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, allowing Henry to escape the mob thugs sent by the casinos he'd won money from over the past three nights. At the bellhop's suggestion, Henry takes and dons the bellhop's uniform (which fit well enough to be convincing), then ties the bellhop up hand and foot (to lend credence to the story the bellhop would tell the mob later). As thanks, Henry leaves a thousand dollars in a hidden spot for the bellhop to collect later.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Occurs on Adam Adamant Lives!, when Georgina shadows Adam to Japan in hopes of helping him with a case. At one point in the episode, a geisha is pulled off-screen, and Georgina appears shortly after, dressed in her clothes. The woman's boss later scolds Georgina for mugging one of her employees, leading to a profuse apology while the embarrassed geisha looks on in the background.
  • Alcatraz: In "Garrett Stillman", Stillman hijacks an armoured car and steals the guards' uniforms, leaving them in an alleyway in their underwear.
  • Alias:
    • Sydney employs this tactic when the need for a waitress uniform arises in the penultimate episode. Unfortunately, her cover is blown rather quickly when the real waitress' unconscious body is found.
    • As well as an earlier episode, where Sydney is on the run from some enemies and mugs a Goth girl for her clothes and wig.
  • All That has a Running Gag (no pun intended) where a deranged young man named Stuart would mug people for their clothes (including Amanda Bynes' character Ashley) and then assume whatever profession that person had. The replaced person would always be found bound and gagged in their underwear at the end of the sketch, causing Stuart to flee on some sort of imaginary animal.
  • An episode of Angel has a flashback in which Spike shows up in a Nazi uniform. Though the theft is unseen, he informs Angel that he acquired it by eating the previous owner.
  • The Avengers: In The New Avengers episode "Sleeper", the main bad guy disposes of a visiting scientist and steals his clothes to take his place at a demonstration where he plans to steal the secret weapon.
  • Parodied in the pilot for The Lonely Island's series, Awesometown (which didn't get off the ground). Andy is taking suggestions for a new name from the audience, and then a guy in boxers stands up and says, "Uh, yeah, how about 'Outfit Stealer'?" It's subverted when it turns out that Andy didn't steal his outfit, and the guy just showed up in his underwear.
  • Subverted in Babylon 5 when Garibaldi goes to rescue Sheridan on Mars; he brings his own disguise, but gets injured while attacking the mooks and his bleeding later shows through the uniform, tipping off the prison guards.
  • Babylon Berlin has an early scene in the first episode where Trotskyists execute the engineers of a German train and pass themselves off as the train's crew.
  • In an episode of the Portuguese telenovela Balaco Baco, Diva and Doris apply for waitress jobs in order to infiltrate a party, but they are turned down. They later mug a couple of women who were hired and dress in their uniforms. Their cover is blown when two other characters find the real waitresses Bound and Gagged inside some garbage bags.
  • Parodied in sketch show The Birthday Boys: Two members of a bomb squad arrive to help defuse an explosive device, only for two men clad only in underwear and duct tape over their mouths to burst out of a car's trunk and expose them as imposters... Then a pair of completely naked men come out of nowhere to claim that they're the real bomb squad - one set of imposters stole their uniforms, then a different set of imposters also stole their underwear and duct tape. In the ensuing confusion, the bomb explodes.
  • Cannon: In "Dead Pigeon", a pair of hitmen hijack an ambulance and steal the paramedics' uniforms to allow them to infiltrate a hospital. The paramedics are later seen unconscious and tied up.
  • Charmed has an example mixed with Mugging the Monster. Piper and a group of mythical Valkyries end up in the city and need to blend in. A group of bikers threaten to accost them, and Piper notices that several of the bikers are attractive women. The scene then cuts to the Piper and the Valkyries clad in the women's clothing while the real bikers are all Bound and Gagged in an alley (with the female bikers tied up in their underwear).
  • Community:
    • A pivotal scene in the second season finale has Pierce faking a heart attack to fool one of the City College goons into letting his guard down. The next time we see Pierce, he has donned the goon's disguise and uses it to save the day.
    • Playfully subverted in "The First Chang Dynasty". Jeff and Britta need to pose as a magician and his female assistant in order to infiltrate Chang’s party, with the implication that Jeff has an elaborate plan to dispose of the real entertainers and take their place. Instead, he simply calls them up on the phone and politely tells them the gig has been cancelled.
  • The Dark Angel episode "Freak Nation" has the heroes defeating a group of agents in a big struggle, and then escaping in their uniforms. When the cops show up on the scene, they find the replaced men and women tied to a pillar with their mouths duct-taped shut.
  • In the final episode of Doctor Syn ("The Scarecrow"), Syn, Mipps, and John wallop the naval pressgang and steal their uniforms to sneak the conscripts and fugitives out of Dover Castle. (The general's Number Two sees through it, but since he's in the middle of a Heel–Face Turn he pretends not to notice.)
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Daleks": The Doctor and his companions disable their Dalek jailer and Ian wears its shell to enact a Trojan Prisoner escape.
    • "Let's Kill Hitler": Dialed up by River Song when she busts into a large party attended by high-ranking Nazi officials and their wives, forces them all to strip at gunpoint, and takes her pick of the clothing they discard.
    • "The Woman Who Lived": A Flashback reveals that Ashildr fought at the Battle of Agincourt. Because women weren't allowed to fight back then, a cutaway scene shows her donning a male soldier's armour while the unfortunate dude in question is left Bound and Gagged behind some bushes.
    • "Resolution": The villain, a Dalek recon scout puppeteering an innocent woman, is, while forcing her to drive recklessly towards a location where it can steal alien weaponry, pulled over by a police car. So it kills the two cops and steals the female officer's uniform and the patrol car.
  • Endeavour: In "Quartet", a KGB assassin kills a member of the Swiss team and steals his tracksuit to allow him to infiltrate an It's a Knockout style contest and kill a member of the West German team.
  • Subverted in an episode of Farscape. John tries to do this, but the uniforms are too small and they have to come up with a different plan.
  • In the Father Ted Christmas special, a burglar gets a priest drunk and steals his clothing as part of a con job. Played for Laughs when Ted points out that this was entirely unnecessary, as the thief already owned a priest outfit.
  • The F.B.I.: Although not part of his original plan, the perp of the week in "The Giant Killer" knocks out a motorcycle cop and steals his uniform and motorcycle to join a Vulnerable Convoy.
  • Averted in The Greatest American Hero. Ralph, stranded in Mexico, steals clothing from a clothesline to cover his costume... but leaves behind money to pay for it.
  • Grimm: In "Red Menace", an assassin murders a waiter and steals his uniform in order to get close enough to his target to attempt to kill him. The waiter's body is stuffed into the walk-in freezer to hide it.
  • In the Here Come the Brides episode "The Crimpers," Jason and Stempel chase down two of the titular kidnappers, interrogate them, then steal their coats so they can get into their lair.
  • Horatio Hornblower:
