Created By: foxley on April 29, 2013 Last Edited By: foxley on May 16, 2013
Troped

Watching The Reflection Undress

A reflective surface allows one character to see another undressing

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Seen It a Million Times.

Alice and Bob are together and Alice needs to change clothes for some reason. Bob turns his back to allow Alice some privacy. However, either by accident or design, Bob finds himself facing a reflective surface that allows him a view of Alice as she undresses.

Aside from Fanservice, a scene like this can serve several purposes. It can be used to ramp up the UST between two characters. Whether Bob chooses to watch or look away can tell the viewer a lot about Bob's character. And if Bob is unaware of the reflection but Alice turns around and sees it, it can result in Bob becoming an Accidental Pervert.

Compare Sexy Silhouette where backlighting casts a silhouette of a character undressing on a screen.

Rolling Updates

Examples:

Comic Books
  • A superpowered variation occurs in Superboy #10 in the New 52: Superboy calls out that he's started their campfire, but when she doesn't answer, he searches and is stunned to walk in on Wonder Girl (Cassandra Sandsmark) bathing in a lake. Wonder Girl angrily calls him a pervert and tells him to turn around. Superboy turns around, but puts his hand on the ground and smiles. Wonder Girl remembers that he can "see" through what he is touching (kind of like Toph from Avatar: The Last Airbender) and angrily throws a rock at the back of his head to get him to cut it out.

Film
  • In G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Flint watches Jaye change out of her evening gown in the reflection on a TV screen, which hints at their relationship in the comics where they are a couple.
  • In Dear John, John watches Savannah undress by her reflection in the mirror.
  • Used in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Marian is given a dress by Belloq, she goes to the back of the tent and Belloq happens to have a mirror where he can see her undressing, which further marks Belloq as a creep.
  • Happens in the Flash Gordon movie. In the scene after Flash is revived, Princess Aura tells him to change into a noble's uniform and turns around. However, she uses a mirror to watch Flash while he undresses.
  • Dan in Real Life: Dan is hiding in the shower when Marie starts to undress. He tries to avert his eyes, but ends up looking at a reflection of her.
  • In the 1990 film The Great San Francisco Earthquake, there was a scene where a husband and a wife were in an elevator and the wife needed to change. She told him to turn around and he did while the wife stripped her top off. There just so happened to be a mirror in the elevator and the husband glanced over at the mirror as the wife changed. No nudity was seen for the audience though but we can tell by the husband liking what he saw.

Literature
  • Happens in a Judge Dee story. The judge's lieutenant is sent to interrogate a girl, who tells him to turn around while she's changing. He complies, and she turns around, clothes dropping to the floor. She then tells him he can turn around now, but he replies that the mirror in front of him does the job just fine. A Sexy Discretion Shot ensues.
  • In the Xanth novel Demons Don't Dream, Nada Naga insists to Dug that he must not try to see her naked. When she changes in one scene, he attempts to sneak a peek at her anyway with his belt buckle, and the "computer game" that he's playing to connect him to the world of Xanth ends up booting him out because of it.

Live-Action TV
  • Similar but not identical: In an episode of Three's Company Jack & Chrissy are temporarily sharing the bedroom normally used by Chrissy & Janet, but there's a mouse in the room that Janet is afraid of. Chrissy tells Jack to turn away so she can get into bed, so he turns and looks right at a mirror which shows him Chrissy in her skimpy nightie.
  • Hollyoaks: After Newt accidentally soaks Theresa with a bucket of water, he offers her his jumper to wear. As she removes her wet top, she tells him to turn around, which he does, however watches her in a reflection on a TV. This is an early indicator of a later hook-up between the two characters.
  • In the Doctor Who mini episode "Time/Space", the reflective floor of the TARDIS lets Rory see up Amy's short skirt which causes pretty much all the problems in the episode.
  • One killer on Law & Order: Criminal Intent was a voyeuristic doctor who strategically placed a stainless steel cabinet door in his office so he could watch his patients change in the reflection.
  • In Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Mamoru Chiba sees Usagi transform into Sailor Moon while watching her reflection in an amusement park mirror maze.

Rolling Updates
Community Feedback Replies: 21
  • April 30, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Similar but not identical: In an episode of Threes Company Jack & Chrissy are temporarily sharing the bedroom normally used by Chrissy & Janet, but there's a mouse in the room that Janet is afraid of. Chrissy tells Jack to turn away so she can get into bed, so he turns and looks right at a mirror which shows him Chrissy in her skimpy nightie.
  • April 30, 2013
    TheAnswer
    Used in Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Marian is given a dress by Belloc, she goes to the back of the tent and Belloc happens to have a mirror where he can see her undressing.
  • April 30, 2013
    helterskelter
    Do we have a trope for characters simply secretly watching another undress? Because I don't feel this needs to be a separate trope from that.
  • April 30, 2013
    Chabal2
    Happens in a Judge Dee story. The judge's lieutenant is sent to interrogate a girl, who tells him to turn around while she's changing. He complies, and she turns around, clothes dropping to the floor. She then tells him he can turn around now, but he replies that the mirror in front of him does the job just fine. A Sexy Discretion Shot ensues.
  • April 30, 2013
    Tallens
    Could this be expanded to allow for sexy undressing silhouettes or shadows, or do we already have that?
  • April 30, 2013
    StarSword
    Corrected a spelling mistake (it's Belloq).
  • April 30, 2013
    foxley
    ^ Thanks.

    ^^ We have that one. It's called Sexy Silhouette.
  • May 1, 2013
    Tallens
    Thought so. Still might be worth a comparison.
  • May 2, 2013
    Chernoskill
    I seem to remember that it also happens in the Flash Gordon movie. In the scene after Flash is revived, Princess Aura tells him to change into a noble's uniform and turns around. However, she uses a mirror to watch Flash while he undresses.
  • May 2, 2013
    Trueman001
    This happens in Real Life, with eBay auctions of reflective items; UK website The Register has dubbed such images "reflectoporn".

  • May 3, 2013
    Arivne
    ^^ That's correct. The mirror she looked into was the bottom of the lid of the coffin that held his body.
  • May 3, 2013
    ElectricNova
    In the Doctor who mini episode Time/Space, the reflective floor of the TARDIS lets Rory see up Amy's short skirt which causes pretty much all the problems in the episode
  • May 5, 2013
    Dawnwing
    Literature:

    • In the Xanth novel Demons Don't Dream, Nada Naga insists to Dug that he must not try to see her naked. When she changes in one scene, he attempts to sneak a peek at her anyway with his belt buckle, and the "computer game" that he's playing to connect him to the world of Xanth ends up booting him out because of it.
  • May 5, 2013
    KevinKlawitter
    One killer on Law And Order Criminal Intent was a voyeuristic doctor who strategically placed a stainless steel cabinet door in his office so he could watch his patients change in the reflection.
  • May 5, 2013
    Rainbow
    In the live-action version of Sailor Moon, Mamoru Chiba sees Usagi transform into Sailor Moon while watching her reflection in an amusement park mirror maze.
  • May 8, 2013
    foxley
    Bump.
  • May 9, 2013
    lexicon
    Shouldn't these say what his reaction is so it tells us which purpose it serves? The second paragraph explains nicely how this is not People Sit On Chairs but a lot of the examples make it sound like it's just a matter of fact "Bob sees Alice undress," making it a Zero Context Example.
  • May 13, 2013
    foxley
    Bumping for hats.
  • May 15, 2013
    foxley
    Bumping for a final hat.
  • May 15, 2013
    Koolkev
    There was a cheap film made in 1990 called The Great San Francisco Earthquake that I watched yesterday in my Geology class. Coincidentally, there was a scene exactly like this where a husband and a wife were in an elevator and the wife needed to change. She told him to turn around and he did while the wife stripped her top off. There just so happened to be a mirror in the elevator and the husband glanced over at the mirror as the wife changed. No nudity was seen for the audience though but we can tell by the husband liking what he saw.

    If anyone could clarify their names, it would be greatly appreciated as I can't seem to find it online.

    Either way, I'm still hatting this. :)
  • May 15, 2013
    lexicon
    Some of the examples look better. Dear John is still not saying anything. I've seen the movie. I don't remember that happening and I definitely don't think he was meant to be portrayed as a creep like some of these guys. Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon and Hollyoaks are a couple that don't tell if she likes it or thinks that he's a pervert or what.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=ve0o0ly6dwsjxy6tnfxffj63&trope=WatchingTheReflectionUndress