Spent the night at James', did we? Elaine:
Yeah, but we reversed positions, so there was no funny business. Jerry:
Reversed positions? Elaine:
Yeah, you know, head to toe. Jerry:
So what? Your genitals are still lined up. Elaine:
No, because I slept with my back to him. (long pause)
Two characters have to share a room for the night. Just one problem — there is only one bed, and the characters aren't in a relationship.
A source of embarrassment, UST
, or at the very least fuel for shippers
everywhere, this is when two who aren't in a relationship (at the time) have to share a bed, for whatever reason.
It speaks to one's character if they insist on sleeping on the floor (or, in slightly more luxurious settings, the couch); often this will make the other upset that they then have to "owe" that person. It also speaks of their character if they demand the other
person take the floor.
If one of the characters is a woman, then she will almost always end up with the bed
due to one of two scenarios. The first is the woman forces the poor guy to sleep on the floor and the second is the Nice Guy
volunteering to do so.
See also Innocent Cohabitation
, Sleep Cute
. Contrast with Sleeping Single
. See: Exiled to the Couch
for when married or romantic couples kick someone out as punishment, possibly for Blanket Tug O War
(which also affects non-romantic couples as well).
Shows up in far
too many fanfics to attempt documentation. Usually played for shipping purposes, but can occasionally be used for comedic value.
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Anime & Manga
- Koyuki and Maho (LOTS of UST there) of BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad share a single bed in an episode where she crashes at his house, but nothing ends up happening between them.
- Amnesiac Makoto in Kanon insists on sleeping with Yuuichi because Pirozhki the cat is sleeping with him one night. It turns out there's another reason, and then we all get really, really sad.
- Conan and Ran in Detective Conan. Ran doesn't think anything of sleeping in the same bed as her little friend during one dangerous night, not knowing who he actually is; Conan is distracted enough by it to not be able to focus on the case. And in a subversion, this saves Ran's life, as she had been targeted by the killer of the case and he attacks them right after they go to bed; since Conan was still awake, he managed to push Ran aside so she won't be hit by said killer's axe, and this woke up Ran and allowed her to repel the killer's following attack.
- Since Nanoha and Fate's large room with large fluffy bed (Which at a casual glance appears to be large enough to comfortably sleep at least five people) in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Striker S was specifically built with them in mind, Nanoha/Yuuno and Nanoha/Fate fans argue whether they should fall under this trope or Shipping Bed Death.
- Futari wa Pretty Cure, to the delight of yuri shippers everywhere.
- Yes! Pretty Cure 5 took it further with its expanded cast (five members). Much further. Further enough that shippers of all kinds decided it was probably best not to read any meaning into it.
- In Doki Doki Pretty Cure, when Rikka spends nights with Mana, they sleep in two futons next to each other. The very close futons can be considered as one bed. Makoto spends a night with Mana, too. Also Alice spent some nights with Mana.
- Les Yay Up to Eleven, when Mana sleeps together with Regina in one bed, holding hands each other. The following events make it tragic...
- Lina and Gourry from The Slayers have to share a room in a tavern. Lina insists that Gourry takes the bed, but at the end they both sleep on the floor, since Gourry thinks it's not chivalrous to sleep comfortably while she's not.
- Subverted two ways in Code Geass. When C.C. shows up unexpectedly and enters Pretty Freeloaders mode, she immediately takes over Lelouch's bed, remarking "A gentleman would sleep on the floor." A few episodes later they're sharing the bed, but there's absolutely no sexual tension because Lelouch doesn't even treat C.C. like a human being (let alone a woman), and C.C.'s too jaded to really care. And it's a big bed, so they don't exactly have to spoon.
- This actually became something of a Running Gag amongst Doujin writers, with C.C. often repeating the "a gentleman would take the floor" line and kicking Lelouch out of bed as soon as they're finished having sex.
- In Patlabor Gotoh and Shinobu get stuck in a major storm on their way back from a conference. The only place they find to stay is a love hotel, which naturally only has a single bed. He offers to sleep on the couch, of course. The situation is complicated by Gotoh's blatant crush on Shinobu.