    • "The Duchess and the Devil": Hornblower's plan at the start of the third episode is to capture a French jollyboat's crew and steal their uniforms so his men can sneak aboard their home ship and take it. It works well, although Midshipman Hunter calls it cheating.
    • "The Frogs and the Lobsters": Master Bowles is a British sailor stranded in France after French Royalist soldiers were slaughtered by Republicans. When the Republicans loot and rob the dead Royalists, Bowles pretends he's dead. He kills the soldier who tries to steal from him because he needs his uniform to disguise himself. He wants to at least try to get back to his ship.
  • In an episode of I Spy, Robert Culp and Bill Cosby need disguises to sneak up on a target. Culp announces he has a brilliant idea and we cut to two little people (one White and the other African-American) in tuxedos. For a few seconds we are trying to figure out how they could possibly accomplish such a disguise and then we see that they really are two little people as they badger two Mariachi musicians (Culp and Cosby) to play for them.
  • Jessie:
    • In the episode "The Secret Life of Mr. Kibling", Jessie Luke and Ravi knock out three waiters and steal their uniforms.
    • Subverted in the episode "Toy Con" where Jessie proposes doing this until Ravi points out that there are already costumes on a nearby rack.
  • Jonathan Creek:
    • In "The Three Gamblers", Maddie finds a dead body in its underwear stuffed in a wardrobe and realises that this is the constable who was supposed to be guarding the house and that the policeman with her is the killer, having murdered him and stolen his uniform.
    • In "The Curse of the Bronze Lamp", the kidnappers (posing as security guards) knock out a pair of DJs who run a mobile disco, steal their clothes and van, and use it to gain access to their victim's home.
  • In an episode of K.C. Undercover, K.C. goes undercover as a female mercenary. Her grandparents kidnap and tie up the real merc and steal her clothes to complete the disguise.
  • In an episode in Kickin' It Jack knocks out a ninja and takes his clothes in order to bypass the guards.
  • Leverage:
    • "The Mile High Job" has a variant where the victim doesn't end up naked. Operating from the knowledge that flight attendants bring two uniforms with them when they fly, the team tricks a stewardess into thinking there's a medical emergency with her cat; while she panics, Parker switches out her suitcase with another one so that she can take the spare and infiltrate the flight.
    • Eliot does this twice in "The Rashomon Job": first mugging Dr. Wes Abernathy for his clothes and invitation, and later knocking out a museum guard and stealing his uniform.
  • London's Burning: A rare example of a main character becoming the victim of this trope happens when Blue Watch are called to a fire at a Young Offenders Institute. The young offender who contrived to set the fire as cover for his escape plan cold-cocks Bayleaf and steals his coat and helmet in order to blend in while sneaking out of the main gate, but the trainers he's still wearing give him away.
  • In season 2 of Luther, Luther is chasing a spree killer, who steals a motorcycle courier's clothes and helmet, walks into an office building and starts killing people. By the time Luther arrives on the scene he's told the killer has escaped through the carpark. Sure enough, Luther finds the gate blocking the carpark has been pried up as if someone crawled under it. But he also sees a nearby car has been broken into, and in the trunk finds a man in his underwear. Luther realises the killer is still on the premises, posing as a wounded employee.
  • MacGyver:
    • In "The Assassin", Piedra drags a nun into a closet and steals her habit in order to get close to his target, the archbishop.
    • In "Halloween Knights", MacGyver and Murdoc knock out a HIT board member and steal his costume so MacGyver can infiltrate a HIT board meeting that is taking place during a costume party.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
      • In "Heavy is the Head", Triplett dons Glenn Talbott's stolen uniform in order to gain access to a military base.
      • In "Face the Enemy", Agent 33 poses as Melinda May by stripping May of her dress and shoes, as well as a holographic mask to complete the disguise.
      • Happens to poor May again in the Season 4 winter finale, where it's revealed that she's been knocked out and replaced by a Life Model Decoy.
    • Daredevil: In "Blindsided", Matt goes to the prison to get information on Wilson Fisk's stay there. Fisk has anticipated Matt would show up and has the guards and inmates in his pocket start a riot in an attempt to kill Matt. While fighting them off, Matt encounters the prison's Albanian mob boss, and convinces him to give up the identity of the man that Fisk hired to pay for his own shanking. He also convinces the boss to help get Matt out of the prison. To do so, the Albanian boss has one of his men strip the uniform off one of the guards that Matt had earlier disarmed and said inmate then escorts Matt the rest of the way out, fighting through other guards and inmates.
    • The Punisher: To conduct an assassination attempt on Karen Page and Senator Stan Ori, Lewis Wilson kills one of Billy Russo's men and steals his uniform.
    • WandaVision: Jimmy and Monica knock out a few SWORD agents and take their uniforms after Hayward tries to have them escorted off the base outside Westview. Darcy is miffed at them for not giving her a heads up about them having an escape plan.
    • The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: Zemo's escape plan to get out of jail in episode 3. He provokes two of the inmates into starting a fight by having Bucky slip a message to one of them claiming that the other will try to kill him. Then, when the guards initiate lockdown procedures, Zemo slips out of his cell, attacks one of the guards, and steals his uniform. He then activates the fire alarm to cause more confusion.
  • Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries: When Eugene escapes from the hospital in "Death Do Us Part", he strangles the constable assigned to guard him and steals his uniform.
  • Mission: Impossible episode "Invasion". A hitman is sent to kill the man the IMF is targeting. When he discovers the masquerade he knocks out one of the fake soldiers with a Tap on the Head and puts on his uniform for the purpose of Dressing as the Enemy.
  • Monk:
    • In "Mr. Monk Can't See a Thing", Eddie Murdoch bludgeons and kills a fireman named Rusty with a shovel, blinds Monk with a container of cleaning solvent, and steals a firefighter's coat and helmet, which he uses to get into a working house fire he staged a few blocks away to remove an incriminating pair of house keys that would prove that said fire was not an accident.note 
    • "Mr. Monk Gets Stuck in Traffic": Ray Galardi, after killing Steve Marriot and staging an accident, realizes he left his cell phone on the victim's body. He can't get to his phone unnoticed because the police have locked down the scene. To get the phone back without raising suspicion, he lures a paramedic into a secluded spot away from any possible witnesses. He then strangles and kills the paramedic and steals his uniform. Monk, however, can see through Galardi's Paper-Thin Disguise, but the highway patrol cops do not believe him and detain him until the paramedic's body is discovered under some debris.
    • "Mr. Monk and the Very, Very Old Man" has deputy mayor Dennis Gammill pose as a guard to kill the oldest man in the world without being noticed. Of course, to gain access to the man, he had to kill one of the nursing center's real guards and steal his security pass, and also his uniform.
  • Murdoch Mysteries: In "Hangman", escapee Cecil Fox surprises Constables Crabtree and Higgins to get a police uniform as a disguise. The two constables report to Station Four, one of them missing his tunic and the other missing his trousers. In his police guise, Fox goes to Dr. Ogden at the morgue to get medical treatment for his tracheotomy wound.
