Follow TV Tropes


Trojan Prisoner

Go To
"Prisoner transfer? I wasn't informed of any—auggg!"

"The ultimate Trojan horse is a shackled prisoner."
Michael Westen, Burn Notice

Perhaps you need to smuggle some recognizable people into a base, or smuggle some friends out of a hostile situation. Perhaps the two of you have just been caught by your enemies, and are trying a bluff. Time for the Trojan Prisoner trick.

In the simple version, some of the protagonists pretend to be enemy mooks, with the others posing as their prisoners or slaves. Quite often, the main hero gets to play the captive, being the most recognisable, but if the mooks have face-concealing outfits, it's the least recognisable member of the group who gets tied up.

In the other version, the fake guard is someone the enemy thinks is on their side, e.g The Mole, a reformed villain, or a Loveable Rogue. They swagger into the enemy camp, show off their captive, then surreptitiously help them escape, while doing a little espionage on the side. The fake guard doesn't always bother telling the hero the plan in advance either; the act is much more convincing if the hero thinks it's real.

This can be used to play up the relationship between the characters, allowing the captor to temporarily treat the captives like dirt, or to express cruel opinions that hit a bit too close to the truth. If the disguise relies upon actually restricting the captives significantly, this can play off characters' mistrust of the fake captor, especially one who is very close to the enemy. However, it's pretty rare for the fake captivity to become real.

Occasionally, this trick is proposed offscreen, leading the viewer to think that a major character pulled a Face–Heel Turn (who is, in truth, a Fake Defector).

If they are physically bound, this can lead to a Chained Heat or fighting With My Hands Tied. Compare I Surrender, Suckers, Captured on Purpose, where the heroes surrender openly or let themselves be legitimately captured, and cases where anyone should be able to see through it overlap with The Guards Must Be Crazy. The Play-Along Prisoner may allow themselves to be tortured before breaking loose. Compare Sheep in Wolf's Clothing, where this applies to The Virus, and with Trojan Horse, which also gets the hero into an enemy base, but without them knowing anyone has crossed their lines. Compare Bavarian Fire Drill, which relies on bluffing rather than a convincing disguise. Contrast Disguised Hostage Gambit, where real villains with real hostages dress the hostages up as villains to fool The Cavalry.

Not to be confused with the similar, but distinct, Alone-with-Prisoner Ploy. That's when a reformed bad guy or good guy on the inside asks to be alone with an actual prisoner in order to help him/her. Also not to be confused with the Poisonous Captive, who undermines their captors while being genuinely imprisoned.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, the Red Ribbon Army's plan to lure Gohan to their lair is to kidnap his daughter Pan. Problem for them is that Pan is already a skilled fighter at just three years old, so their attempt to take her just results in an unconscious goon. That said, she agrees to fake her capture for an undercover Piccolo to get Gohan to the base anyway, namely because Piccolo sees it as an opportunity for Gohan to start training again via his Papa Wolf instinct.
  • In Fairy Tail, Mirajane, Natsu, Wendy and the Exceed pull this trick with Mirajane transforming into a guard, hiding the Exceed in the big uniform and pretending that she wants to deliver the two Dragon Slayers to the king.
  • In the Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light manga adaptation by Maki Hakoda, this is one of Marth's favourite tactics to outsmart stronger armies, with himself as the captive.
  • Winry pretends to be Scar's hostage in Fullmetal Alchemist in order to get away from Kimblee and his military attachment.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz Duo pulls this gambit to protect Trowa.
  • While the series Mysterious Joker has been prone to Distress Ball, some of the instances have been to invoke this. Joker will often use this to get closer to the treasure he's trying to steal
  • James Bond in Moriarty the Patriot asks to be arrested by Patterson to get into Scotland Yard and steal evidence.
  • One Piece:
    • During the Impel Down riot, Mr. 2 does this with Buggy and Mr. 3. They get past Magellan and then manage to reach Level 5 (in order to save a captured and poisoned Luffy) thanks to Mr. 2's ability to change his face to look like someone else. He disguises as Hannyabal and then takes the other two with him as his prisoners.
    • This also happens earlier in the G-8 anime filler arc: Nami, Chopper, and filler character Dr. Kobato are trying to get back to the Going Merry so the former two can leave, but arrive to find Luffy, Zoro, Sanji, and Usopp cornered by several dozen Marines and about to be arrested. Thinking quickly to help her new friends, Dr. Kobato gives an ear-shattering scream and pretends that she and Nami (who is disguised as a nurse) were taken hostage by Chopper. The rest of the Straw Hats just roll with it, and while Dr. Kobato is successfully "saved" by the Marines, the ruse works long enough to give the crew their chance to escape.

    Comic Books 
  • In the DC Universe, Batman once infiltrated Belle Reve prison, home of the the Suicide Squad, by posing as criminal 'Matches' Malone and arranging for Commissioner Gordon to have Malone held there while being transferred.
    • When Lockup first started becoming a problem in Gotham Bats couldn't afford to be sidelined by being captured but needed someone to figure out where Lockup was taking everyone so the current Robin got himself picked up by Lockup by posing as petty criminal Alvin Draper.
  • In the Doctor Who comic "The Futurists" in Doctor Who Magazine (from the collection The Betrothal of Sontar) this is used to infiltrate an ancient Roman military camp. Lampshaded when the Doctor remarks that it's a tired old trick, but there had to be a time when it was new enough to work.
  • In Dynamo5, a government agent pulls this on the main characters, without telling them, leading them to believe he's turned evil.
  • In their first mission, the Hunter's Hellcats infiltrate a Japanese base with Hunter and Snake Oil driving a captured tank and marching the rest of the Hellcats ahead of them as captured spies.
  • One issue of The Punisher has Frank allow himself be captured by a gang to lure out a reclusive gang boss so he can take him out.
  • The Scorpion: In The Angel's Shadow, Armando and Mejai pull this stunt (with Armando dressed as a Warrior Monk) to gain access to the Vatican dungeons to rescue Hussar.
  • One that follows the Villain Protagonist in a four part story of Sonic Universe, in which Fiona Fox and what's left of the Destructix get themselves sent to the No Zone, a prison dimension, to bust out Scourge, Sonic's evil dimensional counterpart (long story). Getting in was easy enough, but they run into trouble as Scourge has lost any drive after being in the prison for so long and they need to convince him to get back in the game.
  • Star Wars Legacy: When Princess Marisiah Fel is captured by the Sith and taken to their temple on Korriban to be interrogated, Imperial Knights Antares Draco, Ganner Krieg, and Jedi Master Shado Vao try to rescue her by having Draco disguise himself as a Sith Lord while Krieg and Vao act as his prisoners.
  • Done in a Teen Titans Go! issue (the one based on the '03 series) that introduced Wonder Girl to infiltrate Blackfire's base of operations. They have Beast Boy disguise himself as a Gordanian and sneak the uncaptured Titans in to rescue the others. Blackfire even lampshades it herself as she berates herself for not realizing it sooner.
  • In The Transformers (IDW), Megatron allows himself to be taken prisoner in hopes that the Autobots would take him to Cybertron where he could use space bridge technology within himself to ambush them with the sudden appearance of his entire army. Galvatron and the Deceptigod completely ruin this plan.
  • A variation in X-23: Target X: The Kingpin is engaged in a Mob War with a rival gangster named Fade, and hires the Facility to deal with him when his own men can't. In order to get an assassin close enough, Fisk feeds information via a mole in his organization about his beloved niece, "Samantha," whom Fade then abducts. However "Samantha" is actually X-23. And Fade was planted with a trigger scent-laced letter...
  • Steve Trevor, back when he was still a WWII era military inteligence officer, would occassionally act as a prisoner in a ploy to learn info about an opponent or break other prisoners out. Inverably something would go wrong and Wonder Woman would have to rescue him at the end of the operation, if she hadn't been involved from the start.