- In Fatal Fury: the Motion Picture, Shiranui Mai is all a-twitter that the hotel room she and her boyfriend Andy Bogard are staying in only has one bed. Andy is often more focused on staying fit and prepared in case he finds himself having to fight someone more than indulging in his flirtatious girlfriend. Andy sleeps on the couch just to spite her advances.
- Ran and Midori from Telepathy Shoujo Ran share a bed on several occasions.
- Parodied in Candy Boy, when Sakuya imagines a king sized bed for what what would happen in Spring if she and Kanade shared a room, in which Sakuya custom designed. Kanade replies, to herself, with "Wait, why is there only one bed?" with an obviously annoyed look on her face.
- In one arc of Shugo Chara!, Ikuto lives in Amu's room for while. Amu tries to make him sleep on the floor but Ikuto, being Ikuto, just crawls back in the bed.
- In Ranma One Half, for reasons that make sense in context, Ranma and Akane have to pretend to be married. Which means to keep up the ruse, they have to share Akane's room for the night. The trope isn't played out, as Ranma sleeps on the floor.
- By a third party's intervention in Dual, Kazuki and Mitsuki are not only forced to spend a night together, but also nude. It doesn't help that of the Harem, she's the least active in looking for his affection.
- Fushigi Yuugi has this happen twice in the manga. In the first instance, Miaka and Tamahome are fresh into the relationship but were placed unconsciously in a single bed to get some battle injuries healed (it's not that kind of healing, but they still get bonus points for having been deprived entirely of clothes by Taiitsukun); the next time, Tamahome ends up on the floor due to Virgin Power and all that, but after a tender little conversation, he goes up to Miaka's bed and promptly falls asleep before they get to third base. The anime only has the first instance.
- Ghost in the Shell provides us with an episode in 2nd Gig where the Motoko goes to Taiwan to investigate a lead in the Individual Eleven case. She helps a young pickpocket get away from a local Triad gang and even lets him bunk in her hotel room for the night. The bed itself was large enough that both of them could spread eagle and not touch each other or the sides of the bed. Subverted in that when the kid asks if cyborgs can have sex, Motoko half-jokingly offers, and he refuses. Stupid kid...
- In the manga version of Vision of Escaflowne, Van and Hitomi are in a room with only one bed. Van says to her that he can't stand brats like her, but he won't mind sharing the bed. Hitomi punches him and demands that he sleeps on the floor.
- In Asobi ni Iku yo! after Kio's house becomes the Catian Embassy and Aoi and Manami get drafted as its security detail, they end up sharing Kio's bed, having ejected Kio himself to the couch.
- In Spice and Wolf, Holo teases Lawrence about saving money by taking a room with a single bed. It doesn't really matter, since they usually sleep together in a not-particularly spacious cart while traveling anyway.
- In Axis Powers Hetalia, whether or not there is an extra bed at Germany's house we will never know, because Italy insists on sleeping in the same bed as him — either naked (original comic) or in his undies (anime).
- Goes from awful to absolute worst in the Midori Days manga. The class goes to a ski resort, and Seiji and Ayase get lost in a snowstorm. Freezing cold, they decide to spend the night in an awkwardly-placed love hotel, with one bed. Ayase divides the bed with a blanket - that doesn't stop things when they accidentally start up some of the... kinkier mechanics of the bed. And then the entire class finds them.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion's only episode with Kaworu shows him sharing his bedroom with Shinji. However, Shinji insists on sleeping on the floor since he asked Kaworu to let him spend the night there in the first place.
- No. 6: In the novels, it is expressly stated that Nezumi and Sion share a bed at night.
- Creo The Crimson Crisis has Creo use this as her excuse as to why she climbed into bed with Suou when she was asleep. Suou and her sister Akane don't buy it, and it probably wasn't helped by the fact that Creo was naked when she slept with Suou.