  • In the Person of Interest episode "Reasonable Doubt", a wrongfully-accused woman does this to her lawyer in order to escape police custody. In a rare Surprisingly Realistic Outcome moment, it's explained that she requested that lawyer in the first place specifically because the two women had similar heights, ages, and physical appearances.
  • A female art thief does this to Monica Hayward in an episode of Republic of Doyle. Poor Monica is left Bound and Gagged in her underwear, which a fellow officer finds hilarious.
  • In an episode of the Flemish series Rox, a villainess ties up and gags a pop singer named Lady Rock (a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Lady Gaga) and steals her stage outfit and wig.
  • The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne features a time-travelling ep. where Rebecca, fearing she may look out of place in a 17th-century crowd, ducks into an alleyway. Not long after, an appropriately-dressed woman happens by said alleyway and is forcefully pulled off-screen. Rebecca is soon seen stepping out into the open, dressed in her "borrowed" clothes.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events:
    • When going to the bank to pose as the "consultant" to the Baudelaire will, Count Olaf is exasperated that his acting troupe didn't bring the costumes along, so he has to improvise a disguise by stealing a coat off a mannequin, another man's ascot, a blind man's sunglasses and hat, and lastly a pen from yet another man to etch a false mole on his cheek.
    • On the third episode, Count Olaf's assistants, the White-Faced Women, tie up and gag two male cinema employees behind a counter and take their place to kidnap Monty.
  • She Spies:
    • A couple of these in the episode "Crossed Out". The first occurs when Shane mugs a prison guard and steals her uniform to escape. Later, during the climax of the episode, Quentin and Cassie are shown eyeing a pair of maintenance workers and are soon shown dressed in their uniforms. Strangely, Cassie's uniform fits her perfectly, despite the fact that she stole it from a grown man.
    • In "The Replacement", D.D., Shane, and a temporary new agent named Nicki pose as models at a fashion show. They mention having mugged three real models to steal their flashy, ridiculous outfits, and D.D. laments that they didn't chloroform some models in cute summer ensembles instead.
  • The detective Jun-ho does this twice throughout Squid Game. He first steals a game staff's uniform by subduing one of them who are tasked with driving the players to the island, and then he points a gun at one of the Front Man's waiters so that he can disguise himself as that waiter.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • In an episode, O'Neill sneaks into the bad guy's lair to ensure someone didn't betray them, and winds up killing a guard. He then has to put on the guard's uniform to sneak back out. The fact that it is a large suit of armor (with a face-concealing helmet) makes it easier.
    • A bounty hunter does this to enter a high school reunion. It's a more justified example, in that he specifically waits for a man about his size to do it. A non-human alien in the area however, merely kills a guest and then uses a device allowing him to take on the appearance of the man.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series plays this one straight all the time.
    • Kirk and Spock have stolen clothes from Nazi officers, Romulan centurions, and many other mooks. They once avert the trope by stealing civvies off a clothesline — and subvert it at the same time, when a cop catches them stealing the clothes and they're forced to explain themselves.
    • In "Dagger of the Mind", an escapee from a penal colony knocks out a transporter crewman and takes his Red Shirt, but it only works briefly as during the ensuing Red Alert he's identified as wearing an Engineering uniform while being in the wrong part of the ship after everyone else has gone to their battle stations.
    • Episode "Return of the Archons". After Kirk and Spock knock out two of Landru's Lawgiver guards, they don the Lawgivers' robes and pretend to be them.
  • Sunset Beach has an episode where Annie disguised herself as an airline stewardess so she could sneak aboard a flight. When she is asked what happened to the regular stewardess, Annie replies with a knowing smile that she "got a little tied up". We then cut to a woman, minus her uniform, bound and gagged inside a dark closet.
  • In the Supergirl episode "American Alien," Mercy and Otis take out a pair of DEO agents to use their uniforms as disguises.
  • Supernatural: In one episode, Sam and Dean do this to impersonate a pair of SWAT officers and get away from the scene of a crime the police think they committed.
  • Super Sentai:
    • In an episode of Denshi Sentai Denziman, a Vader Clan monster captures a female DJ and steals her clothes in order to impersonate her. The real DJ is found bound and gagged in a closet near the end of the episode.
    • A similar thing happens in a Taiyou Sentai Sun Vulcan episode where a Black Magma Gynoid ties up and gags a store clerk in order to take her place and kidnap Misa.
    • In Mashin Sentai Kiramager Spin-Off: Yodonna, Mizuki steals a uniform from a maid in order to sneak into a Maid Cafe that's being used as a front for organized crime.
  • The trope occurs offscreen and is then lampshaded by Sarah in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles when Cameron shows up in a police uniform.
    Sarah Connor: And somewhere a cop lies bleeding in an alley.
  • Spoofed in The Thin Blue Line. A pizza delivery boy in shorts and T-shirt tells Grim he wants to make a complaint about police harassment; then we see Inspector Fowler wearing the delivery boy's uniform, and riding his motorbike.
  • In Titans, Conner/Subject 13 takes the uniform of a guard after breaking out of his pod.
  • The Torchwood: Miracle Day episode "The Gathering" has villain Oswald Danes sneaking into Gwen's house by disguising himself as a delivery man. The real delivery man is shown tied up and gagged in the back of his van, mumbling under the tape on his mouth before Danes slams the door on him.
  • A variation occurs in an episode of V.I.P. A male and female assassin duo waylay the Johnsons, a married couple on their way to a trendy spa, and assume their identities. They don't steal their clothing, just their wallets and spa passes. They then leave the Johnsons taped up and gagged in a car trunk.
  • Happens from time to time on Walker, Texas Ranger:
    • Season 6's "Rainbow's End" has Villain of the Week James Lee Crown's henchmen stealing a stableman's uniform and ID badge in order to poison the food of a rival racehorse, which happens to be the titular racehorse, just before a match race. As the poison takes effect while the race begins, Walker and Trivette find the real stableman alive, but unconscious, and although it's too late to stop the race, Rainbow's End still defeats Crown's horse, Samurai, by a nose, and then collapses after the fact due to the poison taking full effect and seems as though it is at death's door. When this happens, Walker arrests the fake stableman after he is identified by a security guard, who confesses his involvement in Rainbow's attempted murder, as well as the murder of another rival racehorse which prompted Walker to investigate the goings-on at the track in the first place, at which point Alex requests an arrest warrant for Crown. After Walker arrests Crown, Rainbow luckily survives the poison and goes on to win the Texas Derby.
  • Whiplash: In "The Solid Gold Brigade", Cobb is transporting miner's gold from Fury Creek to Sydney, but en route, a bushranger shoots him and leaves him for dead. The bushranger takes Cobb's coach and clothes to impersonate him and get away with the gold.
  • The Wrong Mans has a downplayed version of this. An agent knocks out a cleaner and mugs them for disguise... in the form of their hat, leaving the rest. They were mostly disguised anyway, having prepared beforehand.

