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Stripping the Scarecrow

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When characters in the great outdoors find themselves in need of different clothing, one solution is to take the clothes from a conveniently placed scarecrow.

Naked People Trapped Outside, fugitives on the the run in Institutional Apparel, and victims of Gone Swimming, Clothes Stolen are all likely candidates to use this strategy.

In an urban environment, a mannequin can substitute for a scarecrow.

Sister trope of Clothesline Stealing. Contrast Outfit Decoy.


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Examples

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     Film 
  • In The Scarecrow, Buster Keaton steals clothes off a scarecrow after his own clothes are torn off by a hay-baling machine.
  • In Maleficent, after Diaval is transformed from a raven into a human, his first suit of clothes are taken from a scarecrow in the field.
  • In the third installment of the Iron Man trilogy, Tony Stark finds himself stranded in a hick town in Arkansas in the middle of winter. He steals a poncho from a wooden Indian to keep warm.
  • In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Steve had to find a suit of armor, as well as a way to jig up Bucky's memories. Thus, he made a stop in his own museum to strip a mannequin of his own WWII-era suit.
  • In Captain Marvel (2019), realizing how much her uniform stands out on Earth, Carol Danvers steals some local clothing from a store mannequin.

     Literature 
  • In the children's book The Scarecrow's New Clothes by Lisa Thiesing, Peggy the Pig exchanges her own frumpy clothes for a set of fancy new duds she sees on a scarecrow. But then the scarecrow comes looking to get its clothes back.
  • In The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, Benjamin and Peter steal the clothes from Farmer McGregors's scarecrow (although technically they are retrieving the clothes Peter lost during his previous adventure).
  • This is how Doctor Syn ("The Scarecrow") comes by his disguise/secret identity. While racing to rescue a group of smugglers who had been ambushed by dragoons, he takes a set of clothes from a scarecrow as an improvised disguise.
  • In Israel Potter by Herman Melville, Israel is at one point wearing the clothes of dead man. As he cannot afford to be seen in these clothes, he steals a set of clothes from a scarecrow. He is later forced to actually pose as the scarecrow.
  • Briefly discussed in the book No Score. Chip is stranded naked in a small rural town. Chip-as-narrator then talks about how in movies there's always a convenient scarecrow or clothes line from which to steal clothes, or else they'll just cut to the protagonist stepping off a bus wearing a full set of clothes. But he can't find any. At one point he finds one paint-stained shoe and puts it on, since at least that's something.
  • Goosebumps:
    • The Scarecrow, a short story about three kids who discover a mysterious scarecrow set up in front of an abandoned house has got articles of clothing they all want. Two of the kids take things off the scarecrow, but strange things start happening to them, leaving the third kid scared something will happen to her while trying to fight back the temptation of taking the scarecrow's gloves for herself. It turns out it was all a prank set up by the other two kids, but that doesn't explain why the scarecrow is suddenly smiling at the end.

     Live Action TV 
  • Played with in The Benny Hill Show sketch "Butch Cafferty and the Fundance Kid". Cafferty (Hill) strips a man in the Turkish baths of his clothes but later discovers that a Scarecrow possesses absolutely identical ones.
  • In The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot, Peter, Colin and Sylvester steal their old costume coats off the display dummies at the Doctor Who Experience.
  • In the ITV Marple series adaptation of Nemesis, the killer steals the clothes from a scarecrow to wear during a murder and later plants the clothes in another suspect's suitcase to frame them.
  • On The Dukes of Hazzard in the the episode, "The Ghost Of General Lee". Two men stole the General Lee (and with it, their clothes) while they were skinny dipping, forcing Bo and Luke to have to do this. Bo took the scarecrow's shirt, while Luke got its pants.
  • Would I Lie to You?: Shaun Williamson once claimed that he stole a shirt from a scarecrow on an allotment in order to gain admittance to nightclub. He was lying.
  • Modern Family: In "Las Vegas" Gloria dressed in a Modesty Towel, goes into Claire and Phil's room to borrow Claire's hair products but her towel gets stuck in the door between their rooms. While she struggling to get it free, Phil and the leader of the secret magician's society (Patton Oswalt) walk into the room. She abandons her towel runs into the closet before they see her and Phil places a French Maid Dog Statue named Rebarka in the closet, not knowing Gloria is hiding in there. Phil then performs his magic trick, but Oswalt isn't impressed. That is until Phil accidentally causes smoke and Gloria pops out dressed in the French Maid Outfit she took from the statue, making Oswalt believe that it was all part of the trick.
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     Theatre  

     Video Games 
  • In the video game I Have 1 Day, the player character uses a scarecrow to escape from jail, by placing the scarecrow in his bed to create a Sleeping Dummy and by taking the scarecrow's clothes to replace his Institutional Apparel.
  • Agent 47 can use a Scarecrow disguise during Absolution after the Agency attacks his hotel. It works best while pretending to be a scarecrow, however.

     Western Animation 
  • The New Adventures of Superman: In "The Mysterious Mr. Mist", a mist-like being creates human bodies for itself by inhabiting clothing. One of the first sets of clothing it occupies comes from a scarecrow.
  • In the King of the Hill episode "Yankee Hankee," Hank gets left nearly naked in the courtyard of the Alamo. He ends up having to take clothes off a Davy Crockett mannequin, before wondering why he bothered putting on the raccoon hat.
  • Happened with The Wolf in the Soviet (later also Russian) animated series Nu, Pogodi!, when he was in the village, trying to catch The Hare. Apart from some rugs and a wide-brimmed straw hat scarecrow was dressed in cans, so he also makes loud noise when he's walking in it (especially since he walks into the train, of all places).
  • Justice League: In "Flash and Substance", Captain Boomerang grabs and uses the boomerang from the exhibit mannequin of himself at the Flash Museum.
  • Duck Dodgers; in "The Wrath of Kanasta", the eponymous villain finds himself in an old west style resort, so to blend in, he takes a cowboy outfit from a mannequin. ("Just my size!" he quips.)

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