Follow TV Tropes


Obvious Stunt Double

Go To
They got the window pane he jumped through wrong, too.
"Khan and Kirk battle heroically, while meanwhile in an identical room, two men dressed the same also have a fight. Problem with forty years of television enhancement: What you could get away with on a small grainy screen becomes rather obvious on a large digital one, especially when presented in loving 1080p."
SF Debris' review of Star Trek episode "Space Seed"

Alice is a famous actress working on her latest movie. The time has come to film the scene where she rides a motorcycle through flaming hoops over a shark tank. But, wait, Alice is far too delicate, precious and non-expendable to be put through that! A Stunt Double is needed. But Alice's usual stunt double is in the hospital, so what do they do? Hire Alice's friend Bob. Sure, he looks nothing like her, but it's not like anyone will notice.

This is a subtrope of Paper-Thin Disguise or Special Effects Failure (depending on whether the example is in-universe or not), often overlaps with Fight-Scene Failure, and is also related to Stock Footage Failure. The Other Darrin is something similar, where a character gets a new actor because the previous one left the show. Happens less often now than it used to (before everyone had Hi Def devices to watch everything on, when directors didn't have to worry that the double would be obvious at all), thanks to film and TV-makers now being able to digitally stick the real actor's face on the stunt performer.

Special Effect Failure examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Happened all the time in The Three Stooges shorts, given their low budgets. Any time one of the Stooges or whoever else needed to take a fall, dummies dressed as them would inadequately substitute; the camera usually then cut to a different shot with the actual Stooges.
  • In the Film of the Book adaptation of Dylan Dog, when Elizabeth finally reveals herself as the Monster Hunter, the shots from the back are very clearly a stunt double, as they are far more muscular than the character normally appears, and with the chaotic editing, it looks like the character suddenly gains/loses 20 lbs of muscle with every cut.
  • There's a Freeze-Frame Bonus in Men in Black where Agent K drives the agents' car up onto the roof of a tunnel, and Agent J, played by Will Smith, flips over because he isn't wearing a seatbelt. The stunt double's pant leg rides up far enough to reveal a white ankle.
  • This was actually a serious problem throughout Arnold Schwarzenegger's career, particularly early on. There simply weren't any trained stuntmen who even came close to the Austrian's size and build. Rapid cuts, padded clothing, hiring bodybuilders to stand in for him, all of these were done to avoid having Arnold just do the stunts himself, which he often wanted to do but the chances of him getting injured and shutting down production were so great that the studios would not insure him.
    • In The Terminator, it's pretty clearly not Arnold who punches the windshield of the car Kyle Reese and Sarah Connor use to escape from the T-800 after the TechNoir massacre.
    • In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, it's clear that the T-800 who jumps the motorcycle into the Los Angeles River drainage canal is not Arnold.
    • Total Recall (1990): Arnold also changes appearance very blatantly (the stuntman in question, unlike Arnold, being bald) when he jumps into a subway car to escape the bad guys.
  • Similarly in Striking Distance. Aside from looking nothing like Bruce Willis, the stunt driver is dressed differently.
  • Tower of Death, the last film starring Bruce Lee, have Bruce's scenes being clobbered together using stock footage and unused scenes from his previous works, none of them which are action scenes. While Bruce's character does have onscreen fights, it's fairly obvious that the double isn't Bruce, being too skinny, short, and fights in a different, far more acrobatic pattern than Bruce's usual Jeet-kun-do style. (The double for Bruce's fights is actually a young Yuen Biao, who isn't famous at that point of his career)
  • In the Bollywood movie Yaarana, Bishan buys gliders for himself and Kishan, and when they take off, it's very obvious that the stunt doubles riding the gliders aren't the two actors.
  • Friday the 13th:
    • When Brenda's dead body is thrown through the window at the end of Friday the 13th (1980), she was played by makeup artist Tom Savini wearing a very bad wig in the completely wrong hair color.
    • When Jason grabs Chris as she is falling from a window in Friday the 13th Part III, it becomes obvious from the camera shots outside the house that a stunt actress is being used.
  • Big Bad Prof. Glastenbury alternates between his actor and a stuntman in a bad wig during the final fight in Avenging Force.
  • In Blade Runner no amount of face paint can disguise that tall, slender, Daryl Hannah suddenly becomes a short, muscular, man when she starts doing gymnastics. Unlike the similar switchover with Joanna Cassidy during the chase between Decker and Zhora, this was not corrected for The Final Cut.
  • In The Great Muppet Caper:
    • As Ms. Piggy is racing to the gallery on a motorcycle there are several shots of a full body driver on the bike which is obviously a real person. Though they are careful to never show the face, the difference in size between a human and a Muppet is blatantly obvious (and this is the same film that had some of the most elaborate actual Muppets riding bicycle scenes).
    • During Ms. Piggy's fantasy Busby Berkeley Number, the dive is achieved through the use of a full-body suit and a massive mask to try and mimic the muppet's proportions, but it's still obviously performed by a human.
    • Also present in Piggy's rollerskating scene in The Muppets Take Manhattan. The skating double is filmed from a great distance but, like the previous example, is clearly human.
  • Batman: The Movie: In the various fight scenes the Riddler looks nothing like Frank Gorshin, who played him the rest of the time.
  • James Bond:
    • Diamonds Are Forever. In the scene where Willard Whyte's two female captors dive into the pool after James Bond, Thumper is clearly not the same woman as the actress who was playing her earlier.
    • Moonraker opens with a spectacular aerial fight between James Bond and Jaws. Ron Luginbill, the skydiver portraying Jaws in the sequence, looks nothing like Richard Kiel, the actor who plays Jaws in the rest of the movie. Since it's one of the greatest stunts ever committed to film, though, you can forgive them, it's probably hard to find a stuntman skydiver who also looks like the 7'2" Richard Kiel.
    • A View to a Kill: During the Paris car chase, it is very obvious that a stunt double is being used for Roger Moore.
    • GoldenEye: The actor who jumps from the dam in the opening sequence is just blatantly NOT Pierce Brosnan.
    • Die Another Day: It's a Freeze-Frame Bonus, but at one point during the Graves/Bond swordfight, we get a glimpse of the doubles for both actors.
  • Near the start of The Avengers, the Black Widow is being awesome. Only, Scarlett Johansson isn't. It's her stunt double, Heidi Moneymaker, in a ginger wig. Usually, you'd be too enthralled by the fact they're flipping around strapped to a chair, but the change in hair color and the actress' weight in additional muscle makes it a bit obvious.
  • While the shot's convincing in the movie proper, the outtakes in the credits of Jesus Christ: Vampire Hunter show the double for Mary Magnum's motorbike stunts without his helmet on (but wearing the, presumably padded, catsuit). That said, while the stunt double's gender is pretty well hidden in the film, the fact that the double's catsuit is a completely different shade of red makes it obvious when he's in the shot.
  • Ditto for one of Angelina Jolie's stunt doubles for the second Tomb Raider movie. One of the stunts in the film was so difficult, there apparently wasn't a woman alive who could do it, so they had to dress up a male stuntman as Jolie's Lara Croft to do the stunt.
  • This review of the not-that-good film Robo Vampire points out the white, blonde heroine is replaced in one scene by a stunt double who is... a dark-skinned, gray-haired short man with a moustache. The reviewer has a field day imagining what hiring this stunt actor must have looked like.
  • A meta-example of sorts in Titanic (1997). While Jack is drawing Rose in-story, James Cameron did the sketch in question, with his hands being filmed making it. Not very obvious. What is obvious is that another artist was then hired to redo the sketch, as the one that is drawn by Cameron doesn't look much like the sketch seen at the film's beginning. So a stunt double for a stunt double, in a sense.
  • When Jessy is crucified again at the end of Greaser's Palace, it's clearly obvious that it's a dummy we see nailed to the cross - his suit and tie are positioned to look as if they are wind-blown, yet, they don't move in the breeze.
  • While Joseph Gordon-Levitt did a good deal of his own bike riding in Premium Rush, there are several stunt sequences where the camera holds on a stunt double who looks markedly different from Gordon-Levitt, most notably in the scene where Wilee jumps his bicycle over the tops of crates in a warehouse.
  • Santo vs. la hija de Frankestein: The scene where Frieda tears Santo's mask off is shot from behind Santo... more accurately, from behind someone who's at least six inches taller than Santo. While the use of a stunt double is justified in that masks in lucha libre are Serious Business, the very blatant difference between the double and Santo isn't.
  • All over the place in Face/Off, mostly because of John Woo's love of slow motion action shots. The most blatant one happens as Archer and Troy fall off the boat in the climax, and the slow motion shot shows two people flying through the air who are very much not John Travolta and Nicolas Cage.
  • In Carry On Girls, the diminutive (4'10'') Barbara Windsor was filmed making her escape by riding a moped across the camera's view. This would have been more effective if it wasn't so obviously a burly stuntman in a headscarf and mini-skirt. In a series of films renowned for their cheapness and consequent tendency to print and use the first take, this was a low point.
  • Happens in the Baby Geniuses movies, as they naturally couldn't have the babies doing any actual stunts. This led to many scenes where the babies cut into midget actors who were obviously taller than the babies they were doubling for.
  • In the first 3 Ninjas movie, a stuntman is clearly used during grandpa's fight with the villain. At one point, the stuntman's face is even shown very clearly. The Nostalgia Critic had fun with this in his review of the film, and turned it into a segment called "Spot the Real Grandpa."
  • 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain has a scene where where the terrorists infiltrate an amusement park on jet skis, and despite the fact that the terrorists include a woman, a black man, and a really fat guy, all the stuntmen riding the vehicles are athletic white men.
  • Elf: Upon closer inspection one can see that Peter Dinklage's stunt double in the conference room scene is not a little person.
  • In Cooties, the premise is an elementary school is afflicted by a virus that turns anyone who hasn't entered puberty into a zombie. Of course you can't count on kid actors to do all the things you need zombie children to do, such as when the teachers escape the school, Clint trips a zombie that - judging by the hips and their size - had been through puberty. You can see it in the trailer, here, at 1:50.
  • Fatal Attraction. The man grappling with Glenn Close is NOT Michael Douglas.
  • During the Robot Jox scene where Athena fights Achilles, her male stunt double is clearly visible in a few shots.
  • In E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, during the bike chase as this image shows, 10-year old Elliot's stunt double is a fully grown man. Having the teenagers' stunt doubles be taller-than-average men did not make this much less obvious.
  • There's a scene in Simon Sez where an obese monk has to hang onto a railing after falling off a bridge, and he suddenly looks significantly thinner.
  • During the final fight in Raging Phoenix, the actress playing the evil gang leader London is swapped out in several wide shots by a male stuntman wearing a not-very-convincing wig.
  • Back to the Future: The scenes in which Marty is rammed by Biff's car while he's riding the makeshift skateboard feature a stuntman who is obviously much taller than Michael J. Fox and also has darker hair. It's been speculated that this double might not be a stuntman at all but rather Eric Stoltz from the original shoot. Also, when George spies on Lorraine while she's getting dressed, the girl we see is clearly not Lea Thompson.
  • In The Addams Family, one part of the Mamushka dance involves juggling knives. In the wide shot of them juggling both Raúl Juliá and Christopher Lloyd are replaced by real jugglers, and Raul Julia's double is easier to spot, though both are considerably thinner than the actors they replace.
  • During the final battle between Connor and Duncan in Highlander: Endgame, Connor's katana skills noticeably improve in the wide shots. That's because Christopher Lambert has notoriously poor eyesight in real life, requiring a trained swordsman to stand in for him during much of the duel. It's rather obvious to spot, as the action shots with the stuntman are way more fluid and naturalistic than the close-ups of Lambert.
  • In The Princess Bride, Buttercup pushes Roberts (played by the blonde Cary Elwes) down a steep hill, then, after realizing he's really her long lost love Westley, dives after him. We then get a scene of the two tumbling down the hill. At one point, Westley's bandanna comes off and we see his redheaded, bearded stunt double tumble down. Near the end when everyone rides off on horseback, Fezzik is suddenly a good foot and a half shorter than he usually is.
  • Star Wars:
    • In A New Hope, the Imperial officer in charge of the detention center miraculously transmogrifies from a brown-haired middle-aged man into a much older man with a stronger jawline, shorter gray hair, and a completely different nose when he gets shot. We even get two very obvious closeups of the officer first pulling his gun and then getting hit so we can see how much his face has changed between cuts. The substitution was likely due to the fact the death scene required a pyrotechnic in the abdomen to go off, simulating the officer being shot, and actor Malcolm Tierney probably either refused or was not allowed to perform the stunt himself.
    • Another example happens in Return of the Jedi. Sound designer Ben Burtt appears as an Imperial officer, who gets killed when Han Solo knocks him over a railing. In the closeups, it's obviously Burtt, but for the shot of the officer actually being struck and backflipping over the rail, an older stuntman with a completely different body build is substituted (the same stuntman appears as another officer in the background of other scenes).
  • In the opening of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, we watch a fit man climbing and scrambling around El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, but never get a look at his face. As the credits end and he turns to the camera, he's gained forty pounds and turned into William Shatner.
  • At the beginning of Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery when Austin punches out a waitress who turns out to be a male assassin in disguise, in the shots before this is revealed she's played by an actual woman, as she falls to the floor she has been replaced by the male actor in a wig.
  • During the climactic match in Fighting with My Family in which Saraya superplexes her opponent, she suddenly grew a few inches in height and got a notably toned body. Florence Pugh plays Saraya in the film but her wrestling scenes are mostly done by pro wrestler Tessa Blanchard. It was done well up until (ironically) that pivotal scene.
  • In Diary of a Mad Black Woman, when Helen dumps her philandering ex-husband Charles into a bathtub, you can tell it's a stunt double due to both his suddenly more built physique and his basic t-shirt changing into a muscle shirt.
  • During the climatic scene in Annie where the title character climbs a partially raised bridge to escape from Rooster and Hannigan, an adult stunt double was hired for distant shots of the scene, possibly a short man in drag.
  • The Lord of the Rings films used a lot of methods to hide the fact that the hobbits were not, in fact, three feet tall, from forced perspective tricks to children in wigs or prosthetic masks to very occasional use of CGI. (In general, if you can't see their faces, it's probably a double.) For the most part, it's downright seamless. However, the extended cut of Return of the King features one obvious shot: during the negotiations with the Mouth of Sauron, a shot of Pippin sitting in front of Gandalf is very clearly not Billy Boyd.
  • Name pretty much any Steven Seagal Direct to Video movie (such as Kill Switch) and you can guarantee that any shot that doesn't explicitly show his face will be a stunt double who's several pounds lighter and often has a different hair color. Not just fight scenes either; even scenes of him simply standing or walking around are liable to be stunt doubles due to Seagal not staying in shape. The previously mentioned Kill Switch not only has a stunt double used in a scene where Seagal's character is sitting down and not doing anything, but also a fight scene where Seagal's only appearance is an extreme close up of him shifting to the left, which is played twenty times in that one scene (sometimes inverted), including when one of his opponents is supposed to have him in a headlock.
  • KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park: There are quite a few scenes where the KISS members have very obviously been replaced with stunt doubles. Ace's double stands out in particular, mostly because he's black while Ace is white.
  • This happens in Jurassic Park: When Alan, Ellie, Lex and Tim are crawling through the air vents, Lex falls through a ceiling tile. Lex manages to break her fall and suddenly has more muscular arms than before. Added bonus: they had to CGI Ariana Richards' face onto her stunt double's face, as she wasn't supposed to look up.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Salem from Sabrina the Teenage Witch. It's fairly easy to tell the difference between when he's being portrayed by a real cat and when he's being portrayed by a puppet.
  • The short-lived Master Ninja has Lee Van Cleef as a veteran soldier turned ninja. Whenever his character is fully masked, it becomes obvious he's suddenly about twenty pounds lighter and much more athletic.
  • Knight Rider had lots of scenes where David Hasselhoff's stunt double was used, mostly driving scenes but also some brawls. The stunt double's head often had a comically big silhouette due to an afro-like hairstyle.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Buffy's stunt double was quite a bit larger than Sarah Michelle Gellar. During the DVD Commentary for "Hush", Joss Whedon says of the switch that Buffy "straps on her fightin' boobs". Perhaps the most egregious, however, was in "Earshot" when a heavyset cafeteria lady was replaced by a stunt double half her size.
    • Much like Star Trek, Buffy made heavy use of stunt doubles with little effort to hide faces. Particularly glaring in HD. After watching a number of episodes the viewer starts to recognize the stunt doubles faces.
    • In "Becoming Part 2", during the climactic fight between Buffy and Angelus, the show attempted to hide the faces of the stunt doubles by shooting from directly overhead. Unfortunately, the stunt double playing Angelus had a very pronounced widow's peak which David Boreanaz lacked. There was one moment that cut immediately from an overhead shot of the stunt double to a close up of Angelus's face that made the difference impossible to ignore.
  • The Angel episode "City of..." continued the tradition when, in the big fight scene between Angel and Russell Winters, the two stunt doubles' faces are clearly visible and Angel's stunt double is obviously considerably slighter than David Boreanaz.
  • Wonder Woman (1975): Moments where Lynda Carter was replaced by Jeannie Epper for stunts are made obvious as Epper didn't quite have the same curves, plus there's the occasional moment where Carter is doubled for by a male stunt double.
  • None of the main cast of Make It or Break It were actual gymnasts, which made the dissonance between each actress and her Talent Double doing the actual gymnastics very obvious - and unlike most of the other examples on this page, they didn't even have the option of hiding it with face-covering or baggy clothing, since the stunt doubles were used primarily if not entirely for scenes where the girls were walking around in tight-fitting leotards. All of the actresses were slim, conventionally petite young women, while the women doubling for them were all extremely athletic former Olympian, elite, or NCAA champion gymnasts with thighs and shoulders like basketballs, and as a consequence it's frequently very easy to tell which shots were of the actresses and which ones were the actual gymnasts.
  • Super Sentai/Power Rangers
    • The stunt person wearing the spandex is not always the same gender as the character that they are playing, leading to some female characters with bulges in the crotch area and a couple male characters growing boobs. Certain seasons can hide the former with the addition of a skirt, but not all characters have that luxury.
    • Jason David Frank, who is known for having No Stunt Double, magically changes into an Asian man during the car explosion scene from Power Rangers Turbo's "Passing the Torch."
    • Due to Turbo reusing the action scenes from Gekisou Sentai Carranger, where the Blue Ranger is an adult. The child Justin becomes adult-sized when the Rangers are fighting.
    • Tori from Power Rangers Ninja Storm is played by a 17-year-old girl with a boy-ish figure, but her surfing double is a considerably older woman with curves. No amount of padding could hide the fact that the two are not the same person.
    • Ethan's stunt double from Power Rangers: Dino Thunder is an Asian man in blackface. Because of this the double took little to no effort in hiding his face while filming.
    • When not in spandex, the doubles for Power Rangers S.P.D. seemed to take pride in doing completely over-the-top moves that no normal person could ever do. This was especially noticeable with Syd's double, who was a small Asian man in a bad wig.
  • When some of the characters from M*A*S*H are riding in a chopper, and it's clear it's not the actual actors.
  • The first episode of Chuck has Chuck being burglarized by a mysterious masked ninja, later revealed to be Sarah. The masked figure, however, was very obviously a man.
  • A very obvious stunt double was used for most of Jaime Pressly's fight scenes in Mortal Kombat: Conquest. Its made more obvious by the fact that the wig they had the stunt double wear wasn't even the right color.
  • The Wild Wild West usually averted this with star Robert Conrad, who quite clearly did most of his own stunts. Not so much with his opponents (see "The Night of Sudden Death" and "The Night The Dragon Screamed" for particularly glaring examples) or with his co-star Ross Martin (the swordfight in "The Night of the Big Blast" goes back-and-forth between Martin and his double).
  • In the Smallville episode "Exodus", when Clark Kent jumps off a roof to a motorcycle, the stuntman has a beard.
  • Person of Interest has Bear the dog, who is ordinarily portrayed by Graubaer's Boker, an intact male with a patch of white on his chest. He is occasionally doubled by a female dog who lacks the white patch on her chest and was visibly lactating for part of season four.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "The Chase", William Hartnell's usual stunt double Edmund Warwick plays a Dalek Evil Knockoff of the Doctor, with his face clearly visible on screen for literally minutes, and, inexplicably, in scenes where only one actor had to be around. He does look a lot like Hartnell, but not so much that they're not readily distinguishable.
    • "The Dominators" uses Patrick Troughton's double for the location filming. His face is clearly visible at one point in the final episode.
    • In "The Sea Devils" when Jo climbs the ladder to get onto the fort, she's suddenly played by Stuart Fell in a wig and miniskirt.
    • Pay attention to when the Doctor drags the guard out of the way in "The Green Death" - he's replaced by an obvious dummy.
    • There's a fight scene in the Third Doctor story "The Monster of Peladon" where you get a good, clear look at the face of the Doctor's longtime stunt double, Terry Walsh.
    • "The Android Invasion" had a duplicate Fourth Doctor (Walsh again) with a wig.
    • "The Deadly Assassin" has a sequence where the Doctor falls off a cliff and is suddenly replaced by a dummy. Shots wherein Tom Baker is replaced by his usual stunt double Terry Walsh is made obvious by the synthetic wig worn by Walsh that stays springy when wet compared to Baker's plastered-down real hair in the closeups, and is several shades redder than it.
  • In the Cannon episode "Stone, Cold Dead," Frank Cannon dons a wetsuit to go scuba diving for a key clue in that week's case. Given the series never tried to skirt the issue of Cannon's avoirdupois, whoever's doing the swimming for William Conrad is a lot slimmer than our hero.
  • Arrow:
    • During the scene in the Season 2 premiere in which Roy attempted to fight off the Hood copycats from abducting Thea, Roy suddenly has a muscular build and rounder face than Colton Haynes.
    • In the episode "The Climb", during the fight between Ra's Al Ghul and Oliver, this trope is averted for Ollie, as it's Stephen Amell himself the whole time. However, for Ra's... not so much. The stunt double has a thicker beard than Matt Nable, is more ripped, and his hair is really different.
  • In the Hawaii Five-O episode "The Skyline Killer," McGarrett chases the title villain up and down a construction site. The episode credits do, however, give special billing the two stuntmen doing the acrobatics. "Woe to Wo Fat" has a less excusable use of this: the climactic fight between McGarrett and Wo Fat might have been more effective if Keigh Dheigh's double wasn't cleanshaven...
  • The Mandalorian gave Pedro Pascal two main body doubles, Brendan Wayne (for gunplay scenes) and Lateef Crowder (for physical stunts), as well as some with undefined duties. While Crowder is a fairly close match for Pascal's body shape, Brendan Wayne is noticeably slimmer (particularly in the shoulders and chest). Eagle-eyed viewers can tell which man is currently donning Mando's armor based on how it sits on his frame, and how well Mando's body language compliments theatrically-trained Pascal's line deliveries. Wayne mentioned in an interview that his kids can tell if it's him in the suit with 100% accuracy.
  • In Daredevil (2015)
    • Scott Glenn is clearly doubled by a much-younger double in a wig for Stick's fight sequences, with Glenn shooting a few inserts to show his face.
    • During Matt Murdock's fight sequences, the use of doubles is usually obscured through the use of dim lighting and the fact that the Daredevil mask (whether the black fabric of Seasons 1 and 3, or the helmet of season 2 and The Defenders does a good job of hiding the features of Charlie Cox and Chris Brewster. However, it's abundantly clear that Cox didn't do much of the climactic fight in the Season 2 finale, as Brewster's face is clearly visible. This was bad enough that Season 3's epic oner was deliberately staged to clearly show Cox performing most of it himself (the only two times it's Brewster and not Cox are two points where Matt is thrown through the air).
  • Used for comic effect in The Golden Girls episode "One for the Money" when the girls compete in a dance marathon. It's fairly obvious a much younger stunt double stands in for Rose when she does cartwheels and the splits.
  • Robin Hood: In "Something Worth Fighting For: Part 1", in the fight scene right at the beginning of the episode, there's a shot of Robin sliding down a roof where the camera is not quite far away enough to hide the fact it's a stunt double and not Jonas Armstrong.
  • My Name Is Earl: The fight between Randy and Wally in "Bullies" is very obviously done with stunt doubles. There are even a few instances of the doubles' faces being shown on full display and they don't even have a passing resemblance to the actors they are doubling for.
  • The title character in Zoboomafoo was portrayed during non-speaking scenes by a real sifaka lemur named Jovian. For speaking parts, however, a puppet was used, and the difference is clear to anyone who pays attention.

    Music Videos 

In-universe and parody examples:

  • One Cheetos commercial features a a live action stunt double in a Chester Cheetah costume serving as one to the animated real deal. And then the stunt double is revealed to be the equally animated Daffy Duck.
  • A UK advert for 118 118 plays this for laughs. The mascots, two tall men with the same dark droopy hair and moustaches, are rehearsing for a film. Their stunt doubles look nothing like them, one having long white hair and tattoos and the other being nearly bald.

    Anime and Manga 
  • From Good Luck Girl!, this is actually what Nadeshiko's "body doubles technique" is. A bunch of other people dressed in her outfit and a wig.
  • In the Mitsudomoe anime, one episode is almost entirely A Show Within a Show Super Sentai parody, complete with its own stunt driver (though surprisingly only during scenes with no actual stunts).
  • In Pokémon the Series: XY, when shooting a Pikachu film, Ash's Hawlucha is the stunt double to the hero Super Pikachu (played by none other than Ash's own Pikachu). There was actually a full-body suit for Hawlucha to wear, so he can actually pass for a Pikachu...if it weren't for the fact that Hawlucha is larger and more musclebound than Ash's Pikachu. In one of the In-Universe Hilarious Outtakes, Hawlucha seemingly forgets that he's just a double, and an embarrassed Pikachu (from his hiding place) is signalling Hawlucha to switch places with him.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • An In-Universe / Breaking the Fourth Wall example in Spaceballs when the Spaceballs capture the heroes' stunt doubles. Princess Vespa's is a man, complete with a mustache and cigar. Averted with Dot, however, as her being a robot makes her double indistinguishable from her real self.
    "You idiots! These are not them! YOU'VE CAPTURED THEIR STUNT DOUBLES!"
  • Played for laughs in I'm Gonna Git You Sucka. When Jack Spade's mother fights Mr. Big's toughs in the diner, she's replaced by a blatantly obvious stunt double - a guy in a wig, with a mustache. You can watch the scene here.
  • In Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Scott has to battle Lucas Lee's stunt doubles, some of which are roughly one head shorter than Lucas Lee himself, a few of which appear to be of different ethnicities, and all of whom are played by Chris Evans' actual stunt doubles.
  • Seltzer and Friedberg:
    • Made obvious in Date Movie when Alyson Hannigan's character takes a motorbike to race for her love and is replaced by a muscular black dude in a red wig between shots.
    • Made deliberately obvious again in Epic Movie during the fight between Silas and Aslo to the point where Aslo's stunt double is a thin bare-chested Asian guy in an obvious wig. For reference, Aslo is played by Fred Willard.
  • In-universe in Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The main character in the school movie It's Awesome to be Me is replaced with an obvious stunt double when he break-dances.
  • In Black Dynamite, one of Dynamite's opponents is hurt worse than the studio intended; in the next shot, a clearly different actor has taken his place.
  • King of Jazz: Paul Whiteman, a corpulent bandleader, is asked to dance. After the camera pulls back to a long shot, someone who appears to be Whiteman does an acrobatic dance. Then the movie cuts to another close-up shot in which Whiteman congratulates his stunt double.
  • The Prestige: Rivalling magicians Angier and Borden both perform The Transported Man, an illusion where they seem to move instantly from one end of the stage to the other. Angier plays the trope straight by hiring a body double (who makes a mediocre job, though portrayed by the same Hugh Jackman as Angier). Borden just uses his identical twin brother. Angier's later version of the trick also subverts the trope through a Deus ex Machina.
  • Done as a gag in Chillerama. In "The Diary of Anne Frankenstein," when Meshugannah hurls Nazi soldier Franz into a table, he changes from the white Matthew Temple to an uncredited black stuntman in a Nazi uniform.
  • The male lead of Looney Tunes: Back in Action is Brendan Fraser's stunt double...played by Brendan Fraser in Adam Westing mode, and he claims in-universe that the films made heavy use of this. He notes of The Mummy (1999) that "I'm in it more than he is." (Notably, this wasn't true in real life; Fraser was notorious for doing a lot of his own stunts, and injured himself frequently.)
  • Given the film's nature... Wet Hot American Summer: Whenever Neil climbs on the motorcycle it not so seamlessly cuts to another man who looks nothing like him wearing the same costume, in a cheap wig riding away. At one point the double even slowly and awkwardly rides the motorcycle directly toward the camera. After panning away to others, it whips back to show the actor now straddling the bike.
  • The 2012 Three Stooges movie did this as an homage to the original shorts, by having the Stooges suddenly become floppy-limbed stunt dummies anytime they needed to take a big fall. Thanks to modern movie editing, they didn't even have to do the camera cutaway; instead the dummies fall and it seamlessly transitions to the actors picking themselves up!

    Live-Action TV 
  • The opening credits for Everybody Loves Raymond required Ray Romano to perform desperate athletic feats, such as propelling himself across the living-room on a tea-trolley and somersaulting towards the door to lock it in order to prevent his parents getting in. It only becomes apparent a stunt double was used if you look really closely (allegedly, the stunt double for the door stunt landed awkwardly, face-first into the door, and broke his nose).
  • Saturday Night Live: Kristen Wiig and Mike & Molly's Melissa McCarthy do a jazzy dance behind a sheet, so we only see their outlines. McCarthy's is about 150 pounds thinner than she is.
  • From an episode of VH1's I Love Toys, the commentators were talking about pogo sticks; at one point, comedian Patrice O'Neal wants to try one out, but knowing how large he is, he wouldn't have been able to pull it off, and needed a stunt double. Cue a super skinny guy (wearing Patrice's outfit, which just hangs off his body) bouncing on the pogo stick.
  • World's Dumbest...: In an episode of "World's Dumbest Partiers", John Enos and Loni Love watch "their" wedding video (a couple's wedding video with their faces plastered over the bride and groom) involving an accident with the bride and groom crashing into each other on a zipline. Loni comments, "Good thing I used that white woman as my stunt double!
  • [adult swim]'s NTSF:SD:SUV:: makes it very obvious, although it's really the editing that gives it away, not bad continuity. Such as cutting to a sudden, awkward, far angle shot just for Trent to perform an entire spin kick (with his hair covering his face, no less).
  • In the Christmas Special for Pee-wee's Playhouse, Pee-Wee shows off a huge display of tricks while ice skating, impressing Little Richard. Moments after he finishes, Pee-Wee's stunt double Hans walks into the scene asking the real deal how he did, revealing that he was the one who did all the skating, much to Little Richard's disappointment.
  • Played for laughs in the pilot for Angie Tribeca, with Hayes MacArthur (Geils) being doubled by a much smaller man in a bad wig during Le Parkour sequences, and even featuring the actor and his stuntman appearing together in the same frame. Rashida Jones (Angie) is also briefly doubled by a man with incredibly burly and hairy forearms.
  • On Brooklyn Nine-Nine, the gang are subjected to one of Gina's usually over-the-top presentations as someone dressed as her does an impressive series of backflips before heading behind a screen. There, the gang can quite clearly see and hear the real Gina gushing to her double on how great that was, then step out under the belief the gang think that was really her. By now used to this behavior, the team don't even bother calling Gina out on the obvious double (as she would no doubt continue to insist it was her).
  • Played for laughs in the Lethal Weapon episodes of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Ragdoll dummies see a lot of use, but the regular variety of stunt double often pops up. The most obvious is when a shot requires Murtaugh (played by Dennis, who is white and chose not to opt for Blackface) to make a somewhat difficult basketball shot. For the shot of Murtaugh watching the ball go in after he throws it, Dennis is abruptly replaced by a stunt double... who is black.
  • In "Power of Wings" from Key & Peele, Wendell is too fat to ride the horse he rented, let alone lift his leg high enough to mount it. Cut to a much slimmer double (with much-shorter hair and clean-shaven face) riding the horse.
  • In Guest from the Future, it's very easy even for a first-time viewer to spot the doubles of Mikhail Kononov and Vyacheslav Nevinny, since the former's double has sideburns while the actor doesn't and the latter's double is much slimmer than the actor. The doubles pretty obviously take it over when:
    • In the second episode, when Jolly U is dangling over the river.
    • In the second episode again, when Werther spins the pirates above his head at the Institute.
    • In the fourth episode, when Jolly U jumps out of the window, leading one of the fans to snark that "during the jump, Jolly U lost some of his hair and figure".

    Music Videos 
  • The Front Bottoms' Concept Video for "Backflip" shows the band killing their friends in convoluted and hilarious fashions. Before the friend dies, the camera cuts from a shot of the actor to a shot of a poorly made paper mache dummy that only vaguely resembles the friend, which then suffers the horrible death. This cuts down on any horror that might have otherwise ensued and heightens the comedy.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • The Miz eventually got a gimmick change to an obnoxious actor, with Damien Sandow as his stunt double. Sandow doesn't look anything like him, is much taller, and has a full beard.

    Video Games 
  • In the second Broken Sword game, George wanders onto the set of a movie where the actors' stunt double is significantly fatter than the star he's doubling for. When said double is injured George serves as one as well.
  • In The Movies: Stunts and Effects your films are penalized by critics if you use a stunt double who is of a different race or gender than the actor they are representing.
  • In Mass Effect 3 DLC Citadel, Commander Shepard and Javik can end up in a shooting of Blasto 7. The cast includes a man as Shepard's double, even if Shepard is female.
  • In Mortal Kombat 11, Johnny Cage now has a variation that revolves around calling in his stunt double for assists and attacks. Said double not only has visibly lighter hair than Johnny, but the tattoo of his name is even scribbled across his chest with a marker.

  • The central joke of The B-Movie Comic is that it's recreating B Movies in all their cheesy, low-budget glory. Part of this is the variety of behind-the-scenes bonus comics, explaining how they accomplished the numerous stunts and special effects. Turns out that Snuka's underpaid Chew Toy actor Lee does his own stunts, and everyone else's stunts, regardless of how little he looks like them.

    Web Animation 

    Web Original 
  • Occurs in this parody of 1970s action-show tropes:
    The top of the truck. MATT hangs on for dear life, only he looks much larger and has black hair in the long shots.
  • In episode 2 of Generation Loss, Vinny being killed by a falling anvil is represented by an abrupt jump cut to a rubber dummy that barely resembles him.

    Web Video 
  • Mocked by Film Brain's body double counter in his Steven Seagal reviews.
  • SF Debris highlights this in his reviews when it pops up, but also explains why it does with older shows. Basically on old, small, fuzzy TV sets of yesteryear the technology meant that even the most superficial resemblance could be gotten away, but as technology advanced and we got better and bigger televisions it became more noticeable when a non-lookalike stunt "double" was used. Also, back then most people didn't have means to record television, so any mistake would be quickly forgotten about.

    Western Animation 
  • In the episode of Garfield and Friends, Lights! Camera! Garfield! Garfield is given the role of "stunt cat" in a movie. However, he's an orange tabby, whereas the cat he's playing "stunt cat" for is a white long-haired cat.
  • In-universe in an episode of Family Guy, Neil shows his class an episode of Star Trek: The Original Series and points out in a fight scene when it's William Shatner and when it's his stunt double.
    • In Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story, there's a scene of Stewie leaping out of a hotel window. It cuts to what appears to be Dennis Franz in red overalls making the dive. It even is used as the image for this page.
    • In Leggo My Meg-O, an Affectionate Parody of Taken, Stewie and Brian use "Car Chase GPS", it ends with "A poorly edited shot where the driver is obviously a stunt person".
  • Subverted in Kick Buttowski when Kick takes Scarlett's place as Teena's stunt double. It's fixed in editing so Kick looks exactly like Teena. Later, when Kick winds up in hospital, he's replaced with Emo Kid.
  • Spongebob Squarepants
    • It's obvious Sandy's doubling for Mermaid Man in the unofficial movie they make.
    • During the live-action Patchy the Pirate segments in the "Truth or Square" special, it's very obviously not Tom Kenny's hand running through the rolodex; not only is it more effeminate-looking, it doesn't have the white ruffle from Patchy's sleeve.
  • Used in the Looney Tunes short "A Star Is Bored", where Daffy is Bugs' stunt double for any dangerous scene. He's dressed in a rabbit outfit but you can still see his duck face.
  • The Simpsons:
    • When they shoot the Radioactive Man film in Springfield, Milhouse plays Fallout Boy and a late middle age European little person is his stunt double.
    • During an ice dancing routine, Krusty and Sideshow Mel clumsily skate behind a wall and two completely different actors barely resembling them come out from the other side.
    • A variant in "Coming to Homerica"; when Krusty Burger adds the Mother Nature Burger to their menu, Krusty uses footage of a customer taking a bite out of the sandwich just as he looks like he's about to in the commercial advertising it.
  • Stunt Dawgs: In "Freedom of Screech", Badyear becomes the stunt double for one of Fungus' girlfriends in spite of being too muscular to look like her. Badyear tells the viewers Fungus paid him extra to do it. Not enough but still extra.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures:
    • In the episode "The Return of Batduck", Plucky becomes the stunt double for Michael Keaton when Batman Returns is filmed. He's even referred to as the "Stunt Duck" by the Director.
    • In the episode "Kon Ducki", during the "Making of" segment, Plucky's original plan was to have Hamton as his stunt double during the scene where the mast falls on top of him. However, Hamton's inability to remember his lines led to Plucky having to do his own stunts.
  • In The Fairly Oddparents episode, "Lights, Camera, Adam!", Timmy becomes the stunt Cleft for The Crimson Chin Movie. The Main difference between him and the main Actor playing Cleft is that the main actor playing Cleft is a much taller teenager and Timmy is a short 10-year-old.
  • The Legend of Tarzan has an episode in which a director is filming a movie about a wild man raised by monkeys in the very jungle the protagonists live in. Since the actor playing the wild man is lousy at filming the action scenes, Tarzan ends up roped into being his stunt double. Not only do Tarzan and the actor look nothing alike, but their outfits are different.
  • In the pilot for Sheep in the Big City, Sheep finds himself cornered on a rooftop by Far Mer John and General Specific, though while Far Mer John and General Specific argue over the General's penmanship (or lack thereof) on the cue cards, Sheep uses this opportunity to escape: he unravels his wool, creating a rope for him to swing over to the roof of the building across the street. Cut to a shot of a man wearing a Sheep costume swinging from a rope to the other building, only crash against the facade, and tumbled down to the street below (all in slow motion, and with added film grain), before cutting back to Sheep, who is now lying on the cracked sidewalk in a daze.
  • In the Sonic Boom episode "Eggman the Auteur", when Amy, as Sonic's manager, refuses to let Sonic do his own stunts for Dr. Eggman's movie, Knuckles, who is painted blue, fills in for him. Knuckles is clearly larger than Sonic, wears cardboard spines, and didn't even fully paint his whole body blue.
  • Total Drama: To introduce the fugu preparation challenge in "Who Can You Trust?", one of the interns, who neither looks nor is dressed like Chris, somersaults into view and lands behind a stand. The moment he is out of view, Chris rises from behind the stand as if he's the hotshot that made the somersault. Meanwhile, all four contestants take notice of the intern crawling away in the back.
  • In The Venture Brothers Col. Gentleman keeps a log of Sabrina the Teenage Witch that details when Salem is being portrayed by a real cat and when he's being played by a puppet.
  • Wacky Races (2017):
    • Huckleberry Hound serves as Peter's in "Hong Kong Screwy".
    • In "Peter 2.0", he makes a reappearance as a stunt double. For himself.
    • The final product of "Wacky Races: The Movie" inverts this, where the racers are replaced by more appealing characters and the only time we see the racers is when they’re beat up.
  • The Patrick Star Show: Parodied in "Stuntin'". While Squidina does at least chop off GrandPat's beard to make him look more like Patrick, he's not only a different color, but visibly older and has a completely different voice. All the audience members insist that they absolutely know what Patrick looks like and they can tell that GrandPat is totally him. Even Squidina and Patrick's parents can't tell the difference.


Video Example(s):


Markiplier's Stunt Double

When Markiplier does stealthy flips at the museum, it's clearly a stunt double performing.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / ObviousStuntDouble

Media sources: