%% Image selected per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1316482246081560400
%% Please do not change or remove without starting a new thread.
%% Image is from an Ameriquest Insurance Commercial.
%%
[[quoteright:340:[[SuperBowlSpecial http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ameriquest_reclame_2528.JPG]]]]

->''"It's not what you think! I know it looks like we're cleaning dishes, [[DeadpanSnarker but actually]] [[InvertedTrope we're having sex]]."''
-->-- '''Gregory House''', ''Series/{{House}}''

A common trope in romantic comedies is the humorous misunderstanding, or the Not What It Looks Like.

A couple teetering between WillTheyOrWontThey has gradually started to slide toward "they will". But wait! The girl sees the guy's old crush/ex-girlfriend/other person who's previously expressed a romantic interest in him (or vice versa) go into his apartment/a hotel room/etc., and stay for a suspicious length of time.

The girl is convinced that he and the other woman have gotten together, and goes through intense doubt about her own relationship with the guy. However, she'll [[CannotSpitItOut hardly ever confront him]] about it, instead preferring to stew in her own insecurity or make veiled bitchy comments to the guy, who's usually completely clueless as to what's going on because the other woman just wanted something completely banal, like someone to bitch to after her latest boyfriend dumped her. The scales even out, the status quo (i.e., {{U|nresolvedSexualTension}}ST) is restored, and the fans tear their hair out and scream at the writers for some progress, dammit!

Often the other woman will catch on to what's happened after a while and tell the girl what really went on, clearing the way for a slide toward "they will" again. In most of these situations, the other woman is a {{relative|Error}}, [[BrotherSisterIncest "proving"]] to the girl that nothing untoward was happening.

This can also apply to parents or teachers finding young people in compromising positions, where one or both parties age is the problem.

Can provide the grounds for a ThirdActMisunderstanding.

The name of the trope comes from what is usually the first line the guy says afterward, often followed by, "ICanExplain!" This line is also the first line uttered by an AccidentalPervert.

Another common way this trope, though it's still nowhere near as the AccidentalPervert one, is the looks-like-a-killer way. A guy is holding a knife, he's covered in red stuff, someone lying on the floor appears to be bleeding and he has a psychotically angry look on his face, but he's not actually a killer. He's covered in tomato sauce, he's holding a knife because it almost fell onto him, his friend is passed out because a sauce pan full of tomato sauce fell on him and he's angry because there's sauce all over the floor.

See InnocentInnuendo for a more sexual-related variant of this trope.

----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Advertising]]
* The trope's image comes from [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOixDP-SdKw the first of this series]] of Ameriquest ads.
* The punchline in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7i9eJZ4h33I#t=5s this Trojans commercial]] double-inverts the trope.
* This ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0iR05lYy1g This is SportsCenter]]'' ad.
* One advertisement series pushed this UpToEleven with various scenes, including one where a man is trying to track down his daughter who stormed out mad because he wouldn't give her the money to buy a [=CD=]. He decides he was wrong and goes out after her, where he finds her walking along a street, stops her and says that he changed his mind, here's the money. Cut to scene where police car, behind him, sees a man in a car handing money to a young lady who stopped when he called out to her, and she's leaning through the window.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' this leads to MistakenForCheating more than a few times. It's never what it looks like.
** Yes, but he probably shouldn't have shouted "Now give it up!" while leaning over [[EnergyAbsorption a very buxom]] [[HotForStudent teacher]] and [[PressurePoint grabbing at]] [[ThanksForTheMammary her breast]]. Or tried to do [[{{Determinator}} the same thing several times]] over the next week....
** Also in one episode, Akane burns herself while trying to ignite Ranma's rage; the fire has burned off her top so she's left in her bra, and Ranma gives her his shirt to cover herself. Ryôga comes across this -- and thinks Ranma tried to rape her.
* ''LightNovel/FullMetalPanic''
** Kaname is first introduced to Sôsuke's [=CO=] [[SpellMyNameWithAnS Teletha]] Testarossa, [[ImprobableAge a 16-year old girl]], coming out of the shower in his apartment. Since she is unaware that Tessa is his [=CO=], Kaname's immediate (and justifiable) assumption is that she is his girlfriend -- an assumption only encouraged by Tessa, who's too pleased to be taken for Sôsuke's girlfriend to be any help at all in clearing things up.
** However, when Tessa actually climbs into bed with Sôsuke in an episode of ''Anime/FullMetalPanicFumoffu'', Kaname -- by this point [[GenreSavvy well aware]] that he's a [[ChasteHero hopeless case]] -- replies to Sôsuke's panicky "It's not what it looks like!" with an irritable, "yes, yes," and proceeds to get on Tessa's case for breaking their mutual agreement not to go into Sôsuke's room.
** Before the first meeting with Tessa, there is an episode where Sôsuke notices a thief sneaking up to Kaname's balcony and goes to stop him. It turns out to be Shinji Kazama, a classmate of theirs forced to steal a pair of Kaname's panties by upperclassmen who are holding something of his hostage. Shinji's also a military {{Otaku}}, so he and Sôsuke start having a lively conversation. So Kaname steps out onto the balcony just in time to see the two of them chatting away -- and worse, when Sôsuke starts to explain, he raises his hand and accidentally shows the panties he grabbed from Shinji earlier. BatterUp!
* An odd version of this occurs in ''VisualNovel/HigurashiNoNakuKoroNi'', because what it looks like is not sex, but murder. [[spoiler: Keiichi finds Rika's body being pecked by crows, and in the process of fending them off, he drops his axe into her blood covering it with her blood and his fingerprints, though in this case it really isn't as it seems.]]
* ''Manga/MaisonIkkoku'': Made up almost entirely of a long string of Not What It Looks Like incidents for the major characters. In the beginning they tend to end in apparent {{Snap Back}}s, amplified by pathological levels of CannotSpitItOut. But as the show progresses they have long-lasting repercussions and increasingly force Godai and Kyoko to ''talk'' to each other and learn to trust each other. Particularly notable examples:
** Godai and Asuna (Mitaka's sort-of fiancée) open Mitaka's door to find him on the floor on top of Kyoko. [[spoiler:He actually fell on her after passing out from his fear of dogs, but]] Godai and Asuna both look like they've been clocked with a brick and leave before Kyoko can catch them to explain. It was nice to see the tables turned on Kyoko for once, and have Godai be the jealous one.
** Subverted when Godai's student Yagami gets her friends to lock him in a storage closet with her. She's wearing only bloomers and a bra, and threatens to scream rape if he doesn't stay and talk to her. She grabs him when he tries to leave, the struggle results in a fall, and Godai thinks his life is over when [[spoiler:the principal opens the window with Kyoko standing behind her]]... while he's kneeling over a half-naked Yagami, [[ThanksForTheMammaries with his hand on her breast]]. [[spoiler:Luckily for him, they've been listening long enough to know he's not at fault.]]
** Quadrupled, subverted, averted, ''and'' inverted when Mitaka takes Kyoko on a date that turns out to actually be, '''1.''' an ''[[ArrangedMarriage omiai]]'' cooked up with the help of [[IWantGrandkids Kyoko's mother]]. Kyoko calls Godai and asks him to come help her, but when he gets there Mitaka tells Godai that he's reserved a hotel room for them before whisking her away to dinner before Godai can see her. Kyoko is notably anxious -- Mitaka asks if she called Godai, then [[MetaphoricallyTrue "speculates"]] that, '''2.''' he must not have cared enough to come. When Kyoko's [[BumblingDad father]] shows up at Ikkoku late that night and she's not back, he freaks out and tries to hunt the city for them; Godai goes with him (mostly to keep him calm). When they get back and she's still not home, he keeps telling him to have faith in his daughter '''3.''' despite appearances. [[spoiler:When Kyoko does get home (after turning Mitaka down) and finds out they've been looking for her, she blows up at her father for overreacting. So he claims that he had faith in her, and '''4.''' makes it look like it was all Godai's idea.]] This alone may establish Creator/RumikoTakahashi as the Queen of Not What It Looks Like.
** Mitaka gets drunk and can't remember what happened between him and Asuna, except that he woke up in the morning in bed without his clothes on. He asks what happened, and she, thinking he is talking about their kiss, confirms they "did something". As if that isn't enough, [[spoiler:Asuna's dog and Mitaka's dog ''did'' do What It Looks Like that night -- he misunderstands when she tells him about "the pregnancy," and promises to "take responsibility". Now this is all classic comedy, and you're just waiting for the SnapBack, but by the time Mitaka learns the truth it's too late and he's committed to marrying her. He was rather unhappy about it too. At first, at least.]]
** Godai has to go to a {{love hotel|s}} to cover the bill for a drunken housemate (Akemi) whose date had abandoned her, and walks out with her just in time to run into his nominal girlfriend Kozue -- who then immediately runs to Kyoko for advice. But it turns out that Akemi had engineered the whole thing in order to give Kozue the impression that Godai was seeing other women, so that she would break up with Godai, so he could get together with Kyoko. And [[spoiler:it works, too. Now doubtful about Godai, Kozue accepts the marriage proposal she had received from someone else, tells Godai, who admits he really wanted someone else (just not Akemi). When Kyoko asks Akemi about Godai, Akemi is careful to word her answers so Kyoko ends up with exactly the wrong impression. This time, the only way Godai can account for his actions is by confessing his love to Kyoko, and they (almost) sleep together ''that night'' after over ''years''' of {{U|nresolvedSexualTension}}ST]].
* ''Anime/MazingerZ'': It happened sometimes in the original series, but the ''ShinMazingerZero'' spin-off gave a particularly hilarious example. In a chapter Kouji and Minerva-X are together inside the cockpit. During the battle Mazinger moves a lot and Minerva lands on Kouji on a ''very awkward and embarrassing'' position (face-down and on top of Kouji, with her head hovering above his groin and Kouji's head stood between her legs). Sayaka -who had just arrived and destroyed three [[{{Robeast}} Mechanical Beasts]] in a fit of jealous rage- sees them, and they -after displaying tremendously comical OhCrap stares- try to explain it is not what it looks like, and Minerva was not human but she actually is a Super Robot created by TheProfessor Dr. Kabuto to be Mazinger-Z's BattleCouple. Sayaka's reaction was an incredulous FlatWhat before trying killing them.
* In ''REC'' ([[SimilarlyNamedWorks Not]] [[Film/{{REC}} the Spanish horror film]]), Aka notes that Fumihiko never comes home after going out drinking with an old crush whose boyfriend had just broken up with her. He'd carried her back to her apartment after she'd passed out drinking, then she'd woken up and wanted to continue drinking with him through the night.
* In ''Manga/NodameCantabile'', Chiaki's ex-girlfriend Saiko comes to see him so she can complain about being passed over for the lead role in a concert. Nodame sees them together and spirals into comic depression. Slightly different in that Saiko (after a few drinks) ''does'' try to get back together with Chiaki, but he refuses.
* ''Manga/SchoolRumble''
** In the BeachEpisode, [[http://www.myvideo.de/watch/1446245/School_Rumble_12_Part_2_3 Kenji Harima ends up naked]] and grappling with the bikini-clad Eri Sawachika when their classmate Akira Takano walks in. Even worse than the usual Not What It Looks Like because it looks like he's about to rape her, ''including to Eri herself''. Akira is immediately able to discern (and explain in detail to Eri) ''exactly how they got into that position'', rather than jumping to the obvious conclusion. This only serves to further cement Akira's position as the only GenreSavvy person in a series that parodies GenreBlindness.
--->'''Akira:''' Ah, let me guess. Eri walked in on you while you were changing, and you, in your ''infinite wisdom'', decided to grab her to keep her from screaming. Don't worry Harima, I don't think you're a pervert, but you are a great big idiot.
** It gets better -- the reason he panics and grabs Eri is because he's afraid it'll lead to another misunderstanding with Tenma, his love interest. [[spoiler:Before the beginning of the series, he rescued her from a thug and carried her back to his apartment since she was unconscious. When he leaned in for the traditional DudeShesLikeInAComa kiss, she woke up and thought he was about to molest her (or already had). Unluckily for him, Akira wasn't present to explain.]]
** The release of ''Manga/SchoolRumble'' in the U.S. invoked this trope in all of the promotional material, especially with the tagline: "It's not what you think! It's hilarious!"
* [[UnwantedHarem Harem comedies]] in general rely heavily on this trope, if to distract people from the main couple (or make their relationship not so painfully inevitable) or inspire shipping.
** Fox example, ''Manga/LoveHina''. It usually ends up with either Naru or Motoko attacking Keitaro.
** Also in ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'', the next series by Ken Akamatsu. It's often subverted by the fact that most of the characters are [[GenreSavvy often fully aware]] that it isn't what it looks like. This doesn't stop [[AccidentalPervert these types of moments]] from happening often. The worst is probably [[http://www.mangafox.com/manga/mahou_sensei_negima/v31/c283/9.html this]], which could very easily be construed as a sexual encounter if one was not aware of the context (NSFW, obviously. Also, spoilers).
*** Also happens in [[http://www.mangafox.com/manga/mahou_sensei_negima/v22/c199/8.html this scene]].
** ''Manga/AiYoriAoshi'' averts this: despite having so many situations where it's Not What It Looks Like, as the girls listen to Kaoru's explanations and actually believe him. Sometimes, he doesn't even need to explain anything. Except for his first encounter with Miyabi. He'd gotten out of the tub in an unsuccessful attempt to keep Aoi from coming in. Then he slipped and fell on top of her. So Miyabi enters and sees Kaoru, naked, kneeling between Aoi's legs ... with his hands [[ThanksForTheMammary firmly planted on her breasts]]. It was perfectly natural for Miyabi to [[PunchedAcrossTheRoom throw him across the room]] and start trying to stomp him to death.
* ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya''
** When the Student Council demands that the SOS Brigade produce a book of short stories if they want to continue using the Literature Club Room, Kyon is forced to write a romantic short story. He refuses to give Haruhi the last page, and she attacks him, holding him in a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_%28grappling%29 wrestling position]]. Enter Mikuru, who knows about Kyon and Haruhi's love for each other and the BelligerentSexualTension. She sees them in [[http://www.baka-tsuki.org/project/images/c/c4/Sh_v08_c01_13.jpg this position]], and...
** Taniguchi jumps to the obvious conclusion after seeing Kyon kneeling over Yuki in an empty classroom. Actually, she was on the floor because she had just [[spoiler:saved]] Kyon [[spoiler:from a rogue Data Entity]], and was trying to recover from [[spoiler:the wounds she took]] in her [[spoiler:fight with it]] before she could get back up and they could finish [[spoiler:fixing the damage]]. While it wasn't what it looked like, Kyon couldn't exactly explain.
** In Disappearance, Kyon has been losing it all through the beginning when it seems like [[spoiler:Haruhi and Koizumi have been erased, Mikuru and Tsuruya don't recognize him, and Asakura has returned.]] Then he finds Yuki. [[spoiler:she recognizes him, which gets his hopes up for a second, but doesn't remember Haruhi or any of the things they've been through.]] He finally snaps and eventually pins her against a wall in a way that looks like assault. Once he finally comes back to his senses, he realizes about how easily this scene can be misconstrued if someone were to walk in and backs off.
* ''LightNovel/TheFamiliarOfZero''
** Played... oddly in season 3 when the ridiculously busty Tiffania asks Saito to feel her breasts, because she's trying to understand why everyone keeps asking her whether they're real. Saito, rather stupidly (considering his [[AccidentalPervert past track record]]) agrees to check them out and is predictably caught by Louise and Siesta in bed with Tiffania, enthusiastically groping her. Played straight in [[InnocentFanserviceGirl Tiffania's]] case, but almost certainly inverted in Saito's case.
** Also averted and played straight simultaneously in the first episode of the second season. Saito tries (and fails) several times to kiss Princess Henrietta. Unfortunately, the head guard, Agnes, sees this, but decides to forgive him of "his shameless act". More unfortunately, Louise goes absolutely berserk, whipping Saito until the sun rises the next morning, which is when Agnes barges into the room to report. Saito is on the floor, almost completely nude, covered in numerous bruises and cuts. Louise is straddling him, blouse open, skirt pulled up, stockings torn, and out of breath. It actually is what it looks like, but this is [[FetishFuel not sexual in the least]].
** Saito and Agnes spar with wooden swords, and Saito gets his ass kicked. Eventually, Saito manages to knock her down and pin her. At that moment, Louise walks in to find Saito on top of Agnes with them both panting and sweaty...
* ''Anime/WelcomeToTheNHK'' features a comedic example. Misaki spills hot sauce on Setou's lap, and jumps in to wipe it off. Cue Yamazaki walking in, with Misaki's back to him.
* Taken to extremes in ''Manga/DailyLivesOfHighSchoolBoys'': the obsessive Literary Girl chases Hidenori to the ''next town over'' [[spoiler:just to explain she wasn't on a date and was just walking with a classmate. Cue Hidenori not having any idea what she's on about.]]
* In ''Manga/AhMyGoddess'', it's a common occurrence for someone to pull Keiichi into a compromising situation, but Belldandy always believes him when Keiichi explains that it's Not What It Looks Like.
** On one occasion, he doesn't even need to explain -- [[spoiler:when she finds her sister Urd naked in the bath with him, her immediate response is "Why didn't you tell me so I could join you?"]], prompting another character to say that Belldandy must be stupid to trust Keiichi so blindly. But considering that Keiichi can't even make moves on the eminently-willing Belldandy, it's quite reasonable.
** Belldandy once defended her K1 from a manufactured compromising situation by saying "It's true! He doesn't have the guts to do that!" She realized how bad that sounded and tried to correct herself, but just made it worse. Specifically, she corrected herself by saying, "My Keiichi...isn't enough of a man to-" This results in the {{unsound effect}} of "Digging the hole deeper."
** When they were under attack, Urd manipulated Keiichi into groping another woman in front of Belldandy. Belldandy subconsciously channels her jealousy into ''explosions'', powerful enough to defeat the attacker.
** Belldandy has flat-out stated that she will ''always'' believe Keiichi -- even if he's lying.
* In an episode of ''Manga/InuYasha'', Inuyasha has been wounded, and Kagome tries to administer first aid (not knowing about his demonic HealingFactor). In order to do this, she must remove his clothes, which leads to the two of them on the ground, her on top, struggling to pull open his robe, and loudly ordering him to undress. At the time Kaede is [[RightBehindMe Right Behind Her]], along with some children who take the scene the wrong way.
* Nearly every episode of ''Manga/{{Chobits}}''. Poor Hideki is always found in compromising situations... especially when it comes to Chii's "power button".
* In ''Anime/{{Mai-Otome}}'', after Shizuru discovers a secret about Akira ([[spoiler:that she's disguised herself as a boy and is impersonating Prince Takumi]]), Arika walks by and sees the two of them in a suggestive pose with Shizuru's face behind Akira's.
* Early in ''Manga/MermaidMelodyPichiPichiPitch'', Lucia, looking for Rina to make friends with her, finds her on the roof apparently cutting class to kiss Kaito. In actuality, Rina was harassing the poor boy instead, as she mistook him for the BigBad in disguise.
* Happens all the time in ''Manga/GirlsBravo.'' Quite a lot of episodes start with [[InnocentFanserviceGirl Miharu]] ending up naked or near-naked in front of Yukinari, during which Kirie will probably walk in and beat the shit out of him before bothering to hear an explanation.
* ''Manga/ToLoveRu''
** Rito constantly ends up in ridiculously suggestive situations with Lala in front of Haruna, the girl he has a crush on. Some of the situations he's had to attempt to explain his way out of include him and Lala popping out of a locker in the girl's locker room while naked, and running into Haruna in a lingerie store, just in time for Lala to emerge from the changing room wearing only a bra and panties and ask Rito what he thinks of it.
** Then there's [[http://www.mangafox.com/manga/to_love_ru/v14/c120/15.html this incident]] involving Yui. Her brother just so happens to walk in during a ThanksForTheMammary moment after she falls out of bed onto Rito.
** Later, Rito grabs one of the devices Lala has made as she's searching through things. Somehow, he and Haruna activate it. It ends up being the device that transports a person without their clothes. Eventually they are found by the school nurse, who's response is, naturally, to leave them alone to get back to what they were doing.
* In the first episode of ''Manga/{{Karin}}'', Kenta witnesses Karin embracing an older man in a park and jumps to the conclusion that she is [[CompensatedDating a prostitute]] (conveniently failing to notice that she is, in fact, ''[[FriendlyNeighborhoodVampire biting the man's neck]]''). Later on, he sees her in a similar position with his own mother. HilarityEnsues.
* The second season of ''Manga/HidamariSketch'' has Yuno walking in on Sae posed on all fours over Hiro and starts freaking out. Turns out the two were practicing for the school play, with Sae being the criminal. I wonder what the crime was. Oddly, this scene is depicted in the OP for the first season, making it BaitAndSwitchCredits at the time.
* In the BeachEpisode of ''VisualNovel/{{Shuffle}}'', Sia catches Rin carrying a half-naked Asa to the washroom and jumps to the wrong conclusion; unbeknownst to Sia, Asa's bikini top was washed away by a large wave.
* Near the beginning of the [[OvertookTheManga Bount Arc]] in ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'', Ichigo suspects Renji may be one of the mod souls which are kidnapping their friends. He decides to test it by [[IdiotBall jumping on him outside the classroom screaming at him]] to "[[TakeOffYourClothes Take it off!]]" ("it" being the articifical body which allows him to interact with the "real world", but the rest of the class didn't know that).
* In ''Anime/CandyBoy'', there is a roll call just when Kanade and Yukino are fighting over control of a mobile phone, which makes them end up on the bed in a very suggestive position. After an awkward pause the student checking on them simply declares that the "shameless couple" is in and leaves.
* In ''Manga/MahouTsukaiNiTaisetsuNaKotoNatsuNoSora'', Seiichirou sees how Sora seemingly gets seduced by her teacher. In reality she is [[spoiler: having a heart attack, after which the series becomes much darker in nature]].
* This happens several times in the hospital episode of ''Manga/GetBackers'' to Ginji and Himiko. Himiko was '''not''' amused.
* ''Anime/{{Yumeria}}'': After her first battle in the dream world, Mizuki rushes to Tomokazu's room to see if he had the same dream. His cousin Nanase finds them with Mizuki kneeling between his legs (bonus points because Mone slipped between ''Mizuki's'' legs and has her head poking out from under Mizuki's skirt). Tomokazu twists this, deliberately making it seem it ''is'' what it looks like with a shy expression and a whispered "Please be gentle." Mizuki's [[LuminescentBlush face gets redder than is physically possible]], and she wails, "It's a misunderstanding!"
* ''Manga/ElfenLied''
** Subverted: Kouta is most definitely groping Nyu, who as local InnocentFanserviceGirl made him do so because she... uh, liked the sensation. While he has an excuse, it's pretty clear what was going on.
** There was later another scene where it happened again (but with the Nyuu and Kouta naked) that Mayu sees, and walks off before Kouta can even try to explain.
** Played straight however when Yuuka opens the screen door just as Kouta pulls the wet underwear off Nyuu who's lying back on the tatami, because she can't change her own clothes.
* Although played straight briefly at the beginning in ''Manga/{{Mx0}}'', the presence of openly lecherous Ise and Kuzumi's past attempts to stop Ise's schemes quickly teaches the girls to give Kuzumi a chance to explain himself. At one point Kuzumi ends up in the woman's pool time [[GenderBender as a girl]] not only do they create a believable lie for him to use they don't even make him leave. Saving half dozen of them from drowning may have helped though.
* ''Manga/{{Kannagi}}'': The final scene in the last episode.
-->'''Jin:''' Tsugumi! Wait!
* In ''Manga/AllRounderMeguru'', Meguru's sister finds him practicing his ground grappling techniques on a cloth doll in his bedroom. She's entirely sympathetic.
--> "Don't worry, I ''totally'' understand. If you don't practice now, you might mess up and end up getting dumped."
* ''Anime/PrincessTutu'' has a somewhat more innocent variation. Episode 20 opens up with a beautiful woman sneaking up behind PerpetualFrowner Fakir and giving him a kiss on the cheek. Later, it shows him out buying flowers with her and ''smiling''. Ahiru and her friends see them together and automatically assume that they're dating, but the woman later happily informs Ahiru that she and Fakir are LikeBrotherAndSister.
* Inverted in ''Manga/FushigiYuugi''. Taka and Tasuki are napping together (with absolutely no [[HoYay overtones]] at all, [[SarcasmMode no sir]]). When they wake up, Taka realizes he can't see himself in the mirror, leading him to experience a minor HeroicBSOD, which he begs Tasuki to keep a secret because it will upset Miaka. Miaka herself promptly walks in, sees them all rumpled and uncomfortable looking, and wants to know what's going on. Taka comes up with the excuse that "Tasuki can't sleep unless someone is hugging him," vaguely suggesting it ''is'' what it looks like (and you can't tell me [[WordOfGay Yuu Watase]] didn't know some fans would [[ShipTease really get a kick]] out of it).
* ''Manga/OuranHighSchoolHostClub''
** Tamaki trips and falls onto Haruhi as he and the Host Club visit her apartment on her day off. In walks Haruhi's dad...
** In another case, during a storm, Tamaki attempts to help Haruhi overcome her fear of thunder and lightning by blindfolding her and plugging her ears. While Tamaki may have good intentions, in walks the remainder of the Host Club ready to accuse him of being an S&M loving pervert.
* Serge in ''Manga/KazeToKiNoUta'' says these exact words when Sebastien enters his room to find him with a [[YaoiGuys very naked (and partially unconscious) Gilbert on top of him.]]
* In ''Manga/{{Gintama}}'', while Gintoki and Hattori are staying at the hospital, the latter [[AssShove gets a lit candle shoved into his butt]] by Sacchan, which he later asks the former to remove. He reluctantly agrees to do so, just in time for everyone to pay him a visit and catch him while he's in the act.
* In ''Manga/SoulEaterNot'', Anya wakes up one morning to find [[LesYay Meme in bed with Tsugumi]], who is [[BoundAndGagged tied up with rope]], all for non-sexual reasons. Naturally, she assumes something kinky was going on.
* Wonderfully subverted in ''Manga/BitterVirgin,'' despite [[AttentionWhore one character's]] efforts to make it seem ''exactly'' what it looked like. {{Yandere}} Kazuki attempts to seduce the male lead Daisuke, going so far as to unbutton her shirt and threaten to cry rape if he leaves the room. Right then walks in female lead Hinako, a ShrinkingViolet who DoesNotLikeMen and has only managed to open up to Daisuke. Kazuki keeps her word and tells Hinako Daisuke tried to rape her. Hinako's response: "[[Awesome/{{Anime}} Liar. Suwa-kun would never do that.]]" The final nail in Kazuki's coffin is when a third party, Daisuke's sister, appears and suggests going to the police to prove her claims.
* ''Manga/{{Change 123}}'': in chapter 29 (volume 6) [[http://www.mangafox.com/manga/change_123/v06/c029/25.html this]] happens.
* In ''Anime/DarkerThanBlack'' Hei learns the hard way that, when purchasing clothes and undergarments for a [[BlankSlate Doll]] [[spoiler:that you're sheltering from the Yakuza]], it's generally a good idea to ''not'' go alone, lest you run into the target of your UST and be forced to explain that the wig and bra you're buying aren't for [[WholesomeCrossdresser yourself]].
* In ''[[VideoGame/HarukanaruTokiNoNakaDe Harukanaru Toki no Naka de - Hachiyou Shou]]'', Akane is visited by Dragon God's messenger spirit and tries to follow him as he starts to leave; [[{{Samurai}} Yorihisa]], who is guarding her outside the door, rushes into the room, and the two of them [[CrashIntoHello end up on the floor]] [[ShipTease on top of each other]] just as a court lady walks in to inform them of the return of the house owner. Cue Yorihisa hastily apologizing to Akane and yelling to the court lady not to leave without a word as she walks away chuckling.
* In ''Manga/WorldEmbryo'' Riku's father comes home unexpectedly after a business trip. As he arrives, he notices Shizuru acts weird and seems to try to prevent him from entering part of the house. However, he has an urgent need to go to the toilet. He manages to get past her, opens the restroom door, and finds his son crouching down in front of the toilet, [[{{Lolicon}} holding down the underpants of a pre-pubescent girl]] sitting on the toilet who closely ressembles Shizuru's sister Amane when she was a kid. Cue [[ICanExplain "It's a misunderstanding!" from Riku]].
* ''Manga/MyBrideIsAMermaid'' has an epic one after Lunar spills water on herself, causing her to revert to her mermaid form. Nagasumi tries to dry her off, only for her to revert to her human form at the worst possible time: her father enters the room as Nagasumi is rubbing Lunar's butt with a towel. He nearly gets killed over it. It's worth mentioning that Lunar's father is the Terminator, and Nagasume was already on thin ice just by ''existing''.
* ''LightNovel/NogizakaHarukaNoHimitsu'' has a straight romantic misunderstanding version of this, but there's also several times when Haruka's prying sister/father mistake innocuous activities for sex.
* In ''Anime/OnegaiTwins'' Karen {{faint|ing}}s and falls face first into Maiku's lap. And then the other two girls walk in the door.
* During the story about Sakuya's birthday in ''Manga/HayateTheCombatButler'', a little teasing by Sakuya ends in a little scuffle between her and Wataru which ends with him [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/WataruSakua1.jpg sprawled on top of her]]. Naturally, Wataru's crush Isumi [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/WataruSakua3.jpg walks in]] and [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/WataruSakua2.jpg misinterprets the whole thing]]. Then again, [[ShipTease she might not be misinterpreting anything regarding Sakuya]].
* ''Manga/KarakuridoujiUltimo'' does this in chapter 3. Ultimo, has been seriously injured and, [[IdiotHero for some reason Yamato]] thinks that a robot boy is comparable to a fairytale princess. So Yamato decides a kiss is the only way to wake Ultimo up (why he felt the need to strip to his boxers and straddle him is beyond us), but doesn't actually have to go through with it, since Ultimo wakes up just in time. [[SatelliteLoveInterest Sayama]] walks in just in time to see a half naked Yamato on top of a very young looking boy who's crying (He was just happy Yamato was trying to help him). She jumped to the [[{{Shotacon}} obvious]] [[AttemptedRape conclusion]].
* Subverted in ''Manga/OmamoriHimari'' when water spirit Shizuku shows up in Yuuto's bathtub. He lifts her out of the water before realizing she has the form of a [[TokenMiniMoe preteen girl]]. His cry of surprise brings [[{{Tsundere}} Rinko]] running in, only to see him holding Shizuku with his hands on her breasts. Shizuku's "drowned girl" appearance, however, causes Rinko to think Yuuto has discovered a corpse rather than that he's doing anything lewd. There's also the fact that ''he'' cried out in shock.
* During the Mariah sequence in ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'', Joseph and Avdol wind up not only getting magnetized by Bast, but stuck to each other's sides. In order to be able to chase her down, they first have to detach from each other. They quickly figure out that their heads are opposite poles, and likewise their feet. That means to detach, all that has to be done is for one of them to get his head down to the other's feet. However, when they're starting this, some children are looking on (note that this is in Egypt, where man-man romance is...not encouraged). They manage to [[BlatantLies explain it away]] by saying that they're practicing a dance. Once the kids are gone, it's back to detachment preparation. Unfortunately, by the time Avdol's head is level with Joseph's hips, the kids are back -- with friends. Even worse, so is the [[AbhorrentAdmirer old woman who crushed on Joseph]] earlier in the day. That crush inverts ''fast''... which turns out to be a ''good'' thing. Not just because Joseph no longer has to worry about her, but because the drubbing she subjects him to detaches him from Avdol by itself.
* ''Manga/BabySteps'': Straight-laced protagonist Eiichirou vehemently protests his innocence after being labelled a "perverted stalker" when he was caught secretly watching his classmate, Natsu, practice for her tennis club. To be fair, he was watching her out in the open at first, but ducked for cover out of embarrassment when she started to look his way.
* In ''Manga/BeautyPop'', Narumi thinks he sees Ochiai and Kiri kissing. Ochiai is actually getting a bug out of her hair, and it's only the angle at which Narumi sees them that makes it look like a kiss.
* Early in ''Manga/TasogareOtomeXAmnesia'', a girl walks in on a situation where Yuuko has fallen on top of Teiichi (she'd put on his glasses for a joke, and they really screwed up her vision and balance) and ''then'' started getting flirtatious. Teiichi promptly yelps that "It's not what it looks like!" ... forgetting that Yuuko is a ghost, and the new girl can't see her, so it ''didn't'' look like anything naughty to her.
* Late in the second season of ''Anime/CodeGeass'', [[ActionGirl Kallen]] walks in on [[MysteriousWaif C.C.]] telling [[BodyGuardCrush Lelouch]] "Please take off your clothes, I will do my best" in a very uncharacteristically timid voice. This ends up being less hilarious and flaily than it could have been, given the fact that Lelouch is in the middle of a HeroicBSOD thanks to the previous episode. It's also pretty quickly resolved when Lelouch explains to Kallen that [[spoiler:C.C.'s suffering LaserGuidedAmnesia and has reverted to a childlike state.]] And yes, the whole thing is innocent, if rather unorthodox: [[spoiler:Lelouch thinks his sister is dead, and C.C. wants to bandage him, mistakenly thinking his pain is physical rather than mental and emotional.]]
* This happens in ''VideoGame/HeartNoKuniNoAlice'' when Peter, the [[StalkerWithACrush devoted crush]], walks in to find Alice held down by Ace and Boris, who are simply trying to hear the sound of her heart [[spoiler: because neither actually have one.]]
* In an early episode of ''Manga/RosarioToVampire'', Yukari Sendo creates a voodoo doll of Tsukune to try and drive Moka away from him, and uses it to make him feel up [[GagBoobs Kurumu]] when she comes to visit him in the sick-bay. Moka walks in on them, with Tsukune panicking and Kurumu in ecstasy, then [[spoiler: Yukari forces him to trip and pull Kurumu's panties off]]. [[HornyDevils Kurumu]] certainly doesn't mind.
** This happens again in the second volume of the manga. Tsukune's shirt get's messy and Kurumu offers to wash it. By the time the rest of the harem arrive, it looks like she's forcing herself on him.
* Poor Tsubame has [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dtryoa2.jpg this]] happen to her in an early chapter of ''AsuNoYoichi''. To be fair, it's a direct result of holding a loaf of cream bread before having a bout of bad luck.
* In the manga of ''Anime/BrigadoonMarinAndMelan'', someone walks in on Marin and Aloma half-dressed and very close together. They had changed their clothes because of a heavy rainfall, and Aloma was trying to interrogate Marin, but that's sure not what it looked like.
* In ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'', Touma has this happen to him at the end of every arc ''without fail.''
* This is a common theme in ''Manga/AiOreLoveMe''.
* In one chapter of ''Manga/DNAngel'' when everyone was on a field trip, Disuke goes to Risa's room to give her some medicine, thinking she's sick. Riku comes in, prompting him and Risa to hide quickly in a closet. Riku leaves, Daisuke and Risa try and get out of the closet and fall...with them both landing on the bed with Daisuke in a compromising position on top of Risa. Guess when Riku comes back in because she forgot something?
* Happens in ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' Shippuden episode 185 when Kotetsu and Izumo are MistakenForGay by Tsunade.
* This happened several times in ''Manga/WanderingSon''. In an early chapter the protagonists sister walks in when he's undressing with a girl in his room, since he had been caught crossdressing by her. His sister then proceeds to think that he was doing something "dirty" and tells their mom. In a later chapter, set when the protagonist is a high school freshman, the sister catches him with his girlfriend and once again thinks he was doing something naughty. In reality his girlfriend was just massaging him and he got a RagingStiffie by accident.
* One scene of ''Manga/FamilyCompo'' revolves around this. Sora is arguing with his editor about how ThereIsOnlyOneBed at a remonstrant. Their argument sounds like his editor wants to have an affair with him but Sora is protesting her advances.
* Invoked in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEEDDestiny'' when Meer Campbell sneaks into Athrun's room[[labelnote:Explanation]]she's posing as pop singer Lacus Clyne, the world at large still thinks she and Athrun are engaged, and Meer's all too happy to latch onto the handsome Athrun[[/labelnote]], and then answers his door while wearing a very slinky baby doll. It helps that the person at the door is Lunamaria, who has something of a crush on Athrun herself. Eventually Athrun realizes that trying to explain isn't going to do a damn bit of good and just gives up.
* Variation in a phone call in ''Manga/AxisPowersHetalia''; Italy calls Germany, screaming in pain, claiming that his brother's "in bed" and "it won't come out". Germany assumes Romano is raping Italy and runs to help, only to find that the two are actually stuck together by their entangled IdiotHair.
* Happens in ''Literature/HalfPrince'' Prince finds Gui, who is technically straight but [[ItsOkayIfItsYou makes an exception for Prince]], and Wicked, who knows Prince is really a girl and has had a crush on her for years on top of each other in their hotel room.
* In ''LightNovel/SakurasouNoPetNaKanojo'' Sorata is in a lot of these thanks to [[NoSocialSkills Mashiro]]. Often in those situations she will also say things either out of context, or out of order, to imply things done between her and Sorata.
* The titular characters of ''Manga/{{Horimiya}}'' are sent to get everyone's drinks. They end up taking a long time, and everyone, especially [[DoggedNiceGuy Ishikawa]], begins to assume the worse, which is only made worse when Miyamura tries to apologize for doing something [[spoiler:(dropping Ishikawa's coke)]] and Ishikawa takes it the wrong way.
* In ''LightNovel/HaiyoreNyarkoSan'', Mahiro is attempting to get PrettyFreeloaders Nyarko and Cuuko out of the house before his mother returns from her honeymoon. Just as she steps in the door, the trio falls into the foyer from the living room, with Nyarko on her back, Mahiro on top of her (and between her legs) and Cuuko clinging to his back. Thankfully, Mahiro's mother actually ''does'' let him explain things, though we don't see the explanation thanks to the opening credits.
** Of course, Nyarko absolutely loves [[InvokedTrope invoking]] this trope (as well as Not What It Sounds Like); on at least two occasions, she's [[PrimalScene gasped and moaned "Oh, Mahiro..."]] into a phone to make the person on the other end think they're [[CoitusUninterruptus in the middle of "something"]]. Even better, the first time she did it was when Mahiro was on the phone with his ''mother''...
* A darker variation happens in ''{{Bokurano}}''. At the end of the second episode (chapter eleven of the manga) [[spoiler:Jun appears to push Waku off the HumongousMecha everyone is standing on.]] Whether it was intentional or accidental isn't certain at the moment, [[spoiler:especially due to Jun's JerkAss nature so far and his "You're embarrassing us" line.]] Eventually we learn it would have happened no matter what. [[spoiler:The pilots die after they finish using the mecha. Waku died at that moment and fell due to that]].
* In ''SekainohateDeAimashou'' recent GenderBender Ryouma is horrified that people will assume he's engaging in ManIFeelLikeAWoman when he's interrupted [[{{Fanservice}} closely examining his newly feminized body]] with far more practical considerations (such as "how do I go to the bathroom?") in mind.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Subverted in ''Comicbook/YTheLastMan'' when Yorick walks in on Allison Mann and 355 having sex. 355 blurts out "This isn't what it looks like!" much to the annoyance of her lesbian lover who doesn't see what they have to be embarrassed about. Moments later they encounter Australian spy Rose who's trying to explain why she's just stabbed a woman to death, by using exactly the same line. This situation, as it turns out, is a bit more complicated.
* In one issue of ''ComicBook/TeenTitans'', Robin (Tim Drake) returns to his room one night and sits on his bed, only to have a naked and ''extremely'' drunk Ravager (Rose Wilson) wrap her arms around him and try to seduce him. Robin's completely not interested but, knowing Ravager can be a bit hard to dissuade, pins her down on the bed and starts to handcuff her hands behind her. Then Kid Devil walks in.
-->'''Kid Devil:''' Hot damn!\\
'''Robin:''' This isn't what it looks like.\\
'''Ravager:''' Yes it is.
* Likely the intended result in {{X-23}}'s famous lesbian scene. Jubilee grabs Laura while the both make 'special' facial expressions and pulls her towards herself.
* ''Comicbook/UltimateSpiderMan'':
** Subverted when Spidey gets caught by a guard in the security room of the Kingpin's tower:
--->'''Spider-Man:''' Hey! Listen -- this isn't what it looks like -- unless it looks like that costumed freak Spider-Man punching your friend in the face so he can break into your boss's security system. Because if that's what it looks like... that's actually right.
** DoubleSubversion later on. After {{Ultimatum}} Spidey stops Mysterio from robbing a gold reserve, but when the police arrive, it's just him. He starts off with "Wait, this is not what it looks like!", but they hear him out, and ''believe him''.
* In ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' Bruce Wayne was talking to social services worker about Jason Todd, when [[Comicbook/{{Batgirl2000}} Cassandra Cain]] showed up in a dressing gown. Given Wayne's reputation and uncooperativeness about Jason and Cassandra being underage, he went away with the apparent impression that Bruce Wayne is a pedophile who probably abused and murdered his ward. At this point, Cass WASN'T his ward, so it looked as though Bruce frequently preyed on children.
* Hilariously mocked by {{Seanbaby}} in his "Comicbook/{{Aquaman}} SUCKS!" [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/SeanBaby_Aquaman.jpg parody comic]], where Aquaman takes off his shirt and starts trying to molest Aqualad... only to be caught in the act by '''Seagull'''.
* One time, ComicBook/{{Superboy}} and ComicBook/{{Supergirl}} have an argument and brawl, only for [[WonderGirl Wonder Girl (Cassandra Sandsmark)]] to walk in and assume Superboy is cheating on her and that the two are engaging in foreplay. She attacks Supergirl and loses, but the misunderstanding is cleared up. Cassie didn't even stop to consider that Superboy is the son/clone of Franchise/{{Superman}}, Supergirl's cousin.
* In ''[[ComicBook/SpiderMan The Amazing Spider-Man]]'', ComicBook/BlackPanther walks in on Peter Parker sitting with two beautiful Wakandan women wearing nothing but a bikini, who have their fingers in his hair.
-->'''Spider-Man:''' It's not what it looks like.\\
'''Black Panther:''' They're not braiding your hair?\\
'''Spider-Man:''' I guess it is what it looks like.
** Black Panther seems particularly prone to this trope. In an issue of ''ComicBook/FantasticFour'' when he and {{Storm}} were subbing for Reed and Sue, Ben asked Ororo if her hair was weave. Taking offense, she invited him to lift her by her hair to show that it is indeed real. Cue T'Challa walking in on Ben holding his wife by the hair.
* Two examples from the German comic ''ComicBook/LulaUndYankee'': Yankee just rubs some lotion on a guy's back (it's against back pain), but the artist deliberately drew it to look like gay sex (and the other guy is even moaning!) A similar scene happens later: Yankee's standing there and urging Lula to go on because people could see them, and her answer sounding as if she had something in her mouth -- actually, it's just the cap of a magic marker, which she uses to draw their names on the Eiffel Tower.
* In ''ComicBook/{{Megalex}}'', Ram wakes up to find a naked Adamâ sleeping on top of him. She wakes up and angrily tells him to turn around so she can get dressed, and not to get any ideas because "it's not what you think."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''This Time As A Namikaze'' The Sandaime and Hyuuga Hiashi knock on Naruto's door. A sleepy Naruto sans jacket answers. Cue Hinata (also sleepy) walking in saying "[[ComeBackToBedHoney Naruto-kun. Come back to bed.]] [[InnocentInnuendo You over-exerted yourself last night.]]" wearing nothing but his jacket. The explaination is that Naruto was masquerading as a missing-nin the previous night and got roughed up escaping from ANBU prison in a big storm only to get back to his apartment to see a soaking wet Hinata inside. He offers her his jacket to keep her warm and out of wet clothes then passes out in his bed where they end up cuddling. [[OverprotectiveDad Hiashi has a fit.]]
* In the ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' fic [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2976453/1/ Sex on the Beach]], this is inverted and played straight both -- inverted first, when Kairi mistakes [[SlashFic Sora and Riku]] engaging in the eponymous activity for a Nobody attack. The "played straight" comes later when the three of them are congratulating each other on a CrowningMomentOfFunny-ridden struggle to escape being discovered by their parents... and Kairi's father walks in the door just in time to observe what appears to be a threesome.
* Subverted in the ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya''/Wiki/TVTropes crossover ''FanFic/KyonBigDamnHero''. Kyon is found in a compromising position just to be photographed and teased a little. He still says the line though.
* ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6969408/1/In_the_End In the End]]'' has two if these; one with [[spoiler: Lelouch]]'s dead body and also when [[spoiler:Nunnally finds out who Zero is and Suzaku tries to reassure]] her.
* ''FanFic/OnceMoreWithFeeling'': In a chapter, Misato caught Asuka leaving Shinjis' room at the morning. Asuka has to explain that is not what it looks like, she had been not acting untoward towards Shinji and had a good reason for she sleeping in his room. The reason being [[spoiler:he had nightmares and she was trying to comfort him.]]
-->"It had taken some fast talking in the living room and not a little angry indignation to convince Misato that nothing untoward had happened between her and Shinji last night."\\
"And that she did have a good reason to be sleeping in Shinji's bedroom."\\
"In his bed."\\
"With him in said bed, at the same time."\\
"Not that in her opinion it was any of Misato's business what she and Shinji chose to do -or not do- together"
* The title of ''FanFic/StarsAbove's'' fifth chapter is this. [[Manga/LuckyStar Kagami]] says it when Tsukasa misinterprets seeing her lying in [[Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica Homura's]] lap.
* In Shadow Snark, Shadow has Uma (who is female at the time) knocked out inside a sack ItMakesSenseInContext.
* Both played straight and averted in the {{Daria}} fan fiction series ''Esteem Roller''. Jane and Sandi walk in on a half-naked Daria giving a nude Stacy a massage, and both assert that the massage was purely medicinal (Stacy having pulled a muscle) and the nudity was pragmatic (the massage oil involved was rather pungent and dificult to get out of clothing). [[spoiler:And immediately after their denials, they learned that they were both closeted lesbians who were attracted to each other, meaning the prior setup had been intentional on both parts.]]
* Inverted in ''FanFic/SophisticationAndBetrayal'', where an encounter between the protagonist and Rarity was exactly what it looked like. Pinkie Pie however mistakes this for "a big hug", and accepts a BlatantLies excuse of Rarity [[TheImmodestOrgasm being excited]] over her recent business success.
* In ''FanFic/{{Overlady}}'', Louise walks in on her sister Cattleya in a compromising position with one of her maids.
-->'''Cattleya: '''It’s not what it looks like!”\\
''Louise severely doubted that. She was almost certain it was exactly what it looked like. Her sister had her head between the wide-open legs of another girl, who had her skirt rolled up to her waist. The girl – a maid by the looks of it – was slack-jawed and vacant-eyed. And there were fluids smearing her sister’s jaw.''\\
''No, whatever Cattleya might say, it was exactly what it looked like.''\\
[[spoiler:''Her sister had certainly sunk her fangs into the thigh of the other woman and had been drinking her blood.'']]
* In Chapter 14 of Fanfic/AradsStardust, Lana walks in on Matt cuddling [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Twilight Sparkle]] (he's comforting her, somewhat involuntarily -- she hugged him first, he's under orders not to touch her without her permission -- over her [[BigCreepyCrawlies Chryssalid-related]] issues). [[ShipperOnDeck Naturally]], she can't resist teasing him about it.
* In the ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'' fic ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/9721717/1/Massages Massages]]'', Jaune gives Yang a massage, but her screams of pleasure cause their friends to think they're having sex. After explaining the situation, the other girls make Jaune give them massages. Soon, ''their'' screams of pleasure convince everyone in Beacon that Jaune is sleeping with them all. Jaune is not happy about this, because all the boys get jealous and try to beat him up.
* In the ''{{Literature/Worm}}/{{TabletopGame/Exalted}}'' crossover ''FanFic/SheWhoSkittersInShadows'', Tattletale [[LesYay gives Skitter her phone number after meeting her in a restaurant]]. Of course, the real reason Tattletale gave her that note was so [[spoiler:they could discuss the Abyssal Exaltation lodged in Skitter's soul]], but Skitter can't tell them that. Cue the Wards joking about how Skitter's '[[ChickMagnet a player]]'.
** Before that, there's the scene of Skitter drinking Panacea's blood to heal herself, which ''everyone'' misinterprets.
* Inverted and mixed with SarcasticConfession in ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/3946501/1/Thousand-Shinji Thousand Shinji]]''. Misato walks in on Shinji and Asuka on top of each other with a broken chair nearby.
-->'''Shinji''': "This is exactly what it looks like. Asuka and I were making out so hot and heavy, we broke a chair."
-->'''Misato''': "Damnit. If you're going to fight, at least don't break the furniture."
* Lelouch inverts this in ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/3816236/1/Lelouch-of-Britannia Lelouch of Britannia]]'' after his bodyguards walk in on Kallen trying to assassinate him. Since he thinks she's a StalkerWithACrush and they're lying on top of each other (her half-naked, him completely naked), he calmly assures his bodyguards that it's exactly what it looks like and tells them to make sure they're not interrupted.
* In ''Fanfic/AVoiceAmongTheStrangers'', Ebony says this when Twilight and Spike walk in on her tickling Jessica on the couch.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* When Fiona pulls the arrow out of Shrek's butt in the first ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}'' film, she ends up on top of him, just in time for Donkey to walk in and take things the wrong way. Cue Shrek jumping up and saying, "Nothing Happened!"
* Mirage tells Bob his family survived Syndrome's missiles in ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'', and Bob is so grateful for the news that he gives Mirage a great big hug — and right at that moment, Helen, who fears Bob was having an affair, walks in to rescue him.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In the first ''Film/AustinPowers'' movie, Austin Powers disables a bunch of "fembots" by doing a striptease. Immediately afterwards, his girlfriend walks in and sees him in his underwear with what appear to be scantily dressed beautiful women. He tells her it's Not What It Looks Like and starts babbling; she cuts him off, laughs, and says "I believe you."
* In ''Film/MonsterInLaw'', the title character sends the ex-girlfriend up to the room where her son is getting dressed in order to try to break up his engagement to a girl she thinks is not good enough for him. So his fiancée walks in on him, half dressed, with his ex-girlfriend practically pasted on him.
* In the third ''Film/TheNakedGun'' movie, Frank secretly does some undercover work for the police, even though he's supposed to be retired. He ends up with scratches on his back from a dominatrix (long story), which his wife finds. She is furious, but only because this clearly means he has been doing police work again. Frank tries to convince her that he's having an affair instead.
* In ''Film/WhoFramedRogerRabbit'', Jessica (a toon) barges in to Eddie's office/apartment while he's getting dressed. A few minutes later, Eddie's love interest walks in on them, producing one of the more original gotcha lines ever: "Dabbling in watercolors, Eddie?"
* Averted in ''Film/StateAndMain''. At first Joe goes to some length to keep Ann from finding out that a nude Claire is in his room (against his will), thinking that the trope will play out. Then when she suddenly walks back in and catches Claire, Joe immediately explains what's going on, and Ann believes him.
-->'''Joe:''' Wait, you believe that? But it's insane!\\
'''Ann:''' So's our electoral system but we still vote.
* In SteveMartin's ''Franchise/ThePinkPanther'', this trope occurs twice. The second time is a particularly funny scene where Detective Ponton walks into Clouseau's apartment and it appears that he is having anal sex with his secretary, Nicole. In reality, she was choking on an egg and he rushed to perform the Heimlich. What makes the scene particularly amusing is that the two of them don't think that Ponton took it the wrong way and have the following conversation, which piques Ponton's interest:
-->'''Nicole:''' You are so good! Where did you learn that?\\
'''Clouseau:''' You know... I practiced on mannequins...
* When Shondra gets caught in a compromising position with kidnapee B-Rad in ''MalibusMostWanted'', her boyfriend makes it quite clear that: "I use that line all the time, and you know it's always what it looks like!!!" (Though in fact, it wasn't what it looked like. She was merely trying to extract a bullet from his foot, and her face ended up on his crotch. [[ICanExplain Easy enough to explain]].)
* In ''Film/{{Titanic}}'', Jack saves Rose from falling off the back of the ship and they fall into a position where it looks like Jack was trying to rape Rose, as she's still terrified from almost dying.
* In ''Film/LuckyNumberSlevin'', Slevin walks into his bedroom to find a strange man having sex with his girlfriend doggy style.
-->'''Girlfriend:''' This isn't what it looks like!\\
'''Slevin:''' Oh right, so, he tripped and then you fell?
* In ''Film/IronMan'', this, along with the following "I can explain," is subverted when Tony Stark is discovered, in his battlesuit, apparently being molested by robots. His response? "Let's face it, this is ''not'' the worst thing you've caught me doing." The bullet holes, however, are a bit bad.
* In ''Film/AmericanPie'', Jim says exactly this during the famous pie scene.
* ''[[Film/AmericanPie American Wedding]]''
** Stifler and Jim are in the room with the cake that was made to celebrate Jim's engagement to Michelle. Jim catches Stifler rearranging the letters to read "Congratulation Jism!", and the two get in an argument that ends with both of them getting cake all over their pants. Jim starts to take off his pants to clean them, while Stifler gets knocked to the floor by a dog, who starts licking the cake off his crotch. Jim, with his pants around his ankles, gets behind the dog and tries to pull it off of Stifler. Jim and Michelle's families then walk into the room and catch what looks like Jim and Stifler raping a dog. Stifler even blurts out the line "It's not what it looks like!"
** This happens again with Stifler in the same movie. Jim's grandmother had been locked in the closet by some of his friends so that she wouldn't cause a fuss at the wedding (she objected to the fact that her Jewish grandson Jim was marrying Michelle, a gentile). Meanwhile, Cadence, Michelle's hot sister, had arranged with Stifler for the two to meet in that same closet to have sex. Cut to Stifler getting busted having sex with a granny.
* In ''Film/IndependenceDay'', Creator/WillSmith's wingman is down on one knee to demonstrate proper ass-kissing technique when Smith drops a box. The wingman dismisses Smith's assertion that it's nothing by remarking "This is a ''wedding ring''." At which point another pilot walks by, holds up his hands in a "Don't mind me" pose, and quickly backtracks.
* In ''Film/WorkingGirl'', the main character walks in on her boyfriend stark naked and having sex with another woman (also stark naked). "This is not what it looks like! ''(beat)'' Okay, this ''is'' what it looks like. But I can explain! [[OverlyLongGag Well, not exactly explain...]] Come on, Tess! I'm sorry! I really am! [[CrowningMomentOfFunny I love you!]]"
* In ''Film/DOADeadOrAlive'', Bass Armstrong walks in on his daughter Tina sleeping in the same bed with Christie, and mistakenly believes they are lovers. He constantly insists he is supportive of their relationship, despite Tina's protests that there is nothing going on. He later makes a similar assumption upon seeing Tina and Kasumi together.
* Played with in ''TheSweetestThing''. Christina Walters (Creator/CameronDiaz) and Courtney Rockcliffe (Christina Applegate), in underwear, on a car. The latter (who's driving) drops her lipstick, the former decides to search for it. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCEn4AWyhbM A biker sees the thing, thinks it's something else]]... and Courtney decides to play along and pretend it is what it looked like! [[DistractedByTheSexy Then the biker crashes.]]
* ''BendItLikeBeckham''
** When Jess and her friend Jules are walking along overwhelmed with laughter, they have to hold onto each other to keep from falling. The parents of Jess's sister's boyfriend think they're making out. They also mistake Jules for a boy due to her short hair.
** In another scene, Jules' mother thinks her daughter and Jess are in a lesbian relationship when she hears them arguing in Jules' room (they were actually arguing about their coach Joe, who they have a crush on).
*** Made even worse when they kiss during their excitement over being recruited for a college team.
* In ''Film/RedEye'', the flight attendants are under the impression that the heroine Lisa and the antagonist Rippner were in the MileHighClub when they both exit a lavatory together, unaware that Rippner was really choking Lisa for lying to him following one of her attempts to thwart his assassination plot.
-->'''Older Flight Attendant:''' Excuse me, this isn't a ''motel''.\\
''[{{beat}}]''\\
'''Rippner:''' Sure.
* In ''[[ShanghaiNoon Shanghai Knights]],'' we get one of these when Roy O'Bannon (Owen Wilson) walks in on Chon Wang (Creator/JackieChan) adjusting a prostitute's back.
--> '''Roy:''' Chon, you decadent philistine!
* In ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger'', Peggy Carter walked in on Steve kissing a blond secretary and assumed he had become a womanizer. What she didn't see before was Steve trying to turn down the secretary's aggressive advances and [[ForcefulKiss being pulled into the kiss.]]
* In ''Film/FierceCreatures'', its a RunningGag that Creator/JohnCleese's character is constantly being caught with women (or animals!) in compromising positions with implausible explanations.
* In ''Film/AmericanDreamer'', after Alan brings a wet and drunk "[[EasyAmnesia Rebecca]]" to his room, his date sees them together and then storms off.
* In ''Film/{{Hellfighters}}'', Tish, who is about 20, is on the phone at an oil fire in Venezuela when she hears that her estranged parents are going to remarry after having divorced when she was 5. She hangs up the phone, and sits down, excited, and tells the oilworkers there, "My father is finally going to marry my mother, isn't that great?" One of the men, who has no idea that she means they're getting ''re''married, says, "That must be very nice." and everyone else there, realizing the guy has completely misunderstood what she meant, break up in laughter.
* Every encounter between the [[ManlyGay bike cop]] and the heroes of Film/WildHogs is exactly that. It doesn't help that [[MistakenForGay whenever he spots or overhears them]], they tend to be discussing such matters as "[[HaveAGayOldTime being ridden so hard by Woody]]" or taking naked baths together, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IU2MRgM2Nsk as seen here]].
* In ''Film/BadBoys II'', Mike and Marcus head into a side room at an electronics store to have a private talk about the fact that Mike had accidentally shot Marcus in the ass earlier in the film. Unfortunately, there is an active camcorder in the room, which transmits their talk to the entire store. Without context, everybody in the store [[MistakenForGay thinks that Mike and Marcus are gay]]. As they step out of the room, they get accosted by a [[Film/DiaryOfAMadBlackWoman Madea-esque]] woman telling them that they "need Jesus".
* In ''Film/TangoAndCash'' when Tango goes to hide out in his sister Katherine's house he sees her apparently having sex with Cash, (he sees her on top of the couch thrusting back and forth), she's actually giving him a massage to fix a slipped disc, it doesn't help with their dialogue, their moaning and grunting, and the fact that both are wearing very little clothing.
* ''Film/WereTheMillers'':
** Said by Kenny when David catches him kissing Casey.
--->'''David''': [[PracticeKiss It looks like Casey is teaching you how to kiss out of pity.]]\\
'''Kenny''': Then it is what it looks like.
** [[spoiler: And then Melissa catches them, too.]]
* PlayedForDrama in ''Welcome to the Punch'' (2013). CowboyCop Max Lewinsky is forced to take London crook Jacob Sternwood to the hospital to see his son; Sternwood is holding a gun in his pocket. As they're leaving the hospital they encounter another detective helping wheel a sheet-covered body into the morgue. Lewsinsky starts to explain that his being with a wanted criminal isn't what it looks like, [[spoiler:but unknown to him the body is that of his female partner and Lewsinsky has been framed for her murder, so the detective isn't interested in his explanation.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Jokes]]
* A penguin is out driving in the desert when he hears a pop and his tire goes flat. He manages to pull into a gas station to have the mechanic check it out. As he's waiting, he notices the convenience store is selling some ice cream, and he decides he could do with some good cold ice cream. He goes in and buys his favorite flavor, vanilla, then goes out and sits on the curb to eat it. Being a penguin and lacking opposable thumbs, he has a lot of trouble scooping it out with his flippers, and being in the middle of the desert, the ice cream melts very quickly. Eventually, he's almost completely covered in white, sticky goop. The mechanic comes out at that point, looks at him, and informs him, "Well, looks like you blew a seal." The penguin cries indignantly ''"It's vanilla ice cream, dammit!"''
* A most sombre cowboy enters a bar, orders several shots and starts gulping them down. The concerned barman inquires if something is wrong. The cowboy replies: "there are times, Bill, when words are useless. This morning I went to the barn to milk the cow, but that lousy creature kept kicking and toppling the bucket over. I got some rope and strapped her legs to the poles, but then it swinged its tail and toppled the bucket again, and I was out of rope, so I pulled the belt out of my pants and strapped its tail up. My pants fell down, and right then my wife came into the barn... there are times when words are useless."
* A chauffeur is driving his boss's teenage daughter when they get a flat tire. He tries to change it but he can't get the hubcap off. The young woman looks around and finds a screwdriver. She asks him "Do you want a screwdriver?" and he answers "Might as well. I can't get this damn hubcap off."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Happens in one of the ''Literature/ConfessionsOfGeorgiaNicolson'' books where Georgia's love interest (Robbie) and enemy (Lindsay) come across her while she is kissing another boy at a party. She is so startled that she falls over backwards, causing her skirt to ride up - and is aware from their expressions that they've taken it the wrong way.
* In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheHalfBloodPrince'', Harry, Ron, and Hermione exit the boys' dormitory with Harry wearing the Invisibility Cloak and run into Lavender, who Ron is dating. Lavender, only seeing Ron and Hermione leaving his dormitory together, jumps to conclusions about them being together, putting another nail in the coffin of that doomed relationship. Which is kind of an inversion (or something), since this actually helps put Ron ''and Hermione's'' relationship back into "they will" territory, not him and Lavender.
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles''
** Poor Harry Dresden. In ''Literature/ProvenGuilty'', he has the misfortune to have a friend's daughter stopping by the hotel room he was using as a workspace for a shower at ''exactly'' the time her overprotective mother comes in to find him. As he points out, if she'd come ten seconds early, he wouldn't have gotten clobbered. At least the family priest who was present understood.
*** At the same time, it might not have been as innocent as Harry thought it was, as it's entirely possible that said friend's daughter (who has a crush on Harry) was trying to seduce him.
** Happened to him ''again'' in the short story "Day Off". This one was even worse, involving two werewolves mid-coitus, his topless, unconscious apprentice, his basement on fire, smoke and flashing lights, and... Harry giving [[IntimateHealing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation]] to said topless apprentice. His thoroughly amused [[UnderstandingBoyfriend girlfriend]] responds with, "I cannot for the life of me imagine what it ''does'' appear to be," and insists to know ''how'' this happened. For those not familiar with the series, Harry's apprentice is the above-mentioned friend's daughter.
** Even after Molly's apprenticeship ends, their friendship still has a strong air of this. She's an attractive younger woman who's pledged UndyingLoyalty to Harry, often works with him, and [[InnocentCohabitation shares his apartment]]. All of that has an explanation, but on the outside it looks rather suspicious.
* In ''[[Literature/{{Outlander}} Drums Of Autumn]]'', Claire has the misfortune to walk in on her husband Jamie and a male friend (previously incredibly surprised to see her) embracing. While said friend has a, ah, less than chaste look on his face. No, it's not what it looks like. ([[spoiler:They kissed ''earlier'' thank you very much. And yes, John's gay. Jamie's just very understanding.)]]
* In ''GoneWithTheWind'', Ashley is hugging Scarlett to comfort her as she cries, when they are caught by his sister India (who despises Scarlett). Ironically, despite Scarlett's love for Ashley and the numerous times she has thrown herself at him, the one time that they are caught, their embrace is completely innocent.
* In ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', several scenes before Perrin and Faile get together she is trying to restrain him from going out and overexerting himself after not having sufficiently recovered from his wounds, and ends up having him pinned on the kitchen floor...right when Mistress al'Vere walks in.
* More "not what it ''sounds'' like" in this example: after Catti-Brie loots a TalkingWeapon in the ''LegacyOfTheDrowSeries'', the blade takes over her mind and body temporarily to try to convince Drizzt that ''he'' should have the sword instead, since this is what the sword wants. This results in a partly hilarious/partly creepy scene where its psychic hold over Catti-Brie causes her to say to Drizzt the words that the sword wants to say to him: "Take me!" (Artist's rendering [[http://silver-falcon.deviantart.com/art/Drizzt-s-Dilemma-2-58577677?moodonly=1 here]].) Since the two of them are only friends at the time, Drizzt is pretty shocked. Fortunately, she follows that up with "Wield me!", making it clear to Drizzt that she isn't talking about sex and is possessed by the sword.
* Happens to many an UpperClassTwit in the writings of Creator/PGWodehouse.
* Inverted in ''Discworld/MovingPictures'', when Victor hesitates to stay in Ginger's room for fear of sullying her reputation. Ginger dismisses his concern, saying that her landlady would ''never'' suspect he's there to watch over her in case she gets possessed by supernatural forces: "She'll just think we're having sex." [[spoiler:Indeed, that's just what she does suspect. And heartily approves.]]
* ''TheLongingOfShiinaRyo'': now, just because Shin-tsu kicked you out when the teacher came over during the night doesn't mean that anything [[TeacherStudentRomance improper]] was happening! Honest!
* The pranks of Fat Marcus The Moneylender and his frat buddies in ThePaleKing.
* In the Literature/YoungWizards series by Creator/DianeDuane, Nita's mother is understandably concerned when her 13-year-old daughter claims to be doing "adult stuff" with her male best friend Kit. Nita means "adult stuff" like saving the world.
* In ''The Gatekeeper: The Gate Contracts'', George Green has to explain to his boss what happened with Lynn in the Men's restroom:
-->'''Dr. Sign''': Okay George, let's hear it.\\
'''George''': Lynn and I went to the cafeteria to eat. I told her to wait a minute, I had to use the bathroom. I went in and used the urinal as someone else came into the bathroom. When I turned around I discovered that she was the someone else. She proceeded to make various cooing sounds and I attempted to tell her this was inappropriate. She unzipped my fly, removed my penis from my pants and got on her knees. I put my hands on her shoulders in an attempt to push her away. At that moment the [campus police] officer came into the bathroom." I smiled a little. "I'm sorry, Dr. Sign, I shouldn't be smiling about this. I know this is serious, but I got a mental picture in my head of what he saw and trying to explain to him it wasn't what he thought it was. I looked at what was happening. I said to the officer that I wasn't going to say a word to him, if I was him and I told him what I know, I wouldn't have believed it either.
* Not played for laughs in ''Literature/AGameOfThrones'' when Eddard Stark recalled seeing Jaime Lannister sitting the Iron Throne after killing the Mad King. It convinces him that it's a Lannister power play. It's not until book 3 that Jaime's side of the story is revealed.
* In ''Literature/LesMiserables'', Marius Pontmercy starts staying away from home days at a time. The rest of his family assumes that he is having a romantic affair, when in fact he is visiting the grave of his father.
** Happens again with Marius when he is following the criminal Thenardier, in order to find out more about the latest crime planned. Some of his friends see him and assume that he is following a girl that he has a crush on, only to see that it's a man.
* One of the ''Literature/TheUltraViolets''' biggest plot points is [[spoiler:The Kiss That Changed Everything, when Opaline caught Cheri kissing Albert Feinstein--though the latter was actually the one who initiated it.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/ICarly'' has one of these in the episode "iEnrage Gibby". Gibby's girlfriend falls on Freddy, the rest of the episode is spent preparing for the fight.
* ''Series/BoyMeetsWorld''
** Played straight and subverted in the same episode.
*** First, Cory, already suspicious for no good reason, walks in on Topanga and Shawn in a compromising position. Shawn had slept on the couch in the student lounge due to Cory installing a deadbolt and Topanga came by to visit him in the morning.
---->'''Cory:''' Underpants!
*** Later, Angela manages to talk Cory down and make him realize that there is definitely nothing going on between Shawn and Topanga. They snuggle up next to each other in bed and Cory comments on the trope and states how impossible it would be for anyone to find reason within this picture. Suddenly both Topanga and Shawn walk in, causing Cory to instinctively shout out the trope name. However, they nonchalantly shake it off and the episode ends with both jumping right in with Cory and Angela.
** In a more serious version of this trope, Cory and Topanga are working late on a school project and they happen to fall asleep in the same room. Because of the DoubleStandard, Cory is praised for his alleged prowess while Topanga is ruined. Finally Cory nerves himself to do the right thing and saves Topanga by stepping forward and admitting that it wasn't what it looks like. He was remarkably EasilyForgiven too.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** "Hush" has a memorable "Not What it Looks Like" facial expression. While Anya is napping on the couch, a vamped-out Spike, who had just been drinking blood from his favorite mug, kneels down to retrieve something. Cue Xander, who walks in to see Spike, his lips covered in blood, his forehead all bumpy, come up from behind Anya's neck. Xander proceeds to render the be-chipped Spike into [[BerserkButton fist burger]] even as Spike flashes wide eyes and a "wait wait!" expression. Once the truth comes out, Anya is flattered (while Spike, who only gets an apologetic shrug from Xander, rolls his eyes at them).
** "Hush" also has Buffy, in answer to the query of how she would kill "The Gentlemen" [[ADateWithRosiePalms move her hand up and down at waist level]]. Following the horrified looks on her friends' faces, she then pulls a stake from her purse and they all nod in understanding.
** "Witch" has this exchange when Willow discovers that Xander's been checking out books on witchcraft:
--->'''Xander:''' It's not what you think!\\
'''Willow:''' You like to look at the semi-nude engravings?\\
'''Xander:''' Okay... maybe it ''is'' what you think.
** Later played for drama in "Angel" when Darla feeds off Joyce. Angel, in vamp face, tries to help, but Buffy walks in on him right as Darla leaves him holding Joyce's unconscious body.
** And in "Revelations" when Xander discovers that not only is Angel back from the dead, but he's snogging Buffy. Given that sex with Buffy turned him into the evil Angelus, the Scoobies are understandably pissed.
-->'''Buffy:''' It's not what you think.\\
'''Xander:''' Hope not. Because I think you're harboring a vicious killer.
* ''Series/{{Angel}}'':
** In the episode "Salvage", this is the villainous Angelus' verbatim reaction to being caught holding Lilah's body right after she'd been [[spoiler: stabbed in the neck by Cordelia]]. Everyone naturally assumes he's the one who killed her, and Angelus is so amused by this turn of events, and by the fact that the heroes would never believe him anyway, that he doesn't even try to hide his snickers as he delivers the line.
--->'''Angelus:''' ''[in a sarcastically overwrought voice]'' Wait, guys, it's not what it looks like!
** In "Sanctuary" Buffy rushes to Los Angeles after hearing rogue Slayer Faith is gunning for her former {{Love Interest|s}}, only to find a recently-showered, shirt-unbuttoned Angel giving Faith a CooldownHug. The fact that Faith recently slept with Buffy's current boyfriend does not help matters.
--->'''Angel:''' It's not what you think.\\
'''Buffy:''' You actually think that I can form a thought right now? Giles heard that -- that she tried to kill you.\\
'''Angel:''' That's true.\\
'''Buffy:''' So you decided to punish her with a severe cuddling.
* ''Series/ModernFamily'': Mitchell and Cameron get into a silly fight about a trophy that each has won. Mitchell eventually decides to make up by displaying all of Cam's other trophies on the mantlepiece. He gets the box of trophies from the garage - but a mouse pops out. Mitchell drops the trophies and starts stamping around to kill the mouse -- but to Cam it looks like he's tramping on the trophies.
-->'''Mitchell:''' I was going to make this whole display!\\
'''Cam:''' I think you just did.
* ''Series/{{Friends}}''
** An ''epic'' one of these with a dramatic twist where, in picking up a ring that had fallen down, it appeared Joey was proposing to Rachel.
** Then there was that episode where Joey and Ross "took a nap" together after watching ''Franchise/DieHard''...
** And when Monica wrestles Rachel to the ground to force to use her eye drops, Rachel lampshades this: "You know, if Joey and Chandler walked in right now, we could make a fortune!"
* In ''Series/HogansHeroes'', Col. Hogan is meeting with Soviet agent Marya (the only character in the series who always outwitted Hogan) in an apartment. When they hear a door open, Marya exclaims "He is my brother!" (At that moment, she was straddling him with her lips firmly against his.) Fortunately, the person at the door was [=LeBeau=] (who believes everything Marya ever says).
* Joanne deliberately set up one of these in ''Seacht'' to upset Linda; as of this writing, she has not revealed what she and Pete were actually doing in her room.
* In ''Series/WizardsOfWaverlyPlace'', there is an episode where Alex makes a wish with a genie that everyone would stop comparing her to Justin, but the genie makes everyone forget him. [[HilarityEnsues Hilarity and wrong presumptions ensue]] when Alex's best friend, Harper (who has a crush on Justin), leaves furiously, thinking [[BrotherSisterIncest that Alex and Justin have gotten together]], because Justin moved to Alex's place.
* ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' does this a lot, although subverted quite often in that it turns out that it ''was'' what it looked like, but the involved characters try to come up with an excuse.
** In a particularly extreme example, J.D. ends up having sex with a girl at a funeral (the widow herself), with the guests in the other room hearing the girl [[TheImmodestOrgasm scream out her orgasm]]... and then tries to explain to the shocked guests that the screams were screams of pains because he stubbed his toe.
** Another variation in the same show is a scene implying a couple getting naughty... and then it turns out to be completely unrelated.
--->'''Turk:''' Mmm... Oh baby... Oh yeah... You are the best, baby. I ''love it'' when you bring me chicken wings in bed!
** Another episode has Carla helping Turk study for an exam; she asks him if he would rather have her reward his correct answers by stripping off an article of her clothing or by giving him a sugar-free ice pop. The next scene cuts to her without a shirt on reaching behind her back to ... hand present Turk with an ice pop (not to remove her bra). [[NotDistractedByTheSexy When turk asks her why she doesn't have a shirt on]], she says it's because she has no clean shirts left, as their daughter spit up on them.
** Yet another episode has Carla [[FlashBack tell a story to Elliot]] about what she caught Turk doing in bed, when she was laying right next to him: he's implied to have been having ADateWithRosiePalms, but when Carla lifts up the covers, she lets an obnoxious gasp when he's revealed to be eating ribs in bed.
* Same quote, different context in ''Series/{{Firefly}}'''s "Trash," prompting the hilarious subversion:
-->'''Mal:''' Unless it looks like we're stealing your priceless Lassiter, because that's exactly what we're doing. Don't ask me about the gun though; that's new.\\
'''Durran:''' I appreciate your honesty. Not, you know, ''a lot''...
* A particularly horrific subversion of this trope occurred in ''AmericanGothic'': Sutpen, a convicted killer now released from prison for good behavior, is taken in by Carter as fulfillment of a debt to Buck... after which he begins, quite unsubtly, to [[DirtyOldMan put the moves on Carter's daughter]]. ([[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything The popsicle-suckling scene]] is particularly over-the-top.) After catching Sutpen and his apparently willing daughter practically skinny-dipping together, then giggling and tickling each other under the sheets, Carter forbids them from having any more contact. The very next night, he hears giggling again, grabs his rifle, bursts into his daughter's room, and fires...[[spoiler:only to discover it was his daughter and wife playing together, and he had just killed his wife.]] The fact this is apparently a repeat of history and the reason Sutpen was locked up in the first place, [[spoiler:as it's strongly implied Sutpen accidentally killed the wrong man for sleeping with his wife, when it was ''Carter'' who had done the deed]], [[LaserGuidedKarma only puts the icing on the cake]].
* In ''{{Roswell}}'', this happens in the early stages of the Max/Liz/Kyle triangle, when a suspicious Kyle has followed Max and Liz (Max is driving). Liz ducks down into the driver's side foot-pit to either retrieve something or hide from the person ''they'' came to follow, and Kyle draws the obvious conclusion.
* ''Series/{{House}}''
** A B-plot in the episode "Who's Your Daddy?" involves House getting a physical therapist to help ease the pain in his leg. Twice in a single scene, characters [[SorryToInterrupt walk in on him]] with his pants down groaning in pleasure while she... massages his damaged thigh. Both times he immediately yells, "Not what you think!" without even being prompted. It doesn't help that the angle is such that anyone walking in might interpret the scene as her giving him a blowjob.
** The writers really like this trope. It happened to Cameron in "Daddy's Boy" when she was examining a potential patient's groin infection/fungus/whatever it was. For the record the man's boss didn't buy it, asking the "doctor" to leave a card behind.
** {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d and {{inverted|Trope}} by House himself in another episode. House is with his ex-girlfriend washing dishes when her husband walks in, to which he replies, "It's not what you think. I know it looks like we're washing dishes, but really, we're having sex."
* Inverted in a ''Series/ThirdRockFromTheSun'' episode in which the rest of the family is outraged to discover that Tommy is secretly a gourmet chef after finding oregano and fresh rosemary in his sock drawer. Tommy desperately insists that it's marijuana.
* ''Series/WillAndGrace'' plays with it. Karen starts teaching Grace how to get her boyfriend to be more assertive [[LysistrataGambit by withholding sex]]. When Grace starts shooting down the idea, Karen starts talking her through it, which leads to a mailwoman coming in to see her telling Grace "I am not going to have sex with you" repeatedly. The mailwoman's response? "''I'll'' have sex with you."
* Averted in the ''{{UFO}}'' episode "Close Up". Paul Foster walks in on his superior Commander Straker having what appears to be an intimate tête-à-tête with a [[MsFanservice mini-skirted Lieutenant Ellis]]. The ever-calm Straker advises him to never judge a situation by the end of a conversation.
* On ''Series/TheDrewCareyShow'' episode "Drew's Reunion" a girl that Oswald had dated and dumped left him tied up and naked, when Lewis went to un-tie him his own date Bo Derek walked in on him straddling his naked friend and she ran off. Later Lewis tells Kate that if she sees Bo tell her that him and Oswald were not having sex, it just looked like it.
* The tendency for {{BritCom}}s to base plots around this kind of misunderstanding is parodied in ''Series/TheYoungOnes'' cutaway sketch "Oh, Crikey!", in which a sitcom husband accidentally gets into a compromising position with his dog just as TheVicar walks in.
* Gussie Fink-Nottle is victimized by this several times in ''Series/JeevesAndWooster'', and it always ''just happens to be'' his hopeful fiancée Madeline Basset who walks in on him.
* Inverted in ''Series/{{Blackadder}} II'' when Baldrick walks in on Blackadder and "Bob" about to kiss on the floor.
-->'''Baldrick:''' Don't worry, Bob. He used to try 'un kill me too.
* Played straight in a rather touching ''Series/SisterSister'' episode. As it turns out, Ray was paying respects to his dead wife. In addition to all the evidence stacking up against Ray, who wasn't even aware that Lisa (his current love interest) and their daughters were suspicious, Lisa meets the ''ghost'' of Ray's old wife, who admits to being "the other woman," without realizing that the woman is a ghost.
* This is actually one of the key {{running gag}}s (out of many) in ''Series/AlloAllo''. And a subversion since it is almost always what it looks like [[KavorkaMan Rene]] making out with the waitresses and his wife ''[[TooDumbToLive always]]'' buys his explanation. The trope is played straight when [[CampGay Lt Gruber]] makes advances, though.
-->'''Edith:''' Rene! What are you doing with that servant girl in your arms!\\
'''Rene:''' You ''stu''-pid woman! Can you not see I am [making an utterly implausible excuse!]
* In an episode of ''Series/TheNanny'', Fran gets a too-tight dress stuck over her head and Mr. Sheffield tries to help her remove it. Just as they manage to pull it off, they over balance and fall down onto her bed, just as Niles is walking past. Niles overheard them saying things like "Mister Sheffield, I'm so hot!" and "I can't do this standing up!", and afterwards asks "[[Funny/TheNanny If you let me tell Miss Babcock about this, I'll work free for a year!]]"
* In ''Series/{{Frasier}}'', when Niles gets into bed with his couples therapist (believing it to be Maris) and demands to know what is going on, the therapist starts by saying, "It's not what it looks like" before exasperatedly saying, "What am I ''saying''?"
* In an episode of ''Series/{{NCIS}}'', Gibbs walks into the morgue and sees Palmer giving {{CPR|CleanPrettyReliable}} to a dummy, to which he asks, "New girlfriend?" The next scene is him walking into the lab and seeing Abby giving a model of [=DiNozzo=] mouth-to-mouth.
-->'''Abby:''' This isn't what it looks like.\\
'''Gibbs:''' CPR?\\
'''Abby:''' Oh, then it's exactly what it looks like.
* At one point in ''Series/StargateSG1'', the rest of the team is searching for Cameron and Vala, who've gone missing. They break down a motel room door to discover Cameron half naked and [[ChainedToABed handcuffed to a bed]]; he assures them that it's not what it looks like.
* ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'' has this exchange:
-->'''George Sr.:''' Hi... This is not what it looks like...\\
'''Lucille:''' It looks like you're tweaking her nipples through a chain-link fence.\\
'''George Sr.:''' Yep ... Yeah, that's it.
* ''Series/LoisAndClark'': An alien assassin breaks into Clark's apartment and attacks him. Clark defeats him, but he shapeshifts into an attractive woman just as Clark's neighbor walks in, causing her to think Clark has just cheated on Lois and abused/raped a girl. In the confusion, the assassin escapes.
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'':
** ''Smallville'' loves this one. In "Rush", Clark and Chloe are making out in the Talon when Lana walks in on them. [[spoiler:Clark is affected by red kryptonite and Chloe an adrenaline-inducing parasite.]]
--->'''Clark:''' It's not what it looks like.\\
'''Chloe:''' Yeah it is, Lana. It's exactly what it looks like.
** In "Gone", Martha Kent finds Clark and Lois in the bathroom together, Lois [[SexyShirtSwitch wearing Clark's shirt]].
--->'''Lois:''' I don't understand what the big deal is. We were just taking a shower--\\
'''Clark:''' ''Showers'', we were taking separate showers.
** In the episode "Crossfire", Oliver decides to help Mia and let her train at his home. His ex-girlfriend Lois visits just as Mia walks out of the shower.
** In the episode "Fierce", Clark offers to let Lana stay in his house and hopefully salvage their relationship.
--->'''Clark:''' I have to warn you that my life has gotten a little more... ''[Kara walks into the room wearing a bikini]'' complicated.\\
'''Lana:''' ''[gasps and looks at Clark worriedly]'' That might be an understatement.\\
'''Clark:''' This is my ''cousin'', Kara.
** In "Escape", Lois caught Clark [[spoiler:[[CrowningMomentOfFunny in the shower with a naked Chloe.]]]]
* An episode of ''Series/MyTwoDads'' had the dads walk in on Nichole and Cory (the [[BettyAndVeronica geeky one]] of her two [[ShesNotMyGirlfriend not-boyfriends]]). Cory shouts out "It's not how it looks!" then [[IdiotBall adds]]: "Actually, how ''does'' it look?"
* ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' has an off-camera, real-life example. GeorgeTakei was apparently told at the last minute that Sulu would have [[ShirtlessScene his shirt off]] in the episode "The Naked Time". In his autobiography he recounts that he immediately started a hardcore push-up regimen in his trailer, and says he's not sure what people must have thought walking past his trailer with all the rocking and grunting, but it probably wasn't what it sounded like.
* ''Series/{{ALF}}'', of all series, does this once. In one episode ALF put on some weight and can't stand up on his own, so he asks Willy to help him. Willy gets behind him, tries to lift him up and both of them start moaning. Then Kate comes in.
* Happens multiple times in "The Wedding Party" episode of ''Series/FawltyTowers'' with Basil and Manuel.
* On ''{{Treme}}'', Davis says this when Annie walks in on him sitting in a room with a shirtless Sophia passed out in front of him the morning after Mardi Gras. [[spoiler: He saved a drunken Sophia from being raped, and took off her shirt because she vomited on it.]] Annie never doubts him for a moment, (it probably helped that Davis was fully clothed).
* In ''Series/{{Community}}'' episode "[[Recap/CommunityS1E14InterpretiveDance Interpretive Dance]]", when Troy and Britta announce they have a secret to share with the group, Annie's reaction shows she believes them to be a couple. [[spoiler: They really just want to invite everyone to a dance recital.]]
* In an episode of ''Series/BigTimeRush'' Kendall is constantly put into this situation with Jordin Sparks, as everything he tries to do for his girlfriend Jo turns into what looks like a romantic scene with Jordin just as Jo walks into the scene.
* In ''Series/TheOuterLimits'' episode "Last Supper", Jade lifts her shirt to show Frank her birthmark. Unfortunately, her boyfriend and his wife walk in on them and take it the wrong way.
* ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' had that episode where they fought an evil wizard. His minion, a golem, reveals to Paige that he has no belly button. She has to ''go down on her knees'' to see. In comes Piper.
-->'''Paige''': It's not what you think! I was examining him!\\
'''Piper''': I don't care what you call it, just cut it out!
* ''Series/DoctorWho''. "The Impossible Astronaut" opens with an outraged, sword-wielding Cavalier finding a naked [[Creator/MattSmith Eleventh Doctor]] hiding under his wife's skirt. One can't blame the chap for having the Doctor thrown into the Tower of London.
-->'''Doctor:''' You know, this [[CelibateHero isn't nearly as bad as it looks]].
* Subverted in ''Series/TheKingOfQueens'': Doug discovers Deacon having a candlelit dinner with a woman other than his wife, and struggles to come up with an innocent reason for it. Finally Deacon tells him "It's what it looks like, okay?"
* Subverted in an episode of ''Series/{{Blossom}}'' after being played straight multiple times.
--> "This is ''exactly'' what it looks like!"
* ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'': Uttered by Penny when everyone catches her and Raj coming out of Leonard's room. In that case though, it really ''was'' what it looked like. Sheldon was confused, though: "What does it look like?"
* While it happens several times in small doses in ''Series/KyleXY'', probably the most obvious example is in "Hands on a Hybrid," when Kyle and Jessi reveal their "navallessness" to each other just as Amanda walks in.
* In a bit on ''Series/TheDailyShow'', host Jon Stewart demonstrates "chat roulette". He makes random video-chat connections with four people, three of whom are naked, before seeing one of his own anchors sitting in bed making a jerking motion just out of sight. "Jon, it's not what it looks like! I'm playing ''Wii Butter Churn''." He shows the Wii controller, then adds, "[[SubvertedTrope and masturbating]]."
* Inverted on ''Series/ThirtyRock'':
-->'''Tracy''': I wasn't watching cute little kitten videos, I was watching pornography! Who put these sleepy kitten videos on here?
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2nRx4LAoDg This Just For Laughs prank]] pulls this on the unfortunate fellows who stop to help out the snagged bride. They're just trying to free her dress from the thorns, honest!
* In the episode "Dude" of the BBC series ''Series/Clone'', [[ButtMonkey Ian]] has finally managed to [[ItMakesSenseInContext remove the camera that the government planted in his eye]] and given the camera to a big friendly dog. The dog encounters Jasmine, on whom Ian has a hopeless crush, jumps on her and licks her face. The men watching the surveillance feed think that Ian is attacking Jasmine. Being villains, they are impressed with Ian's apparent behavior.
* Subverted in a first-season episode of ''Series/NightCourt'' in which court clerk Lana Wagner, flying high on cold remedy drugs, is making passionate romantic advances on Judge Harry Stone in his office. Harry's office door opens to reveal lawyers Dan Fielding and Liz Williams and bailiffs Bull Shannon and Selma Hacker, who take a moment to absorb the scene of an alarmed Harry and an enthusiastic Lana in a torrid embrace.
-->'''Dan:''' ''[sarcastically]'' No. Let me guess. This... isn't what it looks like.\\
'''Lana:''' ''[lustily]'' Yes it is!
* The ''Series/MadeInCanada'' episode "Trojan Horse" builds up to a brilliant example. Network executive Brian's daughter, Eliza, has obtained an internship at Pyramid Productions, and Brian tells Pyramid CEO Alan to keep his lecherous production heads Richard and Victor away from Eliza, or else. Alan sends them away for the day and apprentices Eliza to production adviser Veronica, while Richard and Victor put together a film pitch and Richard tricks Victor into waiving his upfront fee for a cut of the back end (which he expects to be zero). Eliza, however, is a lesbian and falls in love with Veronica; when Veronica rejects her over dinner, she gets blind drunk in despair. Richard and Victor bail Veronica out by carrying Eliza back to Brian's hotel suite. On the way, Richard and Victor discuss a second film pitch, and begin arguing again over whose fee will comprise the front end or back end, while in the suite, Brian is screening his new ice dancing documentary for a bored Alan...
-->'''Ice dancer:''' ''[on film]'' What I love most about skating is the whoosh of the wind through my hair! ''[Alan almost nods off]'' It really feels like I'm flying! ''Flying!''\\
''[the door opens and Richard and Victor carry in the nearly unconscious Eliza]''\\
'''Victor:''' No no no, this time I'm taking the back end, you take the front end!\\
''[Brian [[DramaticDrop drops his martini glass in horror]]; he and Alan stare in disbelief at the embarrassed Richard and Victor]''\\
'''Richard:''' ''[to camera]'' [[EveryEpisodeEnding This is not good...]]
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}''. In "What Is And What Should Never Be" after being touched by a dijinn, Dean wakes up in an alternate timeline where the Winchesters never became Hunters. Their mother is still alive, likewise Sam is getting married to a still-alive Jessica, but Sam and Dean aren't very close and all the people they saved are now dead. Dean realises that he needs to change things, so breaks into his mother's house to steal a silver knife to kill the dijinn. Sam catches him and Dean gives this trope, making it look as if he's going to tell Sam the truth. Instead Dean says he's stealing the silverware to pay off a gambling debt, which is more in tune with his character in the alternate timeline.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* Mocked in the song "Such Horrible Things" by Creature Feature. The song catalogs a list of horrible things done by the narrator at various ages. The chorus?
-->''But It's Not Quite What It Seems\\
(Not Quite What He Seems)\\
Not Quite What I Seem\\
Ah, Hell\\
It's Exactly What It Seems''
* The story behind Music/TheEverlyBrothers song "Wake Up, Little Suzie". The singer is trying to wake up his girlfriend and take her home from the drive-in, continually pointing out that ''nobody'' (especially not her parents) is going to be believe that the reason she's coming home six hours after her curfew is because the movie was so boring that they both fell asleep.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Myth]]
* Invoked by Grainne in ''[[CelticMythology The Pursuit of Diarmuid and Grainne]]''. Since Diarmuid refused her on the basis that [[MurderTheHypotenuse Finn would almost certainly kill him if he didn't]], Grainne placed a geas on him that forced him into leaving the house with her while Finn and the others are sleeping - he didn't ''have'' to elope with his lord's fiance, but given that Finn was going to assume that he did regardless, he might as well.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* A ''GetFuzzy'' strip in which Satchel and Rob walk in on Bucky [[NoodleImplements wearing a hat with a question mark, glasses and a flag, and getting a football with a scary face to stand up in a shoe, while a vaccum cleaner hose led to a pot with a teddy bear in it]].
-->'''Bucky''': Oh ... you guys are home early. Hey, F.Y.I., this isn't what it looks like.\\
'''Rob''': Dude, it isn't what anything looks like.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Pro Wrestling]]
* Used in Wrestling/{{WWE}}, when Wrestling/TripleH was teaching Wrestling/TrishStratus how to escape a hammerlock just as his wife Wrestling/{{Stephanie|McMahon}} walked in... though if that particular escape technique has ever actually happened in wrestling, it's been a very, very, VERY rare example...
** Given a CallBack of sorts during RAW's 1000th episode, with Trish teaching Trips some moves from her yoga videos, just as the rest of Wrestling/DGenerationX walked in. Cue awkwardness.
* Wrestling/JohnCena tried this when a grateful Wrestling/EveTorres kissed him for saving her from Wrestling/{{Kane}} and Wrestling/ZackRyder walked in and was enraged.
* Wrestling/VinceMcMahon walked in on Vickie Guerrero, Hornswoggle, and Great Khali in an "interesting" position in 2012.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Radio]]
* Inverted in one episode of ''Radio/HamishAndDougal'', when Hamish and Dougal are in the lavatory together. Mrs. Naughtie knocks on the door.
-->'''Hamish:''' Don't worry, Mrs. Naughtie, it's not what it seems!\\
'''Mrs. Naughtie:''' ...You mean it isn't a completely innocent misunderstanding?
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* OlderThanSteam: Commonly occurs, usually with the genders reversed, in Creator/WilliamShakespeare plays.
** Claudio and Hero in Shakespeare's ''Theatre/MuchAdoAboutNothing''
** A darker example: Othello and Desdemona in ''Theatre/{{Othello}}''.
** Similarly, Posthumus and Imogen in ''Theatre/{{Cymbeline}}''.
* The Creator/GilbertAndSullivan operetta ''Theatre/{{Iolanthe}}'' contains the version of this trope involving the main character's mother (who is a fairy, and therefore [[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld looks deceptively young]]). This is probably a ShoutOut to a similar scene in ''Theatre/TheMarriageOfFigaro'', involving Figaro and his mother (who, until she discovered that she was his mother, was trying to get him to marry her in order to pay off a debt).
* The painter Cavaradossi, fiancé of the title character from the opera ''Theatre/{{Tosca}}'' begins the opera by helping hide an escaped political prisoner and old friend. Tosca realises he's hiding something and, after finding a misplaced fan in the church were Cavaradossi is working, assumes he is cheating on her. Much drama, blood and death ensues.
* In ''Film/TheProducers'', Leo wants to turn Max and himself in and hand their doctored record books over to the police. Max is kneeling, clutching the books to his chest and refusing to let go...while Leo stands behind him, arms wrapped around him, trying to wrestle the books away, all the while shouting "GIVE IT TO ME!" Then the CampGay director and his common-law assistant walk in...
-->''"Now that's what I call celebrating!"''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* A rather dramatic example in ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry 4''. When the older brother of Nero's love interest, Credo, challenges Nero to a fight and reveals himself to be a part of a growing conspiracy, Nero naturally is forced to beat him into submission. Trouble arises when said love interest, Kyrie, stumbles on the scene to see her brother Credo on the ground thoroughly bruised and Nero standing over him seemingly about to finish him off with his demon arm (revealing him to be part demon, which is ''very bad'' as they are all part of a religious Order that hunts and kills demons). Nero instantly recognizes what it must look like to her, and before he could try to helplessly explain, yet ''another'' character shows up, blatantly lying to make Nero even look more like the villain. And then renders the whole point moot by threatening to kill her if Nero doesn't do what he says, turning into a bug-like demon, and flying away with her. It's unsure she could tell who the bad guy was at that point.
* Used in Yoshine's route in ''VisualNovel/BrassRestoration''. [[spoiler:Subverted once you find out that Yoshine ''set the whole thing up'' in order to get a major romantic rival out of the way.]]
* If the Chosen One of ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'' has sex with either Miria or Davin, when they are caught, they can insist that it isn't what it looks like -- they are actually a doctor. [[MetaphoricallyTrue Which is true]]. You need 50% (pretty good) doctor skill to pull this off, so you're pretty much a doctor. [[DontExplainTheJoke You're still sleeping with him/her, however]].
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', in the "Mage Origin" story quest: when the PC [[spoiler:gets busted with Jowan and Lily coming out of the repository by Greagor,]] one of the responses available is ''This is not what it looks like.''
** Whilst rescuing Queen Anora who's been kidnapped, the player is caught by Ser Cauthrien, who has come to arrest the Warden for murdering their way through Arl Howe's estate. They attempt to explain the situation and point out the disguised Queen Anora beside them, however Anora decides to claim that the ''Warden'' was the one attempting to kidnap her! The Warden can decide to either fight their way out or surrender peacefully, but not before having the option to call Anora a "[[WhatTheHellHero traitorous bitch]]" first!
** The option to say [[ThisIsGonnaSuck "Uh Oh!"]] is also available.
* Can be seen in ''VideoGame/ADanceWithRogues'' if [[PlayerCharacter the Princess]] begins a romance with [[BruiserWithASoftCenter Bran]]. In one of the first stages of the romance she's given the option to offer Bran [[IntimateHealing they both cuddle in the same sleeping bag to keep warm]], since at this point the party's mostly camping in underground caves and the Princess is starting to feel very cold. Nothing happens between them as, even if the Princess attempts to get too intimate with him at this stage, he'll refuse. In the next morning Bran's sister Norah will see them like this and immediately grins at Bran who will briefly explain the situation and tell her it's not what she thinks. Norah won't believe him, especially if the Princess decided to sleep naked.
* ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'':
** [[ShyBlueHairedGirl Fuuka]], nervous about wearing a swimsuit during her [[BeachEpisode upcoming trip to the beach]], decides to try a (noisy) ab-toning machine... which tickles horribly and won't come off. [[FinaglesLaw Mitsuru naturally knocks on the door to ask a favor]], but stops when she hears a loud vibrating noise and Fuuka giggling.
--->'''Fuuka:''' [[ThatCameOutWrong C-c-coming...!]]\\
'''Mitsuru:''' Oh, um, never mind. C-carry on.
** Also, in ''[=P3P=]'', Aigis's introduction (also at the beach) comes out completely different for the female protagonist. After rebuffing Junpei and Akihiko, who were hitting on her, they soon find her...tightly hugging the protagonist and gushing about how happy she is to find her.
--->'''Akihiko:''' [[MistakenForGay Oh, so that's her preference...]]
** A meta-example -- One FAQ for ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' laid the games conversation choices out with only the lead in question. The last question for Yukiko's girlfriend social link, the point where they're in an intimate relationship, was given solely as "So... the couch, or the futon?". Play through it, and they're just talking about sitting.
* In Hijikata's route of ''VideoGame/{{Hakuouki}} Zuisoroku'', and its OVA adaptation ''Sekkaroku'', when Chizuru's brief stint of posing as a maiko to eavesdrop at Sumiya ends in chaos, Hijikata grabs her and makes a run for it. They're stopped at the front gate by a well-meaning bystander who takes Chizuru for the geisha she's dressed as and assumes that Hijikata is either kidnapping her or trying to elope without resolving her debt. Trying to explain goes nowhere fast; Hijikata loses his temper and ends up loudly announcing that he's the vice-commander of the {{Shinsengumi}} and Chizuru is under his protection. It apparently takes him a while afterwards to live down the rumors.
* In Mio's route in ''VisualNovel/LittleBusters'', she ends up running away from Riki who chases after her and, when she stumbles, they fall onto the ground with Riki on top of her, [[ThanksForTheMammary one hand on her chest]]. Of course, soon afterwards Kurugaya comes along and [[AccidentalPervert accuses Riki of being a pervert]]. He rushes to explain himself...and she believes him immediately, because after [[TheTease everything she's done to him so far]], she'd have ''known'' if he was the type to do something like that.
** Of course, the reason Mio was running away in the first place is because Kyousuke was brushing lint off Riki, and she (being a Boys Love fangirl) immediately assumed they were having an intimate moment. Riki is completely clueless to this fact.
** Also in "VisualNovel/Little Busters", on Komari's route, she falls fast asleep on the rooftop, leaving her clothing in a state of general disarray. If Riki tries to straighten her clothes up, she (predictably) wakes up while Riki is liftimg her shirt, and proceeds to go into hilarious freakout mode, while Riki fervently tries to explain himself.
* PlayedForDrama in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3''. [[spoiler: During a terrorist attack orchestrated by a group [[PlayerCharacter Commander Shepard]] acknowledged working with in the past, Shepard bursts through a door with their gun raised on Councilor Udina, the human representative in the galactic government. It's actually because Udina is working with Cerberus to orchestrate the attack. If Shepard and the Virmire survivor haven't repaired their relationship to the point Shepard can convince him/her of what's really going on, Shepard or a squadmate will have to kill them.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/RedString'', Reika walks in on Eiji's brother's fiancée all over him (against his expressed wishes). Her reaction so far is typical for this trope, even though they aren't dating. To be specific, she runs out and slaps Eiji when he tries to stop her. Then she asks angrily and accusingly what they would have been doing further if she hadn't walked in with Eiji's brother.
* ''Webcomic/QuestionableContent''
** In [[http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=532 this strip]], when caught in an inadvertently compromising situation, Marten remarks, "I'd say 'it's not what you think!' only I'm not even sure what ''I'' think this is." In a humorous subversion, Faye realizes that, considering Marten's track record with women, it obviously couldn't be what it looks like.
** Used almost word-for-word [[http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=1686 here]].
** [[http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=1574 And again]], although this time, as Dora says, it sort of ''is'' what it looks like.
** [[http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=1741 Oh lord.]]
* [[spoiler:Kroenen]] says this to Rasputin in ''Webcomic/AbeAndKroenen'' when [[spoiler: he catches Abe holding Kroenen as they are about to escape the Ringwraiths. Unfortunately, not only does Rasputin have a rare moment of sense and realize that Kroenen and Abe are together, Kroenen has also inadvertently let slip that he can talk.]] Ironically, Rasputin's more upset about him hiding the latter than the former.
* ''Webcomic/SexyLosers'' contains a number of parodies of this. Unfortunately, the comic's less safe for work than a copy of ''Hustler'', so a link might not be prudent.
* ''Webcomic/CtrlAltDel'' shows us a [[http://www.cad-comic.com/cad/20080901 particularly Genre Savvy example]], as Lucas ''asks'' if it's what it looks like.
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick''
** Played with in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0269.html strip #269]], when Celia recalls finding out her boyfriend "[[LiteralMetaphor slipping the wood]]" to a dryad. He says it's not what it looks, but it's unsure what it looks like in the first place....
** Subverted when Nale seduces Haley in order to betray and kill her, only to be stopped when his enraged girlfriend Sabine arrives. She realizes what's going on immediately, but wanted to kill Haley herself:
--->'''Nale:''' It's not what it looks like.\\
'''Nale:''' ''[simultaneous]'' I was going to KILL her.\\
'''Sabine:''' ''[simultaneous]'' YOU WERE GOING TO KILL HER!
* The Spanish webcomic ''[[http://monos.fadri.org/049-pillado-infraganti/ 1 Millón de Monos]]''. One of the characters says that "It's just what it looks like!" (Only, it's unclear what exactly it looks like.)
* ''Webcomic/MenageA3'' features an epic case when geek and (at the time) virgin Gary has new character Yuki sit astride his face and then get handcuffed to him. That part isn't his fault; admittedly, he does then deliberately grope her breast while she's unconscious, but he's honestly convinced that she must be a figment of his imagination at the time. Then he finds himself lying on top of her, panting (actually from exhaustion), just as she recovers consciousness. Much of this happens ''in public,'' but the real problem is that Yuki is a violent androphobe, and this incident almost gets Gary killed. Funnily enough he and Yuki end up dating for a while, much later.
* ''Webcomic/{{Misfile}}''
** [[http://www.misfile.com/?page=1114 This scene]]. Missi catches Emily hugging a naked Ash in the shower, causing Em to utter this line, followed by the worst excuse in history. The subversion is that [[TransparentCloset it's almost exactly what it looks like (and maybe even what Missi claims it is)]].
** And [[http://www.misfile.com/?page=1158 yet another]] Not What It Looks Like moment... ''in front of Emily's mother.''
* At one point in ''Webcomic/MegaTokyo'' RobotGirl Ping answers Piro's door in her underwear. Kimiko was not amused. And it didn't help matters that Ping has the body of a seventeen-year-old girl. Well, a malleable artificial body that can pass for almost anything between late middle-school and senior high school ages. Unfortunately that scene gave Kimiko an impression of the former.
** This sort of thing happens constantly. Largo and Erika come out of a room half-undressed with Largo raving about how "soft" her body is...nope, they were building computers, and Largo's paranoid about static electricity, so they had to wear minimal clothing. Kimiko spends the night sleeping on top of Piro...but nothing else happens. Kimiko comes home to find an underwear-clad Erika, who yanks Kimiko's clothes off, and then Piro shows up and Erika makes him disrobe, too...so he can help fix her computer. Miho wanders to Piro's apartment and spends the night, then they go to a bathhouse and bathe together...but Piro was in jail all night, and they hardly even look at each other in the bathhouse.
* Near the start of ''Webcomic/NineteenTwentyOne'', Dong-whi follows a cat by climbing up a wall and Yong-whi happens to see. He then attempts to explain to her that he isn't a burgler, but [[SubvertedTrope she wasn't thinking that in the first place]].
* ''Webcomic/NoRestForTheWicked''
** Non-romantic example in : Perrault is standing next to November when the wind blows a leaf into her face. As she's the princess from "Literature/ThePrincessAndThePea", it bruises her. Red, who treats her as a MoralityPet, sees the bruise and lifts her ax. [[http://www.forthewicked.net/archive/02-19.html "I-it isn't what it looks like!"]]
** Romantic inversion: Beast is [[http://www.forthewicked.net/archive/02-43.html rather the worse for wear]] after an encounter with Red; Beauty assumes he's dying of heartbreak and agrees to marry him.
* ''Webcomic/NerfNow'', and by extension, ''Franchise/MassEffect'' has [[http://www.nerfnow.com/comic/568 another variation]].
** Also inverted in [[http://www.nerfnow.com/comic/675 this]] strip.
* Hilariously done with CyberPunk relish in ''Webcomic/{{Lizzy}}''. [[http://comics.cyberneticevilstudios.com/pages/2/16a.html Found here]].
* Subverted amusingly (complete with reference to ''Series/ThreesCompany'') [[http://www.aorange.com/?p=167 here.]]
* ''[[http://nettserier.no/irma/2010/02/16/ Irma]]''. It's Norwegian, but who needs translation?
* In ''Webcomic/WapsiSquare'', Kevin walks in the room, and sees [[http://wapsisquare.com/comic/12292003/ this.]]
* [[http://satwcomic.com/too-big-for-denmark This strip]] of ''Webcomic/ScandinaviaAndTheWorld''.
* ''Webcomic/TwoKinds''
** A strip brings us the ''entire cast'' (at that point in time, anyway) [[http://twokinds.keenspot.com/archive.php?p=69 catching Trace and Flora.]]
** Then Keith and Natani being found [[http://twokinds.keenspot.com/archive.php?p=281 by Flora in a bath.]]
* In ''Webcomic/ThinkBeforeYouThink'', Brian tries to help Julia after she passes out, and Becky catches them in [[http://thinkbeforeyouthink.net/?comic=20101015-trouble-with-pants this]] position.
* Subverted in ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'', during one of the FourthWallMailSlot Q&A sessions regarding TimeTravel, where the two hypothetical copies of Lisa start kissing each other, they freely admit that it is exactly [[ScrewYourself what it looks like]].
* Plays itself out in ''Webcomic/{{Greg}}'', as Greg is trying to yank off Ted's jeans. The intimate moment [[http://gregcomic.com/2011/07/25/guilt-by-association-part-6/#comment-7498 here]].
* In Comic Rantz a splinter removal look like [[http://www.comicrantz.com/2012/04/privacy/ something else]], not that those involved notice.
* ''Webcomic/EerieCuties''
** The comic had this pretty much as a RunningGag with Layla and [[http://www.eeriecuties.com/strips-ec/try_some other girls]].
--->'''Brooke''': I... I think I'm going to die of embarrassment for ''reals'' [[http://www.eeriecuties.com/strips-ec/the_spoils_of_war! this time]]!\\
'''Layla''': Somebody, just stake me now!
** Tiffany (totally not in a fit of jealousy) tried on Layla's boyfriend [[http://www.eeriecuties.com/strips-ec/This%20is%20what%20we%20trained%20for her anti-vampire scheme]] involving a mouse, thinking he's a vampire. He's a [[CatFolk cat-boy]]. We all see [[MyInstinctsAreShowing where it's going]], right? Layla hears a shriek and sees her boyfriend and her best friend [[http://www.eeriecuties.com/strips-ec/quite_the_matchmaker in a rather "awkward" position]].
* In [[http://www.earsforelves.com/archives/370 the middle of the dance hall]] from ''Webcomic/EarsForElves'', Tanna shouts at Rolan for what he did [[http://www.earsforelves.com/archives/179 earlier]].
-->'''Tanna''': ''You pushed me to the ground!''\\
''[[[{{Beat}} silence]]]''\\
'''Various elven ladies''': [-Did she just say-\\
Oh my gods...\\
She didn't. I can't believe he'd-\\
Did they really?-]\\
'''Tanna''': Oh come on. What are you? A bunch of gossiping barmaids? It's not like that at all.
* ''Webcomic/LeagueOfSuperRedundantHeroes'' has [[http://superredundant.com/?p=519 this gem]].
* ''[[Webcomic/GeistPanik Hookie Dookie Panic]]'' has the [[http://www.hookiedookiepanic.com/comic.php?ID=62 scene]] which Wilcow insists "It's not what it looks like". Probably you won't even want to try and make sense out of what it ''looks like''.
* In ''Webcomic/CommanderKitty'', [[http://www.commanderkitty.com/2011/07/17/mouse-plays-mole/ MOUSE engineers one of these with the]] [[http://www.commanderkitty.com/2011/07/24/fruit-its-yummy-and-not-bad/ help of a conveniently timed fruit basket.]]
* In the second ''Webcomic/LifeOfMaid'' Christmas Special, Rinnosuke takes on the role of SantaClaus for the year, but after being spotted by Marisa, he's forced to use a combo of GivingThemTheStrip and NinjaLog in a bid to get the hell away from her so [[KleptomaniacHero she doesn't steal the presents he's been hired to deliver like she did with Youki last year]]. It works, but when he heads to Yuyuko's place to deliver her present, Youmu enters Yuyuko's room to leave her own present for her and walks in on Rinnosuke standing over a sleeping Yuyuko in his underwear while breathing hard (due to having just gotten away from Marisa and delivered Yuyuko's present). The [[AccidentalPervert obvious conclusions about Rinnosuke's intentions]] are jumped to and swords are drawn, with painful results for him.
* Webcomic/MountainTime had a rather... [[http://mountaincomics.com/2012/09/13/mountain-time-390/ odd example]] of this trope. But then, it's [[Webcomic/MountainTime Mountain Time.]]
* Played for Drama in PeterIsTheWolf,[[spoiler: where the Titular character's girlfriend walks in on him tied to a bed, with a gag in his mouth ''about to be raped'' by his longtime stalker and mistakes it for him cheating on her. She promptly slaps him and breaks up with him on the spot. She learns awhile later she just abandoned the man she loves for nearly being raped and is completely horrified with herself.]]
* ''Webcomic/SaturdayMorningBreakfastCereal'' [[http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=496#comic #496]] contains an entirely implausible appeal to this trope: "It's not what it looks like! In fact, ''you're'' cheating on ''me''!"
* ''Webcomic/SplitScreen'': The night Jan left for college (never to see her best friend, Jeremy, for a decade). She was going to meet him, to finally confess her feelings to him once and for all. She sees him waiting for her in the diner, with his girlfriend, Natalie. She runs off rather than confess her love in front of his girlfriend. Turns out; Natalie was A) A lesbian, B) Was only Jeremy's girlfriend so she could act as a buffer between Jeremy and Jan and C) was only there to make sure Jeremy stopped ducking Jan and confessed ''his'' feelings. It's twelve years before Jan finds this out.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In the ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'', it's happened at least twice so far. One time, it was Phase, standing with pants down and an erection, while HotScientist Bunny Cormick knelt down to get a 3-D model of said privates (for something else Phase is planning). So Bunny's roomie walks in just then. And brings back Phase's girlfriend, among others. It took a while to explain.
* [[http://bash.org/?207373 This]] BashOrg quote:
--> oh man\\
I was opening a coke, right\\
Beefpile (~mbeefpile@cloaked.wi.rr.com) has joined #themacmind\\
and it exploded\\
ALMOST all over my keyboard\\
but I got it away just in time\\
Beefpile has quit (sick fuckers)\\
:<
* Said word for word in ''Roleplay/DarwinsSoldiers'' by a system admin after Montgomery walks in on him trying to delete a bunch of porn popups on his computer. A virus had hit his computer.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Subverted in the ''WesternAnimation/MissionHill'' episode "Porno for Pyro": Kevin is pleasuring himself to pornography in a public bathroom and accidentally commits arson trying to hide it, but no-one ever suspects him of any wrongdoing.
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy''
** Subverted in the episode "Sibling Rivalry": after being discovered embracing bags of Lois' liposuctioned fat with his pants down, Peter says "Umm... this is ''exactly'' what it looks like."
** In "The Tan Aquatic with Steve Zissou", Stewie gains an obsession with tanning, but Brian forgets to let him out and Stewie is so badly burned he can barely get up. Brian retrieves some lotion as Stewie manages to get up to his knees, and he squirts it from the bottle from hip level onto Stewie's chest as Mr. Furley (from ''Series/ThreesCompany'') enters and hurriedly says he'll come back later, while Brian can do nothing but say this trope (in the uncut version on Creator/AdultSwim and the DVD; the FOX version cuts off before Brian can say the line).
** "Go Stewie Go" had Lois trying to screw Meg's boyfriend, and when Meg catches Lois on top of the boy, Lois lamely says "Um...rape?"
** When Peter takes Cleveland to audition for the Bachelorette...
--->'''Cleveland:''' Peter, I can't do this. I'm too nervous. I gotta go.\\
'''Peter:''' No, no, Cleveland, I'm not going to let you do this. I'll tie you down if I have to. ''[ties his hands to the chair]''\\
'''Cleveland:''' Peter, this is only making it worse. Oh, God, my claustrophobia is setting in!\\
'''Peter:''' It's all right, it's all right, it's okay. It's all right. It's the fabric. It's the fabric. It's your clothes. All right, let's get your clothes off. ''[takes Cleveland's clothes off]''\\
'''Cleveland:''' Peter! Peter, what's wrong with you? I'm naked!\\
'''Peter:''' Oh, God, you're self-conscious. I'm sorry. Here, you know what? Look, look. Cleveland. Look. See? See? Now you're not alone. You're not alone, Cleveland. ''[takes his clothes off]''\\
'''Cleveland:''' Let me out of here! I need to get out of here!\\
'''Peter:''' Cleveland, no. No, you're staying. This, this for your own good. This is for your own good. ''[presses against Cleveland to keep him in the chair]''\\
'''Executive:''' ''[opening door]'' Oh, my God!\\
'''Peter:''' Hi, we're here for the interview.
** There's also the episode where OJ Simpson stays with the Griffins. Simpson spills lasagna all over the floor and Lois slips in it and lands in an awkward position, and at that moment Brian walks in and begins screaming, believing that Simpson killed Lois.
* In the third season of ''WesternAnimation/WinxClub'', this happens in episode 21 after Layla caught Nabu having snuck on the ship. While Flora was filming a message for Helia, Musa was putting shackles on Nabu. The camera angles made it look like Musa was kissing Nabu, and Riven saw the message and got the wrong idea. The misunderstanding was quickly cleared up in the next episode after a brief fight between Riven and Nabu, and seeing that Riven really cared about her, Musa decided not to break up with him.
* In a ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken'' sketch, a man finds his wife in bed with another man. The woman pretends they were playing a role playing game and the husband asks if he can also play. In a later sketch, the man is in bed with another woman. He explains that they were role playing and the wife says she knows.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'': Happens in the episode "Why Must I Be a Crustacean in Love" with Fry when Zoidberg walks in on both Fry and Edna who is kissing him on her sofa.
-->'''Zoidberg:''' Edna, I couldn't stand it any longer. I-- Gasp! Fry!\\
'''Fry:''' Dr. Zoidberg, it's not how it looks!\\
'''Zoidberg:''' Her caviar is on your neck!
* In one of the stranger episodes of ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'' ("Hank's Dirty Laundry"), Hank Hill needs to watch pornographic videos to prove to a video clerk that the porno video he allegedly rented and didn't return doesn't exist, so he can clear his credit and buy a new washing machine. When Peggy sees him from behind, crouched over (presumably masturbating, but actually taking notes to find clues), she freaks out and tells Bobby to leave the house. The original scene (which can be seen on the complete second season DVD) had Hank shaking his pen after it dried up, making the illusion of masturbation more obvious (naturally, the FOX censors wouldn't allow this).
** And in "Strangeness On A Train", Hank pulls the train's emergency brake, the sudden screeching halt throwing everyone to the floor in a heap. The conductor (already in a sour mood) assumes they're engaged in an orgy and kicks them off the train.
** Spoofed in another episode where Peggy and Bobby start grilling with charcoal; when Hank finds a briquette in the kitchen, Peggy quickly insists that it's drugs ([[SeriousBusiness considering how Hank gets about his propane]], drugs would probably be preferable).
* ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' gives an example in the episode "Dr. Quymn, Medicine Woman", when the nature-loving Dr. Quymn stumbles upon Brock & the boys [[GetRichQuickScheme training an Orangutan to box]] as part of one of Rusty's schemes:
-->'''Rusty:''' No, noooo, this isn't how it looks!\\
'''Dean:''' Yeah it is.
* ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible''
** In the episode "Homecoming Upset". Bonnie forces Ron into a kiss just as Kim arrives on the scene. After getting over the shock of the sight, a ''very'' pissed off Kim has to be reassured by Ron that Bonnie forced the kiss onto him unwillingly. Turns out, Kim is well aware of this, but she's still angry all the same.
--->'''Ron:''' Hey, I was the "kissee" here, not the "kisser"!\\
'''Kim:''' No kidding! It took ya twelve stinkin' years to kiss me!
** "Ill Suited", where Ron is trying to explain why he stole Kim's battlesuit.
---> '''Ron:''' Wait wait! It's not what you think!\\
'''Kim:''' Oh? So you're not a cheater, a liar and a ''thief''?!\\
'''Ron:''' ... OK, it is what you think.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Wolverine and the X-Men}}'': Happens during a training session between Iceman and Shadowcat, with both rolling in each others arms as Angel walks on them.
* ''WesternAnimation/GeneratorRex'': In "Robo Bobo", Holiday walks into Rex's room to find Rex kneeling on the floor with his face seemingly pressed up against Bobo's butt. Her "i'll come back later" is priceless.
* Subverted in ''Franchise/GIJoe'' when [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlIWSfjYVMc Cobra Commander spots Destro and Baroness making out.]]
-->'''Destro''': S-She had something in her eye, Cobra Commander!\\
'''Cobra Commander''': ''[[SarcasmMode My]]'' [[SarcasmMode eye, she did]]!
* In ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' episode "I Am the Walrus", Stan makes sure that Steve [[PrimalScene sees him and Francine having sex]], then talks to him afterwards...where he completely destroys this trope, listing off several normal excuses (like the Heimlich Maneuver or "giving her a lying-down hug") and then saying "It was none of those things. I was having sex with her. I was plowing her" and so forth.
* In the GenderFlip episode of ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'', the Ice Queen has [[spoiler: disguised herself as Prince Gumball and taken Fionna up to the prince's bedroom, where the real Gumball is trapped in ice on the ceiling.]] Fionna fights off the Ice Queen but Cake, hearing Fionna shout, rushes upstairs to find Fionna and Gumball standing by his bed, Fionna's dress ripped from the fight. Cake jumps to the wrong conclusion, screams "Don't you touch her!" and [[MamaBear attacks him]].
* Happens to WesternAnimation/JohnnyTest [[RuleOfThree three times]] in episode 'Sleepover at Johnny's' with Jillian Vegan as her evil villain OverprotectiveDad Dark Vegan catches them. In order to hide Jillian from Susan (Who wants to kill Jillian for getting Gil's attention), Johnny pulls Jillian into the closet. Then, when trying to convince Jillian to leave, he spins a bottle as substitute for a coin flip. And finally, after a fall, Jillian ends up smudging her lipstick on Johnny.
* From ''{{WesternAnimation/Dilbert}}'': Dilbert video tapes himself while he's taking a bath because he ultimately gets all his engineering ideas in the bathtub. During one recording session he drops his soap and is reaching between his legs and says the unfortunate line "It's so small I can hardly feel it." When Dogbert ultimately distributes the tape to Dilbert's coworkers nobody thinks he's talking about soap.
* In the ''[[TronUprising TRON: Uprising]]'' episode "Rendezvous", Tron walks in on Beck repeatedly replaying his memories of [[FoeYay Paige]], whereupon Beck explains that it's "not what it looks like" and that he's "gauging [his] opponent". Tron doesn't buy it (whilst refering to Beck and Paige's meeting as a date).
* In the ''The New Adventures of the ComicBook/WonderTwins'' short [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsEkAK6zYYc Be Kind, Rewind]] the twins are at a video store when they spot Marvin and Wendy, now adults. They try to evade Marvin and end up going into the basement of the store, which is the pornographic section. Marvin notices them and follows them. As they're in the Adult section he gets the wrong idea that they are either incestuous or they watch porn together.
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'': '''[[SouthParkS8E1GoodTimesWithWeapons Good Times with Weapons]]''': At the end, Kenny, Kyle and Stan thought the townspeople were anger with what happened to Butters to learn, [[spoiler: they were really angry at Cartman for his nudity, not the weapon. The boys go to the conclusion that just as long the adults are worried about nudity, weapons are okay.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* There are various viral videos of bull elephant seals doing really inappropriate looking things with motor vehicles. They're actually trying to beat up the vehicles.
* Surprisingly, a really common example of this is when dogs mount other dogs they know -- regardless of the gender of either dog -- in a way that humans usually assume is at least an attempt to have sex. Dogs, weirdly enough, don't actually mate in 'doggy-style' -- if the one on top actually penetrates the other, they twist round until they're rear-to-rear. The motivation for climbing on another dog's back without seemingly intending to enter him/her is obscure, but seems to be an expression of superior status.
** Another animal example is rattlesnakes. Since they're snakes, and [[CaptainObvious have no legs]], male rattlesnakes fight by wrapping their tails around each other and butting heads. When people see them, they frequently assume the snakes are mating, not fighting. (A mated pair of snakes are entwined, but lie on the ground; a fighting pair usually rear up.)
* An [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alford_plea Alford plea]] is basically this. "I'm entering a guilty plea because I know it looks like I committed the crime, and there's plenty of evidence, but I swear, I didn't really do it."
[[/folder]]

----