There are a few different ways things can play out. In the classic comedy version, Bob must hide from Dave inside the house, or that very room, until he can escape. Popular hiding spots include: under the bed, in the closet, and behind the curtains. The Closet Shuffle may be involved. Alternately, Bob may opt to flee immediately—often by jumping out a window while still undressed.
Some versions will imply the above, rather than outright showing it, by beginning the scene with Dave and Alice together in their bedroom—then Bob pops out of some hiding spot, surprising both Dave and the audience with Alice's infidelity.
Or, Dave may catch his wife and her lover completely off-guard, usually in the form of a Home-Early Surprise. This is what's most likely to happen if the scene is being Played for Drama. But there's plenty of comedy potential for this approach, as well. Dave could have some hilariously unexpected reaction to the discovery. Alice and Bob could make up a really implausible explanation for what they were doing, naked in bed together—and Dave might even fall for it.
Subtrope of Your Cheating Heart.
- Red Ears: This is a frequent scenario in this erotic comic strip series and several variations on the theme have been thought up.
- Comically seen in Cheech and Chong's Nice Dreams when Cheech hides under the bed as the husband and wife have sex and the bed collapses on him.
- Danny DeVito's character is introduced this way in Twins.
- The Last Boy Scout introduces Bruce Willis' character as the cuckolded husband in this scene... and as a cop, he correctly sniffs out that the other guy is hiding in the closet and nearly shoots him.
- In one of their films Laurel and Hardy are being pursued by their awful wives. As they run down an alley behind a hotel, one of the wives raises her shotgun and fires. At the sound of the shot men jump out of every window in the hotel, in their underwear and holding their pants, and run away.
- The Woman in Red: Charlotte and her husband can be heard having sex while Teddy is out on the ledge.
- A humorous variation in The Spanish Apartment when one character's boyfriend shows up unexpectedly, she ends up hiding under the bed while her brother, previously the Annoying Younger Sibling, gets into bed with her lover and passes him off as his.
- In The Pink Panther (1963), Sir Charles Lytton is visiting his lover Simone in her hotel suite, when her husband Inspector Clouseau returns. A lengthy Closet Shuffle ensues, as Clouseau keeps almost discovering Charles.
- Early in Working Girl, Melanie Griffith's character walks in on her husband and his mistress.
- In What About Witch Queen? this happens twice to the same couple. Once, Kristoff accidentally notices duchess Margaret cheating on her husband with Weselton spymaster Hunter while he's roaming around their castle. Second time, Eric, Margaret's husband, is sleeping after coming back late and hears somebody walking around the room. He thinks it's a servant, but it's strongly implied to be Hunter.
- A popular topic in Russian Humour. Example:
A man came home after a business trip. The same day in the middle of the night a naked man with a knife jumps out of the wardrobe and shouts: "I am fugitive criminal Ivanov!" and then run through the door. A few seconds after that another naked man jumps out of the wardrobe and shouts "I am police detective Petrov, have you seen where fugitive criminal Ivanov went?" The confused husband gestured to the door. "Thank you, citizen—SWAT team, follow me!"
Men of different nationalities react to walking in on their wives in bed with a lover:American: "Ma'am, I must ask you to leave my house immediately."English: "Excuse me, I seem to have come in at a bad time."French: "Oh, may I join you?"Russian (during Soviet times): "You slut! You're lying here, while they're selling fish around the corner!"
- Another example:
- Three men arrive at the pearly gates at the same time. Saint Peter asks the first how he died. "I thought my wife was cheating on me, so I went home early and rushed into the bedroom. She was naked in bed but alone - then I spied a man out the kitchen window dressing himself as he ran down the front walk - I threw the refrigerator out the window at him and I had a heart attack from the strain." Saint Peter asks the second man how he died. "I was late for work and ran out the front door of my apartment building tying my tie when all of a sudden a refrigerator came down and crushed me to death!" Saint Peter turns to the third man and asks how he died. "Well, I was just sitting in this refrigerator, minding my own business..."
- A man arrives home early and finds his wife in their bed, only covered by a sheet.
- 1950's comic Myron Cohen told the joke of the man returning home to find his wife in bed and a man hiding in the closet. He challenges the man to explain why he's in there and the man shrugs non-chalantly and answers "Everybody gotta be someplace."