    Fan Works 
  • Ambience: Platoon (Moebius Four): Two Abyssal ships are captured, a Re-class and a Ta-class. This turns out to have been a ploy on their part so they could sink the vessel of their captors while it's sailing through Abyssal territory, claiming SEAL Team Six's Osprey. Then it's revealed that the whole reason why they went through all this trouble is because ship girls can be forcibly converted into Abyssal ships.
  • In Better Left Unsaid, Ino possesses a member of ROOT, then seemingly "captures" Naruto so that they can infiltrate the organization's hidden base in Konoha. When one of the other members realizes that something's fishy, they proceed to blow the whole base sky-high with the explosive tags they'd secretly been setting around the place.
  • Daphne Greengrass and the Boy Who Lived: In order to rescue Luna and Ollivander from Malfoy Manor, several members of the Order plan to disguise themselves as Snatchers who captured Harry and Hermione.
  • Darth Vader: Hero of Naboo: While using an alias, Boba Fett allows himself to be captured by the Trade Federation so that he can stage a prison break while inside their command ship.
  • As an homage to A New Hope's use below, this was used in Allronix's Knights of the Old Republic fanfic Destiny's Pawn, as Carth attempts to bluff his way through a Sith base with Zaalbar as a "prisoner." Subverted, as the receptionist on duty doesn't buy it for a second.
  • In Disparate Pieces, Finn volunteers to be a prisoner so that he can potentially get close to Hux.
  • Fall of Starfleet, Rebirth of Friendship: In order to expose Starfleet's many miscarriages of justice, Carrot Top gets herself falsely accused of a crime, going through a Kangaroo Court and getting sent to their central prison. She then plants a talisman that lets the rest of the Umbra Circle teleport into the prison, while collecting testimonials from the many, many captives there who were arrested on false charges until they're all rescued.
  • Fallen Kingdom: Strike falsely "captures" K. Rool and several of his followers so that they can get into Stoneshell Prison.
  • The Girl From Whirlpool: Minato intentionally allows themselves to get caught by Kumo's forces. While able to leave at any moment, they stick around to collect as much information as they needed... then twist the knife further by teleporting back into the prison later to learn a little more.
  • Lost In The Storm: In order to rescue Cassia Troy from Tartarus, Emerald and May disguise themselves as guards, pretending to be escorting Amarillo as their prisoner.
  • In Naruto: the Secret Songs of the Ninja, Team 7 infiltrate Orochimaru's base this way, by disguising themselves as some mooks they disposed of with henge and having Sakura play the prisoner.
  • In Shadowchasers: Torment, Edgar discovers that the lizard king village has been taken over by a tyrant named Scath. Because the former shaman Sslinth hates Scath too, Edgar convinces Sslinth to try this to infiltrate the temple, with Edgar and Maddie posing as prisoners. (Unfortunately, Scath is onto them, but Edgar has a plan-B.)
  • A Waterbending Quirk: The Hunter Vixen appears to have been Forced into Evil; upon their arrest, they tearfully tell the police that they had no choice but to work for the group. However, it turns out that they are a Consummate Liar, so skilled at deception that no Quirks or technology can expose their lies, and they were intentionally captured so that they could lure the police into a trap.
  • Two examples of this in With Strings Attached:
    • In the Goblin Valley, Ringo has to pretend to be a human slave being led by George, who's become a goblin.
    • At the climax, Paul has shaken off mind control but pretends to still be under the influence to gain entry into the warehouse where the Vasyn is being kept. George is Dressing as the Enemy (he becomes the woman Bayanis, who is in charge of Paul) and goes in with him. John and Ringo have to think of another way in.

    Film — Animated 
  • Batman: Assault on Arkham: Combined with Get into Jail Free when Harley commits a robbery and allows herself to be arrested so she will be returned to Arkham. Deadshot then disposes of the cop taking her there, and accompanies her as her escort.
  • Despicable Me 2: In order to get into El Macho's lair to rescue Lucy, Gru has two of his remaining minions disguise themselves as the Brainwashed and Crazy purple minions (that El Macho kidnapped earlier), and make them pretend they captured him.
  • In Inside Out, Joy and Sadness need to break into Riley's subconsious to free Bing Bong and recover Riley's core memories. The entrance is a giant door guarded by two mental figments. How do they succeed? They pretend to have just escaped from inside and get thrown "back" in.
  • Kung Fu Panda 2: Po and the Furious Five do this to infiltrate Shen's compound and try and destroy his cannon weapon. It works but Po's past trauma causes him to freeze up at a critical moment and end the operation in failure.
  • Done in Monsters vs. Aliens, with the other monsters wearing the clone outfits and escorting Ginormica.
  • Subverted in Titan A.E. when Stith and Preed try to infiltrate a colony with this trope. This entire bit was brought to you by Joss Whedon.
    Guard: (Raises his weapon, pointing it at Preed) You're lying! He's not a slave and you're not traders. He doesn't carry himself like a slave! Look at the way he stands... probably ex-military. Akrennian traders always threaten before they ask a favor, it's tradition. (to Stith) And YOUR robes are made out of bedspreads!
    Preed: Just out of curiosity, did we have a plan "B"? (Stith charges the guard and proceeds to beat the crap out of him) An intelligent guard. Didn't see that one coming. (tasers the guard)

