Living a Double Life

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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By day, outspoken Granola Girl. By night, multi-award winning piemaker.


New friends I have made are fascinated with the international intrigue associated with my father's line of work. However I let them know that life with a spy was as normal as theirs except that their fathers planed corporate strategies while mine planned embassy break-ins, assisted defectors and their families seeking asylum, and created counterintelligence strategies. Pretty normal stuff as I saw it.
Spies Wives: Stories of CIA Families Abroad by Karen L. Chiao and Mariellen B. O'Brien

Any character secretly living another life (or even more than that) can be a very powerful plot device in fiction, allowing for any number of stories. What kind of life is being led normally? What kind of life is being led secretly? Will the secret life be revealed? If not, how will it be avoided? If it is revealed, how soon in the story, and what are the repercussions?

And this is Truth in Television, where reveals of such lives make up quite a number of scandalous tales.

Compare Double Consciousness.

A Super-Trope to:

Examples That Don't Fit In The Sub Tropes:
  • American Dad had many forms of this.
    • Roger became a master of this when he took up frequent disguising, to the point where the show found many ways to play with this.
    • As on the picture, Hayley turned out to be an award winning cook, dressing up like a 1950s housewife despite her far left wing views.
  • Neo from The Matrix leads a double life as a regular white collar worker Thomas Anderson and an infamous hacker of international renown.
  • Angel in Angel (no relation to Angel in Angel). Schoolgirl by day, hooker by night.
  • The narrator of the song "Junk Food Junkie"

In the daytime I'm Mr. Natural
Just as healthy as I can be
But at night I'm a Junk Food Junkie
Good Lord, have pity on me

  • Sharon from the Street Fighter EX series works as a nun by day, dutifully and painstakingly making it her mission to take care of orphans living at the monastery where she was raised. At night, however, she moonlights as a cool and collected highly-ranked secret agent usually employed by an unknown intelligence group to carry out assassinations.
  • Paulo Thiago is a UFC welterweight fighter who initially was noticed for an underdog victory by knockout in his UFC debut against perennial contender Josh Koscheck... however, his legend took off in America when it was revealed that his day job is being a member of the Brazilian capital's military police special operations battalion—aka BOPE.
    • He's a member of the unit in Brasilia, not the unit in Rio de Janeiro on which the book and movie were based, but the distinction is usually lost in America, which the UFC has never tried to correct—in fact, at UFC 134: Rio his entrance music was the Elite Squad theme song, complete with the (Brazilian) crowd singing it.
  • Action Pet Perry the Platypus in Phineas and Ferb acts like a normal pet around his family, but is actually a Badass Secret Agent.