"I told her she would remain a beautiful silhouette against the warm light coming in through the curtains."When a person, more often than not a woman, is shown behind a backlighted screen of some kind, usually during a conversation with a man. The person is often undressing while doing so. Expect her to have to bend down. A lot. Slowly. Expect also that the screen—which is apparently supposed to ensure some form of modesty—will be as thin as paper and positioned right in front of a source of light, leaving absolutely nothing to the imagination and thus utterly defeating its supposed purpose. Compare Censor Shadow and Censor Steam.
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Anime and Manga
- Cowboy Bebop episode "Black Dog Serenade". Faye Valentine's silhouette is seen behind a shower curtain while she is taking a shower.
- The temporarily un-chibified Yuki in Haruhi-chan.
- Done in some of Lupin III, usually with Fujiko.
- Shizuru in Mai-HiME... in Fan Disservice mode, since the scene in question is a flashback of her apparently raping Natsuki in her sleep (although whether it actually happened is debatable).
- Neon Genesis Evangelion, with Rei. Slightly less so in Rebuild of Evangelion.
- Reversed version in One Piece. Califa's silhouette is shown while she is dressing, after she takes a bath in front of Nami to humiliate her.
- R.O.D the TV has Yomiko's Sexy Silhouettes in its opening credits.
- In Tantei Gakuen Q, there is a scene involving Sakurako and Kyuu.
- Parodied in Umisho; various props made it seem like the silhouettes of the undressing girls suddenly grew extra bits.
- Doronjo in Yatterman, especially in the remake.
- Played in a sophisticated manner in Le Petit Spirou, where the curvaceous Maths teacher is seen waiting for a car lift. It's dark and headlights casts a clean shadow of her against a nearby wall. Add the fact her skirt is rather sheer, and that's about as nude as a fully dressed person's shadow can be. Cue slow motion walking.
- Quite a lot of this in Sin City.
- Lyla Lay in Paperinik New Adventures when she changes from her normal clothes to her Time Police armor in the 1997 special.
Films — Animation
Films — Live-Action
- Played with in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Eddie sees what he thinks is the silhouette of Jessica Rabbit in a hotel window, but once he gets up there, much to his horror it turns out to be the hideous Lena Hyena.
- Speaking of rabbits, Lola Bunny intentionally makes one as she enters the arena at the start of the game in Space Jam.
- Austin Powers
- Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery Alotta Fagina did one of these in her room while Austin sat there watching.
- Played with in the second Austin Powers movie, with the tent scene.
- Used in some Busby Berkeley Numbers.
- The second The Cannonball Run movie had some girls changing in the back seat with a blanket hanging in front—when a track pulls up behind with high beams to highlight them perfectly. Burt Reynolds and Dom De Luise (who think that the ladies are nuns—they're actually just actresses just playing nuns) are practially biting their lips in the front seat.
- Spoofed in The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult when Tanya (Anna Nicole Smith) undresses behind a screen but reveals a Biggus Dickus, much to the chagrin of Frank Drebin and Rocco. With a 90-degree angle!
- Played straight in The Shadow, when Penelope Ann Miller's character strips behind one of these while talking to Alec Baldwin's character.
- In Sherlock Holmes, Irene Adler does this to Sherlock Holmes.
- Played around with in Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Robin and Marian are both behind a curtain that they don't know is see-through, and Robin, as he finishes an incredibly overdone opera-style love song, drops to one knee, causing his sword scabbard to rise up like a...you know.
- A character arc point in A Very Brady Sequel revolves around Greg and Marcia watching each other in this way. Then, they figure out that, well, if Roy is alive, then, well...yeah.
- In Leap Year, this trope is played with when Amy Adams showers, unaware that her love interest is watching her silhouette through the curtain—he points this out to embarrass her, and then gives her a similar show.
- Nicolette Sheridan got one in Beverly Hills Ninja. And so did Chris Farley.
- In No Good Deed (2002), Erin (Milla Jovovich) has a shower in front of Jack (Samuel L. Jackson), who is tied to a chair. As Jack tries to escape in the foreground, in the background, we see Erin's shapely body behind the shower door.
- In Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, when the T-X walks down the street naked, her whole body from behind is covered in shadow. It's quite sexy.
- And in Terminator Genisys, Kyle Reese watches Sarah Connor's shadow as they both strip off for Time Travel.
- When Rita unrobes in the bedroom in Mulholland Dr., we see little more than just her silhouette against the light coming in through the window behind her.note
- Willow in a scene from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Ohhhh.
- T'Pol (Jolene Blalock) in the "Carbon Creek" episode of Enterprise.
- Rachel does it in the hospital during the "Laryngitis" episode of Glee, prompting Finn's rendition of "Jessie's Girl".
- Eureka's Jo Lupo (Erica Cerra) while taking a shower in "Momstrosity".
- In an episode, George visits his mother at the hospital and sees the silhouette of her roommate getting a sponge bath from a sexy nurse. He revisits at the same time the next day just to see that happen again.
- In the episode when he and Jerry are Mistaken for Gay, he sees the exact same thing happen with a male nurse and a male patient.
- Truck Stop features the "Mudflap girl" silhouette on a playfield road sign, along with the caption "Dangerous Curves".
- The Crystal Flash move in Super Metroid has Samus surrounded by a blinding corona of energy, with only her silhouette, stark naked- it's even more apparent in the "official artwork", that she's naked as the day she was born and shows a very nice view of her bottom.
- Played with in Luigi's Mansion with Miss Petunia, the Bathing Beauty. Luigi encounters her in a bathroom where he can see a svelte woman taking a bath behind the curtain, but once he moved it, Miss Petunia is actually a pig-like Brawn Hilda. It might have more signification that a simple joke, as some background information revealed that she used to look beautiful, enough to be the Miss Ghost runner-up from six years before the events of the game.
- The "mudflap girl" silhouette, popularized since The '70s on semi tractors and pickup trucks, is arguably the most famous version of this trope.
- A WW2 cartoon had two ARP wardens perving on a woman who'd forgotten to draw her blackout drapes, leaving her silhouetted against the curtains. "We'll give her another 20 minutes, then fine her."