- One episode of Trigun has resident Chivalrous Pervert Vash offering his services as a bodyguard to a pretty girl. She thinks that someone might be out to kill her, and he jumps at the opportunity to have a little fun. She books two hotel rooms for the night, one for each of them, but she secretly switches her room with Vash's just to play it safe. While Vash is laying on his bed, a grenade flies in through the window and blows the whole room apart, launching Vash and his bed outside into the street. Vash asks if he could then sleep in the same room as her, not caring if this trope is put into effect or not, but she denies his request by saying that he already has a bed...
- In The Familiar of Zero, Louise made Saito sleep on the floor, but starting in season 2 let him share her bed. Much to Louise's chagrin, Siesta is assigned as Saito's maid and shares their bed. At one point in season 4, Tabitha joined their bed, and squeezed Louise out.
- As Touma of A Certain Magical Index lives in a single-bedroom apartment, he sleeps in the bathroom tub while allowing Index to sleep in the actual bed.
- In one of the Superman/Batman annuals, Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne, both ignorant of the other's secret identity, are forced to share a room with a single bed. They weren't very happy about it◊.
- Scott Pilgrim and his gay roommate Wallace have to share a futon because their apartment is apparently too small for another bed. Or Scott being a total freeloader who doesn't want to spring for a bed of his own.
- In The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Quatermain and Murray visit a school, posing as a married couple, with Nemo as their servant. They are shown to their rooms: a big one with a huge luxurious bed for the "married couple", and a small one the size of a closet with a tiny cot for the "servant". Nemo imperiously informs Mina that "you will, of course, take the single room"... Cut to Quatermain and Nemo both squeezed into the servant's room, and Quatermain's sardonic comment of "Women" and Nemo's admission that women are "hardly my strong point."
- Zizaged in French comic "Les démons d'Alexia" (Alexia's demons). Alexia is actually surprised her assistant Berenice rented a room with two beds. Then the local correspondent enters the room, and fall on one bed, exhausted. Berenice asks how they will deal with this, and the answer is off-panel. Notice that Alexia and Berenice are Ambiguously Gay, but Berenice is much more extrovert (she's the one who invited Alexia to go sunbathing naked).
- Played for Drama in the "The Twin Brothers" as recorded by the Brothers Grimm. The one twin with his entourage of animals gets the Standard Hero Reward for slaying a dragon, marries the Princess and settles down with her. After this, however, he gets in trouble with a witch who turns him to stone. His identical twin brother, meanwhile, comes to town with his own entourage of animals (also perfectly identical twins to his brother's animals) and is immediately mistaken for his brother. When the young queen brings what she thinks is her husband to the royal bedchamber, the twin brother lays out a sharp double-edged sword between them to keep from pulling an adulterous Bed Trick on her. After he rescues his brother, this sword proves rather important to establishing his continued chastity and faithfulness to the purity of his brother's marriage.
- In It Happened One Night (1934), the couple, (who barely know each other) have to share a room with twin beds. They hang a sheet between the two beds and call it "The Wall of Jericho." This is probably where anything similar comes from.
- In Bandits they did the sheet thing on a double bed, but it didn't last very long.
- The new Pink Panther movie. There's no actual UST, but Clouseau keeps saying exactly the wrong thing.
- Happened in Alex and Emma. Well, initially. They ended up having sex, but originally they were just going to share the bed.
- It initially shows up in MouseHunt. We don't know about the brothers' sleeping arrangements afterwards.
- In Anger Management, it's highlighted with a funny exchange:
Buddy: You know, in Europe, it's not considered unusual for three or four men to share a bed.
Dave: That's why I'm proud to be an American.
- In Mel Brooks' Life Stinks, the protagonist and the love interest, being both homeless, share... a cardboard box. A knife is used as wall between the two.
- Subverted in The Bourne Identity, where the eponymous Jason Bourne doesn't hesitate at all before preparing a space on the floor. Blink and you'll miss it.
- In the first Austin Powers movie, before Ms. Kensington showed any attraction to Austin. She made him sleep on the couch.
- The Sure Thing uses this bit three times. Only once, though, do both characters make it through the night in the bed.
- Played straight (so to speak) in Mulholland Drive, when Betty suggests to Rita that she needn't sleep on the couch, as the bed is big enough for two. As Rita disrobes and get into bed naked, Betty realizes she feels sexually attracted to her — and as it soon appears, the feeling is mutual.