  • MAD Super Special Fall 1980. In The Moronic Woman (a The Bionic Woman parody), Jammy Summons (Jaime Sommers) and Oscular (Oscar Goldman) have infiltrated the enemy palace. In order to get a guard's uniform for Oscar to wear, Jammy walks around knocking out guards until they find one who is Oscular's size. Oscular puts on the uniform and they go to the office of the dictator.

    Music Videos 

    Pro Wrestling 
  • In an episode of WWE Raw, the Bella Twins stole Paige's outfit just before a match. Paige compensated by grabbing a random Rosebud and dragging her into a dressing room. Cue Paige making her ring entrance in the unfortunate fan's purple fairy costume.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dragon Warriors RPG. In an example of play, an escaping thief knocks out a member of a party of fishermen. She takes his tunic and disguises herself as one of them so she can join them in strolling through the main city gate to safety.

  • The 2019 Bayreuth Festival performance of Tannhäuser has Venus infiltrate the song-contest by tying up one of the choir members and stealing her costume and wig.

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • In the intro to Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise Ruby La Rouge knocks out a cruise ship hostess in an elevator and steals her uniform.
  • The Assassin's Creed series has Ezio Auditore stealing armor from guards on occasion, usually so he can carry a box of valuables around without being attacked.
  • In the Call of Duty: Black Ops mission "Executive Order", Weaver gets compromised and the base is on high alert, so Mason and Woods kill two guards and take their uniforms to get into the base.
  • Chrono Cross: After the party infiltrates the Viper manor, they get trapped in a cage by falling through a trapdoor. If you take Kid with you, she tricks the guards into picking a fight. If you don't have Kid, she comes to rescue you not much later, beating up the guards. Either way, you take the defeated guards' clothes, after which you can explore the rest of the manor uninterrupted.
  • Commandos:
    • The Spy can evade German patrols by dressing as a German soldier, and one of his options for procuring a uniform is to KO a soldier with ether and steal his uniform, leaving him Bound and Gagged; he can't mug the dead for obvious reasons. On the other hand, the disguise only works on enemies who are of lower or equal rank to the uniform's original wielder, ie. a random private's uniform will hide you from other privates but not from a lieutenant.
    • In Commandos 2 and 3, anyone can mug enemy soldiers for uniforms. However, it only works for a limited time except for the Spy who can stay disguised indefinitely. Oh, and only the Spy can use officer uniforms but if he happens to wear one, he can order lower-ranked enemies around.
  • Desperados III is a Real-Time Strategy Stealth-Based Game that features among its cast Kate, a woman who can disguise herself to distract the male sentries. However, a good chunk of the time, the player needs to have her steal the clothes of another woman (maid or prostitute) beforehand.
  • At one point in Dragon Age: Inquisition, the Inquisitor and Josephine meet with Comte Boisvert, who actually turns out to be an assassin in Boisvert's clothing. After the encounter, you can go by an antique cabinet, where Josephine hears the real Comte Boisvert Bound and Gagged inside, Banging for Help. The situation is Played for Laughs, as Boisvert muffles his disapproval when Josephine suggests sawing the cabinet open to rescue him.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • In Oblivion, you may choose to go to jail if you're caught after committing a crime. Once imprisoned, you can sneak out, kill the Jailor, and don his full guard attire. You can then walk right out of the prison without being confronted. (You'll still have your bounty and can be re-arrested later, however.) Otherwise, with few exceptions, the NPCs in Oblivion don't react differently to you no matter what clothes you're wearing. The Guards wouldn't react any differently to you if you were wearing Guard armor or going around stark naked.
    • One Skyrim quest Plays With this trope differently depending on the race of your Player Character. The quest involves infiltrating the Thalmor embassy, during which you have the option to steal and wear a Thalmor uniform. If you are an Altmer (High Elf) then this is played entirely straight, and you can put on the uniform and stroll right inside without issue, and can even take a moment to give a couple of low-level Thalmor guards orders. Downplayed if you are another type of Elf (or Orc) or one of the human races; if you stray too close to one of the patrolling Thalmor guards, and they'll detect the ruse, but as long as you keep your distance, you can still slip inside unmolested. Completely subverted if you are an Argonian or Khajiit, where, even from a distance, you'll be detected immediately due to your rather obvious tail (not to mention look really ridiculous).
    • The Elder Scrolls Online: Many of the base-game zones have quests where you can attack an enemy NPC and steal their outfit to use as a disguise.
  • In The Escapists, you can KO a guard and steal his uniform. Once he wakes up, he'll go back to the barracks and put on a new one. Then, when you're wearing the stolen uniform, you can pass by and even chat with all guards, and no one will bat an eye aside from a small and gradual increase in the heat meter. Including the guard you stole the uniform from.
  • Played straight in Fallout: New Vegas. You can steal uniforms from certain organizations, and most Mooks will take the disguise at face value. Smarter characters, leaders, and guards are more likely to see through it.
  • Final Fantasy
    • In one portion of Final Fantasy VI, Locke has to steal soldiers' and merchants' uniforms in order to get around a town once The Empire takes over. Rather than knock them out, though, he just uses the "Steal" command to snatch the clothes right off their bodies.
    • Final Fantasy VIII has a small portion of the game where Selphie and the team she is given are required to dress up as enemy soldiers in order to sneak into a missile base. Somewhat subverted in that they first steal a car, which had the uniforms in the back, rendering the need to knock out guards moot... They do it at the base anyway.
    • Final Fantasy IX:
      • Zidane and Blank do this to infiltrate Alexandria Castle at the beginning of the game. Put a stage fight as part of the play, run away from the crowd and into the castle, lure two Pluto Knights that were nearby, knock them out and steal their outfit. When Zidane refuses to wear the helmet because it stinks, Blanks lists all that's wrong with his own armor. Its owner was apparently bigger than the actor...
      • Zidane does it again later; after being denied passage to an elevator in Lindblum Castle, Zidane leads another soldier to a room and mugs him for his outfit, so he can sneak past and meet up with a singing Garnet at the top of the castle.
  • Grand Theft Auto:
  • Oftentimes in the Hitman games, Agent 47 will need to mug several people for their uniforms in order to get to his target. Becomes one of the biggest complaints/sources of jokes about the game. When the Chinese limo driver steps into an alley to take a leak and comes back white, bald, and half a foot taller... no one bats an eye.
  • Many, many times in Kingdom of Loathing, players acquire an outfit to disguise themselves in unfriendly areas by 'beating up' enemies. In an aversion of the 'perfect fit' part of the trope, almost no enemies drop all useable parts of the outfit they're wearing — you have to keep mugging them to collect a fully wearable ensemble.
  • In Kult: Heretic Kingdoms, the fact that a dying messenger's uniform was taken may not seem very important when it's mentioned, but in fact, it means that the other messenger you find in the forest is actually your quarry in disguise.
  • Medal of Honor: An early installment has the player take out a Nazi officer in order to infiltrate a u-boat.
    • In Medal of Honor: Rising Sun, the Singapore mission has Joe and his crew mug a German officer, and infiltrate a meeting between him and Masataka Shima, a high ranking Imperial Japanese Navy officer. Joe's cover is blown when the German officer bursts in in his underwear.
  • Metal Gear Solid:
  • [PROTOTYPE] takes this to a gruesome extreme: the ones "mugged" for Alex's disguise don't survive the consumption of their DNA.
  • Radiant Historia: Your party does this once as part of a rescue mission. They mug some drunk guards and use the disguises to create chaos among the enemy ranks, leading to the enemy ordering a retreat.
  • Not quite a video game, but in the intro of the Cartoon Network game Rave Slaves, Jack pulls a passing raver into the bushes and steals his disguise to infiltrate the club where Aku's DJ is hypnotizing the teenagers with evil music.
  • Sanity: Aiken's Artifact: Chapter 3, where Cain knocks out a guest to take his civilian clothing and sneak into the facility as part of the tour group. It's not explained how this bypassed the aggression inhibitor which is supposed to knock out Cain when he injures an innocent (even accidentally).
  • Shadowmaster Chronicles subverts it.
    Hay Lin: Why not just take out a guard and blend in?
    Dakota: Because that's stupid. The point of espionage is to NOT BE NOTICED BY ANYONE. What if that guard had buddies? Or was invited to play poker or something?
  • Done in Sly 2: Band Of Thieves, point for point, to replace the judges during the Canada Games. Subverted when the boss sees through the disguise.
  • Tales of Symphonia requires you to do this in the second Desian Ranch you have to infiltrate. You have to wander around for Random Encounters after this plot point comes up, and then only the ladies of the group get uniforms because the male ones will always be "Too damaged".

  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: Doctor McNinja knocks out a regular doctor at the hospital and steals his coat and nametag in order to get in, even though he still wears his regular outfit, including his prominent mask. The receptionist is obviously not fooled but can't convince him to stop the charade. Apparently he's done this several times before.
  • Chimneyspeak, when Chelsea Grinn escapes Australia, she lures a sailor to his doom with the promise of sex, so she can kill him without getting blood on his uniform.
  • In Darken, when the party needs to get into the Citadel of Light, Gort, Komiyan, and Casper mug a trio of guards for their uniforms.note  This pays off later, as it allows Gort to later evade arrest by passing as the guard captain, who looks much like him.
    Casper: Bloody short guards! Couldn't we have picked on someone our own size?
    Gort: [wearing baggy armor] I shall allow you to swap with me, Casper.
  • In Errant Story, Ian sucker-punches a priest and steals his robes so that he can get into a restricted library. He later mugs another man for his travel ticket. He even lampshades this:
    Ian: ... and I'm mugging another old man... I really need to stop making a habit of this. At least it's not a priest this time.
  • In Freefall, the AIs/robots use a variant. Since they identify each other by using transponders rather than visually, swapping out the transponder from one robot to another one has the same effect for other robots as changing physical appearance does for humans. Edge and Blunt do this so often that other robots start doing it. Florence even gets in on the act, even though she doesn't have a transponder at all; she's an uplifted wolf rather than a robot.
  • Girl Genius:
    • Played for laughs when Statuesque Stunner Princess Zeetha strips one of Zola's relatively tall and skinny minions in Castle Heterodyne of his striped jersey and Badass Longcoat. The coat appears to fit her fine and she wears the jersey as a minidress.
    • Played against Men Are Generic, Women Are Special in Paris when the even more voluptuous Agatha Heterodyne clobbers an entire platoon of mooks and still can't find a pair of pants that will accommodate her Hartman Hips, even with the ace pillaging advice of her Jaegermonster Dimo. She's also forced to wear one of her victims' tunics as a minidress.
  • Parodied in Intragalactic chapter 9, where the two security officers were in the middle of a strip game of I Spy when the alarm was sounded, resulting in the heroes trading (NSFW) their Spy Catsuits for... the female guard's "security" headband. They also take the time to dress the guards as themselves (safe). And it works (NSFW too).
  • In Chapter 49 of Mage & Demon Queen, Velverosa disguises herself in the clothing of an unfortunate adventurer who got grabbed and knocked out by one of her demon generals. The general in question later admits that she was so focused on finding a victim with the right clothing that she didn't take into account that the disguise wouldn't hide Velverosa's horns or tail.
  • In Misfile this is how non-fallen angel Cassiel gets into a party. Though she has to actually do the job of the person she beat up because her disguise worked.
  • Nodwick had this occur in one story when the group was trying to find and stop a slaver gang.
    Artax: We're the replacement guards.
    Guard: Replacements for who?
    Artax: For the guards who were dumb enough to let some heroes steal their uniforms.
    Guard: Where are they now?
    Artax: Tied up in some bushes.
    Guard: Okay, you can go in.
  • Played with in PvP. Brent, wearing a suit, sneaks up on a janitor, intending to take his work clothes. An offscreen fight later... the janitor walks back out as if nothing happened, wearing Brent's clothes.
  • In Chapter 7 of Semi-Auto Semla, both the heroine and a thief want to infiltrate a nightclub owned by the local cartel called the Mi Mi Mao Club, the former to rescue someone, the latter to steal the club's money. Both achieve it by knocking out a dancer, stealing her outfit, and stashing her Bound and Gagged in her undies inside the trunk of a car. Ironically, the same car. The What Happened to the Mouse? trope is later averted as, when things start to go downhill in Chapter 8, the thief's accomplice actually comes back to let the girls go out of the trunk.
  • In Tales of the Questor, Quentyn mugs a Royal in order to lure one gang to battle another.

