Grandpa: And as they reached for each other... [stops reading]So, after all the Unresolved Sexual Tension, Alice and Bob are finally going to kiss...wait, why is the camera looking away? The Kissing Discretion Shot is what happens when a kiss is implied, but not shown directly, usually by creative camera angles or by cutting away right before the characters' lips touch. Usually, this is done for at least one of these reasons:
Grandson: What? What?
Grandpa: Ah, it's kissing again. You don't want to hear that.
Grandson: What? What?
Grandpa: Ah, it's kissing again. You don't want to hear that.
- To help avoid potential controversy. This is particularly common with homosexual and interracial couples in older works, but now it's on its way to becoming a Discredited Trope. This is often used for all kisses in Bollywood films due to the taboo against public kissing in India.
- The actors weren't comfortable with kissing, for whatever reason.
- The actors want some privacy, often away from the Fourth Wall.
- To play up the "Did They or Didn't They?" angle. These tend to cut a little earlier than the others.
- In Machinima, including in-game Cutscenes, the character models and/or rigs can't articulate a kiss well without being distracting.
- Some things are funnier (or sexier) when left to the imagination — plus the clever use of Reaction Shots can indicate how cute... or wild.. the action has become.
- The characters are Anthropomorphic Animals (e.g. two birds) and it's unclear how exactly a kiss would work with their beaks, so it is hidden from view.
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Anime and Manga
- 5 Centimeters per Second had this near the end of the first arc. The camera shifts to Akari standing on her tiptoes.
- Done with Ryoko and Kitano in the Grand Finale of Angel Densetsu. Also an in-universe example, since Ryoko deliberately distracts the Date Peepers so that they don't see her kissing Kitano. Of course, the said date peepers were quick to voice their disappointment.
- When Yasuko and Fumi in Aoi Hana share their first kiss in the library, the viewer is confronted with a view of the steel bookshelves—though the kiss can be seen in full view at the start of the next episode.
- The last TV broadcast episode of Bakemonogatari pans to the sky rather than show us Senjogahara and Koyomi kiss. Rather than avoiding controversy or anything, most likely it was because an actual shown kiss would be a bit of a let down after the preceding dialogue.
- Nisemonogatari, episode 8. While waiting for their younger sister to return home to murder them, Koyomi and Karen are shown embracing and falling toward the bed, faces tantalizingly close to each other. Cue an image of white feathers flying up toward a bright blue sky.
- In the manga Black Lagoon, incredibly Creepy Twins Hansel and Gretel are introduced with a kiss, but the "camera" pans down right before their lips meet. Strangely, the next time they kiss (right before splitting up) this trope is averted.
- From Blood+, Haji and Saya's second kiss.
- A variety occurs in Blue Drop, where Hagino and Mari's big moment gets obscured by massive bubbles. That's what you get when kissing underwater—or being lesbian.
- Used as the final scene of Blue Seed.
- In Change 123, this trope was used twice (so far) by showing a panel with a big sound effect on it instead of the actual kiss scene - both times when Hibiki kisses Kosukegawa. But in this case it's not about discretion, but to indicate how powerful Hibiki's kisses are.
- In Dragon Ball Z, Goku had just recovered from being deathly ill and is about to join the rest of the Z Fighters. In a rare display of affection, he says farewell to Chi Chi. The viewer only sees up to their shoulders but from the embarrassed reaction on Master Roshi's face and the way Goku's hand squeezed Chi Chi's shoulder, leaning a little bit closer to her, it's very possible that Goku gave his wife a goodbye kiss.
- In Fairy Tail Jellal and Erza finally kiss after the timeskip. Except maybe they don't, because after they spend three pages with their lips slowly getting closer and closer the actual kiss is silhouetted. They may still be about to kiss when Jellal suddenly decides he has no right to kiss her and shoves her away, making up a story about a fiancee so she'll give up on him.
- Done towards the end of the Fate/stay night anime, between Saber and Shirou. No ambiguity, though, and it's handled rather well.
