[[quoteright:350:[[Literature/TheSuperdictionary http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Curtains2_7285.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Preach it, ComicBook/{{Supergirl}}!]]

->''"I hide behind curtains 'cause I have a fear of getting stabbed."''
-->-- '''Polonius (Chief Wiggum)''', ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' on ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}''
%% Only one quote on the main page, please. Additional quotes can go on the quotes tab.

There are only so many places a person can hide, but one that's available in most indoor locations is the common curtain. When someone's coming and you've got to get out of sight quick, just duck behind one of these and you're golden. Oh, drapery -- where would ExactEavesdropping and [[HilarityEnsues Wacky Hijinx]] be without you?

Bonus points if you see the shoes peeking out under the bottom. Triple bonus if [[OutfitDecoy the shoes]] were [[InvokedTrope specifically put there]] to [[SubvertedTrope throw the searcher off the scent]].

Close cousin to the ClosetShuffle. May lead to a DramaticCurtainToss. Not related to TheManBehindTheCurtain, although one of those may use this.



[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'': Jessica in Banquet, to hide from [[spoiler:EVA-Beatrice while she's busy playing with Nanjo's corpse.]]
* ''Anime/PaniPoniDash'': Whenever Rei freaks [[InnocentProdigy Rebecca]] out by showing [[EyesDoNotBelongThere she has an eye in her palm]], Rebecca usually responds with this.
* When Anime/{{Madlax}} comes to visit her target the night before the assassination [[spoiler:on the account that it was himself who ordered his own death]], she initially conceals herself behind a curtain from neck down. This was to hide the fact that she was wearing an cocktail dress and has actually come to comfort the man before he goes. She is funny like that.


[[folder: Comics ]]

* The page image comes from ''Literature/TheSuperdictionary''-- appropriately, for the word "curtain."
* In ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' #400, the Scarecrow ambushes Julia by hiding behind the shower curtain in her bathroom.


[[folder: Film--Animation ]]

* Disney's ''Disney/{{Hercules}}'' has Herc do this. Meg spots him easily-- the twitchy feet kinda give it away.
* ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'' - Lumiere is caught doing inappropriate things to a feather duster behind some curtains.
* Subverted in the ''WesternAnimation/VeggieTales'' movie ''[[WesternAnimation/ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnythingAVeggieTalesMovie The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything]]''. The villains have captured the prince and are now looking for his little sister, and one of them flings a curtain aside when he thinks she's hiding behind it. She's not. He gives up in frustration, [[GaveUpTooSoon unaware that she's actually hiding under the floorboards.]]
* In ''Film/AmericanDreamer'' a housewife has EasyAmnesia and thinks she's the private detective in her favorite stories. In one scene she sees shoes under a curtain and thinks someone is hiding under them. It turned out a guy just left his shoes on the floor.


[[folder: Film--Live Action ]]