- In one of the Flashman novels, Flashman catches his wife and Lord Cardigan in the act. Lord Cardigan greets Flashman and calmly walks out the door. Despite the circumstances (not that he of all men is in any position to pass judgement), Flashman has to admire his sangfroid.
- In the Heat of the Night: The plot of the 1990 episode "Triangle" is set up by one of these: An outwardly mild-mannered man, who is a community and church leader and presents himself and his family as the ideal all-American family ... kills his wife and her lover when he catches them in bed and in the act of hot, lustful sex. (FWIW, it's only afterward that his son reveals that their home life was not as his father made it out to be. And yes, the man is later caught, but only after the police track him and his daughter to their lakeside cabin, where he plans to rationalize his act to his daughter and hold her hostage to ensure his freedom.)
- Spoofed in the Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch "Strangers in the Night," where there is a whole crowd of lovers. The husband doesn't notice them, and eventually wanders off, ruining the sketch.
- My Name Is Earl: One Thanksgiving while Earl and Joy were still married and Joy was involved in an affair with Darnell, Earl came home with the turkey, and Darnell hid in the closet. Years later, Earl and Darnell bond over the naked dance Joy performed during that incident.
- In addition to a few straight examples, Two and a Half Men has an odd inversion: the lover is in the bed and the husband is in the closet. Except in this case the husband is actually a mannequin that Rose "married" in her latest scheme to win over Charlie.
- Subverted. In a Devious Maids episode, Adrian finds about his cheating wife, but wants to film it as evidence for divorce. He ends up paying, er, paymurdering his cuckolder bodyguard to leave.
- In the second What If? episode of Friends, Rachel, who's has been married to Barry for several years in this reality, walks in on him and a dog walker.
- A plot in many country music Murder Ballads. Often set up by having the main protagonist tell how he had been on the road or at work for several days and not been home, and was looking to arrive at home early and by surprise to greet his wife and kindle some passion ... only to discover that the wife had been cheating on him — often because he was away for days on end and she needed someone to satisfy her sexual needs — when he walks in on his wife and another man making love in bed, and then he kills them both in a fit of rage. Songs of this genre have included "The Cold Hard Facts Of Life" by Porter Wagoner, "Blood Red and Goin' Down" by Tanya Tucker, "Radio Lover" by George Jones and "Papa Loved Mama" by Garth Brooks.
- This would be why R. Kelly is Trapped in the Closet.
- Happens in the video for Jill Sobule's song "I Kissed a Girl" (not to be confused with the song of the same name by Katy Perry). The video shows the story of two neighbor women in a 1950s-esque neighborhood, one of whom is married to Fabio, and one afternoon they act on their Unresolved Sexual Tension. Fabio comes home and greets his wife, who is in bed, while the neighbor woman is hiding under the bed.
- "Melody" by The Rolling Stones from Black and Blue
Open up, baby, you got someone else insideI'm going to come get you dead or alive
- "Hideaway", the opening track of Mystery Jets 2008 album Young Love, starts with this:
- I've been running around, running aroundDon't make a sound, don't wanna get foundI've been hiding behind the blindsBut in my mind I don't want to be that kind of guy
- Trick's on him; he's been so indiscreet in other ways that the other man knows who he is and is plotting his revenge...
- The traditional song "Our Goodman" (Child Ballad #274, probably better known as "Seven Drunken Nights", as recorded by The Dubliners) involves a wife explaining away evidence of her adultery, with each explanation more of a stretch than the last. In the final verse, the husband catches his wife's lover in the bedroom. The wife tries to claim he's really a milkmaid, and the husband sarcastically notes that he's never seen a milkmaid with a beard before.
- An off-screen example in the backstory of The Walking Dead. Lee catches his wife in bed with a state senator and murders him, ending up in police custody at the start of the game.
- The Perry Bible Fellowship has a funny one where couple are two Anole lizards, and the interloper sneaking out is a Chameleon.
- Hark! A Vagrant uses this setup for a joke about Canadian politeness. When the husband finds his wife in bed with another man, everyone involved apologises profusely, including the husband.
- A motivational style◊ poster (link currently non-functional) showing a Japanese business man arriving home, passing through a corridor with a Wall of Weapons, with his supposed wife in bed with another man on the other side of the wall, with the words: "This will not end well."
- Which is then subverted with a follow up showing the three of them in bed together.
- In the first episode of Dragon Ball Z Abridged, Bulma recounts walking in on Yamcha cheating on her, complete with a flashback about it.