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In The A-Team, Murdock is disguised as the General by wearing a bag over his head, and when Pike shoots him, it appears that he has died. Actually, it was ketchup packets and explosive squibs.
  • Blood Diamond, although it lasts about twenty seconds, (just long enough for the soldiers to lower their guard and the "prisoner" to shoot them) and is done to cross a bridge.
  • In Bring Me the Head of the Machine Gun Woman, Santiago brings the Machine Gun Woman to Longara tied up as his prisoner, intending to then turn her loose so she can kill Longara. The plan fails because he forgot to tell her that Longara was holding his mother hostage.
  • In Daleks' Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D., David dresses up as a Roboman and leads a group of rebels aboard the Dalek Saucer disguised as a group of prisoners.
  • The Dark Knight Trilogy:
    • Done in the The Dark Knight. After a surprisingly elaborate chase, the Joker is captured and sent to the cooler to be transported to Blackgate. However not only does he have a Plan B that results in Harvey and Rachel getting kidnapped and put in death traps. He implants a bomb in one of his henchmen, likewise has him arrested and taken to the G.C.P.D. After Batman and Gordon are busy trying to save Harvey and Rachel, he detonates the bomb; with the building in disarray, he's free and clear to capture Lau, his intended target, and escape. The one snag in this plan? He had to call a cell phone to activate the bomb. They didn't give him his phone call, so he provokes the guard looking over him into a fight, wins, and holds the guard hostage.
    • The Dark Knight Rises:
      • Bane wants to find out exactly who Dr. Pavel made a deal with instead of him. He has his right hand man Barsad hood him and two of his men, and deliver them with Dr. Pavel to the CIA agent extracting the doctor to the United States, with Barsad claiming that the hooded men are prisoners of Bane. Midway through the flight, Bane allows the CIA agent to unmask him, around the same time that a bigger plane piloted by his mercenaries ambushes the CIA jet. Bane and his men proceed to kill the CIA agent and the soldiers guarding him, and escape with Dr. Pavel after transferring some of his blood to a corpse brought in by the mercenaries to fake his death, while one of the "prisoners" remains behind to die on Bane's orders so that the correct number of corpses will be found in the wreckage.
        CIA Agent: Was getting caught part of your plan?
        Bane: Of course! Dr. Pavel refused our offer in favor of yours. We had to find out what he told you.
        Dr. Pavel: Nothing! I said nothing!
      • When Bruce returns to an occupied Gotham after escaping the prison Bane threw him in, he needs to free Lucius Fox, who can help him reach his backup Batsuit. First, he enlists Selina Kyle by appealing to her better nature and offering her the Clean Slate program (it is hinted that a Trojan Prisoner ploy will be used when Bruce tells her "I need you to find out where they're holding him [Fox], then take me in"). Bruce then lets himself get captured by Bane's men, who put a bag over his head and take him to the holding tank where Fox and Miranda Tate are being held. After he is deposited, Selina comes down and tells the mercenaries that Bane wants Bruce and Fox isolated from the others. They are led upstairs with a few mercenaries, and once out of sight from anyone else, she uses her Combat Stilettos to knock out the mercenaries and unlocks Fox's handcuffs:
        Lucius Fox: I like your girlfriend, Mr. Wayne.
        Selina Kyle: He should be so lucky.
  • In Face/Off, this kicks off the plot, when Archer takes Castor Troy's face as part of a black bag operation to infiltrate Erewhon Prison and get information on Castor's bomb from his younger brother Pollux. This would have worked out if Castor hadn't woken from his coma and taken Archer's face in reply.
  • In Force 10 from Navarone, Mallory and Barnsby get back into the Chetnik camp they had just escaped from by getting two partisans to disguise themselves as guards (The guards in question being two with allegedly burned faces covered with bandages, so facial recognition isn't an issue) and take them back in through the front gate as recaptured prisoners. They then rescue their still-captured medic and explosives expert (And the explosives expert's suitcase full of explosives).
  • In G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Storm Shadow disguises himself as Snake-Eyes and allows himself to be captured so he will be transported to the prison where Cobra Commander and Destro are being held.
  • Hard Boiled: Done in the hospital evacuation, with Tequila as the hostage, and Alan disguised as one of the enemy thugs. Alan pretends to kick Tequila down, then tosses Tequila his shotgun while whipping out a machine gun himself, and awesomeness ensues.
  • Hercules/Maciste (Ma-CHEE-Stay) may or may not pull this in Hercules Against The Moon Men/Maciste And The Queen of Samar when, during a botched rescue, he is seemingly subdued when the enemy soldiers do little more than throw a net over him, which he should have been able to easily break out of given that he can bend steel and kill monsters with his bare hands (as was pointed out in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode that riffed the film). It is possible that once he realized he'd been duped he let the bad guys capture him so that he could play The Mole and learn the evil queen's true plans.