- In Genshiken, in the scene of the final resolving of Unresolved Sexual Tension between Sasahara and Ogiue, their first kiss is shown by hiding the face of one character behind the head of the other.
- Entirely averted in Kanamemo, in which canon lesbian couple Yuuki and Yume kiss outside the newspaper office in the first episode, requisite flower background and all.
- Subverteds with a lesbian kiss in Kannazuki no Miko: the camera cuts away right before their lips meet...and a few seconds later, it cuts back, and the kiss continues for several more seconds!
- Done particularly well in Macross Frontier when Sheryl, breaking down from her possibly fatal illness, clings to Alto for support. The tension of the scene combines with the affection they feel for each other, and the camera discreetly pans upwards as they kiss. The aftermath of the scene is extremely ambiguous about whether it went even further than that.
- Word of God says they did have sex that night.
- In the second season of Magic Knight Rayearth, just before Caldina and Lafarga kiss, Caldina holds up a sash in between their faces and the camera.
- Camera slides away during a kiss in Mari Mite, but it's pretty clear that they were in fact kissing.
- The Mobile Suit Gundam Wing manga Blind Target features what looks like one between Heero and Relena, probably explaining its low popularity with a certain segment of the fandom.
- There is one in Naruto, between Yahiko and Konan. There is a scene where the latter is attending to the formers wounds on a bed, and then they gradually lean in as though for a kiss. The next scene is outside the door, where Nagato is smirking. It's ambiguous if it was merely a Kissing Discretion Shot, or if they went further.
- Nisekoi literally ends with Raku and Chitoge sharing their first and only visible kiss this way, as it pans out to a falling leaf covering their silhouettes.
- In the manga adaption of Persona, this happens between Kazuya and Eriko. Interesting enough, he did it as a way to Force Feed her a candy to heal her from a Standard Status Ailment.
- Happens at the end of Pokémon XY when Serena bids farewell to Ash. She runs back up an escalator to him and leans in, then the camera cuts to her feet as the escalator pulls them apart again. Serena, Bonnie, Pikachu, and Clemont are blushing after it's done. Word of God confirms that she did kiss him, but there's still the ambiguity in whether it was on the cheeks or on the lips. It was actually a result of forced censorship, because the writers were not allowed to show the actual kiss in the first place!
- Used twice in Revolutionary Girl Utena: the only time Utena and Anthy are seen kissing is in the second ending credits, and it's just barely offscreen. Likewise, there's a "did they or didn't they?" kiss between Kozue and Anthy in "Miki's Nest Box" which takes place off-camera. However, this trope was thoroughly averted in The Movie.
- Sailor Moon Crystal:
- In the Act 1 Cold Open, Usagi's Dreaming of Times Gone By is interrupted by a wakeful Fade to White and her alarm clock, right as the music swells and the dream prince and princess lean in for a kiss.
- The very end of the Closing Credits shows Serenity and Endymion clearly reflected in shallow water as they lean in for a kiss, only for luminescent water ripples to disrupt the image.
- In one episode of Saint Beast, Luca and Rey lean in really close to each other, Rey grabs Luca's hand and put it on his cheek, presumably so he can mind-read the Love Confession that Rey cannot spit out, and then the screen fades to black. Did They or Didn't They?, indeed.
- The final episode of Sands of Destruction features a Cooldown Hug from Morte to Kyrie that's implied to have turned into a kiss, but the camera is too far away and there's quite a lot of sand swirling around obscuring things.
- The School Rumble manga has (at least one) example of this, with an implied kiss between Akira and Hanai being distracted by a panel showing the pair's feet.
- Shaman King had a scene where Yoh and Anna were talking with their silhouttes leaning forward and Amidamaru quickly looking away while blushing.
- The final scene of Super Robot Wars Original Generation: The Inspectors: after a tender conversation, Kyosuke and Excellen draw close and fade to black.
- Parodied multiple times in the Violinist of Hameln manga with Hamel and Flute. Every time it seems the two of them are having a "moment" and one or the other draws in for a kiss, the panel cuts away... and cuts back to reveal that Hamel has somehow accidentally kneed her in the face.
- This happens in Windy Tales, when Miki and Jun make up after a fight.
- This happens in Yuri!!! on Ice between Victor and Yuri. You may not see lip-on-lip contact, though the scene that occurs beforehand features their faces slowly inching closer and closer, their lips particularly highlighted, with Yuri's eyes widening in shock and Victor's eyes closing. Then when it happens, the kiss is blocked by an arm, although the angle of their faces and the reactions of the other characters makes it clear that they were not just sharing a hug.
- In the end of one episode of Zatch Bell!, Wonlei and Li Yen are sailing away and standing on the prow of a ship. They hold hands, look deeply into one another's eyes, their faces move together, and the camera cuts away just before we see their lips touch. It seems like a silly thing to cut, considering kisses have been considered appropriate fare for all ages for a long time now, but there is a different factor there— Li Yen is human while Wonlei is a creature from another dimension (and, literally, a demon in the Japanese version).
Film - Animated
- In the scene in Shrek, just as Shrek and Fiona start to kiss, Shrek breaks the fourth wall and covers up the camera.
- Played straight in Puss in Boots. Finally, after all the Unresolved Sexual Tension between the two, Kitty and Puss finally kiss. Which is hidden behind Puss's hat which Kitty lifts off his head and holds over their faces. Likely done just the give the two some privacy, though they hadn't really been discreet about their attraction before. Could also count as a (covered up) The Big Damn Kiss, because of the dramatic lighting behind them.
- The discretion's also a handy way of dealing with the fact that cats can't kiss without straying down the Alternate Animal Affection path.
- Ginger and Rocky almost kissing was a Running Gag in Chicken Run, initiated because the animators couldn't figure out how to make two chickens kissing look anything but ridiculous. When the big kiss finally comes, it is with the characters turning away from the camera, obscuring any actual contact of "lips".
- La Muerte and Xibalba get in a few smooches in The Book of Life, but always obscured by La Muerte's enormous hat. It serves dual purpose- Xibalba is a lot less humanoid than La Muerte, so actually showing the characters sucking face might look rather strange, and the combination of Nice Hat plus Xibalba's spread wings forms an image of the Sacred Heart.
- In Penguins of Madagascar, when giving Kowalski a Smooch of Victory, Eva uses her wing to block the camera’s view of the actual smooching.
- Howl's Moving Castle has Sophie leaping towards Howl and the next scene is the Heel–Face Turn Witch of the Waste covering a young Markl's eyes.
- Occurs in the ending of The LEGO Movie, as after Lord Business is defeated and everyone throws a huge party, Batman finally gives Wyldstyle/Lucy his blessing to have a relationship with Emmet. The two hold hands, and the camera pans out to show the party in full force. Closer inspection shows that the two do kiss! Wyldstyle even lifts up her leg while doing this!
Film - Live-Action
- As noted above: pretty much any Bollywood film.
- Subverted in the mini-series Bollywood Hero; At the end of part one, Chris, unaware of the taboo, kisses Lalima after dancing with her, a faux pas which is exploited in the next episode as he witnesses ugly news coverage of the scandal.
- Possible Ur-Example: in the 1919 Conrad Veidt film Different From The Others, when Paul and his boyfriend are caught kissing. Before their lips touch, the camera cuts away to the teacher's shocked face.
- The kiss between Will Smith and Anthony Michael Hall in the otherwise-awesome Six Degrees of Separation. Rumor has it Denzel told Will not to do it.
- The "big clinch" in An Affair To Remember. You don't see it, you see them FILMING THEIR FEET. (Oddly enough, smaller kisses go on throughout the movie.)
- Used a lot in the Twilight film when Edward and Bella kiss.
- Vertigo plays with a restriction not against kisses entirely, but a kiss being shown for longer than 3 seconds. In a passionate kissing scene, the camera pans around the two, and wouldn't you know it? Something always obscures their lips every 3 seconds.
- The Brazilian film Casseta & Planeta: A Taça do Mundo É Nossa (), by comedy group Casseta & Planeta, employs it for "man and a man playing woman" action. Their TV show does it sometimes as well.
- Any film where Kirk Cameron or Chelsea Noble have to kiss anyone other than each other will have this, as neither believes it is acceptable for them to kiss other actors. Films of note have been: Left Behind (Camera cuts away as Chelsea kisses Brad Johnson) and Fireproof (where the woman is actually Chelsea in a wig).
- The shot is pulled back and seasoned with a shooting star when Doc Brown and Clara Clayton kiss in Back to the Future Part III, probably because Christopher Lloyd was deemed too old to do so up close.
- Double Subverted in Friday the 13th (1980) when Barry and Claudette go to second base.
- In Swing Time, when Penny and Lucky reconcile in the dressing room. They move closer ... closer ... and then someone opens the door, blocking the audience's view for a few crucial seconds. Screams of frustration must have been heard in many theaters in 1936. note
- In Who's That Girl, the two male police detectives that were following Nikki Finn throughout the film end up kissing each other in the car, with a pan away shot to Benny the mook being tied to the roof of the car at the moment they kiss.
- Harry's first kiss, with Cho Chang, in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: The paragraph ends with a description of Cho moving in closer until Harry can see her eyelashes, and then... The next paragraph has Harry stumbling into the Gryffindor common room in a daze.
- Lampshaded in the A Series of Unfortunate Events book The Slippery Slope. A scene involving Violet and Quigley sitting on a ledge halfway up a cliff is interrupted by the author's monologue. The next thing we're informed of is the two of them continuing on their climb with 'small, secret smiles on their faces.'
- Used in John Dies at the End with David and Amy's first kiss.
It's funny, pretending that it's normal to have a converstion with somebody standing three inches away.She leaned in and-
- It then cuts to David looking out the window, describing a taste "vaguely like secondhand Altoids" in his mouth.
Live Action TV
- Despite the controversy over Kirk and Uhura's famous kiss in "Plato's Stepchildren", the two of them are never actually shown locking lips. (However, the scene does not cut away; the camera angle simply blocks the details.)
- Parodied in a The Kids in the Hall sketch where the Steps guys go to see an Oscar Bait gay-themed film. The romantic leads don't even kiss until the end, and the garage door closes so you don't actually see anything. Made even funnier by the fact that this trope is defied within the sketch itself - Scott Thompson's character gets bored and makes out with another guy in the theater, which is shown on screen.
- Also parodied on Will & Grace when Will, Jack, and Grace are disappointed that a widely-hyped male/male kiss is subject to one of these. Most likely a Lampshade Hanging of the show's squeamishness when it came to showing same-sex physical affection, although Will and Jack kiss in protest later in the episode.
- Xander's naughty dream about Willow and Tara in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer ep "Restless." We see Xander ogling them, but not the kissing (In fact, they were forced to cut the oogling since it took too long Yes, that is right, the reaction was cut down... Then in season 5, production dispensed with it and showed them kissing in "The Body."
- All of Gay Matt's kisses on Melrose Place, which were nicknamed the "Cutaway Kiss" by Entertainment Weekly.
- Xena: Warrior Princess had Xena leaning in to kiss Gabrielle in a dream-like situation, and just as the lips were about to touch they cut to Gabrielle kissing Autolycus because Xena was possessing his body.
- The first kiss between Austin & Ally.
- As the World Turns had one where popular gay couple Luke and Noah declared their love for each other, lean in for a kiss, and the camera pans up to the mistletoe. However the fans fought back hard and now kissing is a nonevent. The next battle is now against the Sexy Discretion Shot.
- Scrubs season 6 ended with this trope. Subverted, since they actually didn't kiss.
- Done inconsistently on Hannah Montana where Miley's kisses are usually shown, but when Lilly and Oliver become a couple it always cuts away from their kisses.
- This is taken one step further in the final episode. As each couple start to share the "last kiss" before Miley and Lilly fly off to Paris, a piece of large luggage moves past them, just long enough to show both couples leaning back after their "kiss".
- Averted on Glee with Kurt and Blaine's first kiss, which is also a spectacular aversion of But Not Too Gay.
- Power Rangers in Space had a daydream where the Silver Ranger kissed the Big Bad. Only the shot kept getting blurrier the closer their lips got, and then immediately cut back to the Silver Ranger's reaction of said daydream.
- Done in one episode of Zoom reenacting a fairy tale, likely because the actors were still preteens. The actual kiss is covered up by the knight's shield.
- Once on Seducing Cindy, Cindy Margolis took Leighton Stultz in to a closet where they made out at third base. During the scene, the camera is behind the two and we only see Cindy taking Leighton's shirt off; Then there's a brief camera shot from behind of Cindy and Leighton dry humping and they're French kissing during the make out session.
- In episode 43 of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Usagi and Mamoru are on the beach at sunset, and as Usagi lifts herself up for a kiss, they both disappear completely into a silhouette.
- Done for the purpose of a joke in Essgee Entertainment's The Mikado. This is played out by having Ko-Ko obscure Yum-Yum's face while he makes slurping noises. The "kiss" ends when he turns back, leaving a clearly-revolted Yum-Yum to say "Thank goodness that's over.
- In Knights of the Old Republic the screen blacks out during the kiss scene (apparently because the engine couldn't render it).
- Jade Empire does this with the homosexual kisses, but renders the het ones.
- Apparently, homosexual kisses were supposed to be included, but got edited out in the final release. The scripting is still present, but has to be reactivated with a fan-made patch.
- Although you see it very briefly, in Lunar 2 Eternal Blue, the camera pans away right as Hiro and Lucia kiss in the true ending.
- Final Fantasy VIII: The camera cranes away at the end of the game, when Squall and Rinoa finally kiss.
- Similarly, in Final Fantasy IX we see Garnet leaning up for a kiss and then an image of Gaia and Terra crashing together.
- Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. Right before the credits, Zelda approaches Link, but a curtain comes down and covers their faces leaving it up to the viewer to decide if they are kissing or not.
- In Jak 3, Jak kisses Ashelin in the final cutscene, but it is obscured by the camera panning down. (in the next game Jak ended up with Keira again anyway.)
- Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World has one for Emil and Marta.
- Persona 4 does this between the main character and Margaret, if you max out her Social Link and talk to her on the last day.
- The controversial trailer of Rule of Rose ends up with two characters about to kiss. The cut is understandable, since they are both about ten-year old girls. Nevertheless, it's not a "dirty" scene, but quite innocent and adorable, after the dark stuff just before it.
- Eternal Sonata does this - Allegretto and Polka share a passionate hug and then begin to kiss, but the camera pans away to the view of the scenery just as they begin to kiss.
- In Final Fantasy VII, Tifa tells Cloud that words aren't the only way to tell someone what you're feeling. The camera slowly pans up to the Highwind. Cut to the early morning, with them Sleeping Cute.
- In Kingdom Hearts II, Sora enforces this on Flounder by covering his eyes so that he doesn't see Ariel and Eric kiss.
- In Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution, this is used in the matchups where Konohamaru's Ultimate Jutsu ends this way (instead of in a surprise Rasengan). Probably because the involved clone(?) is actually a disguised underage boy('s clone). Yeah, the gamemaker's decisions have to be questioned on that one.
- At the end of the Videogame Within A Webcomic Kid Radd, the protagonist and his love interest move towards each other to kiss, which fades to the credits. This really frustrates Radd; since the scene ends right then, he never actually gets to kiss her.
- In Erfworld, the scene◊ where Wanda drops off Jillian to stage her "escape", with a panel showing their mouths close together followed by one showing their feet close together and the rest of them hidden behind a dwagon.
- In F@nboy$, the 'did they or didn't they' type of Discretion Shot is used in a comic between Paul and Lemmy after Sonic the Hedgehog was announced for Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Of course, a follow-up comic revealed that they didn't actually kiss, but Paul was lifting Lemmy to reach Shenanigans the Pink Lightbulb.
- Occurs when Garanos tells the story of how she and her fiance fell in love. The motivation there was artistic, according to the author.
- In Namir Deiter any kissing couples are shown from the back of one partner's head, with the other kisser barely visible. It's not clear if it's some form of self-censorship or Isabel Marks has no confidence in the way she draws kissing characters.
- In Homestuck, Dirk kisses Roxy to revive her dream self, but before he does, it's censored by Squarewave's speech bubble exclaiming "YEAH DOGG!!!". Later, in Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Roxy and Calliope are implied to kiss with an instance of this trope employed, but it may have only been a hug.
- In Family Guy's Something Something Something Dark Side, Peter Griffin as Han Solo says [to Leia] "I'm going to kiss you so hard, the scene is going to change to something different."
- Avatar: The Last Airbender had an infamous one when Aang and Katara are trapped in a tunnel lit only by their torch, with the clue that "love will light the way". The torch's light goes out just as they're leaning in...and then glowing crystals come on, but it's deliberately unclear whether or not they actually kissed.
- According to the crew, they do in fact kiss.
- The sequel series, The Legend of Korra ends on one, sadly for censorship reasons. The last scene of the series shows Korra and Asami leaving for a trip to the Spirit World together, holding hands and gazing lovingly into each other's eyes... and then the camera pans up to show the big "The End" card. Word of God states that they did kiss, but Standards and Practices wouldn't allow them to show it, so they intentionally made the scene reminiscent of the big kiss at the end of Last Airbender so that the audience would still know what was happening.
- In one episode of Beast Wars, Black Arachnia and Silverbolt were about to kiss, when the camera pans down. This could have been to preserve the kids' virgin eyes (but then again, given the the various ways in which BW mauled its characters...) or because good ol' Silvy has a muzzle, being a wolf-bird. Good luck animating that, guys.
- Kissing has shown several times in Danny Phantom, but mostly with the main characters. Curiously, the married Maddie and Jack always have their kisses hidden from view whenever they do it. This also happens in an alternate timeline between the married Vlad and Maddie's whose only kiss isn't shown either. What gives?
- Ace Lightning: The only time anyone is seen kissing it's either on the cheek, or in Mark and Kat's case, in sillouette in the last episode. The digital characters, however (this is a Mixed media show) are a lot less disguised about it.
- Frequently in Classic Disney Shorts, two characters kissing at the end would cover themselves for the sake of modesty. Often subverted by having the faces silhouetted through the cover, or by removing the cover too soon.
- In Ben 10: Alien Force, the first time we see Gwen and Kevin kissing each other, the camera is put behind Gwen's head blocking everything. In Ultimate Alien, there's another kiss between them blocked the same way but by the end of the first season finale, they get a third kiss and this time the camera is very well placed and there's nothing blocking the shot, so we get to see the kiss in all its glory.
- Kim Possible: Kim and Ron in "Mentor of Our Discontent". Much to the anguish of fans who were looking forward to seeing more of the Relationship Upgrade onscreen.
- Teen Titans Go!: the episode "Mouth Hole" ends (cutting to commercial/credits/whatever) just before Robin's and Starfire's lips make contact.
- Totally Spies!: In "Evil Valentine's Day", we cut away to the girls' disgusted reactions when Jerry and Myrna kiss. Good thing too; there would've been a lot more Fan Disservice.
- In one episode of Freakazoid!, when the titular hero goes in to kiss his girlfriend, the picture is obscured by the Relax-o-Vision Running Gag. This is the last straw for Freakazoid and he beats up the creator of the Relax-o-Vision.
- Occurs twice at the end of the PAW Patrol episode: Pups Save a Wedding; between newlyweds Farmer Al and Farmer Yumi, the former using his hat in both instances.