* "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!" The movie version of ''Film/TheWizardOfOz'', an example so famous [[TheManBehindTheCurtain it named a trope]].
* ''Film/UndercoverBrother''. The title character comes home and thinks there's someone hiding behind a curtain because he sees their shoes under it. He pulls the curtain aside to expose them but finds the shoes are empty. Then Sistah Girl shows up from offscreen and puts a gun to his head (she used her shoes as bait to distract him).
* ''Film/TheAdventureOfSherlockHolmesSmarterBrother''. Sigerson and Sergeant Sacker hide behind curtains after breaking into Gambetti's home. Since Gambetti is a blackmailer, this is probably a ShoutOut to the Literature/SherlockHolmes story "The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton".
* ''Film/{{Clue}}'' (movie adaptation) - the curtain is used to hide the fact that the pair of arms being used for a FakeOutMakeOut don't belong to a dead body.
** Subverted at another point when Ms Scarlett approaches a twitching curtain, [[NothingIsScarier only to find that it's because of a broken pane of glass behind it letting the wind blow it.]]
* At some point in the beginning of the first ''Film/ScaryMovie'', the killer hides behind a curtain. Or he would, if not for his [[HooksAndCrooks hook]] poking out.
* The killer in ''Film/{{Pieces}}'' hides behind the curtain when the cops arrive at his place.
* The Spielberg film ''Film/BatteriesNotIncluded'' [[EstablishingCharacterMoment introduces one of its characters this way]]-- the big, burly former boxer is hiding from thugs, who easily find him.
* A cliffhanger ending of one of the episodes of the serial film ''Zorro's Black Whip'' shows the boots of the Black Whip behind a curtain, upon which the bad guys empty their pistols into it. Subverted as only the boots were behind the curtain, leaving the Black Whip free to deal with the bad guys (who now have unloaded pistols) at the start of the next episode.
* In the 1981 film ''Film/{{Looker}}'', the serial killer with the L.O.O.K.E.R. gun hides behind translucent curtains while stalking his prey, who cannot see him because the gun has rendered him invisible to her, and eventually wraps her up inside a curtain before she falls to her death.
* In ''Film/AmericanDreamer'', "Rebecca" (actually a housewife with amnesia) thinks someone is hiding like this, but it's just shoes placed under the curtain.
* In ''Film/DialMForMurder'', the killer hides behind curtains.
* In ''Film/ThePalmBeachStory'', Gerry hides from an intruder behind the shower curtain of her apartment.
* ''[[Film/{{Cleopatra 1934}} Cleopatra]]'': Pothinos hides behind a curtain in order to kill Cleopatra, or maybe Caesar. Cleopatra sees his shoes, however, and plunges a javelin into his stomach.
* Subverted in ''Film/{{Hunted 1952}}''. When Robbie sneaks into Chris' apartment, his first choice of hiding is behind the living room curtains but then he notices his uncovered legs and goes to hide under the table instead.
* The 1922 version of ''Film/{{Robin Hood|1922}}'' scores triple points. Mooks in the castle see Robin's shoes beneath the curtain, but Robin put them there as a distraction while he went elsewhere.
* ''Film/CatsEye'': In "Quitters,Inc.", Dick sees a pair of boots behind a row of coats in his closet. He delivers an impassioned plea about how he wasn't smoking. The next morning, the boots are gone and there are muddy footprints leading away from the closet.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* In ''Literature/ABrothersPrice'', Cullen hides behind a curtain in order to listen to what his sisters have to talk about with Eldest Whistler. [[spoiler: He leaves his hiding place to hug and kiss Eldest Whistler when he hears that she plans to marry him.]]
* Literature/TheRadix: [[ProfessionalKiller Erich Metzger]] does this when he comes to kill general Rojas, and it works. Apparently, Santiago Rojas's bodyguard has FailedASpotCheck.
* In the ''Literature/SherlockHolmes'' story "Charles Augustus Milverton," Holmes and Watson break into a blackmailer's house; when they hear noises coming toward the office, they quickly duck behind a curtain in time for some ExactEavesdropping [[spoiler:and a little murder]].
** In ''The Valley of Fear'', the assassin hides behind the curtain to catch the victim off guard. [[spoiler: ProperlyParanoid victim spots the shoe behind the curtain and attacks the murderer, who ends up being accidentally and [[BoomHeadshot rather gruesomely]] killed in the ensuing GunStruggle.]]
** In ''The Mazarin Stone'' Holmes hides behind one to spy on two men to learn where they hid the eponymous diamond. It works because they think the shape they see is actually a wax bust of Holmes that he made a point of showing them earlier that evening.
* In Creator/RobertEHoward's "The Shadow Kingdom", Literature/{{Kull}} does not notice the spy, but at the end of the first scene, a tapestry moves.
* In ''Literature/MairelonTheMagician'', Kim hides behind a curtain when she wants to hide the fact she's been snooping around in the carriage.
* On [[Literature/JohnCarterOfMars Barsoom]] curtains are deliberately hung to create a narrow gallery between them and the wall where guards, assassins, eavesdroppers or whatever may lurk. It's not paranoia when people are really out to get you - as everybody and everything is on Mars.
* In ''Literature/TheRubyRedTrilogy'', Gwen has to hide behind a curtain from her future self. Future!Gwen spots her anyway, but at least distracts Gideon.
* In ''Discworld/NightWatch'', Vetinari steps out from behind a curtain in his aunt's house, where some conspirators are meeting.
* ''Literature/TheWrongSideOfGoodbye'': A potential victim notices the Screen Cutter (a serial rapist) hiding behind a curtain in her house, and hits him in the face with a broom.


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''Series/OurMissBrooks'': In "Madame Brooks [=DuBarry=]" Mr. Conklin and Harriet hide behind the curtains in Mrs. Davis' living room and spy on Miss Brooks.
* In ''Series/IClaudius'', Claudius ducks behind a curtain when the Praetorian Guard bursts into the palace after the murder of [[TheCaligula Caligula]]. They find him, and because they need an emperor to keep their jobs, they make him emperor.
** Apparently this [[RealLife actually happened]].
* ''Series/{{Carnivale}}'': The former Creature of Light hides behind curtains to keep a sense of mystery about himself.
* ''Series/FatherTed'': Ted and Dougal [[SomethingThatBeginsWithBoring are playing hide-and-seek]], and [[TheDitz Dougal]] stupidly "hides" by concealing just his face behind a curtain, leaving the rest of his body plainly visible. When it's Dougal's turn to be "On," Ted finally concedes the fact that there just aren't many good hiding places in a caravan and hides himself in the very same way!
** Though Dougal ''still'' [[TheDitz can't find him]].
* An episode of ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' has the sisters being pursued by various B horror movie villains due to a spell gone wrong. One of them, being chased by an axe murderer, no less, hides in the shower.
-->''I'm being chased by an axe murderer, and I hide in the '''shower?'''''
* Parker does this to hide from the BigBad in the ''Series/{{Leverage}}'' episode ''The Wedding Job''.
* Happens in ''{{Series/Chuck}}'', when they're spying on a spy in a bedroom who is going undercover.
* In a vehicular variant, Klinger on ''Series/{{MASH}}'' once hid a tank by draping an army tent over it, effectively surrounding it with curtains on all sides. However this doesn't work as the enemy (who are shelling the camp) didn't see or hear the tank drive out, so they know it's still there.
* In ''Series/CriminalMinds'' Hotch empties his clip into Foyet when he find him hiding behind the master bedroom's curtain in Hotch's old house. Unfortunately Foyet had anticipated this reaction, and was wearing a bulletproof vest.
* ''Series/FrontierCircus'': In "The Smallest Target", Bobby hides behind a rack of hanging dresses in Bonnie's caravan.
* ''Series/WhodunnitUK'': The thief in "A Bad Habit" hides behind a curtain in the abbey.
* ''Series/FatherBrown'': In "The Man in the Shadows", Sid is forced to hide behind a curtain when he is snooping around outside the archive and the door opens unexpectedly.
* ''Series/GetSmart''. Subverted and double-subverted in "Dear Diary": The first time Max notices a pair of feet under a curtain, he tackles it, but it turns out that it was just an empty pair of shoes and that someone is hiding behind the ''other'' curtain. Later, when 99 notices another pair of feet, Max tackles the other curtain, only to find there's nobody there and the shoes did in fact belong to someone hiding behind the first curtain.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': In "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS36E11WorldEnoughAndTime World Enough and Time]]", Bill attempts to hide behind a curtain in the hospital. Not very well, as the IV stand she is hooked up to is still outside the curtain.


[[folder: Radio ]]

* ''Radio/OurMissBrooks'': In "First Day", Walter Denton hides behind the curtain in Mrs. Davis' living room.


[[folder: Theatre ]]

* In ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}},'' the title character stabs someone he thinks is Claudius through the arras he's hiding behind. It turns out to be Polonius. Though technically an arras is a heavy tapestry, it's still this trope in essence, [[JustForFun/TheZerothLawOfTropeExamples meaning...]]
* ''Theatre/TheLionInWinter'' has an example that takes this up to eleven: King Philip ends up with all of King Henry's sons hiding in various places around his room as each of them visits him in succession on the same night, remarking, "That's what tapestries are for."
* A different subversion than the shoes one occurs in the play ''The Murder Room'': the protagonist hides behind the curtain of a window as his antagonist comes to the house - unfortunately for him, he didn't think that hiding behind the curtain means he's quite visible from the outside.
* In ''The Medium'' by Gian-Carlo Menotti, Toby is often found hiding behind the curtain of the puppet theater. This contributes to Baba's suspicions of him and, after her SanitySlippage, [[spoiler:her shooting him when he fails to answer her, with the curtain becoming a White Sheet of Death]].


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* In the second ''VideoGame/LauraBow'' game, Laura can hide behind a tapestry in one area of the museum in order to eavesdrop on an important conversation.
* A minigame in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioRPG'' has Mario hiding behind a curtain while Booster's Snifits try to find a Mario doll (ItMakesSenseInContext). HilarityEnsues as Mario's feet are obviously visible, but one, then two, and then ''three'' Snifits all fail to notice him.


[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' Boris hid behind the curtain in the Jäger Generals meeting room to listen in when Da Boys gave their report, Dimo [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20110314 noticed him though so he ended up not being hid for the conversation.]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* The scene from ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'' (above) was parodied on ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' in "Tales From The Public Domain." Bart's Hamlet stabs Chief Wiggum's Polonius, who states that he was [[LampshadeHanging hiding behind a curtain]] [[{{Irony}} for fear that he would be stabbed]].
* The animated series of ''Film/PoliceAcademy'' had one episode where Capt. Harris and Lt. Proctor hid behind the curtains when a criminal showed up to rob the bank. They were just trying to prevent the criminal from seeing them but they accidentally fell on the criminal, capturing him by a stroke of luck. Harris quickly started hogging as much glory as he could.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/SpaceGhostCoastToCoast'' episode "Surprise", Zorak and Moltar frantically prepare a surprise birthday party for Space Ghost. Having invited all the guests (mostly the Council of Doom) and brought them into the studio while Space Ghost was distracted, the most logical hiding place was behind a set of drapes on the set. This backfired horribly, as the drapes were never there before (and they didn't match the desk), so SG decided to just blast them (the drapes, that is; he didn't seem particularly concerned that the Council of Doom was hiding behind them).
* WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs use a tapestry as cover while they follow Lady Jasmine to her quarters in Prince Theodore's castle so that he in frog form can get a kiss from her in the episode "The Prince And The Hopper".


[[folder: Real Life ]]

* How many of us tried this out in games of "Hide and Go Seek," only to find the results ''disastrous''? It turns out curtains generally don't hide the bulky shape of a human as well as the movies would have us believe... and of course, feet really ''do'' poke out the bottom.
* Not ''exactly'' a curtain, but many kids hide behind their mom's skirts when they are scared, serving the same purpose.
* During UsefulNotes/WW2 when UsefulNotes/CharlesDeGaulle went to the White House to meet President UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt, the Secret Service became convinced that he'd try to assassinate the President and hid behind the curtains of the Oval Office. The sight of their shoes poking out from under the curtain did not facilitate post-war US-French relations.
* [[UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfStuart King James I of England and VI of Scotland]] ([[TryToFitThatOnABusinessCard one individual]]) managed to disprove a nurse's alleged use of this trope by ordering her to stand behind said curtain in front of an audience. [[EpicFail It only came to her knees]].
* Supposedly, Claudius was found hiding behind a curtain after UsefulNotes/{{Caligula}} was killed. He was promptly declared the new emperor.