Fake IDs in Popular Culture


We’ve all heard about fake IDs and their mystical powers to make any laws against minors vanish in an instant. But for such a wondrous and sacred piece of plastic, the only coverage you might have seen about fake IDs has probably been on a news article somewhere.

It’s a shame but a fake ID never gets the kind of glamorous coverage that it truly deserves. Well, that changes today. That’s because we will be looking at some of the most notable instances of fake IDs in pop culture as we know it. So without further ado, let’s get into it.

Fake IDs in Movies

There’s not better receptacle for pop culture than movies themselves. As long as movies about going out and having fun have existed, so have the presence of fake IDs. Some movies only tease this concept for brief second or two while others base an entire subplot around it.

It’s safe to say, that movies have had their fair share of portrayals for fake IDs. And while the list doesn’t run incredibly high, it puts just about any Buzzfeed listicle to shame. Here are some of the more popular movie portrayals of fake IDs.

1. Vegas Vacation: Buying a Cheap Fake ID off the Streets

This late 90’s sleeper hit cruised past a lot of people when it came out. Even today, it doesn’t hold any major popularity. But it’s a holy grail for anyone looking to portrayal of living large in Vegas with a fake ID.

Vegas Vacation is like a more promiscuous version of Home Alone. The story starts with Rusty Grisworld, a teenager whose father has just come into some money and decides to take his family on a trip to Vegas.

While there, Rusty manages to score a fake ID from a Frank Sinatra lookalike while roaming the strip. All it takes is $10 for Rusty to get a legit looking fake to do whatever he wants. He ends up using his new found license on life to gamble away at the high rollers and win big.

Vegas Vacation is a timeless classic that comically portrays the rush of buying and using a fake ID for the first time and having it work flawlessly.

2. The Talented Mr. Ripley: Making High Level Fakes at Home

When The Talented Mr. Ripley came out in 1999, it was considered a pretty decent psych thriller flick with mostly positive buzz about it.

Image Courtesy: Amazon Images

While on the surface, The Talented Mr. Ripley reads pretty much like another psychological thriller out there, it does have more to it. At the heart of it is the makings of an expert fake ID producer.

The movie focuses on Tom Ripley, a guy that gets around making his living by telling lies, running cons, and just generally deceiving others. But his biggest talent is his ability to impersonate people and with that comes the ability to fake their documents. Ripley manages to forge various forms of ID including something as high profile as a passport.

The Talented Mr. Ripley shows just what the depths of ID forgery looks like both on paper and in person.

3. SuperBad: Using a fake ID and Actually Getting Away With It

High school and college comedies are a dime a dozen these days. But nothing hits quite so hard like SuperBad did when it came out in 2007. Not only did capture the essence of being a teenager but it managed to sneak in one of the best fake ID scenes of all time.

Image Courtesy: Sony Pictures

Superbad is a coming of age story that gives a window into what the high school party culture really looks like. The film stars various high school students who are trying to celebrate their last two weeks in high school.

One of the students, Fogell decides that he needs a fake ID in order to score some booze for the house party he’s going to. Hilarity ensues when his fake ID has him trying to impersonate a 25 year old Hawaiian organ donor named MCLovin. Against all odds, he manages to dupe the police and have a night of partying out that he’ll never forget.

SuperBad is one of the quintessential comedy flicks that show how a fake ID check can surprise you at times.

Celebrities That Have Used a Fake ID

It’s not unlike a celebrity to get into a spot of trouble every now and then. And usually when it happens, it tends to blow up for large period of time.

Just like anyone else, celebrities are prone to using fake IDs too. It can be a humbling experience to know that your favorite celebrities had the same hustle you did as a teenager. Here are some of the most notable celebrity fake ID uses.

1. Kelli Berglund: Sneaking into Coachella with a Fake

Kelli Berglund is famous Disney star known for her role in the comedy Lab Rats. In April, 2016, she was caught trying to sneak into Coachella using a fake ID. Posing to be 21, her actual age was only a year off with her being 20 at the time. Unsurprisingly, she was caught by the event security and handed over to the police for a citation.

2. Joe Gludice: Trying to Drive with Fake ID

While not a celebrity in the strictest of sense, Joe Gludice is famous for being the husband of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Theresa Gludice. You might be wondering why a 47 year old man would need a fake ID. The answer is simple, his license was suspended so he used a fake to get back out onto the road. He ended up getting caught and facing some hefty charges for his little stint with the law.

3. Rachel Madow: Successfully Using a Fake for Years to Get into Bars

Surprisingly, Rachel Madow is the only celebrity here who didn’t get caught using a fake ID. During an interview, she confessed to buying a fake ID at the age of 17 for $25. She used this ID to get into gay bars in her area. She used her fake for years to hang around bars until she was old enough to do it legally.

College Stories about Fake IDs

Fake IDs and teenagers stick together like peanut butter and jelly. So it shouldn’t be surprising to find that fake IDs end up getting the limelight in college campuses. Here are some of the most ridiculous college stories about fake IDs.

1. College Dean Accidently Receives Fake IDs

It was an eye opening day on the 21st of Feb, 2015 when a Radnor college dean ended up receiving a stack fake IDs meant to be sent to a student named Dean. Unsurprisingly, the dean was not amused and tightened security around the campus.

Ironic considering how a case of mistaken identity led to a case of false identity.

Image Courtesy: Town News

2. UK Teen uses a Fake ID with a Cartoon Character on it to Dupe Six Stores

It’s not every day that you get to stand proud over doing something illegal. But this 17 year old from the UK probably got a reason to when he managed to dupe six different liquor stores in Nottinghamshire before getting caught. The best part being that he was using an ID with a picture of King of The Hill’s Bobby Hill on it.

Safe to say, if there was ever an award for slipping under the radar, he should probably have it.


Jason Kray

Jason Kray was born in Yakima, Washington. He has written more than 100 reviews on novelty IDs keeping a close eye on "Fake ID Services" & their year-to-year performance.

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