"You never see anything anyway. They always, uh, turn the camera, and...play music and...y'know, the wind blows and then the curtain moves. You don't see anything."
Two characters have been talking, talking has turned to kissing, and as kissing starts to turn to... other things (and clothes start coming off), the camera suddenly decides to look elsewhere. The view pans away as it fades to black
or rests upon an intimate but innocuous object like a burning candle, the curtains of the open window or the door being closed. We're not supposed to care about this particular subject. It's just how the writer and the director say, "Okay, they're going to have sex now. Let's give them their privacy".
This shot can be turned into a passage-of-time montage
, e.g. a dissolve shows the candle going from just-lit to guttering, or the darkened window now gleams with the rays of the rising sun. When the camera wanders back we see our couple post-coitus, cuddled up for some pillow talk or slumbering peacefully beneath their Modesty Bedsheet
. Sometimes this dissolve will include an actual clock, giving a clearer indication of the couple's... stamina (this is occasionally spoofed when the time elapsed is only a few minutes
, implying the moment of passion was neither long nor particularly satisfying).
If it's the woman's first time, you may see a flower drop to the floor
to represent the loss of her "innocence."
This trope is useful for various reasons. If the Censorship Bureau
simply does not allow depictions of sex, this gets the idea across to the audience without showing anything that would offend the Moral Guardians
. It can also be used in works that would permit explicit sex scenes, either for a certain retro effect or because that particular sex scene does not play a significant role in the story
Similar tropes include Dress Hits Floor
, Don't Come A-Knockin'
, Kissing Discretion Shot
, Take Our Word for It
, Coitus Ensues
(if the scene doesn't
fade to black), Sexy Coat Flashing
, Something Else Also Rises
. This may be a result of Crashing Through the Harem
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- In Maria-sama ga Miteru, the Discretion Shot actually pans away before a kiss between two girls, and then back (all that happens is a kiss) — apparently the camera has some very old-timey sensibilities. In another case, it pans away when a character unbuttons her pyjama jacket to show a scar on her chest to another character.
- In Neon Genesis Evangelion, there is a scene between Misato and Kaji. The viewers are treated to a view of a glass filled with water.
- "Don't put strange things in there!"
- Also subverted in both episode 25 of the TV series and from "End of Evangelion"; both during Misato and Shinji's experience during Instrumentality, respectively. Only her feet are visible.
- In hentai show Parade Parade there technically is sex going on (it's hentai after all), but the camera moves off center for a second to focus on a glass off ice which apparently is melting from the heat of their passion.
- In Bleach: Ultimately averted when Uryu gets moderately injured and gets cared for on the couch of female bount, Yoshino. Eventually they get to talking about how Uryu is the last Quincy and that leads to this:
Yoshino: So you're the only Quincy left.
(Yoshino leans in close)
Yoshino: You must be so lonely....
(Uryu gets visibly flustered)
(Cut to Uryu's friends finding Uryu, who is now in the hospital)
- A notable sex scene occurs, a given because it stands out from the rest of the ambiguous scenes taking place in Akio's car in Revolutionary Girl Utena. During this escapade, Ruka takes Shiori out to Akio's car to discuss Ruka's dueling plans (which is actually a ploy to humiliate Shiori, supposedly to get Juri out of her conflicted mental state). Both of them are then shot shoulders up in a state of undress, and then a few more shots of the car, and then finally, two more shots of them throwing their heads back and sighing happily. Given the ambiguous nature of the show and what happens, just about anyone can see clearly what's happening.
- In Axis Powers Hetalia, this happens right after Greece offers his friend Japan a "private lesson" to improve his sex life.
- Used in Kanamemo episode 11, when canon lesbian couple Yuuki and Yume are seen going to bed together. Cut to an unrelated cartoon sequence ending in an explosion, then the next day Yume sleeping late because she's "exhausted".
- In episode 22 of Macross Frontier, when Sheryl tells Alto to 'give her the courage to sing' and they fall into each other's arms, the camera was angled from outside the room, focusing on the koi swimming in the pond, pans up to the sky and then fades out into outer space. Later on, Alto is shown outside the room, with his jacket suspiciously hanging over his shoulders, as opposed to wearing them normally the scene before. It was vague, but the viewers still had the impression of what had happened.
- In an episode of 009-1, when Mylene starts to have sex with someone, the camera pans away and zooms in on their wine glasses as the glasses start to shake.
- Ranma ½: This trope happens when Soun imagines the possibilities of sending Ranma and Akane to a hot springs resort for some quality time together. The first thing we see is a scene of them in their room all alone. They're sitting there, side by side, and as they reach for a bun at the same time, their hands touch. The camera cuts to a clip of the window, where we see flowers in a vase. Then we hear Akane say, "Oh, Ranma," and the head of one of the flowers falls off completely.
- Happens in the anime adaptation of Berserk when Guts and Casca are making love.
- Takes place in Sailor Moon. At some point Mamoru and Usagi kiss while laying on the floor of his apartment, then the scene ends. The next time they're seen, Usagi is lacking the cute blouse she was wearing under her dress...
- In Koi Kaze, when Koshiro and Nanoka kiss for the first time, they knock an orange off of a table. The scene cuts to a night shot of the orange, still on the floor.