  • A Man Called Sledge: To gain access to Rockville Prison, Sledge is taken to the prison by his accomplice Ward, who poses as a USMarshal needing to lock up his prisoner for the night.
  • In The Mask, Jim Carrey's character gets a police officer to do this for him, at gunpoint.
  • Mercenaries has the strike team use this as the method to get into Ulrika's prison.
  • Both Ocean's Twelve and Ocean's Thirteen featured one of Linus Caldwell's parents stepping in to pull this off — his mom in Twelve, his dad in Thirteen. Poor Linus. How can you be an effective high-stakes thief when your parents won't stop looking over your shoulder?
    • Rusty does the same to Basher in Ocean's Eleven, posing as an FBI agent to take him into custody before the LAPD can take him.
  • In the 2010 French thriller Point Blank 2010, a fugitive pretends to be a cop and leads his ally (also a fugitive) into a police station in handcuffs. This is the only way for them to enter the police station and retrieve a piece of exculpatory evidence without attracting notice.
  • The Prince of Thieves: After Robin Hood is called on to surrender, Little John and Will Scarlet deliver him to the castle disguised as Fitz-Alwin's soldiers.
  • In The Proposition, The Burns Gang infiltrates the police station by having Two-Bob put on full traditional Aboriginal dress and war paint while Sam and Arthur steal police uniforms and drag him into town as their prisoner.
  • In R.I.P.D. the Big Bad does this to steal the confiscated pieces of the Staff of Jericho from R.I.P.D. headquarters.
  • In the Shaw Brothers wuxia film The Rescue (1971), this is the method used by the heroes in infiltrating the Mongol prison to perform the titular rescue, with one of their members - a former Mongolian convict - being the prisoner, and the protagonists Dressing as the Enemy. But later all hell breaks loose and everyone have to slaughter their way out from the heart of a heavily-guarded Mongolian dungeon full of enemies.
  • Played with in Rio Bravo. The bad guys capture John Wayne and threaten to kill a hostage if he doesn't cooperate, then walk into the jail with him posing as federal marshals. The man left on guard isn't fooled however.
  • In Disney's The Scarecrow Of Romney Marsh, the Scarecrow and his men dress as a British Navy press gang in order to get a man out of prison.
  • In Star Trek: Nemesis, Data uses this trick to get Picard onto the Reman warship Scimitar while pretending to be his own Evil Twin.
  • Star Wars:
    • A New Hope provides the page image, as Han and Luke pretend to be stormtroopers transporting their Wookiee "prisoner", Chewbacca, in the cells of the first Death Star to rescue Princess Leia Organa. It's also a subversion, though, as the senior officer manning the detention center has some suspicion about not being notified about the transfer beforehand (due to the Empire being obvious sticklers for protocol and efficiency), forcing them to abandon the trick and orchestrate a "one-man prison revolt" to get rid of the guards and the security footage. The officer also managed to send out an emergency alert before being shot, leading to them facing an entire squad of stormtroopers.
    • The heroes repeat the trick in Return of the Jedi. First R2-D2 and C-3P0 are given to Jabba the Hutt as "gifts" of good faith (hilariously enough, Threepio was not told this beforehand and thought they were just delivering a normal message). Then Leia arrives posing as a bounty hunter with Chewbacca as her "prisoner," makes her own attempt to free Han, but gets captured instead - but don't worry, they have several backup plans. Then Luke arrives to demand the release of his friends, but his Jedi Mind Trick fails, he gets into a fight, and winds up captured too. But the end result has all the heroes - including Lando, who did a more conventional infiltration as a hired guard - assembled when Jabba tries to execute them, so when R2 tosses Luke his lightsaber, we get the Big Damn Jailbreak.
    • Han and Chewie (canonically) first used such a trick in the prequel Solo: A Star Wars Story to get into the mines of Kessel and steal unrefined coaxium there, passing as slaves. It doubles as a Call-Forward to A New Hope.
    • Subverted in Legends' Dark Empire, where Palpatine abducts Luke, Luke hatches a plan to pretend to be Palpatine's apprentice and then kill him, but in the end, Luke himself goes over to the Dark Side only to be saved by Leia. In the end, Han kills Palpatine.
    • This is parodied in Twisted Toyfare Theatre, where every plan the group has seems to involve putting Chewbacca in binders for some reason.
  • Stripes: John, Russell, Stella, and Louise learn that their platoon's taken prisoner by Soviet troops after mistakenly entering Czechoslovakia. So, first, they sneak across the border in the EM-50 by pretending to be obnoxious American tourists, then after subduing the border guards, they take one of the guards' uniforms and John acts as a Soviet soldier who's seized the EM-50 and leads them into the base where the platoon's being imprisoned.
  • In Top Secret!, Resistance members Chocolate Mousse and Deja Vu wear German army uniforms and march Nick Rivers ahead of them at gunpoint in order to infiltrate Fleurgendorf prison. There are two jokes: Chocolate Mousse is black (and all of the German soldiers are white), and as they're goosestepping, their boots fly off.
  • In Tropic Thunder the Five-Man Band (sans leader) almost pull this off, but Lazarus is caught in a contradiction. More Dakka ensues.
  • Played straight in Windtalkers when Ben Yahzee dresses up as a Japanese soldier and takes his "captive" Joe Enders into a Japanese camp in order to gain access to a working radio.

  • In 20 Years After, Porthos and D'Artagnan pretend to take prisoners Athos and Aramis.
  • American Gods: Czernobog and Mr. Nancy dress as police officers to get Shadow out of prison.
  • A large-scale example in the Belisarius Series: In order to capture a major enemy stronghold, Belisarius and most of his army are "taken prisoner" after being "defeated in a battle". They are escorted into the stronghold by a group of a couple thousand soldiers who used to be on the enemy's side, before defecting en masse in a prior novel.
    • In the second novel, Belisarius has had Prince Eon assume the role of ridiculously oversexed ladies man who has to have a harem of prostitutes/slaves in his presence to satisfy his urges. The Malwa they are traveling with thus never notice when there's an extra one that's appeared out of nowhere: the escaped Princess Shakuntala.
  • The Black Jewels series uses this to great effect in the third novel, when Daemon pretends to betray and capture Surreal.
  • Subverted in Terry Pratchett's very first novel, The Carpet People.
    Hero: I am just taking the prisoners, harharhar.
    Guard: Where are you taking them?
    Hero: ...Enough of this talking, harharhar. (Beats up guard) I runs out of ideas after a while.
  • In A Clash of Kings from A Song of Ice and Fire, the Bloody Mummers do this with Robett Glover and his men as they bring them back as "prisoners of war", although they are secretly planning to betray the Lannisters. The Bloody Mummers then help Glover and his men escape and kill the Lannister guards. In a bit of Surprisingly Realistic Outcome, the danger of this plan is revealed early on when Glover and his men are menaced by the Lannister guards when they first arrive, despite being promised "honorable treatment". They were fortunate enough to only be thrown into the dungeons, as it was very possible the sadistic Amory Lorch could have chosen to torture and/or execute some of them.
  • Doc Savage: In Devil on the Moon, Lurgent and his men pull this trick to gain access to Doc's HQ and capture Renny, Long Tom and Pat.
  • In the first trilogy of the Dragonlance Saga the good guys try to do this and fail miserably when they are captured because they lack the proper paperwork. This rather original subversion is somewhat lampshaded when the hero is frantically trying to think of a way out of the mess and realizes that of all the things that could have gone wrong with their plan, no one considered the idea that they would be suspected of being deserters.
  • Alvin Fog and Mark Scrapton do this in order to get access to the prison where 'Handsome Phil' Foote is being held in The Justice of Company Z by J.T. Edson.
  • At the end of Paladin of Souls, Foix uses an inverted version to get Ista and Illvin out of the enemy camp, after Ista used an I Surrender, Suckers ploy to get close enough to eat all of Joen of Jokona's leashed demons - except for the one in Foix, who Ista freed from Joan's control.
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel and the French Aristocracy whom he was trying to rescue often wore disguises to get past revolutionary-held borders and checkpoints. In one particularly brilliant scheme, he dressed himself and a group of rescuees as revolutionary guardsmen, who approached a border checkpoint, claiming to be after a suspicious cart that had just gone through it. The Pimpernel and his group were let through, and the scheme remained undiscovered — until a few minutes later when the real guards showed up.
  • Star Wars Legends
    • In the X-Wing Series novels, part of the plan to retake Coruscant from the Empire is to take dangerous criminals, a significant part of the intergalactic crime syndicate Black Sun, from the prison world Kessel, then smuggle them to Coruscant where they will cause havoc and distract Imperial forces. Unfortunately, some of those criminals still have Imperial ties.
    • In the comics, very soon after he has defected to the Rebellion Soontir Fel darkly hints that he's a Fake Defector to get intel out of a reluctant Imperial captive.
    • "Side Trip", a novella written by both Timothy Zahn and Michael Stackpole, has Thrawn-in-Mandalorian-armor pull a blaster on Corran and his father after guiding them into a mutual enemy's clutches. Thrawn, assumed to be a bounty hunter going with the money, exchanges threats with Corran, telling him that he'll "seek you out and take care of you personally" and that he would be the only thing between Corran and freedom, even grabbing the cell bars and shaking them after Corran and his father are imprisoned. After Thrawn and the mutual enemy have left, Corran's father shows his son that the bar-shaking move was a cover, letting Thrawn stick a molecular stiletto — think tiny lightsaber with a very fragile blade — on the bar. "Taking care of you personally" meant that when they escaped and got back to him, Thrawn would be in a better tactical position to start shooting, and they'd be on the same side.
    • The Wraiths once pull a weird version with actual prisoners. The plan goes like this: Wraiths start a bar fight with Imperial pilots; more Wraiths show up dressed as military police and arrest all the fighters; Imperials get knocked out on the way back to the stockade, and the Wraiths from the bar change into police uniform too; all Wraiths infiltrate the base as fake guards with real (unconscious) prisoners. Mind, they got the idea because, earlier in the book, agents of Warlord Zsinj tried to do this to them...and failed when one of the Wraiths saw through it.
  • Chase, of the Sword of Truth series, does this using his adopted daughter as the captive, in order to make a rescue attempt. Coincidentally, two other groups of characters use similar disguises to perform the exact same rescue, each of their own volition. After they meet up with each other, they make their way out with the rescuees playing the captives.
  • Treasure Island: Long John Silver pulls this with Jim, who'd been genuinely captured by Silver and the other pirates earlier. Silver's practical reason for keeping Jim alive is that he's his best chance to escape the gallows if things go south, as Silver suspects they might, and an extra gun hand against the pirates who'll inevitably turn on them once that happens. However, it's never entirely clear whether Silver would have kept his word to keep Jim alive if things had gone according to plan...
  • In Warrior Cats a group of ShadowClan elders agree to help the ThunderClan warriors recover the kits ShadowClan had stolen. They drag former ShadowClan outcast Yellowfang into the camp and present her to their leader as their prisoner as they sneak the ThunderClan warriors into the camp.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The 100: The plan to get Bellamy into Mount Weather is for him to pose as a captured Grounder, and for Lincoln to pose as a Reaper who's captured him; when Mount Weather opens their doors to take Bellamy, Lincoln will kill the people who come out and Bellamy will slip inside. Backfires when Lincoln can't resist being given another dose of the Red, and lets Bellamy get captured for real.
  • Arrow. In a flashback to when they were on Lian Yu, Oliver Queen, disguised as one of the balaclava-wearing mercenaries, brings Slade Wilson into their camp with his hands apparently tied behind his back.
    Mercenary: You killed a few of my friends, you son-of-a-bitch!
    Slade: And I'm going to kill a few more. (takes two pistols out from behind his back and guns them down)
  • Babylon 5. Londo attempts this with G'Kar for the assassination of Emperor Cartagia. Starts to be subverted when Cartagia replaces G'Kar's rigged-to-break chains with real ones on a whim, but G'Kar breaks them anyway.
  • Blake's 7:
    • In "Cygnus Alpha", Gan is selected as a human sacrifice by the local cult, so Blake is shown readying the others to attack the priests when they show up to collect him. The next scene has Gan brought in chains to the cult leader, and the priests explain that they were attacked by his friends but were able to fight them off. Turns out Blake and the others are dressed in the hooded cloaks of the priesthood with Gan as a Trojan Prisoner.
