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Bed Trick

Susan: "Oh Reed, that sex was wonderful."
Reed: "Was it, hehe—" {transforms} Surprise! I was really a Skrull all along baby!"
Susan: (transforms) FRANK!

A trope in which Eve has sex with Bob by pretending to be Alice. In short, "My God, Whom Have I Done?"

In the classic version which gave this trope its name, Eve accomplishes her coup by slipping into bed with Bob after dark; Bob is typically too sleepy to notice the difference. This can be justified in cases where Bob and Alice have never slept together before, but if Bob and Alice are married it strains the audience's Willing Suspension of Disbelief (he can't tell the difference between Eve and his wife of five years?). Historically, it was commonly used the other way round: Eve, as the wife that Bob rejected, took the place of Alice, who was desperate to escape Bob's wooing. Nowadays it's achieved by shapeshifting or some other device by which Eve could plausibly fool Bob into believing that she is Alice.

This is one of The Oldest Tricks In The Book and a common origin story for mythological heroes (often with a god playing the role of Eve). The Unfortunate Implications make it something of a Discredited Trope. As a general rule, the farther back you go in time, the more likely it is that the person you're sleeping with isn't who you think they are, though it's seen something of a revival in Soap Operas (usually with the added justification that the person being fooled is drunk).

When Played for Laughs, expect Eve-as-Alice to be much better in bed than the real Alice. If it's Tom impersonating Bob, expect Alice to notice "Bob" has grown a few inches, especially if it's a parody. For cases when Bob suspects something, see Not Right in the Bed. (A rather twisted case of Spot the Imposter in both cases.)

Compare with Bride and Switch and Double Standard: Rape, Sci-Fi. Not to be confused with a Trick Bed.

This is basically the definition of rape by deception (or rape by fraud), though that crime can also include lies like pretending to be a doctor and fondling someone. Not all areas recognize this crime, but in the U.S. under expanding federal definitions of rape to include any non-consensual penetration, it's very likely to be prosecuted in the same vein as all other forms of rape.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Sae poses as Momo and attempts to do this to Toji in Peach Girl. It nearly works...until Toji turns the lights on...
  • Attempted in episode 8 of Mawaru-Penguindrum, when Ringo drugs a cake that Tabuki eats and then disguises herself as his fiancée. Luckily, she's stopped before anything can happen.

    Ballads 
  • In the Child Ballad "Gil Brenton", the heroine sends her maid to her wedding bed to hide that she is not a virgin and is pregnant. The groom discovers this. His mother investigates and discovers that the bride was in fact a woman the groom had dallied with earlier, and so informs her son without actually adding "You idiot."

    Comic Books 
  • In Runaways, Karolina is dating genderless/multigender / really-female-but-looks-like-a-dude-sometimes shapeshifter Xavin, but is also interested in Nico, who she has had a crush on for most of the series. At one point, Xavin tried appearing as Nico because she thought that this was what Karolina really wanted and that it would help Karolina deal with her emotions. It did not work; Karolina thought it was "some kind of sick test". Xavin, not being from around here, is somewhat baffled.
  • Sub-Mariner. Lemurian supervillainess Lyra tricked Namor into sleeping with her by disguising herself as Susan Richards.
  • Also from Marvel, Hercules, as part of a Zany Scheme involving him pretending to be Thor, ended up sleeping with the queen of the Dark Elves. However, it's clear that Alflyse had sex with him because she was incredibly attracted to him and his macho mannerisms, rather than because he was posing as Thor. It's also not entirely clear whether or not she already knew he wasn't Thor and was just playing along.
  • One of Spider-Man's enemies, the Chameleon, impersonated Spidey and slept with his roommate. Somewhat unusual in that this is being played up as an inconvenience to Peter, and very unusual in that a very vocal segment of the fanbase has been loudly angry about that being an unacceptable use of a Spider-Man comic.
    • In a MUCH better Spidey comic written well before this, the Chameleon attempted to do this to Mary Jane (as in the above case he was disguised as Peter), only to be defied. When he kisses her, she realizes it isn't him (with an extra spewing of information Peter should have known to be false to make sure), and then proceeded to beat him senseless with a baseball bat.
    • In another Spider-Man trope, Doctor Octopus did a Grand Theft Me on Peter, and tried to get fresh with Mary Jane as well. She felt something was off because Peter wasn't himself (plus they are no longer together.) and Ock gave up his attempts. He tried again later with another woman, Anna Marie, who had no clue about anything. When Peter got back his body and let her in on everything, she was quite stunned by what had gone on.
  • Just to hop the fence from Marvel to DC, Dick Grayson was seduced by the shape-shifting Mirage in the form of his girlfriend Koriand'r. This was a large factor in them subsequently breaking up.
  • Typhoid Mary pulls this on Deadpool by disguising herself as Siryn. He does not take it well.
  • Brazilian newspaper comic Aline had one of the Aline's boyfriends disguising himself as her to trick a lesbian who had a crush on Aline.
  • In X-Factor, Multiple Man awakens one morning to find that one of his dupes got out accidentally and has been enjoying himself. Later, Siryn and M separately tell him how wonderful the night before was, indicating that he slept with one while the dupe got with the other, pretending to be him. It later turns out they both slept with dupes, and that a dupe managed to get Siryn pregnant.
  • Mystique created a new identity in X-Men as a student known as Foxx, in order to seduce Gambit and break him and Rogue up. Later, when Gambit realizes who she is, she tries to seduce him again by taking Rogue's form and telling him that it wouldn't be cheating if they had sex while she appeared as Rogue.
    • Mystique is fond of this trope. In a Nightcrawler backstory, Mystique shapeshifts into a frigid maid to sleep with the driver and convinces him to sneak into the castle later that night and asks him to wake her up with sex... all so she can watch the driver be thrown from the house after the maid screams rape when he crawls into her bed that night. He's fired, the maid is mentally scarred, and Raven thinks it's all hilarious.
    • Another occasion had Mystique testing out her newly upgraded powers by seducing Wolverine in the form of his ninja ex Yukio. On a battlefield while surrounded by dead ninja. Mystique also took pictures and mailed them to Wolverine's current girlfriend, because again, Raven is a jerk.
  • Anton Arcane, Swamp Thing's primary nemesis, famously did this to Abby, his own niece, by possessing the body of her husband. That isn't even the worst thing he's done to her.
  • In the second issue of the 2011 relaunch of Voodoo, the title (female) character shapeshifts into the (male) partner of Agent Fallon, whom Fallon is sleeping with and who Voodoo has just killed. Voodoo then goes back to Fallon's hotel room and sleeps with her, before the truth comes out the next morning. Though it is never described as 'rape,' and Fallon is more angry over the death of her lover, in issue #8, when Voodoo tries to claim that they shared a legitimate emotional connection, Fallon is quick to point out that she does not love Voodoo at all, and that was simply the bond that she had with her lover. Voodoo admits that, yes, it was meaningless. She then kills Fallon.
  • Cilla disguises herself as his student to have sex with Blade, but he doesn't do the deed willingly and there were other forces involved. The disguise was primarily to put him at ease, since he would have attacked her on sight otherwise.
  • The Batman Adventures: Madeline, The Vamp, tries to seduce Harvey Dent by pretending to be his fiancee, aka her straight-laced twin sister Marilyn. Harvey figures her out right away but she persists in appealing to the bad boy in Harvey and he ends up sleeping with Madeline anyway.
  • In Til Death Do Us Part, the Parasite (Rudy Jones), having learned Superman's true identity, takes the place of Lois Lane and attempts to tear him down emotionally by ruining their marriage. To facilitate his plan, he approaches an oblivious Lex Luthor and conducts an "extramarital" affair with him while in Lois's form. Unsuprisingly, Luthor is furious when he finally learns the truth.
  • In the Negation War storyline of CrossGen Comics's Sigil universe (original series), Capricia the Atlantean is directed to seduce Space Marine Sam Rey in the form as the latter's fiancee Zanniati, with the intent of producing an Atlantean-hybrid child capable of inheriting Sam's Sigil. Sadly, CrossGen tanked, canceled, and was bought out by Disney before the results of this (planned or unplanned) came to light, and neither character returns in the new series.
  • A variation occurs in Bill Willingham's Elementals comic. The villainous Shapeshifternote  doesn't per se impersonate Morningstar's boyfriend — she simply turns into the kind of guy she's sure her enemy can't help but fall for and indeed begins an affair that lasts for months without ever being detected. In the end, she simply reveals herself on a nice quiet outing and leaves Morningstar emotionally devastated enough to almost drive her to suicide, as well as embarrassingly pregnant with some kind of shapeshifting offspring.
  • Another of Bill Willingham's works, FABLES sees a Gender Bender example of this trope, with Cinderella waking to discover that her latest lover is actually her arch nemesis Dorothy Gale and not Ivan Durak.
  • Empowered has the ultimate example, where Ninjette, when she was still with her ninja clan, took an infiltration mission than included consummating another ninja's marriage... As the groom. In-universe she's considered the ultimate Master of Disguise for this, but she mentions at one point that she's not exactly proud of it.
  • The Boys has shape shifter Malchemical, who was moved from Team Titanic to Super Duper after impersonating the leader of Team Titanic. He was only found out when it turns out that the leader's girlfriend was really into the anal Malchemical introduced her to.

    Fan Works 
  • There's a certain subset of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fandom that suspects that the shape-shifting Emotion Eater Queen Chrysalis might have taken advantage of Shining Armour in this manner during the climax of Season 2. Her Mind Control abilities would certainly make it easy if Shining was unwilling. One of the few fanfics that doesn't play this conceit for cheap laughs is Cadence In A Minor, which depicts the incident as exactly what it would be in real life: A horribly traumatic experience that messes him up in several ways and threatens to destroy his marriage. (NB: If it's not immediately obvious from the description, anyone with recent experience dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder may want to give this one a miss.)
    • All-American Girl also has a serious occurrence of this, with Chrysalis storing Shining's genetic material and using it to create an army of unicorn/changeling hybrids (Chrysalis terming the species "pepsis"), treating those who show any who show any of their father's nobility as Child Soldiers (especially since she accelerates their aging) and Cannon Fodder.
  • A subset of the Star Trek: The Next Generation fanfic community has done this with the pairing of Picard/Q. As Q is an Energy Being with the power to shape-shift at will, and has canonically admitted to be able and willing to transform into a female if the entity thought it could get an amusing reaction out of Captain Picard, there are stories where Q will show up to Picard as a woman with no resemblance to his usual male form and will trick him into bed. For example in [1] Q-ockblocking Q sabotages multiple romantic ventures by taking the appearance of Picard's date for that evening and then assumes his usual male form to let Picard know he tricked him, all just for laughs.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In "Little Annie the Goose-Girl", an impure bride substitutes little Annie for herself to fool the bridegroom's magic stone, which will reveal her character to him. Then she discovers that the magic works getting out of the bed as well as in. After three attempts, the bridegroom marries little Annie.
  • Reversed in an old story. A fairy/magic/sorcerer king needs an enemy defeated, and can't do it himself. He enlists the help of a human king/nobleman. The sorcerer-king uses his powers to make each look exactly like the other, and gives the human king specific instructions on how to defeat the enemy, and specific permission to use anything and everything he owns as though it actually belongs to the human king -including the sorcerer-king's wife. The human king does as he's bid, but lays a sword or bolster down between him and the fairy queen. (In some tales, this happens for a year.) At the right time, the human king kicks the bad guy's tail, then rides back to the agreed-upon meeting spot and switches back with the other king. When the sorcerer-king gets home, his wife wants to know what the deal is with the not sleeping together and all. (Exactly what she says depends on the story.) The sorcerer-king is both shocked and impressed, because the queen is described as a very beautiful woman. (And usually the human king has no wife of his own to remain faithful to.)
  • Likewise averted in "The Twin Brothers" by the Brothers Grimm, in which the brother mistaken for his valiant twin keeps the new queen from accidentally cheating on her husband by placing a double-edged sword between them. Once the brother who married her sorts out what happened, the Happily Ever After line for this tale is: "Then he knew how true his brother had been."
  • One fairy tale type — include the Gypsy "The Tailor's Clever Daughter" — has a man refuse to sleep with his bride. Her solution is to slip from the prison where he keeps her and trick him into sleeping with her as a different woman, three times. Getting pregnant each time, often after one night.

    Film 
  • A variant in Way Down East, in which the bad guy fakes a wedding, complete with a fake priest, in order to get the virginal heroine to go to bed with him.
  • Frank-n-Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show pulls this in order to corrupt the innocent couple Brad and Janet. They both figure it out part way through, and they both go through with it anyway.
  • In Single White Female, Hedy Carlson disguises herself as Allison Jones in order to sleep with Allison's boyfriend. Made all the more chilling in that she previously dyed her hair to look exactly the same as well as, well generally being a nutjob.
  • In X2: X-Men United, Mystique shape shifts into Jean Grey in an attempt to sleep with Logan. One could probably say it was subverted, since Logan found out pretty much in the first minute when he felt a scar he previously had left on Mystique.
    • The novelization claims he identified her by scent before she even entered his tent, but he played along until he got bored/annoyed/angry, it's not especially clear which.
  • Lewis pulls this on Betty in Revenge of the Nerds. He's wearing a Darth Vader mask, and she just assumes her boyfriend is feeling kinky, and Lewis set up the situation specifically for this to happen and doesn't bother to correct her assumption. The sex is depicted as amazing, which the film treats as Good People Have Good Sex, although it usually doesn't take the whole trip to the fridge before the viewer realizes the Unfortunate Implications.
  • Multiplicity - A busy man starts making clones of himself to substitute at work, etc to make his life easier. His wife gets exceptionally horny one night while he's on a business trip and the clones are roaming about the house. Hilarity Ensues. This was lampshaded earlier in the movie where the protagonist explicitly tells his clone that this is absolutely forbidden, and while the clones tried to resist they're all, at heart, the same guy who still loves her and find they can't do it.
    • The early-generation clones made some effort to resist, but since the third is rather retarded (since he's a clone of a clone, rather than the original) he basically just goes "duh, okay."
  • In The Boat That Rocked, also known as Pirate Radio, one of the young protagonist's boat companions sets this up for him so he can lose his virginity. But, freaked out about the whole affair, he loses his head and turns the lights on.
  • Discussed in The Change Up, which involves a "Freaky Friday" Flip between a bored husband and an unattached playboy. The playboy asks what to do if the husband's wife propositions him for sex.
  • Face/Off: After Castor Troy has Sean Archer's face surgically grafted onto his head, he taunts Sean (who has Castor's face grafted on his) about how among other things, he'll have his way with Sean's wife. Later, he romances and seduces Sean's wife.
  • In the Clash of the Titans remake, Perseus is born as the result of Zeus disguising himself as King Acrisius and sleeping with his wife Danae. Just as the real Acrisius enters the bedchamber, Zeus changes back with a smirk, having done the deed, turns into an eagle and flies off. Danae immediately gives birth, and Acrisius kills her in a fit of rage. He's about to do the same to baby Perseus, but standing on a cliff in the middle of a storm and waving your sword around like a lightning rod (while screaming insults to the gods) is not a very good idea.
  • Miguel tries to pull this off in the opening of Bloody Moon. Murder, and a trip to mental hospital ensues.
  • In the soft-core porn Flash Gordon spoof, Flesh Gordon 2: Flesh Gordon Meets the Cosmic Cheerleaders, the Big Bad insists his overweight wife wear a bag on her head during sex. Flesh Gordon enters the room instead and has sex with her, which doesn't bother her in the least, even when she realises who it is.
  • Happens all over the place in the Emmanuelle In Space softcore films thanks to the Human Aliens' transmutation technology that allows them to look like anyone. One of the films shows Emmanuelle having sex with her very close friend. Only after they're done does she realize that it was actually Captain Haffron of the alien craft. Does she feel tricked? No, she thinks it's very romantic. For his part, Haffron didn't intend to have sex with her and simply got sidetracked. In another film, Emmanuelle is the one who plays a game on Haffron by telling him that she'll use the transmuter to disguise herself as any woman on the cruise ship. He ends up sleeping with a number of women assuming they're all Emmanuelle. Only later does he find out that only one of them was. The other three women are not amused.
  • In Me, Myself & Irene Hank convinces Irene that he's the Charlie personality and proceeds to have a night of wild sex with her. Charlie and Irene are both annoyed about it.
  • In Enemy, Adam and Anthony both impersonate each other, winding up having sex with the other's girlfriend/wife respectively.

    Literature 
  • The Reeve's Tale in The Canterbury Tales.
  • "Gombert et les deus Clercs", a French fabliau.
  • In Bedier's Tristan et Isolde, the handmaiden Branwen switches places with Isolde in King Mark's bed to hide the fact that Isolde is no longer a virgin. Occurs in most other versions of that story as well.
  • In The Three Musketeers, D'Artagnan spends a night with Milady de Winter pretending to be Count de Wardes, both for the reason of getting information out of her and for the obvious reason. After that, he insults her (still acting as de Wardes!) and gets to sleep with her again, as himself this time, since she wants revenge on de Wardes. She winds up asking D'Artagnan to challenge de Wardes to duel. It gets worse.
    • You'd think a woman as experienced as Milady would realize she's bedding the same man but apparently not....
  • In The Decameron, on Day 2 Panfilo tells the story of Alatiel, a daughter of the Sultan of Babylon, who is on her way to marry an Iberian king when her ship wrecks. Because of her beauty a succession of men take Alatiel as their lover (no indication of her feelings about all this. There's also a Language Barrier). When she is the mistress of the Prince of Morea, the Duke of Athens kills her husband and takes his place in bed with her.
  • This occurs in Whiskey & Water by Elizabeth Bear. Matthew Szczegelniak is both a wizard and a virgin, which means that whomever he sleeps with first will gain power. Morgan le Fay has made it clear that she wants this power, so Christopher Marlowe disguises himself as Matthew and offers to trade his virginity for the True Name of his adversary. She accepts, teaches him the name, and then reveals that she knew who he was all along, but had reasons of her own for wanting him to know the name.
  • In the Roald Dahl short story "The Great Switcheroo", two neighboring husbands switch places in the night in order to have sex with each other's wives. They go to great lengths to cover - wearing each other's cologne, discussing each other's sexual techniques, etc., and get away with it... sort of. The protagonist's wife comments the next morning at breakfast on how fantastic the sex was last night, when she previously had not been very interested in it. Ouch.
  • In Robertson Davies's The Lyre of Orpheus, a man takes the place of a woman's husband in the dark. Probably an allusion to the Arthurian thing, since the novel is all about the completion of an unfinished opera by E. T. A. Hoffmann about Arthur.
  • Deconstructed towards the end of the Sword of Truth novel Temple of the Winds. In order to access the titular Temple, Richard and Kahlan are made to marry separate spouses and then consummate their new marriages. Each of them must be sincere, otherwise it doesn't count. Kahlan lies back and thinks of the Midlands, but after time passes and the Temple doesn't reveal itself, she decides to try again. After she does, the Temple comes into being and she sees that it was Richard with her the whole time and he knew it. It turns out that ''this'' was the proper way to access the Temple, as it could only be entered by one who has been betrayed completely.
  • James Clavell's Shogun features a double-reverse version: after a drunken party, protagonist Blackthorne is visited in the dark by a woman he assumes to be his interpreter Mariko. Next morning, he learns from Mariko that it was in fact one of the maids. However, we later learn that it was in fact Mariko, who took the place of the maid, but didn't want him to know about it.
  • Happens in Lamb: The Gospel According To Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal with Biff and Maggie.
  • In The Sirens Sang Of Murder by Sarah Caudwell, one of the protagonists has an intimate rendezvous that gets interrupted by a power outage before it goes anywhere. It later transpires that, unbeknownst to him, the remainder of the rendezvous was with the other woman spending the night in that particular inn, and that her husband — who committed all the other murders in the book out of jealousy — wants to murder him as well. In a bit of a variation, Cantrip greatly admires the second woman and would have been very pleased had he known of the swap.
  • In the romance novel Midnight Waltz, the canonical couple get together because the heroine's husband won't consummate their marriage, and so his mother, wanting an heir, persuades a cousin to sneak into the bed. The husband conveniently dies, the deception is revealed, the wife and the trickster couple up.
  • In Angela Carter's Wise Children, there are twin sisters, Dora and Nora Chance. Dora is in love with a man who is in love with Nora. The sisters switch clothes and perfume, and Dora goes to bed with him. She does it twice, and is strongly tempted to tell him the truth and see if he'll marry her, but ultimately decides to leave him (unenlightened) as a memory only.
  • In one of S.L. Viehl's Star Doc novels, Duncan ends up having sex with Cherijo (whom he previously raped under the influence of a sentient microorganism) while disguised as a Fish Person. It's left ambiguous as to whether or not Cherijo knew (or, at least, suspected) the truth. It helps that they did it doggy-style, so she wasn't really able to see too many details up-close to figure out that he's wearing a disguise. And no, she doesn't mind when she finds out, just like she quickly forgave him for the rape in the first book. They end up getting married. It doesn't look like there are any non-screwed-up people in that 'verse.
  • In Thorn In My Heart, Leona pulls an unintentional one: she doesn't realize Jamie is utterly drunk and thinks she's her sister Rose until he murmurs Rose's name as they're falling asleep afterwards.
  • In the backstory of A Song of Ice and Fire, while Petyr Baelish was passed out drunk after a feast, Lysa Tully went to his bed in the dark and slept with him. In his drunken stupor, Petyr mistook her for her sister Catelyn, whom he loved. This results in Petyr thinking for years that Cat had a secret thing for him, and even when Lysa tells him what happened right before he kills her he still claims he loves "only Cat." Subverted in that 1.) it's not clear that Lysa intended to fool him or even knew about the mixup until he whispered Cat's name mid-coitus, and 2.) Petyr later beds Lysa quite willingly, at least once before leaving Riverrun if he can be believed and again several times after they're married. Petyr is apparently a big believer in the old saying "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with." As long as they're useful, anyway.
  • I Am Morgan le Fay, a retelling of Arthurian Legend (see Religion and Mythology), tells the tale of Igraine's rape by Uther from her point of view. Thus, the Bed Trick in question comes off as less "clever trick by Merlin" and more "creepy sexual assault."

    Live Action TV 
  • Cheers. Woody and Sam get into a little contest in which the winner is the one who kisses Rebecca. She gets wind of it from Carla, and ochestrates it in which Sam and Woody kiss in the dark. Both are disgusted, but Woody makes Sam uncomfortable when he asks him to rate his kissing ability.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Faith slept with Riley while she was in Buffy's body. This causes friction in Riley's and Buffy's relationship when Buffy finds out, as well as her vengeance filled quest to kill Faith where she once again becomes a rapist.
  • In Battlestar Galactica:
    • During Season One, Athena pretends to be Boomer to seduce Helo into getting her pregnant on Caprica. Not too hard, since as the same model Cylon they look identical.
    • The same principle is at work when, in the Season Four episode "Someone to Watch Over Me", Boomer pretends to be Athena in order not to be found out by Helo, who wants to have some goodbye sex. Word of God is that she also did to spite Athena. Athena remarks on the irony in the extended version of "Islanded in a Stream of Stars".
  • Friends:
    • Attempted by Chandler in the episode "The One With Five Steaks and an Eggplant." When a mysterious woman leaves a message on his machine looking for her old lover Bob, Chandler pretends to be Bob and makes a date with her. He then consoles her when "Bob" doesn't show up, and they sleep together. Later, Chandler is Hoist by His Own Petard when the woman calls the machine and tells "Bob" that Chandler is nothing compared to him in bed.
    • In the episode "The One With The Stain", Phoebe is dating her twin sister's ex-fiance, and said twin sister pretends to be Phoebe in order to sleep with him.
  • In The Class, Kat and Ethan pretend to be other people's blind dates at a bar. Kat does this successfully, but Ethan does not understand the concept and attempts to pursue a relationship with the woman, all the while pretending to be Dan Slutsky.
  • An unintentional one in Frasier. Niles intends to have sex with his wife Maris, their marriage counselor also intends to have sex with Maris, and Niles and the marriage counselor end up in the same bed each thinking the other is Maris until the lights come on and they see that neither one is Maris before they actually do anything. Later, Niles claims his first tip-off was the heat coming from the other side of the bed.
  • In the fourth season of Arrested Development Ann Veal pulls off an elaborate, comic bed-trick, separately telling both Gob and Tony that she will sleep with them, and claiming that she'll be wearing a mask. She then leaves the two of them to have sex with each other, while wearing masks.
  • In Soap, Burt Campbell is kidnapped by aliens, and replaced by a double. This alien sleeps with Mary, Burt's wife, several times while Burt is away.
    • In series four, married couple Eunice and Dutch are trying to spark up their sex life by role-playing. When they discuss various ideas Eunice asks him why doesn't he do what he did last week: dress up like a burglar, climb in through the bedroom window, remain completely silent, have sex with her and then leave, while taking a piece of her jewellery. She comments that while taking the jewellery away was a nice touch, he should really give it back. He has absolutely no idea what she's talking about and, once she realises it was an actual burglar, she pretends that she made the whole story up... and, once Dutch leaves the room, waves another piece of jewellery outside the window whilst shouting for the burglar's attention. While the burglar went in with no intention of going after Eunice, he certainly took advantage of the situation once she mistook him.
    • In another episode Jessica has a defense attorney(played by Howard Hesseman) who quits on her because he doesn't think he can win. A few episodes later he's back as the prosecutor. When questioned about how he could be both at the same time he explains that he has a twin brother and everyone always confuses them. He then mentions "last year we played quite a trick on our wives!"
  • Gossip Girl's Chuck Bass pretends to be Blair Waldorf's English boyfriend during a blackout in order to get to sleep with her. Subverted in that they are interrupted by the real boyfriend before they can go any further than making out, and Blair knew all along that it was Chuck.
  • In the Spartacus: Blood and Sand episode "Whore", Licinia attempts to purchase Spartacus's sexual services and Illithya attempts to purchase Crixus's, but jealous Lucretia instead pairs up Spartacus and Illithya, who are mortal enemies. The whole subterfuge is made easier by masks and gold paint. And the fallout includes both duped characters going into a murderous rage.
  • In How I Met Your Mother:
    • At one point, Barney pretends to be Ted in order to seduce a woman. Although this isn't a straight example as he's just using Ted's name (and job) on women who've never met either of them.
    • On another occasion we learn that Barney apparently slept with a woman twice, once as himself, and once as his Evil Twin "Larney".
  • Inverted on Family Matters when Stefan (who was going out with Laura) pretended to be Steve to discover if Laura had feelings for Steve. To his shock, Laura comes onto him to screw with him, then reveals she wasn't fooled by him at all and was angry that he'd suspect that of her.
  • On Smallville, Lana's nutty shapeshifting stalker Tina Greer took Clark's shape and declared his love to Lana and they kissed before the real Clark interrupted them.
  • Wild N Out had a skit with Ne-Yo in which the black team sung about portraying his bodyguards. One of the comedians/bodyguards sung about a Ne-Yo groupie who would only sleep with him if she got with Ne-Yo first: he took her into a dark room with just him & her. After it was over, he told her "It's not Ne-Yo, it's me, ho."
  • In the third season of Fringe Olivia is replaced with her Mirror Universe counterpart, who sleeps with Peter.
  • This trope occurs twice in The X-Files
    • In "Small Potatos", a shape-shifting man impregnates several women while impersonating their husbands, impregnates his ex-girlfreind by impersonating Luke Skywalker (no, not Mark Hamil, the character from the movie), and later transforms himself into Mulder first to avoid being arrested, and then uses his appearance to try to seduce Scully. She doesn't notice (to be fair, there was wine involved) and almost kisses the non-Mulder before the real Mulder bursts in. Scully, obviously, is not amused.
    • In "Dreamland", Mulder switches bodies with an MIB, who decides to try and seduce Scully. This time, though, she does notice that it's not Mulder because the MIB acts nothing like Mulder—including slapping her butt, calling her "Dana", and deferring to Skinner. She tricks him into handcuffing himself to Mulder's bed, and warns him if he called her "baby" again, he'd be "peeing through a catheter."
  • On True Blood, Tommy acquires the power to shapeshift into other people and accidentally shifts into Sam, his brother. After spending the day impersonating Sam while he was out on business, Sam's girlfriend Luna shows up to consummate their relationship. To Tommy's credit, he does resist her at first and says they shouldn't. But as soon as she took off her top, what little resolve he had died quickly. Nonetheless, Sam is furious when he finds out and kicks Tommy out of his home.
    • This results in Redemption Equals Death, though, as Tommy decides to take Sam's place when meeting Marcus, Luna's ex, an alpha werewolf. Tommy shifts into Sam and, being his usual Jerk Ass self, infuriates the ex and gets himself beat up so badly that he dies shortly after.
  • A borderline example from Crownies: a woman dresses up very provocatively for a blind date set up by a friend, with someone whose been told is an attractive dentist called Phil. Around the time she's expecting him, an average-looking campaign worker who has been going door-to-door stops by. Before he can get a word in, she asks "Are you Phil?" Distracted by the Sexy, he impulsively answers "Yes." She proceeds to sleep with him, even though he's nowhere near as attractive as she was led to believe Phil is, and never makes an effort to pretend to be the man she was expecting beyond lying about his name - the implication is that she never gave him a chance to talk after that. When the real Phil shows up, she reports the campaigner to the police and then to the Crown Prosecution Serivce. Though Richard acknowledges the man's actions could constitute rape by fraud, most of the characters are just dumbfounded by the fact that the woman slept with him for no reason beyond "He said he was Phil." Whether or not the man was charged is left unrevealed by the end of the episode.
  • Often a component of soaps Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male storylines. The woman often drugs the man or gets him drunk, then disguises herself as his wife or girlfriend:
    • On Passions, a girl uses a magic spell to literally morph her appearance into that of the man's girlfriend.
    • On As the World Turns, a man sleeps with his wife's twin.
    • Subverted on The Young and the Restless, where the man gets drunk on his own accord but the other woman in question deliberately does not protest (she wants him for herself) when he begins to make advances to her.
    • In one of the few male on female examples on soaps, on Sunset Beach a man's evil twin seduce his unaware fiancee, all the while forcing the man to watch through a two-way mirror. She's sickened and horrified when she realizes what has happened.
    • Another example on Port Charles, where an amnesia-stricken Lucy is seduced by her boyfriend's archenemy. The man does this knowing full well that Lucy has no idea who she is, much less him, and convinces her that they're lovers, all for the purpose of humiliating her and taunting her boyfriend. After her memory returns, her enraged boyfriend calls him a rapist, but it's never taken any further (pressing charges, counseling, etc)
    • All My Children has an example where the (drunk) man genuinely does not realize that the woman (doped up on pain medication) doesn't know she's with someone other than her husband and feels genuinely horrible at the realization of what's happened.
  • An episode of F/X: The Series has an old enemy of Rollie's do that with his love interest. He then taunts her with "Every time you'll see Tyler, you'll remember me."
  • Subverted in Neighbours, both because whatever they did in a dark storeroom was something you can do standing up and fully clothed, and because after much drama the boyfriend-impostor turned out to have been the boyfriend after all.
  • A rather strange example goes down in Heroes. In the final season, Sylar makes love with Parkman's wife when she thinks it's Matt. It's Matt's body, but the one in charge is Sylar.
  • In the final season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Winn Adami takes her new spiritual guide to her bed. Later, she discovers he is actually Dukat, the architect of the Bajoran occupation and genocide, in disguise.
    • Earlier, a Mirror Universe episode had Benjamin Sisko taking over for his counterpart in the Terran resistance who was missing and presumed dead. Jadzia Dax's mirror counterpart being his mistress, she insists on taking Sisko to bed with her on his return. The next time he pays a visit to her universe, she takes him to task for this, saying "You made love to me under false pretenses!"
  • In Orphan Black, after stealing the deceased Beth's identity, Sarah sleeps with Beth's boyfriend, Paul, tricking him by virtue of looking exactly like Beth. She does it in part because she can, but mostly as a way of convincing him that she's Beth. Deconstructed as Sarah's enthusiasm is actually a clue that leads Paul to figure out the truth. Then, to complicate things, Paul falls for Fake!Beth. Once the secret is out, he transfers his feelings to Sarah, and the two have moved into a genuine relationship.
  • Played with in Misfits. An 82-year-old woman is turned into her younger self by the storm that gave the Misfits their powers. She seduces Nathan and eventually sleeps with him. He realizes this when she begins to shapeshift back into her older self while they are having sex. Although she didn't pretend to be anyone he knew, she still wasn't somebody he would've slept with normally.
  • Adalind pulls this on Nick in Grimm with a spell that makes her appear like Juliette. Neither Nick nor Juliette are amused once the truth is revealed, especially when it's discovered that she did this to remove Nick's Grimm abilities.
  • Legend of the Seeker: Panis Rahl disguised himself as a young shepherd to seduce Richard and Jennsen's mother before they had sex.

    Music 
  • A variation crops up in country music; it isn't so much "two different girls" as "the same girl plus/minus copious amounts of alcohol consumed by the victim."

     Religion and Mythology 
  • The Bible has a few examples:
    • Laban substitutes his older daughter Leah for his younger daughter Rachel when Jacob thinks he's marrying the latter. He is eventually allowed to marry both.
    • Tamar, a widow of Judah's sons, was due a marriage to another man of the family under the rules of levirate marriage. When it seemed Judah was not going to go through with this Tamar disguised herself as a prostitute and met him on the road, taking his staff and sigil as payment. She conceived twins and, when Judah realized what had happened, he was shamed into admitting his mistakes and agreed to marry her himself.
  • According to the Talmud, King David was conceived this way. His father, Jesse, was the grandson of a Midianite convert woman, and eventually became concerned that this made his marriage to a full-blooded Hebrew improper (Midianites are forbidden to marry Hebrews, though there was debate on whether or not this applied to women).note  He decided to forgo sexual relations with his wife, Nitzevet, but, wanting more sons, took his Canaanite servant as a concubine (since Canaanites are allowed to have relationship with Hebrews and Midianites). Nitzevet arranged to take the servant's place and conceived David, though Jesse and his sons spent years assuming that she had had an affair.
  • In Arthurian legend:
    • Arthur is conceived when Uther Pendragon disguises himself as Gorlois of Cornwall to sleep with Ygraine. In the movie Excalibur, Morgana (Morgan Le Fey) who was about 8 or so, saw through the magic that Merlin was using to help Uther rape her mother. She later calls Merlin out on it when she has him immobilized in her cave.
    • Also, Elaine magically disguises herself as Guinevere in order to sleep with Lancelot. Their liaison results in the birth of the sinless, pious Galahad who achieves the Grail Quest — but in some versions it also causes Lancelot to fall from grace.
    • And Arthur himself had this pulled on him by his sister, which resulted in Mordred. Some versions also have his sister not realize who he was either, resulting in a case of Surprise Incest. The version of events in the The Mists of Avalon has Viviane knowing full well who they are in relation to each other when she sets up the ritual that results in them having sex, and when called on it she doesn't see what they're so upset about.
  • In Greek Mythology, Zeus does this several times in his bid to bed attractive women he lays eyes on (besides his very frequent use of harmless-seeming animal disguises to get close to his victims, as well as taking the shape of Artemis to rape Callisto, one of her nymphs).
    • He disguises himself as Amphitryon, sleeps with Alcmene, and begets Herakles.
    • With Persephone, he disguises himself as Hades and seduces her, producing Melinoe, goddess of ghosts.
  • The Mabinogion contains an inversion: Pwyll spends a year disguised as Arawn, so that he can kill Arawn's enemy. Arawn expects Pwyll to sleep with his queen, but he refuses her.
    • The Evangeline Walton retelling adds a straight example to counterbalance this; Pwyll is said to be infertile as the result of the time he spent in the underworld, and "his" son Pryderi is actually Manawyddan's son, conceived while Manawyddan is disguised as Pwyll.
  • The Völsunga saga gives us a double-whammy: Signy disguises herself as a witch and sleeps with her brother Sigmund in order to conceive a son who is strong enough to avenge her father and brothers. The result is the fearsome Sinfjotli.
  • In the Nibelungenlied, Siegfried pretends to be King Gunther to get into bed with Brunhild, his wife. However the twist is that Siegfried did this on Gunther's orders. Brunhild is very protective of her virginity as her superhuman strength comes from it. Gunther needed Siegfried to get into her bed and beat her half to death before he consummated his marriage with her.

    Opera and Theater 
  • In the Shakespearean canon:
    • In Alls Well That Ends Well, Bertram won't accept Helena as his wife until she can become pregnant by him; she discovers an assignation between him and Diana, and convinces Diana to let her go instead.
    • In Measure for Measure, Angelo attempts to use the Scarpia Ultimatum on Isabella; she convinces Mariana, who Angelo is technically married to, to go in her place.
  • This seems to be Susanna's and the Countess's plan in The Marriage of Figaro: the Count has an assignation with Susanna and the Countess shows up to it in Susanna's clothing. It doesn't quite get that far before the Count sees Figaro attempting to seduce the woman he thinks is the Countess, though.
  • Don Giovanni as well, when the eponymous villain protagonist tries to seduce Elvira's maid by switching clothes with his servant. Partly to make sure the already-seduced Elvira wouldn't cause any trouble, partly because he guessed correctly that a servant girl wouldn't consider a noble's intentions with her very noble.
  • The main female character (one hesitates to call her a heroine) of Middleton's The Changeling pulls a reverse bed trick, convincing a maidservant to take her place on her wedding night so that her husband won't discover that she isn't a virgin.
  • In Machiavelli’s play The Mandrake the entire plot revolves around a scheme to pull of one of this so that Callimaco can sleep with the beautiful, virtuous and married Lucrezia.

    Tabletop Games 

    Western Animation 
  • In the Justice League Unlimited episode "The Great Brain Robbery," Lex Luthor switches bodies with the Flash. The Flash, while posing as Luthor, is implied to have had sex with Luthor's girlfriend Tala. Tala is the one who initiates it, and she clearly enjoys it, even remarking that Lex is being a far more sensitive and attentive lover than usual, but she is having sex with a stranger and enemy who has fooled her into thinking that he's really her boyfriend. Flash most likely went along with it because otherwise he might have been discovered. After finding out the truth Tala was disappointed because of how much she preferred Flash-in-Lex to Lex himself.
  • Used as much as Disney allows (kisses only, and not shown) and subverted in American Dragon Jake Long: Spud tries to lure Stacy in a closet with an anonymous note, but she lost it without reading it and Trixie got it and thought it was from the guy she had the hots for. Hilarity Ensues when they realizes WHO they were kissing.
  • One episode of American Dad! had Stan's body double try to get Francine into bed. Unluckily for him, the real Stan got home minutes later.
  • In Duckman, the eponymous character, who in an Actor Allusion, is said to have had been with a blind Seinfeld-obsessed woman who thought he was Jason Alexander in a duck suit.

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 
  • In The Gamers Alliance, the goddess Hivena takes the elfess Rhylian's shape in order to fool Rhylian's paladin boyfriend Nesa to sleep with her.
  • #5 of Cracked's "6 Romantic Movie Gestures That Can Get You Prison Time".


Bandwagon TechniqueThe Oldest Tricks In The BookBriar Patching
Bavarian Fire DrillDirty Social TricksBlackmail
Be Careful What You SayOlder Than DirtBelligerent Sexual Tension
Alone With Prisoner PloyThe PlanBride and Switch
Bedroom Adultery SceneSex TropesBest Her to Bed Her
Bathe Her and Bring Her to MeSexual Harassment and Rape TropesBlack Comedy Rape
    Substitution TropesClothing Switch
Battering RamWe Are Not Alone IndexThe Bermuda Triangle
Bawdy SongAdministrivia/No Real Life Examples, Please!Bestiality Is Depraved
Adaptational ModestyImageSource/Comic BooksMotive Decay

alternative title(s): Rape By Fraud
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