    Web Original 
  • Evil Overlord List:
    • The very first entry in the list is to give the guard-issue helmets transparent visors to avoid this trope.
    • Our own Cellblock A goes on to issue professionally tailored uniforms to all guards, so that a uniform thief will be easily identifiable by the poor fit.

    Web Videos 
  • Oxventure did an inversion in their Blades in the Dark spinoff: Rich asshole Barnaby Fortescue refuses to wear a servant's livery, so the other characters knock him out, steal his clothes, and put the servant's clothes on him.

    Western Animation 
  • On Adventure Time, Finn and Jake attack two actors to infiltrate the Fire King's palace, then get a ridiculously As You Know explanation of who they're disguised as from another member of the troupe.
  • American Dad!:
    • Stan refers to this tactic as "playing Identity Theft".
    • In the episode "The Long Bomb", Stan realizes that terrorists have infiltrated the football game after noticing that Lee Tran, the woman who plays the Bazooka Sharks' mascot, has been replaced. As a Brick Joke, the real Lee Tran hops out onto the field at the end of the episode, Bound and Gagged.
  • Arcane: When two Undercity thugs try to mug Vi, she comments that she likes their jacket. She takes it for herself and the other thug's outfit for good measure to give to Caitlyn so she'll blend in.
  • Archer:
    • The title character does this to a yacht crew member in the episode "Skorpio".
    • A female terrorist and her henchmen do this to a group of hotel employees in the episode "Swiss Miss".
  • A major example takes place near the end of the second season of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Azula, Ty Lee, and Mai ambush Suki and the Kyoshi warriors, and the next time Azula and her friends are shown, they are clad in the stolen Kyoshi outfits. The fates of Suki and her teammates wouldn't be revealed until the third season, where we find out they were taken captive and placed in a Fire Nation prison after being mugged.
  • Batman: The Animated Series:
    • In the episode "Be a Clown", the Joker infiltrates the gathering by intercepting the actual clown hired for it, stealing his van and costume, and leaving him tied up by the road. The cops find the guy later.
    • Batman himself infiltrates Ra's al Ghul's desert stronghold in "The Demon's Quest: Part 2" by knocking out the last in a procession of Faceless Goons riding camels, taking his clothes and mask, and leaping onto the oblivious camel before the other guards notice.
  • Batman Beyond:
    • False Face does this in the episode "Plague", where he steals the uniform of an airline employee. The real worker is later found bound and gagged in his undies.
    • Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker has one of the Dee Dee twins briefly posing as Jordan Pryce's girlfriend Amy as part of an attempted assassination. The real Amy is left bound and gagged at the docks. Note in this case the twins didn't steal her clothes, they simply took her out and pretended to be her.
  • One episode of Chowder has the main character running away to join the Flying Flinger Lingons. When Mung and Shnitzel go to bring him back they spot a pair of what appears to be Flinger Lingon performers sitting on the hill. The two attempt to knock them out with a mallet but the rubber suit bounces back and hits our heroes instead. Then Truffles reveals that the suits were empty and they could have just taken it instead.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door:
    • In "Operation: M.I.S.S.I.O.N.", when Numbuh Four has the adult villains compete against his father's bowling team so he can avoid polishing one of his trophies, the villains steal the bowling uniforms of the opposing team after they laughed at how goofy they looked.
    • This also occurs in "Operation: A.W.A.R.D.S." when Numbuh Four impersonates Knightbrace by taking his costume after knocking him out.
  • Danger Mouse: In "The Cute Shall Inherit the Earth", DM and Penfold snatch a pair of cultists and steal their robes to infiltrate the secret cult of kittens.
  • Droopy: Particularly obvious example in "Droopy's Good Deed": Spike wants to become a boy scout to meet the President. He snatches a boy scout in front of everyone, drags him into a bush, and appears a moment later wearing his uniform. And despite the ambush being performed before everyone and the fact that Spike's twice as big as the kid (and smokes a cigar, which he promptly swallows), nobody's the wiser about this disguise.
  • This trope is used and lampshaded in Duckman. While posing as plumbers, Duckman and Cornfed rob two party guests for their eveningwear so they can better fit in at a party. They then tie them up and Duckman points out that if you wear cartoony boxer shorts you're basically begging to have your clothes stolen.
  • The Emperor's New School: Kuzco discovers a loophole that allows him to access the royal funds while sick and fakes an illness to live it up a bit. Yzma senses an assassination opportunity, so she and Kronk intercept the doctor and nurse coming up to confirm Kuzco's state and leave them tied up while taking their place and outfits.
  • One episode of The Fairly OddParents! has the Bronze Kneecap mug the director of the Crimson Chin movie and take his place to ruin the film and discredit his arch-enemy.
  • Family Guy:
    • In "The Story On Page One", Peter beats up a hotel bellhop and steals his uniform, which fits very poorly since Peter is much fatter than the bellhop. Brian then tells Peter that Luke Perry has never seen them before and has no idea who they are, so they don't need disguises in the first place. Instead of changing back into his own clothes, Peter beats up and steals the clothes of another man who just so happened to be wearing an exact copy of Peter's normal outfit while being just as fat as him.
    • In "Road to Germany", Brian, Stewie, and Mort beat up some Nazi guards and steal their uniforms. The uniforms happened to fit Brian and Stewie perfectly, despite Brian being a dog and Stewie being a baby.
  • Final Space: In flashbacks, we learn that five years prior to the main events of the show, Gary mugged an Infinity Guard soldier for his uniform so he could pose as a pilot and impress Quinn. This is what got him sentenced to five years as a prisoner on board the Galaxy 1. In episode 9 Gary finds out the soldier is still in the same bathroom stall where he left him back then, still drugged.
  • Played for Laughs in Futurama:
    Bender: You're not Granny Hester! What have you done with Granny Hester?!
    Robot Devil: She's naked but unharmed.
  • A handful of these occur on G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.
    • One episode has Lady Jaye sneaking into a Cobra sub-base and mugging a random worker for her outfit. Cobra Commander, though, isn't fooled for an instant.
    • Lady Jaye and Flint do this to a pair of pilots in another episode, leaving them tied up with their mouths taped. Curiously, the uniform fits Jaye perfectly despite being meant for a large male.
  • In Green Lantern: The Animated Series, Hal and Kilowog mug a couple of Red Lantern guards (armored mooks, not to be confused with actual Red Lanterns) for their disguises. This works for normal-sized Hal, but Big Guy Kilowog is out of luck and ends up getting caught while struggling to put the uniform on.
  • The Herculoids episode "The Crystalites". Several Crystalite guards are knocked out and their uniforms stolen so Gloop, Gleep, and Zandor can infiltrate the enemy compound to rescue Tarra and Dorno.
  • Hey Arnold!: In "Helga Blabs it All", after visiting the dentist to have a cavity filled and leaving a message confessing her love for Arnold while under the influence of laughing gas, Helga needs to erase the message before Arnold hears it; to do this, she needs a way into the boarding house without being noticed. A Camp Fire Lass comes to the door. Helga lures her into the alley, stock sound effects occur as said Camp Fire Lass gasps, "Unhand me!" and the doorbell rings to reveal Helga on the threshold with the girl's uniform and cookies, before vanishing, having hid in the grandfather clock so she can infiltrate the house. Then in the end of the episode, after Helga leaves the house with the tape in hand, she gets chased through town by the Camp Fire Lass in her underwear and the rest of her troop.
  • House of Mouse:
    • "Unplugged Club" had Pete disguise himself as a waiter by taking Goofy's clothes after dragging him off-screen.
    • The episode "Humphrey in the House" had Humphrey the bear kidnap Merriweather so he could steal her outfit and so he could take Princess Aurora's birthday cake.
