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Toy Disguise

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Sometimes it's difficult to keep all the weird creatures you interact with hidden from the public, but it's nice when they at least try and put a smile while doing so.

If the main character has an imp, fairy, monster, or robot companion of small enough size, the creature will probably be able to pose as a doll. This allows for the creature to blend into its surroundings and for it to be seen in public without suspicion, letting the writers explain how the companion is able to be on the scene without being exposed.

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This tends to lead to moments of comedy, like an undisciplined child tries to play with the main character's "doll" without permission, (or even with it if the main character is Jerkass), a stranger commenting that a proud warrior creature is adorable or that a particularly vain creature is horrifyingly creepy.

A Wind-Up Key may be added to help with the disguise. Compare Nobody Here but Us Statues, where a character poses like a statue to hide from someone. See also Hidden in Plain Sight.

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Examples

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    Anime And Manga 
  • Cardcaptor Sakura:
    • Kero normally manages to pulls this off in his lesser form, being a very small mouse-like creature with wings.
    • In the sequel series Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card, Akiho's beloved "stuffed rabbit" Momo also pretends to be a toy when most people are watching. While Sakura is well aware of Kero's true nature, Akiho has no idea that Momo is really a sentient magical being.
  • In Digimon Adventure while the kids where on a train, a baby started bothering on Yokomon and she yelled at the baby. Sora then tried to pass it off as ventriloquism so, everyone simply assumed she was a doll.
  • In Digimon Tamers, Terriermon masquerades as a plushie when other people are in the room because of his cute appearance. Unfortunately for him, this makes him the butt of many of Suzie's antics, such as getting dressed up in girly clothes.
  • One Piece: One scene during the Whole Cake Island arc has the rabbit Beast Man Carrot infiltrating Big Mom's bedroom to steal something. When one of her guards wakes up, she just adopted a cute pose, and the guard simply took her for a stuffed rabit.
  • Sonic X: In "Cracking Knuckles", having no time to hide Tails, Chris tells him to lay still on a pillow and lies to the housemaid that he's a toy fox one of his friends left. Later, Tails and Amy pretend to be stuffed animals so they and Chris can take the train to Silver Valley. A little girl starts tugging on Amy's ear, and she kicks her in response, diverting attention away from the three when she starts crying.

    Asian Animation 
  • In Flower Fairy, An'an's fairy sidekick Kukuru magically transforms into a plush toy version of himself whenever certain other humans are nearby.

     Film - Animated 
  • Pinocchio: When Geppetto turns on one of his carved music boxes, Jiminy Cricket hides from him by pretending to be one of the moving mechanical figures on it.
  • Toy Story 4: While sneaking around the pawn shop, Woody accidentally (and loudly) knocks over a phone with a human nearby. To avoid being caught moving, he quickly makes himself look like part of the phone (similar to this Mickey Mouse phone) when the human turns her head.
  • Spirited Away: Chihiro hides in plain sight among stuffed animals in Boh's nursery
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     Film - Live Action 
  • In E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, the title character hides in a closet containing several very large stuffed animals. It works. Fortunately for him, the children present are already aware of The Masquerade.
  • In Hop, EB the talking rabbit is mistaken for a plushie by Fred's sister.
  • In The Smurfs, when the Smurfs hide in the toy store, they pretend to be animatronic toys.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Sonic disguises himself as a ball when Robotnik's drones scan Tom's house looking for him.
  • Ted 2: While being chased by Donny at New York Comic Con, Ted finds a booth full of similar-looking teddy bears and lies perfectly still among them. Donny manages to flush him out by singing "Sweet Caroline" so that Ted will instinctively sing the "Bom-Bom-BOM!" part.
  • At the beginning of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, the Turtles battle the Foot Clan soldiers at a toy store. When Donatello comes across an inflatable clown doll, this gives him the idea to pose as one to catch the soldiers off guard.

    Literature 
  • Race to the Sun: Mr. Yazzie, Nizhoni's Mentor Mascot, at first appears as a stuffed horned toad, even though he is actually a powerful spirit who helps Nizhoni get to the House of the Sun.

    Live Action TV 
  • In ALF's Special Christmas, ALF accidentally gets delivered to a hospital in a van full of toys he unwittingly climbed into while looking for gifts for the Tanner family. To avoid people suspecting that he is an alien, ALF holds perfectly still so that people will think he is a toy. When ALF is given to Tiffany, a little girl he finds out isn't going to live to see another Christmas, he keeps up the act when she calls him "Amanda" and plays tea party with him, but draws the line when she tries to put earrings on him.
  • Shining Time Station: In "Tis' a Gift", when the children decorate the Christmas tree, Mr. Conductor holds still when Vickie finds him. Vickie mistakes him for an ornament, and asks Matt and Tanya if she can put him in the tree. Not wanting her to find out about him, they tell her she can. Mr. Conductor continues to keep up the act until Vickie accidentally knocks down the tree trying to put the angel on top. After he climbs out of the fallen tree, Mr. Conductor expresses his gratitude that he no longer has to pose as an ornament towards Tanya and Matt.
  • In one episode of Zoey 101, the girls are trying to hide Chase and Michael's dog, Elvis. They teach him to hide in the girls' pile of stuffed animals, where he lays limp and gets mistaken for one of the toys by the Dorm Advisor.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Game 
  • In Fate/Grand Order, Ishtar splits into seven chibi versions of herself in order to maintain communication with the imprisoned Servants during the Dead Heat Summer Race. When Warden Quetzalcoatl shows up to check on the racers, Ishtar lies perfectly still in hopes of fooling her into thinking she's just a doll. It's implied that Quetzalcoatl saw through the disguise from the start and merely played along to bring down Gugalanna later.
  • In Persona 5, one scene has a young girl notice Morgana (who looks like a cat) sticking out of Joker's school bag. Joker pretends that Morgana is a toy cat that makes noises when you press its head, giving you the option of petting him gently or mashing on him.

    Western Animation 
  • In one episode of Arthur, Pal and Nemo are looking for D.W.'s imaginary friend Nadine in the Tibbles' house. When the Tibble twins approach, Pal suggests Nemo pretend to be one of the plushes in a pile nearby. The twins see the fake plush cat and take it to a different room.
  • In The Madagascar Penguins in: A Christmas Caper, Private looks for a Christmas present in the city to cheer up a depressed Ted the Polar Bear. When he searches a souvenir stand, he poses as a toy to avoid being recognized by humans. Unfortunately, this works too well, as Nana mistakes him for a chew toy and buys him to give to her pet poodle, Mr. Chew, as a Christmas present. Because of how vicious Mr. Chew is when Nana isn't looking, it's up to Skipper, Kowalski, and Rico to save Private before Mr. Chew chews him to bits.
  • Mina and The Count: In the first short, the Count pretends to being one of Mina's toys when her father enters the room.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • In one episode, Perry, after defeating Doofenshmirtz, landed in front of Phineas and Ferb in his agent persona. Luckily, the boys' project was making a lot of Perry the Platypus toys, so they simply thought he was a bad prototype.
    • "The Chronicles of Meap": Candace mistakes Meap for a Bangeroo doll the boys made themselves, and takes him for a toy convention.
  • The Pink Panther (1993): In Pinky in Toyland, Pink Panther is being chased by the gangsters Snake and Weasel. He runs into an amusement park and hides among the plushies at a prize booth. This backfires when a little girl wins the "Test Your Strength" Game next to the prize booth and chooses Pink Panther as her prize. Pink Panther eventually reveals that he's alive and tries to leave, but the girl insists on keeping him. When he sees that Snake and Weasel are still chasing him, Pink Panther agrees to stay with the girl. The girl lets Pink Panther go after he he saves her other doll from the gangsters.
  • The Scooby-Doo Show: In the toy factory scene of "The No-Face Zombie Chase Case", Daphne accidentally activates a talking doll while she and Velma are hiding from the zombie. After the zombie lets the doll pass, Daphne and Velma escape by pretending to be talking dolls.
  • The Simpsons: In "The Fool Monty", the E.T. scene is parodied when Bart hides an amnesiac Mr. Burns in a pile of plush toys (one of which is of E.T. himself).
  • One episode of Tom and Jerry, titled "I'm Just Wild About Jerry", has Jerry hiding among various tiny dolls that look just like him. Tom then proceeds to pull the tail of each doll, until he reaches Jerry, who shrieks in pain.
  • The premise of Woofy is about a boy named Anthony who keeps the titular dog as a pet against his mother's will, so Woofy has to pretend he's a stuffed animal by staying perfectly limp in front of everyone else.
  • Space Goofs: in the episode "Toy Trouble" Candy gets mistaken for a doll and is taken into the house next door where he meets a pink duck that is also pretending to be a stuffed animal, both get into all sorts of antics but manage to escape in the end.
  • The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse: In "Just the Four of Us", Donald and Daisy try to hide from an overbearing Mickey and Minnie when they believe they're sick. To hide from Minnie, Daisy lies in a pile of stuffed animals and pretends to be lifeless like them, and also wears her hair bow on her neck to avoid suspicion.

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