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A subtrope to the Totem Pole Trench, this is when two or more characters, usually for reasons of comic relief or Fan Service, share a costume/disguise, be they friends, rivals, main characters, mooks or even (for bonus points) arch enemies.
An example of the trope is the classic four-legged animal costume (where one character plays the head and front legs, while the second plays as the butt of the joke...literally). Other times it'll be less obvious, where a dwarf might sit on the shoulders of a giant and have a concealing jacket (or the like) to make the look of a Genius Bruiser, or to simply get both characters past an obstacle without leaving one of them behind. A more cunning way of doing this involves a latex suit but sometimes this can backfire due to the strain of too many people in one costume, or the opposite, not enough strain to look "natural."
Anime & Manga
- In Rune Soldier Louie, the main character, Louie, fist fights in a tournament with an assassin, only find that his opponent's executioner mask covered head is a disguise for a really, really tiny second assassin, who attempts to knife the tournament's sponsor...and fails.
- In One Piece, Boa Hancock smuggles Luffy to Impel Down under her dress.
- It IS suspicious, but she's able to turn anyone to stone at a whim, so noone questions her. When she finally has to be subject to a strip search, she freezes the guard and Luffy keeps going along the rafters.
- In Trigun, Millie and Wolfwood meet a fleeing casino waitress make the snap decision to smuggle her under Millies clothes. Millie is already a towering girl, so she simply pretends to be pregnant -- with Wolfwood's child.
- In the Area 88 manga, Shin's injured legs and Mickey's injured hands force them to do this after stealing a guard's uniform to escape the Mafia's desert carrier.
- Kid Trunks and Goten do this when disguised as "Mighty Mask" in Dragonball Z.
- The ruse falls apart when an opponent kicks them hard enough that it appears Mighty Mask had been snapped in two.
- Harima and Eri share a lion costume in the New Year episode of School Rumble.
- In the second season of Nodame Cantabile (which takes place in Paris), Nodame and Kuroki end up playing the donkey in the nativity scene of a big church. They proceed to dance a japanese lion dance in honor of the baby Jesus.
- Disney's Hercules and its following cartoon series have Pain and Panic, two shapeshifting imp-like minions in service to the Big Bad. More curious is their ability to combine into one shapeshifted creature (usually mythological), which can typically be larger than the ones the two are accustomed to appearing as when separate. Arguably this is Body Sharing, but it also works with this trope.
- Another instance of body sharing, and +2 men in one suit, is in Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland. Late into the movie, the boy Nemo befriends a gang of goblins called The Goblin Boomps, who were escaping from Nightmare Land. They reveal themselves to be friendly and funny goblins, despite what the others expected them to be (being goblins). They are capable of morphing their bodies together and assuming various forms.
- Disney's Snow White has Dopey stand on top of Sneezy, in a long coat, to dance with Snow White in the Silly Song number.
- Disney's Sleeping Beauty has several woodland creatures steal the Prince's cape and boots, and pose as Brier Rose's dream prince.
- The classic four-legged animal costume makes an appearance in Disney's The Princess and the Frog, where two real-estate agents attend a masquerade ball as a horse. The one who acts worse is the horse's ass.
- An enforced variation of this happens in "Drillbit Taylor" when two characters are forced by school bullies to share a shirt (actually two identical shirts combined by switching buttons).
- In The Carniverous Carnival, Violet and Klaus use this to pose as a two-headed person.
- In Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban Malfoy and Goyle try pretending to be a Dementor this way in an attempt to frighten Harry. This gets them a Patronus from Harry, a detention from McGonagall, and costs Slytherin 50 points.
Live Action TV
- Scrubs has J.D. and (usually) Turk form "the world's most giant doctor". When they put Turk on top to form "World's Most Giant Black Doctor" apparently people ran in fear, so they decide to save that version for when they want to scare a racist patient.
- And Multi-Ethnic Siamese Doctor as well.
- Season 13 of The Amazing Race had teams don cow costumes in Almaty, Kazakhstan, then run all around the city wearing them.
- In Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin tries to sneak into an R-rated movie by putting Hobbes on his head and wearing a really long trenchcoat. It fails horribly, partly because he forgets how many of him there are supposed to be.
- In a strip from Oglaf, this trick is performed by two men allegedly trying to assassinate a prince; they disguise themselves as a single deer on his hunting grounds, and then are supposed to kill him behind his back. The ploy takes an odd turn when an actual buck tries to battle them for dominance. The man in the front loses his half of the disguise, but wins by punching the buck. The other man "plays along" by asserting his "dominance" by having sex with a doe... which turned out to be his original intent for the ruse anyway.
- In the Tale Spin episode "Stuck On You," Baloo and the main villain, Don Karnage, are forced to do this when the two are near-permanently glued together by SCIENCE!! And due to the saving of his life, Karnage makes a promise not to kill the hero until they detach via the cure. Hilarity Ensues.
- On Rocko's Modern Life, when Ed Bighead is too sick to give a proposal to the Conglomo executives, so Bev puts Heffer and Filburt in a hastily made Ed costume so that they can give the proposal. The plan goes off without a hitch, until Hef and Fil, Comically Missing the Point, jump out of the costume to yell, "Surprise!"
- At the beginning, Filbert points out the absurdity of the plan by asking Mrs. Bighead, "Since when does Mr. Bighead have 4 legs?"
- An episode of SpongeBob SquarePants has Spongebob and Patrick disguise themselves as a giant Albino Eel using just a sock so they can get Squidward back into his Secret Lodge.
- In the Mickey Mouse cartoon, "Mr. Mouse Takes a Trip", Mickey and Pluto do this to hide themselves from the conductor (Pete) who is trying to kick them off the train because dogs aren't allowed on it. When the train passes through a tunnel, they snag his jacket and hat and cover themselves with it. Of course, like all their other attempts, they failed.
- Donald Duck and Goofy do this to disguise themselves as a female moose in the cartoon "Moose Hunters".
- Parodied and subverted in a Mickey Mouse Works short where Donald is a ride operator and won't let his nephews on the ride. At one point he sees a really tall duck woman in a long dress clumsily walking to the ride, but when he rips the dress off it turns out it really was a woman and she punches his lights out.
- Peter has done the horse costume gag at lease twice in Family Guy. Once he tried to sneak Chris into the county fair ("Wait a minute... your ass just sneezed! And horses can't talk! No no no, none of this adds up at all..."), and another he had Brian put on the costume so they could sneak past Lois...who didn't even notice ("Okay, I'm just gonna come right out and say it: Why did we need the horse costume?").
- In the My Gym Partner's a Monkey Episode "Lyon of Scrimmage" Jake poses as Adam's arms by hiding in his jersey to combine Jake's throwing and Adam's running.
- Shaggy and Scooby Doo have done this a number of times.
- The My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic episode "Dragon Quest" has Rarity, Rainbow Dash, and Twilight all sharing a dragon costume.
- On an episode of the Simpsons all the employees have to go through an X-ray machine to get in. No one is stopped including people carrying guns and "... two kids pretending to be an adult".
- The episode Room and Bird of Looney Tunes has Sylvestor, Tweety, and Hector all stand on top of each other wearing a mismatched set of clothes they found in a dresser - the reason being that they are in a no-pets-allowed hotel and had to pass themselves off as being a person to not get kicked out.
- In the Chowder episode "The Bruised Bluenana" Panini hops into Chowder's clothing to keep an eye on him while he takes care of a spoiled fruit.