  • The Incredible Hulk episode "Enter: She-Hulk" had Rick Jones and Betty Ross knock out a pair of Hydra agents so they could use their uniforms as disguises to sneak past Hydra.
  • Johnny Bravo attacks a performer to attain his Smarmy The Dinosaur outfit. Johnny aims to infiltrate a children's party where Farrah Fawcett is a special guest.
  • Justice League: After accidentally time-traveling into 19th century Oklahoma, Batman and Wonder Woman change out of their rather conspicuous costumes into clothes taken from a gang that tried to bushwhack them. Green Lantern got a whiff of the third outfit and decided to whip up a ring construct instead.
  • Shego of Kim Possible once yanks a male waiter off-screen and comes back with the uniform somehow fitting perfectly. The disguise works even though the lower half of her usual outfit and her unusual skin tone are still plainly visible.
  • Men in Black: The Series: "The Take No Prisoners Syndrome" has Agent J destroy a robot that had been impersonating K and wear its' K Latex Perfection mask to pass himself off as said robot, to fool that episode's villain Dr. Lupo, and the real K points out a flaw with the way the mask is worn...
    K: Do me a favor and tuck in your face. I don't like myself with a turkey neck.
    J: You mean THIS? [pulls a Dramatic Unmask to reveal his true face]
  • On one episode of Mighty Max, the protagonists mug three robed druids for their clothes. The robes end up fitting perfectly, which is odd because the druids were normal-sized adult men, while the protagonists were a child, a 9-foot-tall man-mountain, and a chickennote .
  • In the "Scooby's Gold Medal Gambit" episode of The New Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo Show, the Master of Disguise Villain of the Week the Chameleon dresses himself up as Scooby-Doo in a realistic latex mask and not-as-detailed body suit and perfectly imitating Scooby's voice, and in the process takes the real Scooby-Doo (after doing a quick Mirror Routine with him in an open doorway) and locks him in a closet.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998):
    • Mojo does this in the episode "Get Back Jojo" where he kidnaps a female student at Pokey Oaks Kindergarden before showing up wearing only her dress and glasses.
    • In "Bubble Boy", the Girls and the Professor capture Boomer and Bubbles steals his clothes in order to assume his identity and infiltrate the Rowdyruff Boys.
  • One episode of Rick & Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in All the World has Chuck (Alan Cumming) posing as Carrie Underwood so he can sing the national anthem at a baseball game. The real Carrie Underwood is shown tied up and ball-gagged in a locker room.
  • The RoboCop: Alpha Commando episode "H-2-Uh-Oh" features a villainess who can turn herself into water. While infiltrating a military base, her powers wear off, and she reverts to her (completely unclothed) human form. She spots a guard exiting the ladies' room and tackles her back inside. Punching sounds are heard, and the villainess walks out of the restroom in her newly appropriated clothes.
  • Samurai Jack:
    • Jack does it twice in the episode "Jack is Naked" after his clothes are stolen, first stealing a burglar's clothes, then a train engineer's.
    • He does it again in "Jack and the Rave" where he steals the clothes of one of the brainwashed dancers.
    • He also does it in "Jack and the Winged Children", killing one of Aku's demon soldiers and taking its clothes. (After rescuing the fairy princess, her reaction was a Shout-Out to Leia's reaction to Luke in A New Hope; in fact, that whole episode was loaded with Star Wars references.)
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Bart Gets an Elephant", a pair of DJs call the police station as part of a radio contest. Chief Wiggum and the other cops are all bound and gagged in their underwear, with Snake and some other criminals having stolen their uniforms.
    • Subverted in the episode "Viva Ned Flanders". Homer and Ned try to beat up and strip some guards to hide out from the angry Vegas mob that's been chasing them, but the guards beat Homer and Ned up and leave them in their normal clothes.
    • An even stranger instance in "The Computer Wore Menace Shoes", where Apu is mugged for a cardboard cutout of himself set up in a phony Kwik-E-Mart used to kidnap Homer.
  • Like the comics, this is used by the Chameleon in an episode of The Spectacular Spider-Man. The audience is initially led to believe the villain has been defeated, but then Spidey finds a cop bound and gagged in his underwear in the back of a police van. Turns out that one of the "officers" that had walked off in the background was actually Chameleon in disguise.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars:
    • Near the end of "Cargo of Doom", it appears that Bounty Hunter Cad Bane has been killed by clone trooper Denal shortly before the destruction of the Separatist frigate Bane was placed in command of. At the beginning of "Children of the Force", it's revealed that "Denal" is actually Bane in disguise, having killed the trooper and stolen his armour in order to escape.
    • "The Lawless": Arriving on Mandalore in response to Duchess Satine's call for help, Obi-Wan lures a Mandalorian Death Watch commando onboard the Twilight for the purpose of stealing his armour.
    • In "To Catch a Jedi," Barriss Offee knocks Asajj Ventress unconscious with a pipe and then steals her helmet and lightsabers in order to impersonate her before attacking Ahsoksa.
    • "Fugitive": Fives, on the run while trying to uncover the truth about his friend Tup's death, has droid AZI-3 lure another clone trooper into the storage room where he's hiding so he can knock him out and steal his armour.
  • Star Wars Rebels:
    • "The Siege of Lothal": Kanan acquires a stormtrooper's armor by walking up to him, telling him he "looks familiar", then knocking him out and dragging him into an alley. Hera, Ezra and Sabine, watching, are astonished.
    • "Stealth Strike": Kanan and Rex need stormtrooper disguises to infiltrate an Imperial ship to rescue captured rebels, so Zeb goes out and knocks out two troopers before dragging them back to the Ghost.
      Zeb: Here are your disguises.
    • "An Inside Man": After an infiltration of the Lothal Imperial factories goes awry, Kanan and Ezra, in need of new disguises, fortuitously run into a stormtrooper and scout trooper in the hallways. THWACK!
    • "Wolves and a Door": Ezra and Sabine mug two scout troopers to infiltrate an Imperial excavation site.
  • Star Wars Resistance: "Descent" presents what is probably the only instance of this trope involving two astromech droids: CB-23, sent to deliver a message to Captain Doza in the tower, lures away a First Order ball droid delivering a tray of food up there and takes it out before swiping the tray. Despite her much more colourful paint job, the disguise works flawlessly.
  • Superjail!:
    • In one episode, Jack Knife is caught after mugging an old lady for her dress so he could get free drinks from a bar.
    • In "Don't Be a Negaton", Jack Knife poses as a bride-to-be so he can swipe her wedding ring. The real bride is found tied up and gagged in her undies while he tries to escape.
  • In the Superman: The Animated Series three-part episode "World's Finest", a crossover with Batman: The Animated Series, Harley Quinn knocks out Mercy Graves and takes her place driving Lex Luthor's limo. She doesn't steal the whole outfit though, just the woman's hat.
  • Teen Titans:
  • T.U.F.F. Puppy: In the Bad Future episode, Dudley needs to get access into Snaptrap's lair. He does so by luring one of the robot guards off-screen, destroying it, and wearing its shell to get past security.
  • Young Justice:
    • Occurs in the episode "Downtime". After trouncing two of Black Manta's henchmen, Kaldur'ahm and Garth don their uniforms in order to get close enough to Manta to take him down. This almost works, but Manta notices the Atlantean weaponry on Kaldur'ahm's belt, and immediately opens fire on the two boys.
    • Cheshire seemingly does this TWICE in the episode "Targets", first to a gift shop employee and then to a female server at an Asian tea ceremony. Both take place offscreen... and Aqualad sees through the latter disguise immediately.
    • The heroes do this in the penultimate episode of the series, mugging and replacing a number of members of the League of Assassins. What they did with the men and women they stole the uniforms from isn't stated.

