->'''Rory:''' These things could do with some air holes.\\
'''Canton:''' Never had any complaints before.
-->-- ''Series/DoctorWho'', [[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E2DayOfTheMoon "Day of the Moon"]]

Related to PlayingPossum and TrojanHorse, this is when a character hides in a bodybag and is wheeled into a hospital or other facility, then gets out and does his/her mission.

If used as a means of escape, may end with the character being BuriedAlive -- but not for long. A subtrope -- and a subversion -- of ZippingUpTheBodybag. See also CoffinContraband.



[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* [[OurVampiresAreDifferent Cassidy]] from ''ComicBook/{{Preacher}}'' escapes a police raid by hiding in a body bag -- one of the police's body bags, to be precise; [[GoodThingYouCanHeal he slit his own throat and pretended to be a corpse]].
* Spanish comic ''ComicBook/MortadeloYFilemon'' moves this a step forward: Main characters need to infiltrate into a hospital. They see a slacker sleeping in the street. The characters impersonate nurses bringing the slacker in a pallet, claiming he needs urgent surgery for appendicitis. The slacker wakes up in the operating theater; when he leaves the hospital, he sees a peer loafing around and warns him: If the staff catches him sleeping, they'll operate him for appendicitis!
* ''ComicBook/GIJoeIDW'': Kwinn and Lighthorse smuggle Snake-Eyes across the border by hiding him a coffin inside a hearse and say they are returning a family member to be buried in his native land.


[[folder: Film ]]

* Joker pulls a similar trick in ''Film/TheDarkKnight''; as a means of getting close to a man who put a bounty on his head he has some of his henchmen bring him in a garbage bag and claim to have killed him.
* In the ''Film/{{Hellboy}}'' film, Karl Ruprect Kroenen ''really was dead'', but revives himself inside BPRD headquarters.
* This is how Herbert West gets into the morgue in the first ''Film/ReAnimator'' film.
* Film/JamesBond pulls this off in ''Film/{{Octopussy}}'' to sneak out of Kamal Khan's palace. He scares the ''crap'' out of the people carting the supposed corpse off.
* In ''Film/JudgeDredd'', Rico uses this ploy to escape from Aspen prison.
* Guile hides in a bodybag while pretending to be dead in the ''Film/StreetFighter'' movie.
* Happens in ''Film/TheMaskOfZorro'', as the way Zorro escapes from prison. Bonus BuriedAlive!
* The last part of Rollie's revenge plan in ''Film/FXMurderByIllusion'' depends on this as his escape plan; unfortunately, Leo sussed out his plan and was waiting for him outside the window.
* In ''Film/Saw3D'', [[spoiler: Hoffman hides in a body bag so he can sneak into the police station and kill Jill Tuck.]]
* Used in ''[[Literature/TheGreatTrainRobbery The First Great Train Robbery]]'' to smuggle one of the thieves aboard the baggage car.
* In ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanDeadMansChest'', Jack Sparrow uses the ploy to escape a prison by hiding in a coffin being tossed out to sea.
* In ''Film/HighlanderIITheQuickening'', [=MacLeod=] and Ramirez get inside the headquarters of an evil MegaCorp by driving right into a roadblock set by them and getting riddled with bullets. The employees cart them inside in bodybags, unaware of them being immortal.
* In ''Film/DeadInTombstone'', Guerrero and Calathea sneak past Washington and Snake by hiding at the bottom of a pile of bodies being wheeled past on a mine cart.
* In ''Film/{{Zwartboek}}'', the BigBad, a corrupt and treacherous member of LaResistance in German-occupied Holland, is smuggled away in a coffin by some of his comrades. Unfortunately for him, they've been told about his evil deeds, and deliberately seal the coffin and leave him to suffocate.
* Hilariously used in ''Film/JohnnyEnglishReborn'', when the title character smuggles himself into the secret base.
* In ''Film/TerrorByNight'', the killer is smuggled on board the train concealed in the false bottom of a coffin.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* ''Literature/TheCountOfMonteCristo''.
** And (partly) averted: Dantes expects to merely be buried, at which point he can dig himself free and escape. However, he learns the hard way that the Chateau d'If buries its dead at sea - and still manages to escape, even though it's much harder going.
* This is how Literature/MatthewHawkwood and Lassuer are smuggled off the prison hulk in ''Rapscallion''.
* In the ''Franchise/StarTrek'' novel ''Traitor Winds'', Uhura uses this to get out of a hospital without being spotted by a conspiracy that has it in for former ''Enterprise'' crew; Christine Chapel is conveniently on hand to provide the bodybag.
* In ''Literature/{{Room}}'', Ma fakes five-year-old Jack's illness and death so he can escape when Old Nick takes him outside to bury him. This is the only way either of them will be able to get out of Room.
* Used by the Exit organisation in the Literature/PhryneFisher novel ''Blood and Circuses'' to smuggle a prisoner out of prison in a coffin.
* In the backstory of Creator/JohnDicksonCarr's Literature/DrGideonFell novel ''The Hollow Man'', this is part of the story that leads to the killer's vengeful motivation. Three brothers escaped from a prison by feigning death and allowing themselves to be BuriedAlive, but the one who managed to escape from his coffin first ran away and left the other two to die. One survived and pursued him.
* In ''Literature/LesMiserables'', Jean Valjean escapes from the convent of Petit-Picpus in a coffin.


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''Series/AlfredHitchcockPresents'': The episode "Final Escape" subverts this when a male prisoner (female in the remake) plans an escape using this method. The prisoner is supposed to hide in the next coffin being used, then the prison undertaker is supposed to come and dig the coffin up once the coast is clear. [[spoiler:When the prisoner feels that they've been waiting too long, they light a match to see that they're buried with ... the undertaker]].
* ''Series/{{Alias}}'': Sydney Bristow once sneaked into a Uzbek military base this way.
* A variation occurs in ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' when JD attempts to escape the hospital so he can go home and have his day off. It goes alright, until he begins talking to the person who wheeled him into the elevator, who panics and hits him with a fire extinguisher.
-->'''JD''': (in bodybag) Can you press "lobby", please? (Doug starts attacking him) OW! OW! OW! (unzips) Doug! Why are you hitting me?!
-->'''Doug''': 'Cause I thought you were a dead guy coming back to life!
-->'''JD''': ...Then why were you ''hitting'' me?!
-->'''Doug''': Dead people should be dead.
* Simon and River of ''{{Series/Firefly}}'' use this technique to beat the security and get into a mega-hospital in the episode "Ariel." Bonus points for actually making their hearts stop to get in.
* The Carver in ''Series/NipTuck'' gets away using this.
* Ari does this to sneak into the morgue in ''Series/{{NCIS}}''.
** A variation: in the very first episode, "Yankee White", [=DiNozzo=] hides in a body bag as a decoy, while the rest of the gang spirit the real corpse away. Hilarity and severe bruising ensues.
* On ''Series/TheATeam'', there was an episode where Face (who was posing as a priest) smuggled Murdock out of the VA hospital in a casket. They then use it for CoffinContraband to smuggle their weapons into the foreign country where the episode takes place. That time had an unconscious BA in the casket as well.
* Another variation occurs in an episode of ''Series/MacGyver1985''. Mac is trying to sneak out of CommieLand in a wooden coffin, but he ends up being discovered and his allies carrying the coffin throw it off the border bridge. Mac blows out the sides and it becomes a jet ski, he makes his escape and then the real plot starts after he gets back to the States.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'', "Day of the Moon".
-->'''Rory:''' These things could really do with airholes!
-->'''Canton:''' Never had a complaint before.
* ''{{Series/CSI}}'': Catherine and D.B. use this trick to get themselves smuggled back into the lab when a hit team is looking for them in "Willows in the Wind".
* ''Series/BreakoutKings'': In "Steaks", two convicts murder an obese inmate and then hide in his coffin in order to escape.
* ''Series/{{Hustle}}'': In "Lest Ye Be Judged", Mickey uses a bodybag to smuggle Emma into the morgue so she can place a false postmortem report in the files.
* In ''Series/ZNation'' the main characters must hide in a morgue from a "zunami" of zombies. Warren has to hide in a body bag as zombies swarm the morgue.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''. The Initiative shoot Werewolf!Oz with a TranquilizerDart, then put him in a bodybag to smuggle him off the Sunnydale college campus. As tensions are high among the Initiative soldiers because one of their own was recently killed by a wolf-like demon, the use of a bodybag is ominous.
* ''Series/TheNewAvengers'': In "Hostage", Purdey's kidnappers carry her out of her flat hidden in a coffin.


[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* In the fluff of ''TabletopGame/PsionicsTheNextStageInHumanEvolution'' an organization poses as a team of exterminators and removes tranquilized espers from a safehouse by smuggling them in equipment bags.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* You do this with a fake death drug to get CIA agent Smith out of a clinic in ''VideoGame/HitmanBloodMoney''.
* One mission in ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoV'' has Michael infiltrating a city morgue in order to uncover dirt on a suspected terrorist for his FIB handler Dave Norton. He does this by getting a TapOnTheHead from Dave, then sent to the morgue as a John Doe, where he gets up on the slab and scares the living daylights out of the morticians. Notably, if you tilt your head with the right analog stick, you'll get unique dialogue from the doctors about how his corpse is "reanimating", while if you wait too long to get up, the doctors will start cutting you open and kill you for real.
* ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedSyndicate'' has this as a unique kill opportunity. During the Lambeth Asylum assassination, Jacob can slip into the morgue and hide on a gurney, whereupon he's brought upstairs to his target, a MadDoctor who's giving a medical presentation. The doctor first notices something is wrong when he sees that his "corpse" is still wearing boots...
* Though no bodybag is used, the protagonist of ''VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment'' looks ghastly enough to pass as a corpse, and can have himself smuggled into the local morgue when required.


[[folder: Web Original ]]

* Dr. Griffin does this in ''WebVideo/KateModern'' to escape from an Order facility.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Used to get Killer Frost into the morgue in ''WesternAnimation/BatmanAssaultOnArkham''.