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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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     Comic Books 
  • Invoked in one Le Petit Spirou short that has the girls stealing Spirou and Vertignasse's clothes as they are bathing in the river. They are able to escape some time later by stealing Abbott Langelusse's clothes (which they thought belonged to a scarecrow) while he was swimming elsewhere.

     Eastern Animation 
  • 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).

     Fan Works 
  • In the Invader Zim fic A Nice Day for some DOOM!, after Tak manages to escape from the Swollen Eyeballs, she finds that the holographic disguise generator in her PAK isn't working. Desperate, she steals the clothes (including a hat and sunglasses) off of a scarecrow she stumbles across in order to pass for human.

  • Apache: After escaping from the train, Massai steals a hat off a scarecrow to replace his headband.
  • In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Steve had to find a suit of armor, as well as a way to jog Bucky's memories. Thus, he made a stop in his own wing at the Smithsonian 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.
  • 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 Maleficent, after Diaval is transformed from a raven into a human, his first suit of clothes are taken from a scarecrow in the field.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005): John and Jane Smith, cornered in a home decorating store in their casual clothes, with mercenaries outside surrounding them, decides to strip two mannequins for better clothing. Without knocking them over, in the next shot we see John and Jane Smith smartly-dressed and two naked mannequins in the background.
  • In Out on a Limb (1992), the main character Bill has his car and clothes stolen at gunpoint, meaning for a while he is running around totally naked covering his parts with just a mail box. He soon takes a scarecrow's clothes to preserve his modesty.
  • In The Scarecrow, Buster Keaton steals clothes off a scarecrow after his own clothes are torn off by a hay-baling machine.

  • This is how Doctor Syn ("The Scarecrow") came by his disguise/secret identity. A wanted murderer was on the run, and was suspected of stealing clothes from a nearby scarecrow to change his appearance. Syn, wanting to cause a distraction so he could rescue a group of smugglers who had been ambushed by dragoons, assembled a scarecrow costume of his own and lured the dragoons into chasing after him.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Secret Seven: In Puzzle for the Secret Seven, a thief steals the clothes off the Seven's scarecrow and wears them as a disguise when he steals a violin.
  • 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).

     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 El ChapulĂ­n Colorado, a thief named El Peterete goes to a farm to take revenge on the old lady who put him in prison. He switches his clothes with those of a scarecrow to confuse everyone and sneak up on them.
  • In Dracula (2020), when Dracula is on the run in 21st-century Whitby, he breaks a shop window and steals a set of clothes from a mannequin.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Midsomer Murders: In "The Scarecrow Murders", a killer takes the clothing and hessian bag head from a scarecrow, and uses them to pose as a scarecrow to ambush and murder The Vicar.
  • 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.
  • Tales from the Crypt: In "Four Sided Triangle", George dresses himself in the scarecrow's clothes and mask in an attempt to trick Mary Jo into having sex with him. (It Makes Sense in Context)
  • 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.


     Video Games 
  • Agent 47 can use a Scarecrow disguise during Hitman: Absolution after the Agency attacks his hotel. It works best while pretending to be a scarecrow, however.
  • 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.

     Western Animation 
  • 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.)
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends: In "Fools and Regulations", Frankie is hosting a benefit party to raise money for Foster's, but ends up getting locked out of the house by the imaginary friends, and her every attempt to get back in is foiled by Bloo. At one point, she sees a scarecrow in front of the house and switches clothes with it to fool Bloo while she tries to sneak back in, but Bloo soon catches on.
  • In Gravity Falls, during a series of videos showing Old Man McGucket's Madness Makeover, it shows to cover his bald head he stole a straw hat from a scarecrow.
  • Justice League: In "Flash and Substance", Captain Boomerang grabs and uses the boomerang from the exhibit mannequin of himself at the Flash Museum.
  • 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.
  • 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, which makes Lois Lane assume he is a hobo.


Video Example(s):


Nelly and the Scarecrow

Nelly, not caring one bit for the nightie Amy's mother gave her, decides to swap it with the clothes of a scarecrow.

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