    Real Life 
  • A group of inmates called the "Texas 7" escaped from a Karnes County prison by doing this. They ambushed a group of guards and civilian maintenance workers, tied and gagged them, stole their clothing, and then left them locked away in an electrical room.
  • In Germany, an escaped murderer in the early 2000s killed a man who looked similar to him and was living by himself to get his ID and get through police controls.
  • Combined with Working the Same Case: In 2013, it was suspected that 211 gang member Evan Ebel's assassination of Tom Clements, the head of the Colorado Department of Corrections, may have had shades of this. The police theory is that on March 17, Ebel shot and killed a pizza delivery man named Nathan Leon, then stole some of Leon's items, like his uniform and a pizza carrier. He used the two items as props two days later, and posed as a pizza delivery guy to get into Clements' house, then shot him. The suspected connection came two days after the Clements killing when Ebel was killed in a police shootout in Texas. A gun found in the wreckage of his car, a black Cadillac matching the description given by eyewitnesses of the car driving away from Clements' house after the killing, was matched by ballistics to the bullets used against Clements, while a pizza delivery shirt and an insulated delivery carrier from Leon were also found.
  • International laws on the rules of engagement states that donning the uniform of an opposing military force in order to infiltrate enemy lines, or donning protected symbols such as the Red Cross/Crescent/Crystal to impersonate medical personnel and avoid enemy fire, constitutes a war crime.


Video Example(s):


Rutherford's Punk Disguise

Rutherford strips one of the punks so he can blend in, only to realize that the pants don't fit because the guy is smaller than him. He asks if they can go find some bigger punks.

How well does it match the trope?

4.83 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / MuggedForDisguise

Media sources: