[[quoteright:240:[[WesternAnimation/WillieWhopper http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/spiteflight-152.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:240:[-''Spite Flight'' (1933)-] ]]

The ability of animated characters to hide behind items clearly smaller than them, be it a tree, a lamp post or a drawing pin. Perhaps they disappear into [[HammerspaceHideaway hammerspace]]?

Sometimes two characters will lurk behind the same narrow object, clearly unable to see each other back there. Frequently the front end of one will emerge from one side, while the rear end of the second waggles out the other side. Or both front ends will emerge, spot one another, and resume the ChaseScene.

TreeCover is a related trope, done seriously, and generally at least plausibly (courtesy of a nice thick tree).



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Anime/GirlsUndPanzer takes it UpToEleven by hidding a ''M3 Lee medium tank'' behind a streetsign's post (from the rival team: [[RuleOfFunny the viewer can see them plainly]]).
* Makoto in ''VisualNovel/{{Kanon}}'' tries this. It doesn't work -- she is quite obviously behind the lamp post.
* Nobita from ''Anime/{{Doraemon}}'' tries this quite often, but he fails.
* ''Anime/PantyAndStockingWithGarterbelt'': Panty and Stocking do this while following Garter to his secret room.

[[folder:Eastern Animation]]
* In ''Caliph-Stork'', advisers hid behind very narrow pillars.

[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* ''FanFic/ThirtyHs'': A ten-foot-tall character appears "from behind nothing much".

* Hans Richter's 1928 short film "Ghosts Before Breakfast" features a number of men disappearing behind a lamppost.
* Chris Farley, of all people, does it in ''Film/BeverlyHillsNinja''.
* As does security guard Bobby in ''Film/ErnestGoesToJail''.
* ''Film/TheVillain'': Cactus Jack, being primarily inspired by ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'', does this at one point, with the title character and his horse hiding behind a cactus.
* This is one of the "cartoon tricks" that the main character of ''Film/BadlyDrawnRoy'' can do.
* Hurley tries to do it behind a table leg in ''Film/GForce''.

* One physical humor joke involves placing two knuckles on either side of an upright finger and asking the viewer to identify what it's depicting. The answer, of course, is "Music/DollyParton hiding behind a tree." (Substitute any other well-known busty woman, as appropriate.)

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The Creator/{{ITV}} Live Action children's series ''Series/{{Woof}}'' had a variation where walking past a pole hid the main character long enough to allow him to transform into his dog form. Though this was probably due to technical restrictions on this mid-90s low-budget series.
* ''Series/TheAdventuresOfLanoAndWoodley'', practically a live-action cartoon, does this at one point.
* At one point, ''Series/SesameStreet'' had a closing credit sequence in which Barkley the dog played hide-and-seek with a large group of children, who hid behind a tree too narrow to conceal them all.

* Music/LindseyStirling and Kurt Hugo Schneider's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99ZYIECx1Vw dubstep remix]] of ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' music features a giant yellow Pikachu hiding behind a short thin plant. He is completely invisible to those searching for him.


[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* A ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'' strip shows Hobbes hiding behind a standard lamp as he sneaks up on Calvin.
** Lampshaded when Calvin tries hiding behind a swingset, but notices that the poles don't do a good job of hiding him.
* Spoofed in two early ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'' strips -- Charlie Brown first tries this but it doesn't work because his enormous round head protrudes on both sides of the tree trunk, so in the second example he finds a tree with a big square sign nailed to it at the right height...
* Averted for humour in ''ComicStrip/BeetleBailey'' twice.
** Beetle has a hunch Sarge is watching him from hiding... mainly because Sarge is far too obese to fit behind the object he's standing behind, and the attempt just looks silly.
** Another time, inverse to the above, Beetle annoys Sarge by letting him know he's hiding behind a pole that can hide him because he's so much thinner. (Kind of played straight, sort of accidentally, in that the pole doesn't ''quite'' look thick enough to really cover him. But it's nothing like as extreme as the usual example, and the idea is that ''only'' someone so skinny could do it.)
* In one ''ComicStrip/KrazyKat'' Sunday strip, Krazy hides (from the stork) behind an egg roughly the size of Krazy's ''head''.
* Both ComicStrip/{{Garfield}} and Odie hide behind a lamp in one Sunday strip.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Explicitly possible in the tabletop RPG ''TabletopGame/{{Toon}}''. If you succeed on a Hide/Spot Hidden skill check, then you are hidden. Somehow. It doesn't matter whether there's something you could have plausibly hidden behind. In fact, the skill is demonstrated in the rule book by an illustration of an elephant hiding from a hunter behind a ''parking meter''.
* This is, more or less, the explanation for how the "outflank" ability works in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}''. Taken to {{Memetic|Mutation}} levels with the tactical genius Ursarker E. Creed (see Web Original, below).

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'': Boomers will sometimes try to hide behind thin poles. It doesn't work out as well for them as the other examples on this page.
** This is a result of how the engine handles spawning more zombies; one only needs to break line of sight to spawn in so it is possible to spawn into areas that would not otherwise hide an Infected. Said poles, if the survivors are lined up, could allow one to spawn in as would the tops of cars and such.
* In ''VideoGame/Spyro2RiptosRage''/''Gateway to Glimmer'', there's an infamous challenge where you have to follow Agent Zero to his secret hideout without him realizing you're following behind him. To do this, you have to hide behind something whenever he turns around, and that "something" is almost always a tree half the width of Spyro's body. He never sees you behind it (if you do it right, of course - otherwise, that tire screeching sound when he spots you will haunt your nightmares...).
* Classical ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' games handled monsters' sight by checking whether the enemy could see the middle line of player's sprite, so this was entirely possible and very handy if, say, you needed to break [[DemonicSpiders Archvile]]'s line of sight to avoid its undodgeable fire attack.
* Used in the same manner as many cartoons in ''VideoGame/JusticeLeagueHeroesTheFlash''. Occasionally, when you break a traffic light, a MechaMook will be revealed as either having been hiding behind it or inside of it, despite the fact that the robot is several times wider than the post.
* ''VideoGame/InvisibleInc'': All cover objects are treated equally in terms of concealment. Things like bookshelves, lockers, refrigerators and sofas make good cover, but agents can also use floor lamps, coffee tables, folding chairs, and even transparent plastic walls just as effectively.
* ''VideoGame/{{Overwatch}}'' has a related example where any form of cover, even something as thin as a lamppost, will save a character from the self-destruction of an enemy D.Va's mecha. If you're within range and in the open it can kill almost anything, but anything that can partially block your line of sight to the explosion will negate all damage.
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', as [[ProfessionalKiller Thane's]] loyalty mission starts, he manages to vanish completely behind two passers-by, each walking in opposite direction.

* Played with in ''ComicBook/BuckGodotZapGunForHire''.
** At one point, an alien ninja (and the narration points out that ''every'' culture in the universe has its own version of ninja) is sneaking down a passage, then decides to hide in a small, somewhat shady corner... which shouldn't by any rationale be able to hide him. When he gets close to it, however, the ''dozens of other ninja'' already hiding in there tell him to go away.
** He also [[http://www.airshipentertainment.com/buckcomic.php?date=20080614 pulls it off straight]] shortly after.
* Parodied in ''Webcomic/{{Bard}}'', where the entire staff of the Leafy Bar sans Shelia tries to hide behind a tiny plant from [[spoiler:Dejero, the true boss of the joint]].
* In [[http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autotwb1822.html this strip]] for ''Webcomic/TheWhiteboard'', during a [[PaintballEpisode paintball match]] Bandit peeks out from behind a tree that in no way is thick enough to actually hide him, even with his normal slenderness. His peeking out almost makes it look like his head and neck are sprouting from the tree like a branch.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Done in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qj30XYXNbiM#t=2m55s One Man Band]] to Music/{{Animusic}} alongside other camera tricks.
* In ''WebVideo/TheMercuryMen'', Edward attempts this, hiding behind a two inch wide narrow pole.
* 1d4Chan, taking the ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' rule that "tactical genius" Lord Ursarkar Creed can infiltrate ''anything'' (except cavalry), notes that he could hide a [[TankGoodness Baneblade]] behind a lightpost, a [[HumongousMecha Titan]] in a swimming pool, or an army under your desk.
* Done a few times on ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner''. At least twice, characters have managed to hide behind The Stick, an aptly-named local "landmark" consisting of a stick stuck in the ground. In one Strong Bad Email, "[[http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbemail196.html hiding]]", as part of a game of hide-and-seek, Strong Mad hid behind ''himself hiding behind The Stick.'' However, the fake Strong Mad was visible.
-->'''Strong Bad:''' Uh, Strong Mad? Buddy? That's the same spot you hide in every time we play.\\
''(Strong Mad emerges from behind "himself")''\\
'''Strong Mad:''' DAWWW!\\
'''Strong Bad:''' Whoa! Did you make a hiding spot out of you hiding in your usual hiding spot? To hide behind?\\
'''Strong Mad:''' I STAYED UP ALL NIGHT!\\
'''Strong Bad:''' And it was well worth your time.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* This is one of the oldest tropes in animation history, dating back to Charles-Émile Reynaud's pioneering 1894 cartoon ''[[WesternAnimation/ReynaudFilms Pauvre Pierrot]]''. When Harlequin's romantic rival Pierrot shows up, Harlequin hides behind an impossibly thin marble column.
* The 1933 Ub Iwerks WesternAnimation/WillieWhopper short ''Spite Flight'' has its Simon Legree-type villainous landlord lean out of his improbable hiding spot behind a 2-inch-thick tree trunk.
* A few years later, WesternAnimation/BugsBunny and the rest of the WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes stable were fond of this.
** A common joke they would also have is where a character [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed based on]] Frank Sinatra would be able to do this behind his microphone stand. Not as a trick, but because he's just that skinny.
** In ''Confessions of a Nutzy Spy'', Missing Lynx manages to replicate himself for a moment by looking out from both sides of a tree at once.
* Played with in ''WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy'', "Three Squares and An Ed", which features a rare example of displaying the ''back'' of the pole. The Eds are shown to [[RuleOfFunny somehow]] be able to alter their anatomy to resemble that of spaghetti while using the banisters in Ed's house to sneak past Sarah and Jimmy (who are trying to make sure the grounded Ed stays in his room). This manages to look hilarious and oddly creepy at the same time.
** Played straight in ''The Ed-Touchables''. Eddy and Edd hide behind a pole while [[SubvertedTrope Ed keeps banging into it.]]
* Done in at least one (and probably many more) ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'' short, in which the front and rear ends of the titular characters emerged from round the side of the pole in various combinations before either of them realised what was happening.
* Spoofed in, what else, ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', in which Fat Tony steps out from behind a tree sapling after hearing that the school would need construction of a wheelchair ramp.
** Played straight later in "The Fool Monty" when Mr. Burns steps out from behind the microphone stand.
* Spoofed in an untitled animated short, in which a character hides behind a thin flagpole. His pursuers run by, and the camera moves in ''behind'' the pole, revealing at least four other people along with the character in a lavish room with several large chairs and a fireplace. One of the others inquires who ''he's'' hiding from.
* Used in the ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' when the recently-baseless Predacons evade a Maximal patrol.
* Subverted in a 1958 cartoon, ''Sick, Sick Sidney''. In it, WesternAnimation/SidneyTheElephant tries to hide from safari hunters by getting behind a very thin tree. However, Sidney is too fat and thus unsuccessful, saying "Oh they just don't make trees like they used to."
* ''WesternAnimation/ReBoot'' has Bob do this while inside a pirate ship's prison cell to make the pirates think he's escaped. It's implied that Mouse had hacked that cell when she was previously forced to occupy it and installed hammerspace into it.
* Used on ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes'', including Heloise popping out of the thin-as-a-pole Jimmy.
* The ''WesternAnimation/YellowSubmarine'' does this a couple of times to hide from Ringo behind lampposts.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'':
** In "Green Isn't Your Color", Pinkie Pie repeatedly hides in places where she can't possibly fit, such as a small apple stand and a basket of sponges.
** Pinkie Pie is seen hiding under a rock in "Feeling Pinkie Keen", despite the rock still touching the ground with no gap underneath.
** In "The One Where Pinkie Pie Knows", Pinkie Pie hid herself and a large wagon loaded up with baked goods behind a thin tree.
* Spoofed in the [[WesternAnimation/TexAveryMGMCartoons Tex Avery short]] "WesternAnimation/NorthwestHoundedPolice". An escaped convict has been [[TheCatCameBack trying in vain to get away]] from Droopy, and eventually ends up on a tiny island with only two small rocks.
-->'''Convict:''' (''[[NoFourthWall to the audience]]'') [[LampshadeHanging Yeah, I know]]. (''points to the larger rock'') He'll probably be ''right'' under that rock.\\
'''Droopy:''' (''popping up from beneath the smaller rock'') Nope, under ''this'' one.
** In the short ''Caballero Droopy'', the villain jumps out from behind a cactus to stick Droopy up. Later, he goes behind the cactus and comes back out riding his horse.
* Negaduck does this is in a ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'' episode while spying on the titular hero and Morgana.
* The [[WesternAnimation/TexAveryMGMCartoons Tex Avery short]] ''One Ham's Family'' has the wolf hiding behind a thin tree, then coming out disguised as Santa Claus.
* The cat in ''WesternAnimation/Coraline'' can do this, teleporting by vanishing behind one object and then appearing from behind another.
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/FostersHomeForImaginaryFriends'' when Bloo is trying to sneakily follow Uncle Pockets, we see an object the perfect shape and size for him to hide behind, but he instead hides behind a lamp that doesn't cover him at all (also he's on the wrong side). When Bloo [[SelfServingMemory mentally revisits this scene]] he was properly hidden behind the lamp because he was wearing an invisibility cloak.
* A ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'' short features Dipper investigating the Hide-Behind, a tall, skinny creature that can fold its body up so as to hide behind just about anything.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/ShaunTheSheep'', Shaun and Bitzer hide behind a very narrow tree while trailing a fox who raided the henhouse.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ThePeanutsMovie'', Snoopy hides behind a lamp while spying on the Little Red-Haired Girl.