Editor’s note: This is part of a series of posts that highlight storytelling techniques repeatedly recycled in film. I’ll post a link to these within some of my reviews in order to save words and keep from driving myself crazy writing the same thing over and over.

Frequently used in romantic movies, particularly teen films. The film’s star pretends to be something they’re not (rich if they’re poor, nerdy if they’re cool, sometimes hiding their race or sex, etc.). Either they’re doing it to impress a love interest or they meet cute with the love interest while masquerading for some other reason. The plan works until the masquerader is eventually exposed, to the disappointment of the love interest. From there, the film typically engineers a way for the masquerader and love interest to patch things up, with the masquerader having learned a little something about themselves (aww).