- Secret of Twilight Gemini has two scenes between Lupin and Fujiko:
- The first occurs at their hotel room, during which Lupin is shown eagerly waiting in bed for Fujiko. As soon as she strips down, the scene immediately cuts to the balcony outside their room, allowing the viewer to hear the remainder of their conversation. When Sadachiyo and his men crash through the windows, the motion beneath the covers and Fujiko's moaning leaves no doubt about what she and Lupin were doing.
- About midway through the film, they run into each other again when Lupin infiltrates Morocco's police HQ, while disguised as an officer. After he accidentally spills the beans about the treasure he's after, Fujiko returns the favor by giving him hers. The scene then pans over to the opposite wall, before fading to black.
- Yuugen Kaisha: About halfway into the third Incident File, Mr. Nagasuki and his secretary start going at it hot 'n heavy in his office. The scene shifts to the hallway outside, just as Karino shows up to question him. So when he opens the door, he gets an eyeful, though the door keeps the audience from seeing anything.
*secretary screams from off-camera*
Mr. Nagasuki: (angrily at Karino) "GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!!"
Karino: (closes door, snickering) "Hot action."
- Highschool of the Dead invokes this once in the manga and anime respectively:
- During the bath scene in chapter 6, Rei gropes Shizuka's boobs to see if they're real, due to their enormous size. The very next panel shows Saya's reaction, while Shizuka's cries of "Not THERE! ♥" and "No more! ♥" are seen from just out of frame, along with various sound effect hiragana.
- Midway into the "Drifters of the Dead" OVA special, Saeko and Takashi flee to a secluded area of the island, in an attempt to escape the effects of hallucinogenic fumes. While they're alone, they end up making out with Takashi lying on top of her. From there, the camera pans downward until only their lower legs remain in the frame, stopping just as Saeko spreads her legs for him, with her barefoot resting next to her discarded bikini bottom. The scene then Fades To Black. Sadly, it was all in Takashi's head, since the real Saeko and the others find him still hallucinating while surrounded by a group of bikini-clad zombies.
- Hilariously, Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. has a discretion shot of his large pistol in a holster when he's hugging a Fury girl. Originally, it was just going to show them embracing. The shot was modified by demand of The Comics Code, and the subtext of the gun is more suggestive than the original panel could have hoped to be.
- The newspaper comic Nine Chickweed Lane uses intertwined hands as a visual euphemism (dubbed "handjive" by the fandom).
- In a short story Alan Moore wrote for Omega Men, what is set up to look like a Sexy Discretion Shot turns out to be a Gory Discretion Shot.
- Invoked in a magazine cartoon with two young people watching TV and the boy saying excitedly, "Here's the part I was telling you about! They kiss with all their clothes on, and then the camera just pans up into the trees and leaves it all to your imagination!"
- Mighty Avengers 11. Dr. Doom is in the middle ages, and requested Morgan Le Fey (a Hot Witch who is in fact naked) to instruct him on how to raise an army of zombies. Morgan Le Fey wants something in exchange... and we jump to the present, with Dr. Doom using said army of zombies to defeat the Avengers. At the end of the story, we go back to Le Fey's castle, who wakes up from his bed and notices that Dr. Doom is no longer there.
- In Superman & Batman: Generations II, Dick Grayson as Batman and Barbara Gordon as Batgirl decide to have some private time together in her apartment, with the only hint of anything going on is the same shot of an empty living room couch for three panels with the clock showing how much time has passed.
- The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic "Happy Hearth's Warming" cuts away after the two characters enter the bedroom with this explanation:
I am afraid that I must tell you that I cannot relate the events that occurred in the room for it would be a horrible invasion of their privacy. I hope that you can find it in your hearts to forgive me, my dear readers.
- In a subversion, though, the author later went on to write an uncensored version of the fic...
- Sophistication And Betrayal plays this straight quite often, but also averts it on several occasions. And in one instance, it deliberately uses it for comedy as part of a Bait and Switch.
- Bait and Switch (STO) used this the first two times Eleya and Gaarra slept together (justifiably so, since the fic was first posted on Star Trek Online's official forum).
- The first time the two of them didn't even make it out of Quark's. Cut to Eleya arriving on the USS Bajor's bridge the next morning and getting a "Did You Just Have Sex?" reaction from her first officer.
- The second time they got as far as him unzipping her uniform jacket, then end chapter.
- Averted the third time, but it's still left basically undescribed.
- The Friday the 13th fanfic ''Prologue'' has Barry and Claudette going off into the woods to have sex:
Claudette: Just what was that supposed to mean, hotshot?
- Invoked in Forrest Gump, where Jenny climbs into Forrest's bed and the scene fades to black.
- The Truman Show has a scene of two guys talking about a Discretion Shot, without actually showing the shot itself.
- Spoofed in Top Secret: the hero and heroine have embraced, started kissing, and have gotten to rolling around on the furniture when we pan away to a fireplace. Then they roll onto the floor right in front of the fireplace, so the camera pans away again...to another fireplace.
- The director's cut has them rolling in front of that fireplace, too, forcing the camera to pan to the window...and in the window, you can see a building on fire.
- As if that weren't enough, a few scenes later the shot parodies itself while the characters are parachuting into enemy territory. They start kissing, we pan over to... a fireplace wearing a parachute.
- Also parodied in National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1, where Emilio Estevez and Kathy Ireland are in bed getting ready for it. Pan over to a digital clock. The time advances by one minute, a change of a single digit. Pan back to the bed, where they are smoking cigarettes. Lampshaded later, where Kathy asks if they can actually make love next time instead of just smoking in bed.