    • In "Project Avalon", Blake and Vila try this trick using a captured guard, but for obvious reasons it doesn't work for long. The guard plays along briefly, then shouts a warning (fortunately he chooses to flee instead of helping his fellow guard subdue the rebels). Ironically the Rebel Leader in the detention centre they're planning to rescue (yes, this episode was filmed just weeks after Star Wars came out) is Actually a Doombot, so the same trick is being pulled on them.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In Spike's introductory episode, Angel tries this with Xander as the prisoner, using Enforced Method Acting to coax realistic prisoner behavior out of him. It doesn't work, as Spike knows Angel too well and thus knows he's faking it.
    • This Trope appears in a Season 3 episode in which Angel's soul is apparently removed by a sorcerer, thus allowing Angel and Faith to kidnap Buffy and in reality allowing Angel and Buffy to learn of the Mayor's plans for the ascension. Since this is quite drawn out, it might actually count as a reverse interrogation instead.
  • This is how Michael Weston gets to a fugitive on the lam in the Burn Notice episode "Friendly Fire." Michael plays the prisoner.
    • The voiceover even came close to calling the trope by name: "The ultimate Trojan horse is a shackled prisoner."
  • Cowboy Bebop (2021). Invoked Trope by Vicious to kill off the leaders of The Syndicate. His fellow underbosses Mao and Santiago will deliver him Bound and Gagged for plotting The Coup, but actually in trick handcuffs that can be released at will. However the other two betray Viscious and have him Shipped in Shackles and executed for real. Or they would have if Viscious hadn't anticipated this and put a gagged Santiago in shackles with a holographic disguise.
  • Doctor Who:
  • Dominion: In the first season finale, Gabriel walks right up to the walls of Vega and hands himself in to the military, letting himself get locked in a maximum security cell with an Explosive Leash, counting on his Acolytes freeing him a few hours later. And this is all done just to prove a point to Alex about how easily he could destroy the city if he chose to.
  • An exceptionally brief version appears in Farscape, where D'argo and Sikozu, in the midst of a riot between her species and the Charrans, progress by going up to a guard pretending that he captured her, and immediately punching him in the face. Then going to the next guard and doing the exact same thing, word for word.
  • Firefly, "The Train Job", Inara gets Mal and Zoe out of holding by pretending they're escaped indentured servants.
    • Slightly subverted in that the sheriff is obviously suspicious of this but not enough to stop them. He also believes he has judged Mal correctly when he sets an ambush, expecting him to return the stolen loot (which turns out to be desperately-needed medical supplies). He lets Mal go after getting the loot back.
  • In Henry Danger, Rick Twittler, the villain in "A New Evil" uses this tactic, posing as someone being held hostage to lure Captain Man and Kid Danger into his trap.
  • Used to get Byers and Bond out of prison in The Lone Gunmen after they went in trying to prove a prisoner's innocence only to find out that the guy's actually guilty, but that another prisoner has been framed, and freeing him.
  • Used by Alex in Lost, and lampshaded by Sawyer: "Don't get mad at me because you fell for the Wookiee Prisoner gag."
  • In an episode of M*A*S*H, BJ and Hawkeye accidentally captured a Chinese soldier who really didn't want to fight any more. Suddenly, their prisoner, who they had nicknamed Ralph, pointed his rifle at them and shouted orders (in Chinese, of course), just as a Chinese patrol came around a corner. After the patrol was satisfied that his "prisoners" were in good hands and left, Ralph lowered his rifle and surrendered again.
  • Mission: Impossible has done this several times, often to get a member of their team into a prison, such as in "Old Man Out", "Trial By Fury" and "The Test Case".
  • Variant from My Name Is Earl. Earl's car has been impounded, but he needs it to complete a list item. So his friend Kenny offers him help: he will allow Earl to get in his car's trunk, then get his car deliberately impounded so Earl can sneak his own car out. Trouble is, Kenny drives a very small car. So Kenny ends up being the one to go in the trunk, and being the Unlucky Everydude he is, the plan does not go well.
  • The New Avengers: Steed and Purdey pull this trick to infiltrate Soo Choy's base in "Trap".
  • Person of Interest: Showing extraordinary confidence in the ability of Shaw and the Machine to protect her, Root lets herself be black-hooded and dragged off to a CIA Black Site for interrogation, in order to free another prisoner there.
  • The Dragon Astronema does this in Power Rangers in Space to help them get them on the planet the Big Bad has Zordon imprisoned.
  • In Red Dwarf, the Cat and Kochanski dress up as Gelfs (with Lister as himself) in order to get into a Simulant's ship.
  • Towards the end of the second season of Resident Alien, an alien hunter gains access to a secret military base by bringing in an alien, namely Harry. This was all part of a ruse, and Harry breaks free once they are inside.
  • Star Trek: Picard:
    • In "Stardust City Rag", Seven of Nine offers herself as payment for Maddox, for secretly personal reasons, but rationalizing that her Borg components would be a fair trade. Raffi hides a small transport enhancer on her person which will blend in with her implants and rigs the cuffs to come off whenever Seven wants, allowing her to get the drop on Bjayzl.
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2", Narek volunteers to pretend to be the captive of Rios, Raffi and Elnor so that they can turn him in for Saga's murder. It's a ruse so that they can enter Coppelius Station and get close enough to the beacon in order to destroy it.
  • Supergirl (2015): Nia suggests "the Wookie gambit" to infiltrate the enemy base, with J'onn shapeshifting into a guard. J'onn refuses and Brainiac 5 points out that pretending to be captured has a high chance of them actually being captured. The moment J'onn leaves, Nia and Brainy decide to go through with this anyway, using Brainy's image inducer. Three guesses as to what happens next.
    J'onn: Why does everybody think it's a good idea to get captured?
  • Supernatural: In the Season 9 finale, Castiel has Gadreel, fresh off a Heel–Face Turn, pretend to take him prisoner so that they can sneak past Metatron's followers and get into Heaven. The angels don't fall for it, however.
  • In The Wire, gangster-robbing Omar Little is arrested after being framed for a murder committed by Marlo Stanfield's right hand Chris Partlow. He knows well that this is probably a ploy by his enemies to get him shanked in lock-up. Sure enough, even though he starts out in a private cell, soon a guard lets in two menacing figures, and one of them produces a makeshift blade. As Omar prepares to make his last stand, they smile and reveal that they were sent by his dear friend Butchie, quickly getting themselves arrested so they could arm, armor, and stand with him. Note that in this example, there is no fake guard, that we know of. There may have been some bribery involved.
  • In an episode of Xena: Warrior Princess, Xena and Gabrielle let themselves get arrested on purpose by a corrupt ruler as part of a plan, but not at the same time. Xena does so first, in order to contact a rebel leader who was already in prison. Later in the episode, Gabrielle lets herself be caught too, in order to smuggle Xena's chakram into the prison (which was disguised as the brim of the bowler-like hat she was wearing), along with her whip (which she wore around her waist like a belt).

  • Used in "Bee in the City", a Transformers convention script-reading starring the cast of Transformers: Animated. Flareup has to sneak Bumblebee and Beast Wars Megatro - uh, I mean, "Joe" into Shockwave's lab to rescue Sari and Optimus. She does so by claiming they're Primes, who aren't allowed in Axiom Nexus. There's even a "cell-block one-one-three-eight" reference (which the guard doesn't get).

    Video Games 
  • Assassin's Creed:
    • Used in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, by faking the capture and delivery of Bartolomeo d'Alviano to the French, in order for Ezio to get close and assassinate the Baron de Valois. Bartolomeo's captors are all his own troops (and Ezio) wearing stolen French uniforms.
    • Assassin's Creed III has this as a gameplay mechanic. Connor can summon Assassins disguised as Redcoats to take him "prisoner" and march him into heavily fortified locations.
  • Batman: Arkham Series:
    • A villainous example: The intro of Batman: Arkham Asylum has Batman dragging The Joker off to Arkham after thwarting a hostage situation that involved the Mayor that was instigated by the latter, noting that it was suspiciously easy this time around. Turns out, he's right and it was all part of the Joker's plan to take over the madhouse. Turns out that when you take an insane person to the asylum, you're just taking him home.
    • In Batman: Arkham City, Deadshot is smuggled into the city by pretending to be an ordinary Blackgate prisoner. He was part of Hugo Strange's plan to exterminate the city.
  • A variant is used in Dragon Age II during Isabela's personal quest in act 3. Hawke turns her over to one of Castillon's agents, then tracks the agent back to Castillon's base.
  • Grand Theft Auto:
    • Grand Theft Auto 2: The "Alma Mater Return" mission revolves around intentionally going to prison, stealing a guard uniform, and sparking a riot.
    • This is the focus of one of the online heists in Grand Theft Auto V. Two of the heist crew members are brought into a penitentiary as a "guard" and "prisoner", in order to bust out a prisoner needed for the next heist.
  • One mission in Guild Wars: Nightfall involves Dressing as the Enemy to infiltrate Varesh Ossa's base. If you bring your centaur companion, who can't ("You may be able to dress as Kournans, two-legs, but what am I supposed to be, your mascot?"), guess what you do with him. (Complete with dialogue straight out of Star Wars!)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom features a rare villainous example. The Yiga Clan set up a cage on the Dueling Peaks and send a letter to the nearest stable, announcing that they've kidnapped Princess Zelda. When Link hears about it and goes to the Dueling Peaks, the 'Zelda' in the cage turns out to be a disguised Yiga Footsoldier, who tries to ambush him.
  • In Mass Effect 3, Shepard pretends to be held prisoner by Narl in order to negotiate the Blood Pack joining the mercenary army that Aria T'Loak is building. Shepard also acts as a distraction to allow The Starscream to launch their planned coup.
  • A rather convoluted example in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Snake and Olga teamed up and then apparently betrayed Raiden near the entrance to Arsenal Gear, and subdued him, captured and delivered him to Solidus's men. The betrayal was actually faked in order to lessen security onboard Arsenal Gear, although they never told Raiden before doing it, presumably in order to sell the act. This understandably left Raiden really ticked off at Snake when he met up with him later.
  • Rayman 2: The Great Escape starts with Globox getting captured so he can smuggle a lum to Rayman, allowing him to break out.
  • The ground portion of the Star Trek Online mission, Brushfire, starts off with this trope with the player and their bridge officers as the "prisoners" and Rodek as the "guard."
  • In Tales of Symphonia, the party does this to infiltrate the Asgard Ranch. And again in Welgaia
    • And once again in the sequel to infiltrate the Vanguard. Subverted in that though the mooks fall for it, Alice isn't fooled and throws all of them in prison. Except they still get it to work, shutting off the power and escaping in under a minute
  • Tears to Tiara:
    • Happens in Tears to Tiara with Octavia, a former imperial officer, with Morgan as the fake prisoner. It would have worked, if it weren't for the fact that the unit that Octavia associated herself with was known to have been destroyed a long time ago.
    • Happens again in the sequel Tears to Tiara 2, where Hamil orders the assault force to take the main characters prisoner before the bridge at Eburon in order to infiltrate the imperial base. With a small dose of Wounded Gazelle Gambit.
  • In Transformers: War for Cybertron, Optimus, Bumblebee, and Sideswipe allow themselves to be taken captive in an attempt to rescue Sentinel Prime from a Decepticon prison. Sentinel did not survive, but Optimus was able to liberate the rest of the incarcerated Autobots.
  • The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings has multiple instances of this trope. The first is when Geralt pretends to have captured rebel leader Iorveth to lure Letho out. Unfortunately, this plan is ruined when the Blue Stripes attack. Depending on your choice, this can end up either with Geralt capturing Iorveth for real, or with him helping Iorveth escape. The second instance is when you decide to follow Iorveth in the game's second act. When an infiltration behind enemy lines goes awry, Geralt is helped by Vernon Roche, who uses this trope to smuggle him out of the enemy base.
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt: In order to interrogate Caleb Menge, the leader of the radical Witch Hunters, Triss pretends to be Geralt's captive to gain access to their headquarters. Depending on your choices, the ruse either succeeds or Geralt breaks the ruse and starts slaughtering all of the Witch Hunters for threatening to torture Triss.
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order at one point sends B.J. Blazkowicz into a labor/concentration camp to make contact with a particular scientist and free him. It pretty quickly turns into a general jailbreak.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! BAM, Joey's plan to get Yugi out of jail is to pose as a guard and pretend he captured you.