- In Idiocracy, Joe and Rita have to share the Lincoln Bedroom in the White House. Joe, naturally, takes the floor, even after Rita invites him into the bed. To add to the humor, Rita is a former prostitute.
- This happened in No Holds Barred, a 1989 Hulk Hogan vehicle. They share the bed after Hulk's character puts up a barrier.
- French movie Le Bossu (released in the U.S. as On Guard) has a hilarious sequence when the Duc de Nevers is traveling to marry the woman he loves and needs to share a bed with his new friend Lagardére. As they get into bed, the Duc comments that his marriage will surprise a relative who "thinks I only like boys. Ever dabbled in sodomy?" The unnerved look on Lagardére's face is priceless. So is the way he clutches at the blankets.
- In Outsourced, a movie about an American guy training a call center in India, the main character and his romantic interest are forced to share a room at a Kama Sutra hotel since it's the last room / last hotel available and it's the honeymoon suite. They somehow end up consummating their romantic tension due to the circumstances. The movie is a bit of a cliche storm, albeit a cute one.
- In The Illusionist, by Sylvain Chomet, there's only one bed in the room that Tatischeff and Alice stay in. Tatischeff opts to sleep on the sofa.
- The Professional (International Cut). After Léon turns down the Fille Fatale Mathilda's offer to sleep with him, Mathilda insists that at the very least he share the bed with her and not sleep on the couch. Leon is justly cautious, but nothing untoward happens.
- In Planes, Trains & Automobiles, Neal and Del have to stay in a hotel room with only one bed. Hilarity Ensues when they wake up.
Neal: Del... Why did you kiss my ear?
Del: Why are you holding my hand?
Neal: Where's your other hand?
Del: Between two pillows...
Neal: Those aren't pillows!
- The movie Leap Year has one of these scenes, although it makes sense as the pair are staying in a religious bed and breakfast and are pretending to be married in order to wait out a storm there. Funny because at first Declan gets the bed (after tricking Anna in a coin toss) and then Anna gets the bed (after realizing she's been tricked like ten minutes later) and then Anna takes pity on Declan for having to sleep in the shower. They wake up to realize they've been snuggling.
- The Proposal: Because the family thinks that they're engaged, they are given a room with only one bed. It goes without saying, in-universe, that Andrew takes the floor.
- In Far and Away, when Shannon loses everything, Joseph and Shannon have to take up rent in a whorehouse for a long time. There's only one bed, which she gets, of course. However, after an arguement their first day there, he uses her pillow for the night and fluffs it up a little just to annoy her.
Shannon: Give me back my pillow.
Joseph: Not in a hundred years.
- In Superman II when Lois and Clark are trying to bust a honeymoon racket in Niagra Falls, Clark points out various "complimentary" things in their room (complimentary champagne, complimentary corsage) before trying to be suave (and failing spectacularly) and asking Lois about the "sleeping arrangements".
Lois: Mr. Smith...The complimentary couch.
- In Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, at one point Harmony takes Harry's bed (naked no less) and says that Harry can sleep in it too but it would only be sleeping, as long as that isn't too frustrating for him. He decides to find out. It is.
- Played for Laughs in classic comedies such as Laurel and Hardy and The Three Stooges.
- Happens in Gozu. The hero leaves the hotel bed to his love interest, but not without getting a good look at her in her undies.
- North By Northwest - Roger hides out in Eve's room on a train ride to Chicago. As they make out passionately he observes there's only one bed, asking if she knows what that means. She knows - he's sleeping on the floor.
- Lolita (1997). Humbert arranges for him and Dolores to stay in the same hotel room, as he's planning on taking advantage of her while she's asleep. When they arrive at the hotel, Humbert finds that the twin bed room has been given to someone else. Ironically Dolores is more comfortable with the sexual implications of this than he is.
Humbert: For all practical purposes I am your father and I'm responsible for your welfare. Now we're not rich, and so when we travel we-we may be thrown together...sometimes. Two people sharing the same hotel room are bound to enter into a...well how can I put it, into a kind of—
Dolores: The word is incest.
- Grim Grimoire has Lillet Blan more or less kidnapping/adopting/eloping with Amoretta Virgine the Homunculus, not least because she's grown quite fond of Amoretta, but more immediately to make sure she's safe. (This is a very real concern, considering what happened to her in previous time-loops, sometimes of her own choice.) However, Lillet has only one bed. Neither of them mind, however — Amoretta has only existed for 106 days, and has not had physical affection of any kind. She thus really enjoys snuggling, and is apparently so vigorous about it that, in her sleep, she knocks Lillet out of bed more than once. Lillet doesn't mind that either, but she does (in an amusing inversion) threaten to exile herself to the couch and leave Amoretta in the bed alone if Amoretta doesn't keep safe.
- Happens in Tales of Phantasia when Cless and Mint first arrive in the past. They're both embarrassed by the situation, and it ends with Cless sleeping on the floor.
- Happens in Shenmue II, when Ryo is invited to stay with Master Tao (Xiuying). He's quick to point out that she has only one bed, and she's even quicker in pointing out that he'll be taking the couch.
- Happens in Legaia 2 Duel Sage, due to one of the inn's rooms having a broken door, forcing Maya and Laang to sleep together. The player can have Laang either be bashful about sleeping with Maya, or have him jump at the chance.
- Happens in the Neverwinter Nights 2 parody mod The Sinister Series, where an initial sign that Cordelia is warming up to the player is her insistence that he take the bed because she had been cold, rude, and standoffish since the two first met.
- In El Goonish Shive, Tedd and Grace discuss Tedd's glasses whilst lying in the same bed for non-sexual reasons, although Tedd finds this disappointing, and his father seems suspicious.
- Mild subversion in Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures : Cubi don't need to sleep to begin with.
- In the LoadingReadyRun videos, Graham and Paul often sleep in the same bed as a light parody of children's cartoons characters that do so.
- Early on in It's Walky!, there were two beds...and four people.
- This Questionable Content strip.
- A Namir Deiter storyline puts Tipper and Charles into this predicament, even though they've gone to a couples resort, engaged and in the midst of wedding preparations.
- In Misfile, guy-turned-girl Ash insists on giving up his bed for Emily to prove he is a chivalrous guy. She finds his Porn Stash under the bed, also gender swapped. Emily returns the favor a few strips later by inviting Ash for a sleep over and insisting Ash take the bed, since he's the guest.
- This kind of leads to a bit of Fridge Logic when you remember Ash's dad is out of town at the time and so Emily could've very well slept in his room. Though between the Porn Stash and the sheets thing, this can be excused by Rule of Funny.
- Much later, Emily again stays over at Ash's house. They share the bed. Squee.
- The situation comes up again in the fanfic Misfiled Dreams, where a blizzard knocks out Ash's power and Ash and Rumi are more or less forced to spend the night at Emily's. Em gives Rumi her sleeping bag, and since it's too cold for anyone to sleep on the floor, she and Ash share her bed. The above-mentioned Fridge Logic is circumvented by Emily saying that her mom (away at the time) would kill her if anyone slept in the master bedroom. Yes, it does go somewhere, but if you want to know where, you'll have to read the story.
- In Sluggy Freelance, this is played for Fanservice when the gang all share a tiny apartment, and Zoe and Gwynn have to "snuggle" in the only bed. Parodied when a later strip reveals Zoe was actually sleeping on the couch; Zoe and Gwynn sharing a bed was just how Torg liked to picture it.
- Happens in this 8-Bit Theater episode, creating some rules for when this happens and isn't gay.
- In Sabrina Online, Zig Zag deliberately sets up this scenario during a trip to a convention with Sabrina.
- In General Protection Fault, Nick and Ki are forced to stay at a motel after a science fiction convention when Fooker leaves with their car. The only room available has only one bed, and Nick sleeps on the chair and Ki sleeps on the bed. It is implied that Fooker reserved the room in an attempt to get Nick and Ki together.
- Penny Arcade offers a solution to the "who gets it" dilemma.
- Used here in Wapsi Square with two characters who have known each other since grade school.
- During the "trip to E3" story arc in Full Frontal Nerdity, the hotel room had two beds ... but three occupants (not counting Shawn the webcam). Nelson solved the problem by scamming three large bags of promotional stress balls and piling them into a "bed" for Lewis.
- Subverted every which way in Girly. At first, Winter doesn't need a bed, since she's willing to sleep standing up in Girly's front yard (yep). But on the second night, its raining, so Winter agrees to come inside and take the couch...but an elephant wanders into the scene and eats the couch, leaving only the one bed.
- Dangerously Chloe skips right to the result, on the chapter page under the technically true title "Demon In Bed". Of course. Because she was summoned and obviously had no other place to stop.
- The Fox Sister: Alex insists on Yun Hee taking the bed while he sleeps on the floor when he invites her to stay at his place after the Kumiho turned her home into a crime scene.
- On The Ricky Gervais Show, Karl talks about having to sleep "tops and tails" with his longtime girlfriend Suzanne. Why? Because the relatives they were staying with had hacksawed a mattress in half to fit in into the tiny space where they were sleeping.
- Sonic and Tails in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog often sleep within close proximity of each other, and at one point do share a bed.
- Only noticeable in the background but in Batman: The Animated Series when Harley and Ivy where hiding out in a small one room apartment there was only one bed.
- Somewhat adverted in The Flintstones, with the Rubbles staying at Fred's house for a few nights. The women sleep in the double bed without comment, but Fred and Barney keep quibbling over who gets the couch and who has to struggle lying across two side chairs.
- In an episode of Liberty's Kids, John Adams and Ben Franklin share a bed in an inn.
- Truth in Television, on one Congressional trip (and not particularly unusual for men travelling together in that era). Led to an argument about whether the window should be opened or closed. (And this scene was supposed to appear in the musical 1776, but got cut for time and pacing issues)
- Several Looney Tunes cartoons did this with Porky and Daffy as a comedic setup. In one, they were business partners who roomed together, and in another, they were strangers at a packed hotel.
- Rarity and Applejack are forced to share a bed in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic episode Look Before You Sleep. It's not ten seconds before they're kicking each other out of bed, stealing the sheets and engaging in hilariously childish bickering.
- In the episode "Haunted House" of The Alvin Show, Dave and the Chipmunks have to share a bed since "Chesley Estate" only had one bed.
- In episode 19 of Sym-Bionic Titan, in the second motel that Lance and Ilana stay in, the room only appears to have one bed. However Word Of God says that the most they see each other is Brother and Sister.
- In an early King of the Hill episode, Luanne angrily leaves the Hill home and stays at Boomhauer's. Knowing his reputation she nervously, haltingly lays down some ground rules, but as she's talking, he quietly gets some pillows and blankets, drops them on the couch, walks into his bedroom and shuts the door behind him.
- Happens frequently at conventions due to how expensive hotel rooms can be.
- The tradition of bundling. Sometimes it'd get really cold, and the couples would get together all warm and cozy, and sometimes there were ...babies!
- This scenario is often encountered in real life, in general. Some people choose to sleep on the floor rather than share a bed, though. Also, back in the old days, entire families would often sleep in the same bed, because beds and the soft stuff that goes on them were expensive and rare but also for the sake of not freezing to death in the night.
- Similarly some kings managed to get beds large enough to allow over a hundred people to sleep together. And apparently put them to use that way. To sleep, you know, not just...
- It was general practice in inns and such for quite a long time, too. Again, expense of beds and linens, and also of building and maintaining an inn large enough for everyone to have his own room.
- This was (and is) also common practice among Eskimo tribes, being that the alternative to cuddling up with a family member was freezing to death. Having two separate beds in an igloo would be impractical, and having two igloos for two people would be even more impractical.
- Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, during their pre-fame days.
- Referenced in Paul, where Graeme and Clive share a hotel room with one bed when they go to Comicon.
- Rhett & Link talked about sharing hotel rooms and occasionally having to share the bed in an episode of Good Mythical Morning.