- In the gangster spoof Johnny Dangerously, this is parodied (along with Did the Earth Move for You, Too?): the titular character and his love interest start kissing passionately, the camera pans up to some fireworks... and it cuts to another character, who looks up at the fireworks and remarks "Looks like Johnny's getting laid!"
- Serenity has a slightly strange example: Simon and Kaylee start kissing and fall out of the frame, while the camera, staying in place, allows us to see River, peeking at them through a hatch in the ceiling.
- Played with in Click; the camera does pan away, but only far enough to show the remote going automatically to fast forward, and their shadows. The aftershot with the Modesty Bedsheet shows them, but only he's satisfied.
- Parodied many times with shots of a train going through a tunnel, rockets blasting off, etc. The train going into a tunnel wasn't quite a parody when Alfred Hitchcock used it at the end of North By Northwest. This parody was subverted by this Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch, which features a couple kissing before falling onto a bed. Cut to shots of a train entering a tunnel, rockets blasting off, towers rising, waves crashing, Richard Nixon and the Women's Institute applauding, planes crash landing and exploding..... cut back to the women in bed looking disgruntled, who says, "Are you actually going to do anything, or just show me films all evening?" Done in Spy Hard, where the scene cuts to Stock Footage of flowers opening, bees pollinating flowers, and a rocket lifting off... and promptly flying off-course and exploding.
- The Three Musketeers (1973) uses a textbook 'candle dissolves to a much-shorter candle' shot to indicate d'Artagnan has successfully convinced Madame Bonacieux "why, that's the best place for you, bed ..."
- The Maltese Falcon: Sam is leaning in and kissing Brigid in the window, suddenly it's the next morning and the curtains in the window are blowing gently in the sunlight.
- At the end of Robin Hood: Men in Tights Robin and Marian go to unlock her chasity belt after their wedding. The camera pans out onto a skyward view of the area, except (shown through a voice over) Robin can't open her chasity belt and begins calling for a locksmith.
- In The Saragossa Manuscript (1965), the hero embraces two sisters sitting on a bed; the camera remains fixed as the characters sink down out of the frame.
- Subverted in OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies — the secret agent hero and his girl lay back on the bed, the camera pans right, to some flowers in a pot, then it pan right some more — and we "accidentally" see some jerky, inept-looking (fully clothed) sex in a mirror for a few seconds before the camera "realises" what's happened and quickly pans left back to the flowers.
- Avatar, at the Tree of Voices.
- Used in-universe in Cousins during Mitch's showing of his wedding video.
- The Alfred Hitchcock classic To Catch a Thief plays this trope straight, but so hard that it almost seems like a parody. Check out this clip starting at about 40 seconds in.
- In A Place in the Sun, the main character and his girlfriend are slow-dancing in her room. The camera pans over to the window. The rain stops as the sky changes from night to day and her radio now plays static. . .and now we see the man leaving her house. While the pan to the window hinted at it, seeing him leave the house in the daytime confirms that he spent the night with her. The movie was made in 1951 and the scene was likely shot this way to avoid issues with the censors.
- In Me and Orson Welles this trope is both employed (when the image fades to black ofter Sonja invites Richard into the bedroom) and, in its literary form, discussed:
Joseph Cotten: Welcome to "quadruple space", kid.
Joseph Cotten: You know, in a novel, when the main characters are finally about to schtup. They can't describe it, otherwise they can't print the book. They just go, you know, "he hugged her hard, they fell on to the bed", Period, Quadruple space.
- In Maid in Manhattan, the title character and her paramour embrace. The scene fades away to be replaced by a rosy dawn as the camera pans down to them lying in bed in the afterglow.
- Girl with a Pearl Earring: We see Griet passionately kissing Pieter while standing outside a pub at night with her leg up along his side. There's more kissing, heavy breathing and some partial undressing (no nudity). We later see her finishing getting dressed, thus implying additional fooling around or sex.
- The last shot in The Awful Truth is Getting Crap Past the Radar by showing figures of a cuckoo clock moving into the housing together.
- The film noir classic Out of the Past features a scene where the leading man and the femme fatale walk into his villa, she trips and lands on the couch, and the camera decides it would be an ideal time to go outside and have a quick stroll in the Mexican jungle before returning to find the two of them sitting on the couch drinking whisky and laughing.
- Double Subverted in Picasso Trigger during this hot tub sex scene between Hope Marie Carlton and Bruce Penhall. NSFW
- In Candy Stripe Nurses, Candice Rialson spends time with a bored patient and then we find her sitting up naked on his bed with the bedsheets pulled up to her stomach.
- Thesescenes in To Die For.
- Parodied in Being There. Chance learned everything he knows from watching TV. When he tries to handle a romantic situation by imitating a romantic scene in a movie, the Sexy Discretion Shot and Fade to Black leave him a little confused.
- Hardbodies: Kristi teaches Scotty how to use his waterbed in this scene.
- Friday the 13th
- In Friday the 13th Part 2, Ginny enters her cabin, takes her shirt off and reveals her bra. She then puts on her robe and hears a knock on the door; she goes to investigate and is never more than two steps out of her door. Ginny goes back in and Paul surprises her. They kiss and Paul unhooks Ginny's bra underneath her robe. Crazy Ralph is secretly watching them before he's garroted by Jason against the tree he is near. The next morning, Ginnny wakes up alone with "Beware of Bears" written on her mirror in lipstick.
- Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter has a couple of these scenes. The first one has the voyeuristic Tommy Jarvis looking out his bedroom window and watching some of Paul and Samantha's foreplay until he pretends to be asleep and Mrs. Jarvis pulls down the pulls the window shade down. The second scene has Jimmy sitting on the bed while Tina unbuttons her blouse.
- A necessity in the Adrian Lyne adaptation of Lolita as it involves a man having sex with an underage girl (though the events are set in the 50's so there may be a retro look involved too). We see Dolores with Messy Hair, dressed in a pyjama top sitting on the lap of a shirtless Humbert in a No Tell Motel. They rock back and forth in their chair and Dolores starts moaning, then the scene cuts to the overhead fan that's turning with a rhythmic throb.
- In Downstairs, Karl the evil chauffeur finally cajoles Anna the innocent (and married) ladies' maid into kissing him. Cut to the decorative figurine in a snow globe that sits on her table. The camera stays on the snow globe as Karl's coat is thrown on top of it.
- The Big Bounce (2004). Femme Fatale takes off her panties and leads away hunky surfer dude. Cut to surf wave breaking. Cut to her getting naked out of his bed in a Sexy Back shot.
- In Thunderball, James Bond and Fiona Volpe's sex is represented by a Junkanoo parade. Mostly featuring a man playing a loud horn.
- Humongous: Sandy and Eric on the boat in this scene.
- Summer Job has a couple of these scenes. In the first scene, it's implied that Kathy had a threesome with Bob and Tom. In the second scene, Kathy and Bruce have sex in an inflatable tent.NSFW
- In this scene in The Young Nurses, Matt has a physical therapy session with Nurse Kitty in the hydrotherapy tub.
- Bruce Almighty: After telekinetically being given the greatest orgasm in history with Bruce's new God powers, Grace pounces on him, and we simply see the outside of their apartment, as their bedroom light flickers with holy power, and their moans and groans of ecstasy fill the night.
- Oxford Blues: In this scene, Nick De Angelo has a one night stand with the Las Vegas Lady.
- The Princess Bride has a variation of this when Buttercup and Westley reunite at the bottom of the ravine in Guilder. The narrator notes that it's enough to say that they were very excited to meet each other again after three years (five in the movie). In the end it doesn't matter anyway, for fifteen minutes later they're arguing about which direction to go. The movie has Fred Savage insisting that Grandpa Peter Falk skip over the kissing part. Although the short piece "Buttercup's Baby" added to the 25th century edition indicates that Buttercup and Westley didn't actually have sex (in fact, they're both virgins until they conceive the eponymous baby).
- In the book Vamped, the main character/narrator digresses into an aside of this trope, which he called "Insert Fireworks Here". After speaking of his own initial annoyance with the trope, he relates how he came to appreciate its use, then ends the chapter with the stage note "Insert Fireworks Here".
- In one of The Stainless Steel Rat books, the narrator pauses in his description of an impending love scene, handwaving it with something like "and since I never kiss and tell, let's just pull a curtain across that scene."
- Ironically used in the first Dexter novel, wherein the title character is just fine describing gory murder scenes or what he does when the Dark Passenger is driving, but when he and his girlfriend make love for the first time, he is so horrified that he can't bring himself to reflect on it in any detail.
- In Men at Arms, the scene where Carrot and Angua finally succumb to their romantic feelings for each other is summarized thus: "After a while, the bedsprings went glink." The glinkiness of the bedsprings in question had already been established as a Running Gag in the scene.
- Almost certainly takes place between Dido and Aeneas in The Aeneid. The two and many others go out in a hunting party but find themselves stranded alone in a cave when a rainstorm hits, and suddenly the narrator becomes very interested in describing the weather outside and doesn't get back to them for a while. When they emerge from the cave, much later, he makes an offhand remark about how Dido now considers them practically married, while Aeneas... does not so much.
- Dorothy L. Sayers, author of the Lord Peter Wimsey series, apparently had quite definite feelings about preserving her characters' modesty (even by the standards of the times); Busman's Honeymoon has entire chapters devoted to the cause of making it clear, without referring to a single body part, that Peter and Harriet are doing rather well, thank you.
- Lampshaded in So Long And Thanks For All The Fish, where Douglas Adams blatantly starts talking to the audience and telling them that if they don't care to read about Arthur and Fenchurch's impending sex scenes, they can skip ahead to the next chapter.
- Done in Somoza's The Athenian Murders by way of Literary Agent Hypothesis: a scene depicting an orgy is written on damaged papyrus, so that only (suggestive) fragments remain.
- In the Star Trek: Myriad Universes story The Chimes at Midnight, this got played rather straight between Saavik and Davik Marcus:
[...]Their lips met, and in perfect unison their bodies slowly sank down to the ground.
On the distant horizon, another volcanic mountaintop erupted, its hot magma shooting forth into the air. And the ground once again trembled, shaken by nature's primal throes.
- In Breaking Dawn, Edward and Bella arrive at their honeymoon destination. She takes a shower and goes out on the beach where Edward is. She takes her towel off, he pulls her into his arms and... Oh look, it's the next morning.
- A parody of The Hays Code in I Am America (And So Can You!) includes the rule, "If a scene includes a train entering a tunnel, the tunnel shall not be portrayed as enjoying it."
- Because the narration is written in a parody of 19th century novels (especially those of Dumas), in Paarfi narrated sections of Dragaera novels, sex scenes tend to be given this kind of treatment. For example, in the section of Tiassa narrated by Paarfi, there's a scene where Khaavren, who is Happily Married comes home and he and his wife are chatting and being kind of intimate (they like to give each other massages) and Khaavren is talking about how busy he is, but at least he's free for the rest of the evening. Then Paarfi comes in and says something to like "History does not report what they did for the rest of the evening, so he will draw a curtain over that".
- In the Edith Wharton short story "Summer", the protagonist and her soon-to-be lover kiss at the town festival. The reader is promptly treated to a long paragraph offering an elaborate description of fireworks going off.
- In the novel Madame Bovary, the eponymous character and her current paramour get into her carriage, intending to talk. The reader soon realizes that the description of the carriage rocking back and forth is representing something else.
- In The Woman with the Velvet Necklace, Hoffman and Arsene, after a wild evening of piano playing and dancing, fall into bed together. Cut to the next morning. When Arsene turns out to have been Dead All Along.
- Spy High gives Ben and Cally one of these at the end of Calista Green, fading out of the scene as they snuggle in bed together after reuniting.
- One of the stories that made up Poul Anderson's Operation Chaos is the honeymoon of the main characters. As they ride a Flying Carpet, with the autopilot set, the one narrating describes the romantic setting, "and nothing else is any of your business."
- One of the Literary Review's "Bad Sex in Fiction" awards went to a sex scene in which a bunch of unconnected, evocative images play in the head of a female character, who must have seen way too many movies.
- In A Series of Unfortunate Events, Violet and Quigley have a similar situation where they are implied to be about to kiss before the narrator decided to give them privacy.
- Occurs a few times in the tales of Ciaphas Cain, as the chapter ends on a suggestive comment and the next one starts a day or so later. At one point, Cain's love interest Amberley (who is the in-universe editor of the stories) cuts out a section because "it covers personal matters of no interest to anyone else".
- At a certain point during Sparhawk's wedding night in The Sapphire Rose, the camera decides to look out the window at the rising full moon.
- Done repeatedly in Jurgen as a not entirely successful way of Getting Crap Past the Radarnote - Jurgen repeatedly has conversations with his love interests full of suggestive remarks about lances, spears, swords and whatnot, but because all the conversations take place in pitch darkness, the narrative doesn't actually say that Jurgen was doing anything. Becomes a plot point towards the end of the novel, when the goddess who gave Jurgen his youth back, and has been secretly spying on him for the entire novel through his shadow, remarks that she would have punished him if he'd misused the gift of youth to seduce women, but luckily for him she never saw him do anything like that.
- Boris Pasternak's poem Winter Night does the "pan to the candle" variety, repeatedly.
Live Action TV
- Rod Stewart's song "Do You Think I'm Sexy?". The listener is treated to a long musical interlude as the protagonist arrives home with his one-night stand, and the interlude ends with them waking up the next morning, quite happy and content.
- "Fade to Black" by Dire Straits is a variation, with the singer imagining what the woman is doing with someone else.
- "Behind Closed Doors" by Charlie Rich. The title explains itself.
- In Aida, Radames and Aida embrace passionately at the end of their duet "Elaborate Lives". The scene fades out. Their positions vary when it fades back in—sometimes she's fully dressed, other times, her dress is wrapped around her in Modesty Bedsheet style. But the fact that he's shirtless makes it pretty obvious what's happened between them.
- In Miss Saigon, the lights begin to dim as Chris and Kim undress, then fade out completely as they get into bed. There's similar staging during his later love scene with Ellen.
- West Side Story. At the end of their duet "Somewhere", Tony and Maria kiss and sink from view. By the time the scene returns to her room, it's obvious what's transpired—they're both wearing little more than their underwear.
- Possibly in The Phantom of the Opera. The lights go out at the conclusion of "Music of the Night", leading to endless speculation by fans that sex may have occurred between the Phantom and Christine.
- In South Pacific, Joe takes off his shirt, Liat removes hers. . .and the lights go out as they embrace and fall to the floor.
- Wicked has a variation in "As Long As You're Mine", which is pretty obviously about sex. The lights dim, and theatrical fog covers everything below the actors' chest as they kiss and embrace, implying that they're doing it.
- Lampshaded in Allegro: Joe is carrying Jenny off to bed, and the Greek Chorus says, "That's all, brother!" as the lights fade.
- Nathan and Richard are really clearly having sex in Thrill Me— up to and including kissing, pulling clothing off, and having a written contract signed in blood that they'll have sex at certain times (yep), but the lights always shift before anything actually happens.
- Sex scenes in the Assassin's Creed games always fade to black or skip ahead to later before you see much more than some kissing:
- In the beginning of Assassins Creed II, Ezio pays Cristina a visit. A quick-time event lets you slide off her dress, but the view is of her back, and after he pushes her towards the bed, the scene skips to the next morning, where we are given a fascinating view of the house as we hear Cristina's father open her door and find the two together.
- Later in the same game, Desmond has a dream that follows Altaïr's memory of chasing someone around Acre. When they both get to the top of the tower, the "target" is revealed to be Maria. Much to Desmond's surprise, they begin to kiss passionately. The scene briefly pans over them from a greater distance; then the scene fades to black and jumps ahead to them both lying on a bed of straw, though for some reason they are still fully clothed (which in Altaïr's case includes several layers of Assassin robes and all his weapons and armor).
- Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood once again ends Ezio's first day with a sexual encounter, this time courtesy of Caterina Sforza. She approaches him in her underthings while he's having a bath, and they start kissing before it fades out and jumps ahead to the next morning — where once again Ezio and his lover are rudely awakened.
- Maybe the Animus has a built-in censorship feature?
- In the Fable games, the player can choose to sleep with their spouse, lover, or a prostitute. Doing so cuts to a black screen, with the partner's comments heard.
- In Star Control 2 you can seduce Captain Talana. The screen goes black, but you can still read their sexy dialog: "Cowabunga!"
- In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the player can choose to sleep with his girlfriends. If he does so, the camera shows the outside of the house while you hear the sounds of love. Amusingly, Rockstar was actually planning to allow the player to control the sex scenes, but wisely changed the game to prevent it. When a man later discovered them, it spawned the infamous Hot Coffee mod controversy.
- It also happens in the intro to the "Gone Courting" mission, where Catalina decides to jump C.J.'s bones, and from what she brings into the encounter in question, she's into S&M in a big way.
- Not to mention, the player can pick up hookers on the street and take them to a quiet area for some fun. This causes the car to rock violently, but nothing can be viewed... Unless you change the camera to see inside the car, when both the player's character and his prostitute just sitting there, facing forward and not moving, the sounds apparently coming from nowhere.
- This is itself averted in Grand Theft Auto IV. If you sleep with Niko's girlfriend you get the Sexy Discretion Shot. If you hire a prostitute and swing the camera around you can see exactly what's she's doing.
- Averted as well in Red Dead Redemption, where in one of the missions John stumbles upon Abraham Reyes railing a peasant girl on a table.
- Similiar to GTA, God of War also allows the player to get some action off-screen, while pressing the displayed buttons. Subverted in 3. While you're boinking Aphrodite offscreen, her handmaidens are doing foreplay onscreen.
- In Disgaea 3, a Horny Devil teaches a class on how to "influence" people. We don't see her "lecture", just the male characters' reactions.
- In Persona 3 and Persona 4 when the main character is alone with one of his love interests (after maxing her Social Link), the screen will fade out with some sort of statement about 'spending a long time together' or 'sharing an intimate moment'. Even better with Naoto. She gives you one of a pair of watches that have a simple tracking mechanism. Shortly after, the screen fades to black and there's only one message. "Distance < 1m"
- Overlord does this when you've bought everything your romantic interest wants. The one with the "good" (more psychotically obsessed with order) option girl is particularly amusing as you catch her increasingly out of breath lecture on military tactics. One will never react to the phrase "pincher movement" the same again.
- Metal Gear
- In the denouement of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, a romantic evening between Naked Snake and EVA ends with the camera panning over to the fireplace before cutting to Snake waking up, bare chested. If the player manages to make it all the way to the waterfall cave without extracting the Tracking Device from Snake's leg, you'll be treated to a rather amusing lampshade of this trope. But with his pants on...
- And in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, a cutscene shows Naomi and Otacon dancing around some awkward flirting, near-kisses, and UST before (at her request) he shows her to a private bunk on the plane (presumably, so she wouldn't have to bunk with the lads). She vanishes within, and he loiters outside it for a minute or so before she reaches out and yanks him inside. End cutscene.
- If Big Boss successfully manages to reach maximum affection with Paz or Kaz in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, and chooses to have sex with them, we see his partner hop inside his cardboard box with him, which then starts jostling suggestively as little hearts appear above it.
- One of the cities in Jagged Alliance 2 has an, um, establishment where, if you drop a few hundred bucks to the nice madam at the door, the usual map view changes to a smiley face while happy noises and glinking bed-springs are heard. (The scene is not accessible in all versions of the game, though.)
- In Final Fantasy VII. The night before the final battle Cloud tries confessing his love to Tifa. When he is unable to find the words Tifa suggests expressing how he feels without words. Cue fade to black. With Cloud and Tifa laying on each other the next morning.
- The romance scenes in Mass Effect 2, which may have been a reaction to all the hubbub surrounding the ones in the first game. The most we get is a shot of Miranda's undergarments, the others cut out before either party starts taking anything off.
- Jade Empire gives us the kiss for different-sex couples and some lines implying that more is about to happen, but nothing more than that. The same-sex couples fade to black before the kiss even happens. If you manage to romance both Dawn Star and Silk Fox, they will both be happy to share a tent with you, but it still fades to black before you kiss either.
- The PC title Leisure Suit Larry loves this trope, as it is by nature, a tongue-in-cheek sex comedy. Most noteworthy is the use of it in Larry 7, when nudist Drew Baringmore shouts that Larry look her in the eyes seconds before the wandering camera gets a chance to reach too far down below her chest. And averted in Larry 7 if you look for the easter eggs. If Larry is wearing earplugs, he will fail to hear Drew's request to look at her eyes and the camera will continue wandering down. If you get 100% completion, you're also treated to a second or two of Larry and Captain Thygh doing the nasty.
- Farah and the Prince get one in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.
- Used in Conquests of the Longbow with a lampshade from the narrator about giving the characters some privacy.
- In Defender Of The Crown, when the player rescues a Damsel in Distress they are treated to a cutscene that shows the two of them having a late night rendezvous where the female drops her clothes to the floor (although she's seen from behind so no actual nudity is shown). The game then cuts to a shot from outside the window where the silhouettes of the two lovers embrace before the screen fades to black.
- In The Order of the Stick, the "camera" pulls away to a view of the outside of the inn as Elan and Haley start making out.
- In Misfile: Missi tries to kiss Ash, but is Denied. Missi proclaims her desire, so Ash goes for it. Missi pushes Ash back on the bed... oh, look, there's one of those mood candles!
- In the Ciem Webcomic Series, scenes were constantly cutting out right after a makeout scene.
- In Doc Rat, two shots of the door to the honeymoon suite.
- Seen in Magick Chicks, between Faith and her boyfriend, Ash, while they're making out in the park. In the first panel, here, Ash's thumb is hooked in the waistband of her panties, pulling them partway down. The very next scene, shows them getting dressed.
- Sandra on the Rocks does this by immediately cutting away to Sandra's reaction, once her manager and her ex-husband throw themselves at each other after their shouting match. Which leads to an hour of off-panel Destructo-Nookie.
- Vampire Cheerleaders: After failing to silence Leonard, near the end of vol.1, Lori resorted to buying his silence by implementing "Plan BC": which called for the cheerleading team to screw him senseless. In the very next scene, he happily agreed to keep mum about them being vampires.
- One Protectors of the Plot Continuum episode has just-married Agents going to the Room of Requirement for a break from a Mary Sue, and skips from when they're obviously about to get Ready for Lovemaking to when they're lying together sometime after sex.
- The Phase novels in the Whateley Universe: Phase and his girlfriend Vox are no longer virgins. But every time such a scene occurs, Phase (the narrator) skips over the details. Once he flat out tells the reader 'it's none of your business'.
- Done in Dragon Ball Abridged to show Vegeta and Bulma's first time, though it's mainly because the abridgers have to work with what source material they have. The sounds left very little to the imagination.
- This happens occasionally in the DCAU.
- Batman: Mask of the Phantasm does this twice with Bruce Wayne and Andrea Beaumont (one in flashback). Both times, the camera pans away to a slightly ajar doorway, in which Alfred appeared, muttered a quick "Oh my", and moved away. But subverted the first time, as the camera pans to them making out on the grass. The second time however, it is made clear exactly what went on off screen, especially in the scene afterwards, it shows Andrea sitting on the balcony gazing at the sea, wearing nothing but Bruce's shirt. Bruce himself is seen wearing nothing but pants.
- Justice League: After finally admitting they have feelings for each other John Stewart and Shayera Hol kiss for the first time on a recovery bed, with the backdrop of space lighting the area. It then cuts to a woman who'd been seen earlier playing a slot machine at a Las Vegas casino winning the jackpot and proclaiming "finally!"
- On Batman Beyond Terry and Ten are kissing, then fall onto Terry's bed and the camera slowly moves away… Also in the episode "Sneak Peek" in which Terry watches a news program "The Inside Peek" that exposes secrets, especially one involving Paxton Powers. We see him grabbing a girl with his towel and it cuts to Terry's awkward look which leads to this scene:
Matt: What are they doing?
Terry: This isn't for you. [puts hand on Matt's face blocking his view]
Matt: I wanna see, I wanna see!
[Mary turns off TV]
Terry and Matt: Hey!
Mary: I don't want you watching this.
- While Granpa Phil reads Arnold's father's journal on Hey Arnold! he accidentally stumbles upon the chapter of their wedding night...
Granpa: "It was the hottest night the jungle had ever had..." *starts mumbling as we see Miles and Stella move in on each other, then promptly closes the book* "Okay Arnold, time for bed!"
- South Park subverts this trope for laughs. Instead of changing the shot during a provocative scene, it switches from two women about to kiss to the two women having sex.
- The Simpsons: Not shying away about sex even when left to the imagination, this trope happens in several episodes:
- The episode "Grade School Confidential" has Principal Skinner and Edna Krabappel having a conversation, eating applesauce, and then making out in Edna's apartment only to have sex on the kitchen floor; thus explained with the Charlie Brown Wax Candle burning down to its feet.
- "Insane Clown Poppy": In Krusty's flashback about how Krusty met Sophie's mother in the Gulf War, we see Krusty and her kissing and embracing each other in a army tent and then it pans to the window shot of the burning torches in the desert which 'burned out' like candles in the morning.
Krusty: There was your mother — looking like a beautiful mirage. Maybe it was the anthrax in the air, maybe it was the fact that the Arab women weren't biting, whatever it was, it was magic.
- "She Used to Be My Girl": After rescuing Chloe, Barney is rewarded with pity sex in which we see the shot of the helicopter humping up and down.
- "Treehouse of Horror XVI": Happens at the end of the second segment, "Survival of the Fattest"; it concludes with Marge and Homer having sex, only to have commentator Terry Bradshaw as the 'Discretion' shot.
- "The Devil Wears Nada": Near the end in which Marge and Homer have sex; cut to shaking family pictures in the living room, cut to Santa's Little Helper and a poodle nose rubbing in the doghouse, and finally cut to birds forming the shape of a heart.
- "Dangerous Curves": In a scene in this flashback episode, Ned and Maude (seducing him modestly) kiss and then turns out the lights, only to cut to Homer and Marge, unmarried and separated in different rooms.
- Subverted in the flashback episode "And Maggie Makes Three" in this scene after Homer and Marge spent a romantic evening celebrating their new life:
Homer: [sighs] I love you, Marge.
Marge: I love you too, Homey.
Homer: Everything in our lives is finally perfectly balanced. I hope things stay exactly like this forever.
Marge: Mm hmm.
[Cut to several sperm with Homer's head racing to an egg, then to Homer demonstrating how they swim]
Marge: Did you have to be so graphic?
Homer: It's OK, Marge: they pave the way for this kind of filth in school.
- "Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy". After telling Abe about how weak their sex life is, Abe gives Homer some tonic to improve his sex life with Marge leading to shots of a train going into a tunnel, a rocket blasting off, and hot dogs falling in a factory which pans back to reveal Bart, Lisa and Maggie in a movie theater watching stock footage of all three.
- "Catch 'Em If You Can": Near the end of the episode in which Homer and Marge finally make love, which we don't see explicitly, in an inflated castle floating in the Niagra river.
- The very end of "Colonel Homer" in which Homer and Marge are making out and before they have sex, Homer throws his white cowboy hat toward the screen blacking it out till the credits appear.
- "Black Widower": Happens after the end of Sideshow Bob and Selma's honeymoon video:
Sideshow Bob: Oh, Selma dear. You and your little camera. Whaddya say we shut it off for awhile...
Selma: ...and make love?
[Selma removes the sheets. Revealing her nude offscreen]
Sideshow Bob: [sighs] I suppose.
Marge: Aww, that's sweet.
- "A Star is Born Again": After a concert, Ned Flanders, after consulting bible verses before he engages into pre-marital sex with Sara Sloane, makes out with her on the picnic carpet. Then it cuts to sunrise and it pans down showing both Ned and Sarah naked under the sheets along with their clothes lying on the grass.
- "Treehouse of Horror XVIII": Near the end of "Mr. and Ms. Simpson" in which Homer and Marge kiss each other passionately realizing they're more attracted then ever, after killing Chief Wiggum together. Cuts to both of them lying on Wiggum's body and under a sheet in the morning.
- "The Burns and the Bees": To keep Lisa's bees from becoming extinct, Homer and Moe conduct a plan to mate them using Africanized bees:
Moe: Now lets give them some privacy while they get down with the buzziness.
[Homer and Moe play "Sea of Love" record, light candles and dim lights]
- Family Guy
- Lampshaded in the episode, "Welcome Back, Carter", when Carter Pewterschmidt first meets his later wife, Barbara:
Carter: Now, let's kiss while the camera pans over to the drapes!
(camera pans to the drapes)
Carter: Good stuff happening here! All implied.
- Also done in a later episode, when Meg daaydreams about her and the boy she likes being the only humans left. Their spacesuits start being unzipped, and then they go below the camera while a little ditty is sung about the fact that they are having space sex below the camera.
- Futurama In the episode "The Late Phillip J. Fry", Bender makes out and has robotic sex with another female robot off-screen which disturbs Fry.
- "The Prisoner of Benda": Happens between Fry, who's in Zoidberg's body, and Leela, who's in Professor Farnworth's body, when both argue and do disgusting acts at each other when they're on a date only to have them make out on the table. Later, we see them in bed naked in the same bodies, after making love.
- "Put Your Head On My Shoulder": Double Subverted. After talking with each other while driving on Mercury and then using up all fuel on the car, Fry and Amy look at each other seductively. Then hours later, as described with the sun setting downwards, a tow driver wipes the glass of Amy's car revealing them to play cards inside. Then, when Amy's car towed, both Fry and Amy immediately make out on the floor of the car and you know the rest...
- "Amazon Women in the Mood": The "Snu-Snu" scenes with Fry, Zapp and Kif.
- "A Flight To Remember": One scene with Bender and the Countess parodies the sex scene from James Cameron's Titanic.
- "A Biclops Built For Two": Happens between Leela and Alcazar after he tells her the history about their heritage.
- "How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back": Happens between Fry and Morgan Proctor in Bender's closet. Morgan sees Fry as she unbuttons her blouse before proceding to have sex with fry. Cut to Bender walking with a candle he made for Fry and then walking in on both Fry and Morgan naked under the sheets.
- "Mother's Day": Happens between Professor Farnsworth and Mom when attempting to seduce her to get the robot controls from her bra only for Farnsworth to throw away the bra blinded by his lust for Mom. Later, the rest of the Planet Express crew barged in the house and after Fry opens the bedroom door, we see both Farnsworth and Mom in bed naked.
- Surprisingly enough for a show mostly intended for kids, Ben 10: Ultimate Alien did one between Darkstar and Charmcaster, though it was done in a way subtle enough to have only older audience see it.
- The Drawn Together episode "Captain Hero's Marriage Pact" shows a disturbing but hilarious version. It can't really be described concisely. Just watch the clip. Subverted at the end: this scene is something that CH and Xandir are watching on TV.
- Implied to have happened in the Adventure Time episode "Breezy". Finn pecks Lumpy Space Princess on the lips, but LSP wants to swim in the "deep end," not the "kiddie pool." Cut to a while later and the two of them in separate sleeping bags, with Finn looking equally contemplative and traumatized.
- King of the Hill: Happens quite a lot whenever Nancy Gribble goes off with John Redcorn for her "migriane treatments".