    Web Animation 
  • Knights Of The Old Republic Cinematic Universe: In order to find the captured Jedi Master Vrook in Episode VI: Knights and the Darkness Pt. I, Meetra Surik makes a deal with Luutrar, the thug who was captured in the previous movie. The Weequay pretends to have taken Meetra and Kreia captive, and they're escorted to the cave where Vrook is being held. However, Luutrar turns on Meetra and Kreia who then kill him and his accomplishes.
  • Used in Chapter 15 of Red vs. Blue: Reconstruction, where Church poses as Agent Washington's prisoner so they can get past they at the A.I storage facility. It fails when one guard gets suspicious and decides to report it to his superiors, leading to a shoot-out instead.


    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In the Aladdin: The Series episode "A Sultan Worth His Salt", Aladdin allows himself to be captured by the Galafems during a rescue mission to save Jasmine. While the Galafem queen and her troops interrogate Aladdin, Genie and the Sultan infiltrate the island, tie up and gag the queen's sentries, and ultimately save the day.
  • Played with repeatedly during the Boiling Rock episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
    • And in the Season 1 episode Imprisoned, they visit an Earth village that was taken over by the Fire Nation. Katara pretends to be an Earthbender in order to be taken to the prison ship in which the Fire Nation put all of the other Earthbenders, in order to free one of their friends who was captured.
    • And in "The Runaway" episode: Katara pretends to turn Toph in to the authorities to collect the sizable reward money, with the intention that Toph will simply metalbend her way out of jail. It doesn't exactly go as planned, as she ends up in a wooden cell.
  • Combined with I Surrender, Suckers in Beast Wars; In order to combat the return of the G1 Starscream (it's complicated), the Maximals pretend to surrender themselves to the Decepticon, in exchange for allowing one of their (exaggeratedly) injured comrades to use the repair bay inside their commandeered base. Starscream buys it, and locks the Maximal and their leader Optimus in the brig as leverage while ordering the rest to attack the Predacons. Turns out, though, that's exactly what the Maximals wanted, as it puts the two "prisoners" in a perfect position to retake the base.
    • Similarly, Rattrap's defection. It was a ploy to find out how the Predacons were intercepting Maximal communications so easily. Turns out they had stolen a Maximal decoder chip, which Rattrap was now in a perfect position to recover.
  • Ben 10: Omniverse: In "The Frogs of War: Part 2", Ben gains a new transformation named Bulfrag which he uses to pose as an Incursean guard and "captures" Gwen, Kevin, Max and Blukic so they can infiltrate Plumbers HQ after it was taken over by the Incurseans.
  • Buzz Lightyear of Star Command almost goes through with it, with the Commander disguised as a bounty hunter leading Buzz's captured squad away. Unfortunately, the Mole they're secretly rescuing pops out from stowaway too early.
    Brain: Oh yeah? Sweet freedom! Emperor Zurg can kiss my big, fat cerebellum. Oh... we're not at Star Command yet... are we?
  • Futurama "A Clone of My Own", Fry is brought into the "Near Death Star" as an escaped prisoner.
  • Harley Quinn (2019): Clayface disguised as a cop and King Shark attempt this to sneak into a police station in episode 6. The cops immediately freak out, tranquilize and beat the shit out of King Shark before shipping him to Blackgate prison, all in the span of less than five seconds.
  • In the Jackie Chan Adventures episode "Rumble in the Big House", Xiao Fung's demon portal is in Hollowlands Penitentiary, a prison. To get inside, Shen Montnote , Ratso, and Finn rob a bank and allow themselves to get arrested so they can use the Panku Box to free him.
  • In the Kim Possible episode "Two To Tutor", the "police helicopter" that picks up Shego and Señor Senior Junior turns out to be a fake piloted by Señor Senior Senior.
  • Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts: Kipo and Wolf let themselves be captured by the mob frogs, but Kipo is secretly bringing Mega Bunny fur with her, to attract the mother to their hideout and cause chaos so they can escape with Benson and Dave.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In "Dunces and Dragons", during SpongeBob's adventure in Ye Olde Bikini Bottom, the group infiltrates the evil wizard's castle with the recently-befriended Black Knight (Sandy) pretending to have captured Spongebob, Patrick, and Squidly (Squidward's jester ancestor). Despite knowing that this is a trick, Spongebob reacts with genuine fear when Sandy relates all the various horrible ways she plans to have them tortured.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: "Dooku Captured" begins with Anakin having intentionally gotten himself captured as part of a plan to ambush Dooku. However, the Count realizes it's a ploy very quickly.
  • Star Wars Rebels:
    • "Hera's Heroes": Ezra smuggles Hera into her own (Imperial-occupied) estate by dressing as a scout trooper who took her prisoner. This leads to their first encounter with Grand Admiral Thrawn.
    • "Through Imperial Eyes": As part of a plan to rescue the The Mole, whose cover the rebels believe has been compromised, Ezra disguises himself as a bounty hunter and lets himself get captured attempting to steal a ship, knowing he'll be taken to the cruiser where the spy is, so he can arrange a rescue from there. Things don't go quite as planned.
  • In the Steven Universe episode "Gem Heist", in order to save Greg after he gets kidnapped by Blue Diamond and taken to the Human Zoo, The Gems go there under the guise that they're delivering Steven as a new addition to the zoo.
  • The Super Hero Squad Show: In "Days, Nights, and Weekends of Future Past!", H.E.R.B.I.E. sneaks Falcon and Magneto into prison by pretending to be a Sentinel and marching them up to the doors of the prison.
  • In the Teen Titans episode "Titans Together", Jericho takes possession of Cinderblock and pretends that Pantha, Mas and Herald are his captives. He botches it when he speaks through Cinderblock, who up to this point would only grunt and roar.
  • Wolverine and Beast do this in Wolverine and the X-Men (2009), Logan even referring to Beast as "Chewie".
  • Used heavily in the Young Justice (2010) episode "Terrors", where Superboy and Miss Martian disguise themselves as supervillains and allow themselves to be "arrested" by the Justice League. While in Belle Reve prison, they foil an attempted breakout and save the day.

    Real Life 
  • Multiple examples from World War II in Europe:
    • The Dutch resistance freed 44 prisoners from Leeuwarden prison during the German occupation in 1944 by sending five men into the prison using this trope.
    • A similar escape happened at the Colditz POW Camp. The Allied prisoners were quite adept at making convincing fake guard uniforms, but the process was slow. It was noticed that a storeroom in the outer courtyard of the castle was occasionally visited by work details from another camp under heavy guard. After digging a quick tunnel to the storeroom and acquiring some Polish NCO uniforms, eight prisoners were able to walk straight out of the camp following a shift change, while using up only two of the precious guard disguises.
    • Jerzy Bielecki managed to escape from Auschwitz with a friend using this trope.
    • Witold Pilecki was a spy for the Polish resistance, who intentionally got himself sent to Auschwitz to gather intelligence and organize resistance on the inside. He eventually escaped with secret information regarding the Holocaust, which he published in an extensive report to various intelligence agencies.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Wookiee Gambit, Trojan Prisoner Ploy


Amethyst as Jasper

The only thing that alerts the Rubies that Amethyst is impersonating their leader Jasper is when she loses control of her shape-shifted form.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / ARottenTimeToRevert

Media sources: