Created By: thatsummer on December 19, 2010 Last Edited By: fefe on March 31, 2012

Sounds Like He's Killing Her

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This trope is NOT about masochism. We already have tropes for that. This is about when a character is having sex, or doing something else non-masochists would enjoy (it doesn't have to be sex), and the noises they make are mistaken for screams of pain by other characters. The opposite of Looks Like She Is Enjoying It. Definitely Needs More Examples.


  • In the short film version of D.E.B.S., the Charlie's Angels-like team thinks their colleague is being tortured, but her screams are actually the villain giving her an orgasm.
  • In Sealab 2021 Dr. Quinn is taken away for questioning by Bizarro Debbie. After the sounds of torture give way to sounds of obvious intercourse, Murphy loudly proclaims "Good lord, she's killing him!"
  • In Absolute Power, hearing the sounds of rough sex and believing the President to be in danger, Secret Service agents burst in, shooting the President's mistress dead.
Community Feedback Replies: 25
  • December 19, 2010
    Sounds Like Hes Killing Her would make a good title
  • December 19, 2010
    In WALL-E, when EVE is getting repaired, she laughs as part of the repairing device goes under her head; however, to WALL-E it appears that she is screaming as her head is cut off
  • December 22, 2010
    Done in Law and Order: SVU in the episode "Paternity." The SVU detectives are searching for a married woman who they believe was kidnapped; they track her to a hotel room where they hear her screaming loudly and burst in with their guns pointed, only to find her having passionate sex with her boyfriend.
  • December 22, 2010
    This probably could use a better title. It's just asking for But I Though It Meant.
  • December 22, 2010
    And here I thought it was a trope for people always craving a cigarette after some hardship, in that case justified because nicotine has various "Feel Good" effects on the human body (Which is part of why people smoke to begin with.)
  • December 23, 2010
  • December 23, 2010
    The David Ives play "Bolero" has a man and woman awake in bed trying to decide if the sounds from next door are a woman enjoying herself or being killed.
  • December 23, 2010
    This example doesn't fit the trope as written, but it is in the same spirit.

    Luke, Han, Leia, Chewbacca: [Yelling and screaming in happiness at not getting squashed]
    C-3PO: Listen to them! They're dying, Artoo! Curse my metal body, I wasn't fast enough!
  • February 28, 2011
    Possible subtrope of Not What It Looks Like.

  • February 28, 2011
    May well result in a Primal Scene.
    And you'll never have sex again when you have a child. You'll be afraid that you'll be in a passionate embrace, the door will swing open, and a little voice will go "You're killing Mom!"
    --Robin Williams "Live at the Met"
  • February 28, 2011
    • In the Royal Pains episode "No Man Is An Island," Hank hears a pregnant woman screaming and rushes into the room to help her. Turns out she's just receiving oral sex from her husband.
  • February 28, 2011
    Can it be the inverse? A Jonathan Creek episode has what sounds like an orgasm actually being the screams of someone brutally murdered.
  • February 28, 2011
    Happens in Looking For Group when Cale and Ben'Joon finally resolve their UST. Richard, the local Token Evil Teammate suffering from Ping Pong Naivete overhears them and thinks they're killing each other, and yells encouragement.
  • February 28, 2011
    In Ruthless People, Danny DeVito's character is going to kill his wife. His mistress decides to blackmail him, and sends her boyfriend (Bill Pullman) to videotape the murder. Instead he unwittingly films the local police chief and a prostitute noisily making love in a car. He is so convinced the screams are the expected murder that he gets physically ill.
  • February 28, 2011
    In the South Park episode "The Death Of Eric Cartman" Eric mistakes his mother's screams of sexual pleasure for crying. He thinks he's dead.
  • February 28, 2011
    On Dexter, Dexter is going after a member of a ring of rapist-murderers and hears a woman's screams coming from the man's hotel room. He investigates and finds them engaged in a bit of (consensual) rough sex.
  • February 28, 2011
    Link Immodest Orgasm in introduction?
  • March 1, 2011
    In Suburban Commando, Hulk Hogan's character hear's Jenny Wilcox screaming and rushes to her rescue, but it turns it she was reacting to something on TV.
  • March 1, 2011
    • More than a few episodes of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit has had this happen.
  • March 1, 2011
    In the second episode of The Venture Brothers, while on a space station, Brock has sex with one of the astronauts, which the boys mistake for the two of them fighting. A couple of episodes later, Brock is having (imaginary) sex with Molotov Cocktease while in the Joycan, which is again mistaken for fighting.
  • March 3, 2011
    Don't know if this is the same thing: On Babylon5, G'kar singing Narn Opera while in prison was misinterpreted by many as him being tortured.
  • March 28, 2012
    Needs a non-dialog name.
  • March 28, 2012
    ^^ Nope, unless G'kar was also having sex whilst singing Narn Opera. And that's not the B5 I remember.


    Non-dialogue name: Sounds Like Murder Looks Like Sex?
  • March 31, 2012
    Part of the plot of Ruthless People is thinking a planned murder was happening and blackmailing the guy by taping it, but what what filmed was a tryst between two other people, where the lady was just screaming in ecstasy.
  • March 31, 2012
    Adam-12 did this once. The neighbors called the cops only to find out the two were rehearsing a play, not really wanting to kill each other.