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Undercover Model

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"I'm in a dress, I have gel in my hair, I haven't slept, I'm starved, and I'm armed. Don't mess with me."
Agent Hart, Miss Congeniality

When the Fair Cop (preferably a female one) is forced to Clean Up Nicely and pretend to be a fashion model, beauty pageant contestant, stripper or other hot-chick-related job in order to investigate a crime. The lady is usually Hollywood Homely and doesn't think she's attractive at all until after the Makeover Montage. Often a shallow excuse for Fanservice.

Sometimes combined with Dirty Harriet, for example when impersonating a High-Class Call Girl.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In one episode of Sailor Moon the Monster of the Week is drawing energy from women in a contest where wedding gown designers have to model their own dresses. Usagi disguises herself as a contestant in order to find out who it is. Although she had been planning to enter the contest anyway - it's just that her sewing skills were atrocious.

    Comic Books 
  • G.I. Joe:
    • One issue of G.I. Joe Special Missions had Scarlett, Lady Jaye, Cover Girl and Jinx undercover as dancers on a parade float.
    • Cover Girl's background is this in reverse: She was actually a fashion model before joining the Joes.
  • In Domino Lady's Threesome, Domino Lady goes undercover as a performer in a burlesque show to learn why some dancers have mysteriously vanished.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • This is the entire premise of Miss Congeniality. Gracie has to go undercover in the Miss USA pageant to prevent a possible terrorist attack.
  • An impromptu one in X-Men: First Class where Moira sees their lead going into a strip club and so strips down to her underwear and follows him in.
    "I'm using some equipment the CIA didn't give me..."
  • Another impromptu version in What a Girl Wants. Daphne is tricked by the Alpha Bitch into going to a fashion show dressed casually when it's supposed to be formal. She gets mistaken for a model and pushed out on stage.
  • She Shoots Straight has Mina and Ling going undercover as models during a fashion show to uncover some illegal weapons trade. It works, until the two women have to fight while wearing heels.
  • In Sleepover Julie pretends to be a swimsuit model to meet a blind date in a club. The date turns out to be her teacher.
  • The Not His Sled twist at the end of the 2004 remake of The Stepford Wives - Joanna goes undercover as a Stepford Wife so that Walter can reverse the programming and save the other wives.
  • The whole premise of Anna, where a beautiful KGB agent works as a super model for her cover identity, and to help get close to some targets.

  • Subverted in the Discworld novels: The needs-an-official-document-to-prove-he's-human "Nobby" Nobbs and the gorgeous blonde Sgt. Angua von Uberwald perform an undercover "sting" operation requiring one of them to dress up as a "seamstress" (Discworld euphemism for "prostitute"). Guess which one.
  • Ciaphas Cainnote : Ordo Xenos Inquisitor Amberley Vail is first introduced as a Glamorous Wartime Singer. Helps that she sings very well and can act the part.
  • A Rare Male Example in Cut and Run. In the third book, FBI agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett go undercover as a married couple and Ty has to be a Trophy Husband. He looks so bleached, waxed, and polished that Zane starts referring to him as a Ken doll.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Happens to Myka on Warehouse 13. Sparks a discussion of Hollywood Pudgy (the writers think it's ridiculous).
  • Diana pulls this off in White Collar.
  • Kate Beckett does this impromptu-ly around Russian mobsters in Castle. More specifically: she ditches all clothing bar her bright red bra and panties and wears her jacket as a dress (with a Navel-Deep Neckline to boot).
  • A rare male case occurs in Psych when Shawn and Gus claim to be male models. Both played straight with Gus and subverted when nobody believes Shawn is a model, forcing him to claim to be a hand (and foot!) model.
  • Diana Prince, in the Wonder Woman TV series, went undercover as a beauty pageant contestant. Steve didn't think she was pretty enough to pull it off. Because Steve is an idiot.
  • This happened on an episode of New York Undercover—in this case they were male models. (In another episode they were drag queens.)
  • Every other episode of Charlie's Angels.
  • On the Married... with Children episode where Bud makes an exercise video, 3 lady cops (coincidentally named after Charlie's Angels) play background dancers in order to take down the mob boss who financed the video. They also arrest Bud for perving on them.
  • One episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent has this in the form of Detective Stevens pretending to want to work for an escort service.
  • Amber Tamblyn's character in The Unusuals had been working Vice undercover as a prostitute before being reassigned.
  • Comes up on Chuck in one early season 4 episode: The mission takes Chuck and Sarah to Milan for Fashion Week (Casey has to stay behind after stabbing someone with a stiletto last time he was in Milan) to retrieve weapons technology from a Volkoff agent who uses her cover as a fashion model to move it through customs. Initially it looks like this will be averted in Sarah's case, until the pair is forced to go back to Milan and she masquerades as a model to make off with the dress in which the technology is concealed. Of course, a Catwalk Catfight ensues.
  • In the 70's cop show Police Woman, Angie Dickinson's character goes undercover as a casino hostess to infiltrate an illegal gambling ring. Her job is to dress elegantly, be pleasant, and entice "whales" to stay and gamble. She blows her cover when a mob boss demands sexual services.
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch has a Season 7 episode where Sabrina wants to get a news story on a talent contest - so she, Morgan and Roxie enter as a Girl Group.
  • Hunter: In the third-season episode "Double Exposure", Sgt. McCall goes undercover as a photo model to infiltrate a model agency suspected of foul play. She doesn't even have to Clean Up Nicely: using her natural good looks, she has no problems producing a portfolio that impresses the agency into hiring her on the spot.

    Video Games 
  • In Hitman (2016), Agent 47 infiltrates a fashion show in Paris, where he can knock out or kill the male supermodel Helmut Kruger. They happen to bear more than a passing resemblance to each other, and add to that some heavy makeup, nobody can tell the difference between them, which gives 47 almost unlimited access to his targets. He can even quite fabulously walk the catwalk before getting on with his assassinations.

    Web Comics 
  • Inadvertently happens to Ki in General Protection Fault during the Nerdvana arc. Ki doesn't try to pass herself off as a supermodel, but is mistaken for one anyway (partially due to the supermodel's thinking all nerds are men).