Sex sells, but censors censor. Getting the goods to penetrate that blockade is hard. Then there's times that characters do really twisty-turny stuff, in front of a crowd! Stuff so steamy, just telling it can get people flustered, and as for showing it, well, the Moral Guardians that don't faint will break out the Torches and Pitchforks.
The solution? Let the audience Take Our Word for It. Keep the limber lambada dancers off screen and have witnesses tilt their heads or turn the magazine sideways, preferably with their mouths agape. Their conversation may be vague about what is happening, yet still implying something kinky is happening, possibly at an oblique angle.
This avoids the problems of showing it on-screen, and also gives the viewer's imagination (perverse) grounds for speculation.
Occasionally, happens with other weird events, as people tend to imitate others' actions subconsciously.
Often resembles the head-tilt that dogs frequently do when confused.
Makes for a great diversion to get the guards distracted... and everyone else involved!
Compare Comic Sutra, which creates similar kinky fun by suggesting something unspeakably obscene and letting the audience's imaginations fill in the details.
- Played straight in the current BT Broadband ads, where after running from a house with a slow connection to one using the above brand, something (unseen) appears on the screen, prompting this response and (to paraphrase) "no, guys, not on my stag night, she'd kill me!"
- A recent Bud Light ad ends with one of these involving a debauched tourist, a customs officer, and a camera that has to be rotated 90 degrees.
- Appears in a Captain America: The Winter Soldier-themed ad for Sky Broadband's internet security system (conveniently enough, called Shield): Nick Fury orders a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent to bring up the files on the Winter Soldier, then protests "That is not the Winter Soldier!" While he rails about how this would never happen if they had Sky Broadband Shield, the agent turns back to the unseen screen and tilts her head.
- In this Diet Rite Commercial, the female reporter does this when she admires the naked football player's erect penis.
- Partially used in an episode of Black Lagoon since you can see parts of the images in question. Revy and Rock are talking to a very bored Balalaika while she's editing porn videos.
Revy: Hold on a sec! Is she takin' it up the ass?
Balalaika: (completely deadpan) ...Sure is.
- Erza does this in Fairy Tail when she sees Lucy's naughty underwear. She gives a similar reaction when she finds S&M equipment in one of the rooms at her dorm.
- In the Love Hina manga, Kanako dresses Mutsumi up as Keitaro for a role-play exercise (It Makes Sense in Context). Mutsumi is quick to point out that she has not left any detail untouched by lifting the robe she's wearing. The reactions of Naru, Shinobu and Motoko are this combined with bug eyes.
- In Samurai Champloo, when Mugen is looking at an ukiyo-e catalogue. In the English dub, he says "Damn, doin' it with a squid!" Clearly a reference to The Fisherman's Wife, so imagination might not be needed so much.
- Belnika in Rave Master when she sees Haru naked.
- The View Askewniverse comic Chasing Dogma has an installment where Jay drops his pants on the street in order to impress a porn star he'd been talking to. She is not impressed and walks away, just as a mother and two small children turn the corner and see him. The mother does the head-tilt, the two little boys stare in fascination, and one of them says "Mommy, why's his pee-pee littler than mine?"
- Whatever Lex Luthor's fantasies are, they're enough to momentarily startle Death, who has quite literally Seen It All.
- One random Azumanga Daioh fanfic called "Sex Education" brings up the consequences of Minamo-sensei's drunken sex-ed lesson from the anime when Chiyo-chan mentions part of it (she doesn't know) in an actual sex-ed class. Nyamo is promptly called up to the office to speak to the principal, and ends up demonstrating to a skeptical principal that it is possible for a woman to, quote, "expletive deleted her expletive deleted with her expletive deleted" ("after a few minutes of contortionism, Minamo unwound her limbs, satisfied that she'd proved her point"). The principal is promptly transformed into "a copy of Kimura, right down the fogged up glasses and detached jaw", and develops a convenient episode of amnesia.
Minamo: My gym coach in high school said I had a slinky for a spine...
- Featherbrite's Tale, an entry in Gregg Sharp/Metroanime's Bet series (based on Ranma ½), describes a... spicy dream to the audience, replacing the NSFW parts with phrases like, "Oh boy is that censored."
- In the Crossover "CSI: Death by Chocolate," Greg Sanders has this reaction to adult Violet Beauregard, now a contortionist in the Cirque du Soleil, combing her hair. With her feet. From behind.
- An omake-turned-full-fic by the author of "In Flight" ends with Shirou and Miya getting intimate on Izumo House's veranda. Matsu and two others seeing them on a camera feed all proceeded to tilt their heads to the side while watching.
- One particular scene from the Ah! My Goddess fic, "Ah! Archfall!" In Belldandy's own words ; "Oh my! I didn't know Lind made that kind of noise!"
- In a very NSFW minicomic on God Of War, Aphrodite tells Kratos to petrify the Minotaurs using the head of Medusa. Well, after what Kratos does with the head of Medusa, the Minotaurs *are* petrified.
- Early in Act 2 of The Next Frontier, the Kerbals monitor some local TV broadcasts as prep for First Contact. They find a porn channel:
"Is this what I think it is?" Bob said slowly, tilting his head slightly to get a better view.
"Yes. Yes, it is."
"Oh. Well, that's... different."
- Played with in The Art of War. Wesley Snipes' character is getting blackmail material on a Chinese general, as a hostess gives him a blowjob under the table. There's a male/female team at Mission Control; the woman says how disgusting the general is, while the man tilts his head to look. In this case, however, it's not because the action is in an odd position, but because the camera image is (Wes is holding the camera under the table).
- Bram Stoker's Dracula has Lucy and Mina looking at an illustrated copy of the Kama Sutra, turning the book in several different directions. The trope is somewhat subverted, as most of the pictures are shown on-camera, except for the penultimate one, which had Mina turn the book and ask Lucy "Can a man and a woman really do... that?
- Cheech and Chong's Next Movie lays this apparently straight at first, then shows you what the character was looking at. Kinky? Yes. Sexual? Not terribly. Weird? You better believe it!
- The donkey show in Clerks II.
Becky: I'm disgusted and repulsed and... and I can't look away.
- Clue: The photos of Col. Mustard's rendezvous at Miss Scarlet's specialized hotel.
Mrs. White: Oh my. No one could get into that position.
Professor Plum: Sure they can. Here, let me show you. (as he grabs and tries to lift Mrs. White's leg)
Mrs. White: Get off me!
- Dogma plays with the trope when the Golgothan throws down with a crew of gang-bangers in such a way that the heroic onlookers tilt their heads as if trying to understand the combat.
- Galaxy Quest does a variation of this when Fred Kwan and Laliari are going at it and Laliari's disguise fails, revealing her tentacles.
Guy: Oh! That's not right!
- In the 1941 production of The Man Who Came to Dinner, Jimmy Durante as Harpo Marx expy Banjo madly flirts with Whiteside's nurse, at one point telling her "Meet me in my room in five minutes, an' bring a rye bread!"
- In Sneakers, Marty (Robert Redford) is conducting surveillance on a scientist, who'sin his apartment. The scientist's girlfriend comes over, and as they start making out, she exclaims passionately "Let's do what we did in Mexico City!" Marty looks through the camera and mutters, "I didn't know they could do that in Mexico City."
- Super Troopers gives us Mac's "Halloween Costume."
(Rabbit can be heard making weird sounds of pleasure with bear grunts punctuating)Cop 1: Is the guy...?(beat)Cop 2: Is the bear...?
- Weirdly inverted, in Maurizio Nichetti's Volere Volare: the head-tilt is inspired not by the porn movie playing offscreen but by the bizarre (to say the least) sound effects applied to same by a Foley artist who normally does cartoons.
- What's New Pussycat? ends up at a rendezvous hotel where the suites are named for famous lovers - the concierge gets a call and tells her husband "The gentleman in 'Marquis de Sade' asks for twelve loaves of bread and a Boy Scout uniform!" Peter O'Toole's lothario character chokes on his drink.
- Implied in the Dudley Moore vehicle Wholly Moses; the Sodomites' orgies are off screen, but Herschel's own head literally tilts as he watches them.
- In A Brother's Price Jerin is asked whether it is true that is grandfather was trained in "The Paths of Pleasure" and passed this knowledge to him. He is very embarrassed as it is not an appropriate topic of conversation, but eventually admits that his father and grandfather gave him The Talk, and he sort of knows what it's all about.When another character mentions that Jerin can do "magic" (talking about magic tricks, it's low fantasy), the woman who had sex with him immediately thinks of their encounter and hopes that he didn't do that in front of the children.
- In one Ciaphas Cain (HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!) novel, the title character enters the hideout of a Slaanesh cult and the walls are covered with pornographic artwork prompting the following exchange:
Penlan: I don't believe that's possible.
Cain: It's not, and even if it was it would be against regulations.
- The actual contents of The Joy of Snackes, Nanny Ogg's "cookbook" in Maskerade (which has recipes like Oyster and Carrot Pie: carrots so you can see in the dark, oysters so you have something to look at) are only alluded to. But when Granny reads it, in increasing disbelief and shock, there does come a moment (Humorous Cake Decorations; Nanny illustrated that bit) when she has to turn it sideways.
- The actual Nanny Ogg's Cookbook is filled with these, for the reader, in the form of editor notes. Including one that is a head nod to the "Joye of Snacks" and other works by Ogg, including "Mother Ogg's Tales for Tiny Folk" with the story "The Little Man Who Grew Too Big". Finally the sections "meaning of flowers" and "Etiquette in the Bedroom" are covered in notes, leaving random lines to sneak through, or removed completely.
- In Pyramids the highly-trained but (it's implied) virginal handmaiden Ptraci gets professionally interested in a sailor's pornographic tattoos: "That's from 101 days in Pseudopolis, it's physically impossible... Oh look, it's the Congress of the Friendly Dog and the Two Small Biscuits! You can even see the yoghurt!"
- In Dragon Bones the protagonists find some ancient paintings in a temple ruin, and take a special interest in one where the people seem to have "lots of fun". Ward comments that some of the positions seem quite dangerously acrobatic. Oreg replies that, maybe, it is worth the risk.
- Elemental Assassin: In Spider's Bite, Gin finds some photographs of Giles Gordon engaged in sex with prostitutes:
"Giles had been a little more serious about his prostitute predilection than Fletcher's file had let on. I turned one of the photos sideways. More flexible, too."
- The Tom Wolfe novel A Man in Full has multiple references to "that thing with the cup." Exactly what this is is never specified, but it is implied to be a particularly interesting "talent" of a female character.
- Tanya Huff's Smoke series includes a guy who has found a pornographic deck of cards. One particular card makes him exclaim that he doesn't think that's possible, and another character replies that "It's possible, but the second woman has to be very flexible and he's going to have a sore back later." Cue bogglement.
- Young Wizards: In A Wizard Alone, Kit's sister watches a lot of alien television channels. Their parents can't make head nor tail of them, but like one particularly soothing channel. They quickly realize their mistake.
- The SF "Worlds Apart" by Richard Cowper contains a scene with a) jelly beans, b) slurping noises and c) a very prudish wife of the protagonist who probably has d) a mind-shattering orgasm and never forgives the hero for that. Since the whole book is a Mind Screw, it's up to the readers interpretation anyway.
- 30 Rock is always hinting at kinky hijinks between Tracy and his wife.
- One episode has them start going at it with Liz still in the room, prompting Liz to ask in shock, "Oh no, you guys start with that?"
- Another episode has Jack Donaghy look out Liz's window, prompting him to say, "Wow, that man appears to be making violent, passionate love... to himself." Followed by "You have to admire his stamina," and "Is he in a board meeting?"
- On 3rd Rock from the Sun, an alien whom the Big Giant Head assigned to be Dick's wife (played by Roseanne of all people) goes through a book titled The Joy of Sex with Mrs. Dubcek. She shows Mrs. Dubcek diagrams in the book, each time asking "Have you done that?" with increasing amazement as Mrs. Dubcek keeps replying in the affirmative. The last time, Mrs. Dubcek turned the book upside down and looked at it for a beat before again saying yes.
- Agatha Raisin: At the end of "Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley", Agatha brings home a copy of the nude yoga dvd. As she and Gemma sit down to watch it, they immediately start tilting their heads at an odd angle.
- All in the Family: Archie once accidentally gives Edith a Playgirl to read. She tilts her head while watching a picture, then turns the magazine upside down.
- Angel: Wesley's reaction to some blackmail photos of a client's antics at a demon brothel. When Angel points out that he's looking at the picture upside-down, Wes almost faints.
- The short-lived sequel to Babylon 5, Crusade, has Jerkass anthropologist Eilerson accidentally slip Captain Gideon some human/alien porn because he was too lazy to type out a report or realize he was recording over some of his Porn Stash let alone erase it first. Most fans of the series will give a Fascinating Eyebrow at the names alone - "Snow White and the Seven Narns," "Who's Your Little Pak'Ma'Ra"... but the really kinky part must be looked up; Pak'Ma'Ra have truly Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: half of the species is actually immobile and permanently attaches itself to the humanoid's back. A Pak'Ma'Ra's "sex" organs would be at the base of its neck. The ship's doctor mentions that this makes the entire concept absurd; cue the Head Tilt. Gideon fiddles with the data crystal in front of Eilerson just to screw with him for much of the episode, and the final payoff involves using it to distract some prison guards during a daring rescue. Perhaps too well, as even the thief was distracted to the point of head-tilt!
Captain Matthew Gideon: That's an amazing thing, technology.
- In an episode of Becker, Margaret and Linda accidentally come across porn on the Internet. After a few clicks, they tilt their heads to try and figure out what's going on. In another episode Bob writes a check for Reggie, and Reggie is surprised to see a "woman" on it. Bob explains it's actually three women and a donkey, and if you flick it they move.
- In the Blackadder II episode "Money," there's that scene in the finale (we never get to actually see the painting, of course):
(The Bishop [the Baby-eating Bishop of Bath and Wells] is stunned by the painting and turns sideways to get it in perspective)
Bishop: By the horns of Beelzebub! How did you get me into that position?
Blackadder: And it's so beautifully framed, don't you think? Which is ironic, really, because that's exactly what's happened to you!
Bishop: Yes, yes, but first, one question: Who is the second figure? Who could you have got to perform such deeds, to have gone lower than man has ever gone, to have plunged the depths of degradation in order to save your filthy life?
(The Bishop pulls back the sheet; it is Percy; he shifts uncomfortably)
- In Episode 5.15 of Bones, the non-forensic subplot revolves around the sex act described on "page 187" of Brennen's latest book, which is apparently so unique and impressive that Hodgins claims that it could only have come from Angela describing their sex life — and is proven correct.
- In Bottom, Richie and Eddie come across (pun in no way intended) a sex video of the (then) Prime Minister, John Major. Lots of head-tilt occurs as do a lot of horrified faces.
"Don't sit on his face. He can't breathe!"
"I wish I had a mum like that..." (It Makes Sense in Context)
"Beat that fever right out of him!"
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, over the protests of her sister and friends, Dawn opens up one of Giles' guidebooks on demons, and remarks, "That's a weird place for a horn.... that's not a horn." She then quickly closes the book. After a few seconds, she opens it again for another look.
- The title character and Those Two Guys are seen staring at a web site, questioning "How is that position even possible?" with identical head-tilts. Further head-tilting is provoked when the lead female detective glimpses at the screen and matter-of-factly states "Oh it's possible."
Beckett: Only a handful of bondage shops in the city do custom work. So let's take photos of those cuffs, send it out, see if anyone can I.D. where it came from.
Castle: Only a handful of shops? Okay, what arent you telling me?
Beckett: So much, Castle. So very, very much.
- At another time...
Castle: Hmm, you know, you should moonlight. Seriously, you would make a fortune. Come on. Haven't you ever wanted to do... something with your handcuffs other than arrest criminals?
Beckett: No. But there is one hot... wild... kinky thing that I do like doing.
(Castle's elbow slips off the table; his chin hits the table too)
Becket: Putting killers behind bars.
Castle: See? You're already a tease. You're halfway there.
- In Set Up," Beckett holds up a large pair of bolt cutters (in a rather flirty pose) prior to trying a storage unit door. Castle comments, for reasons he won't explain, that looks quite hot.
- The title character and Those Two Guys are seen staring at a web site, questioning "How is that position even possible?" with identical head-tilts. Further head-tilting is provoked when the lead female detective glimpses at the screen and matter-of-factly states "Oh it's possible."
- Charmed gives us a live-witness version. Leo and Piper are in the club on a rowdy night with quite a few scantily clad girls dancing on podiums. Leo tilts his head and says "Can you do that in public?"
- Columbo: In "The Conspirators", Columbo is in a bookstore waiting for one of the sales clerks to get back to him. He picks up a book titled A New History of Erotic Art and starts leafing through it. After a few seconds, he stops and peers intently at a page, then turns the book round. Getting a disapproving look from a customer, he puts the book back, but then returns to it a few moments later.
- Community: in "Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design," Jeff and Annie chase a mystery professor into Troy and Abed's blanket-fort village. During the pursuit they momentarily stop short at a chamber where Britta is lounging contentedly with an odd assortment of half-dressed, mask-wearing, face-painted denizens.
- In "Advanced Dungeons and Dragons," Annie, playing 'Hector the Well-Endowed', uses her turn to seduce an elf maiden (played by Abed) for a favor. She's easily the least sexually experienced member of the group, but her lengthy description of her moves (unheard to us, but played out with hand gestures) has the rest of the group in stunned, often alarmed silence. Troy starts taking notes.
- Though there isn't anything particularly kinky implied, in one episode of Coupling, all of the characters go to watch sex tapes that Patrick made with his conquests and pretty much watch them nonchalantly while making commentary. There is an anguished cry of "She's never done that with me!" from Steve when he thinks he is watching the tape of Susan. What she is allegedly doing is never discovered. It's not Susan, as she indignantly points out to the oblivious men. Her bottom is smaller, for starters.
- An episode of CSI: NY has Danny and Hawkes find a sex tape during an investigation, recorded over a walrus documentary. Played With as the audience gets glimpses of the tape, but downright hilarious as Adam (the AV Lab Rat) and Lindsey are also tilting their heads at the footage.
- From Dharma & Greg, while Dharma is recovering from physical therapy, they go ask their doctor if they can still have sex.
Dharma:(hands over a book with [presumably] pictures) Can we still do this?
Doctor: Could you do this before?
Dharma: I'm a yoga instructor.
Doctor: Yeah, but he's just a lawyer.
(Doctor leafs through book in shock)
- In one episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Uncle Phil has joined a monastery after Hilary posed for Playboy against his wishes (even though Hugh Hefner promised the photos would be "tasteful"). Will pays him a visit with the issue in question. When Phil opens the issue, he finds that Hilary's naughty bits are obscured by an article title, and proclaims "She's covered up! Hallelujah!" Then Will pulls out the centerfold and says, "But she ain't." The two tilt their heads, and both respond with "... Hallelujah."
- Friends: Phoebe's (sister's) porn, Buffay the Vampire Layer sparked this too. Also shows up a bit with the pose in question being passed around on a yellow pad (either legal or post-it), provoking remarkably candid comments.
- The Golden Girls:
Dorothy: What are they doing?
- In "Adult Education," Blanche reports a teacher for sexual harassment. The dean takes out a form and begins to ask questions about the incident. He stops at one of them, saying "Good Lord, I can't ask you this! I can't even ask my wife this! (tilts head) I'd like to, though..."
- In "Isn't It Romantic?", Sophia rents a porno movie allegedly by accident and they all end up looking, with varying reactions.
Sophia: You know what they're doing; we had that talk when you were twelve.
(after they put the tape on fast-forward)
Rose: It reminds me of my Uncle Ricky's rabbit farm!
(after they accidentally put the tape in reverse)
Blanche: Oh, I did that once! (the others stare at her) What? It was his birthday.
- Grey's Anatomy has an episode where a patient uses porn for pain management. The girls do the head-tilt while checking out the video, and one of them comments, "There's no way that can be comfortable." Meredith replies "Trust me, it's not."
- Herman's Head: Done as a Running Gag in the episode where Herman moves into Jay's apartment, and in the skyscraper across from them, an attractive woman does her yoga exercises in the nude. "Boy is she limber!"
- In Hope & Faith, Faith provides the Gooch with a diagram of a position she wants them to try. He turns the piece of paper upside down and remarks "I don't think I bend that way."
- In "House Training," a third-season episode of House, Wilson unwittingly takes Cuddy to a fetish photo exhibit at an art gallery. Their head-tilt moment includes statements like "That is such a bad idea! There is no way that won't cause damage to the large intestine" from Cuddy and "Is that a bicycle pump?" from Wilson.
- How I Met Your Mother:
- During the episode "The Bracket," Barney shows the other characters a scrapbook of his conquests — very specific attributes of theirs, which apparently does not include their faces. Though we never see the pictures, they apparently include "some minor celebrities, one government official, and what appears to be a national fast-food chain mascot." The government official is elsewhere established to be Madeleine Albright, but the mascot is left to our imaginations. It's stated in one of the commentaries that it's meant to be Wendy.
- Variations of this happen in several episodes since Future Ted doesn't want his kids to know too many of the details.
- A Jonathan Creek special had a sub-plot about Adam Klauss investing in a company making 3-D porn. At one point, he demonstrates it to Jonathan, shown on-screen by the pair of them doing synchronised head-tilts while suggestive sound effects are played. The Fridge Logic on that was particularly bad, considering that following the sound of a zipper being undone, both men lean apart and look inwards...
- The King of Queens features the Heffernans' photos getting mixed up with those belonging to another couple with a similar last name. The second time it happens, the other couple's photos are full of sex acts, which Doug tries to get Carrie to do with him. "You want me to do this?" "And this. And this. And assuming we can find the right kind of chair, this."
- The Cold Open for a fifth-season episode of Law & Order takes place at the tail end of a bachelor party. Two of the men comment on a porno off-screen.
- Lou Grant had two reporters going undercover as a married couple, staying at a sleazy motel which had porn on the television which they couldn't turn off. Joe (the male reporter) was watching the television avidly, with Billie (the female reporter) making snide comments about "That's not sexy; that's just foolish," etc.At one point Billie stops, tilts her head, and says, "Now that's sexy..."
- Married... with Children:
- Steve and Marcy, in the episode "I'll see you in court," get this reaction when the court orders a tape of them having sex to be shown (it was a case in which a hotel has been covertly recording their guests and then rented it out to other guests), with a brief mention of handcuffs.
- Earlier, when Al and Peg watch the tape, Peg comments: "Whoa, I didn't know a human leg could do that. Oh, I want that! Oh, and I want that! And I definitely want that!" They also both do the head-tilt.
- A M*A*S*H episode has Col. Flagg enlisting Winchester to try and come up with evidence that Hawkeye is a Communist spy. While rummaging through Hawkeye's things, Winchester comes across one of his nudist magazines and reacts this way. It wasn't just tilting his head — he tilts the magazine too, and still doesn't seem to understand just how what he's seeing is possible.
- Malcolm in the Middle: After a holiday where the Kenarvans have been either throwing passive-agressive insults to each other or outright yelling behind doors, Lois tells Kitty that they should try to solve their problems. Kitty goes to Abe's room and they start yelling again... and then we hear someone slamming against the wall and something breaking. Lois goes try to calm them, but after opening the door, she quickly closes back and runs off.
Lois: Oh my God! Sorry! I thought you were fighting!
- Midsomer Murders: In "Dead in the Water," Barnaby is watching a pornographic video that was used to blackmail one of the suspects. Joyce walks in and asks him what he's watching. As he tells her, she starts tilting her head with her eyes glued to the screen. She then asks him if he fancies an early night.
- In the Monk episode "Mr. Monk's Favorite Show," Natalie and Lt. Discher react with alarm at the lurid descriptions of a former TV star's sexual relationships, describing what they're reading in very vague terms (the phrase "Is that even physically possible?" comes up at one point).
- Monty Python's Flying Circus:
- A sketch where a children's TV presenter reading a series of stories which invariably turn pornographic. "Discipline? Naked? (turns the book sideways) ...with a melon?"
- They also have something similar in the audio version of the famous "Blackmail" sketch. During the portion where the video is shown, the presenter says things like "Is that a chicken? No, it's just the way she's holding the grapefruit," and "That certainly doesn't look like his mother..."
"£3000 please, to stop us revealing your name, the names of the three other people involved, the youth organization to which they belong, and the shop where you bought the equipment!"
- Occurs in My Hero when George and Janet read a lewd diagram of what one woman would like to do to Thermoman.
- New Tricks: In "Cry Me a River," UCOS are watching a porn video starring the victim of the cold case they have just reopened. Sandra, Gerry and Steve all tilt their heads to the side in unison just as new member Dan walks through the door behind them.
- The Night Court gang watches a porn tape that is evidence in a case. The back of the TV set is to the camera, and they all slowly tilt their heads in the same direction.
Christine: (covering her eyes) Whatever happened to earning a boy's respect?
Dan: I respect her.
- On an episode of Party of Five, Claudia rents what she thinks is An Affair to Remember for Kirsten for her wedding shower, but a porn tape is in there instead (guess who ends up getting An Affair to Remember instead), and while Claudia is upset, Kirsten tilts her head.
- Person of Interest: A variation. Reese and Finch hack into the Wi-Fi of everyone in an apartment building so they can access the webcams. One woman is doing yoga in full view of her webcam. Evidently the unseen position she gets into is Head-Tiltingly Contorted. Finch doesn't just tilt his head but his body too (thanks to the disabilities which restrict his movement).
- Privileged has Rose buying a porno DVD on Megan's money. They both watch it... and mere seconds in they're wondering exactly how the actress manages to bend like that.
- On Reaper, Sock and Sam get one of these when they watch Sock's (step-)sister doing yoga. Since she is an Innocent Fanservice Girl, it was more, "Ooh, bendy!"
- Red Dwarf:
"Is that normal?"
- A variation on this in the infamous "shrinking boxers" scene, as Rimmer walks in on Kryten and Lister and entirely misinterprets what's going on. Headtilting ensues.
- Another is when Kryten has been turned into a human and asks Lister how his new "equipment" works. (For instance, the socket for the recharge cable seems to require an adaptor, as the lead keeps falling out.) Lister quickly corrects him, but then Kryten hands him two Polaroid photos. Lister squints a bit, rotating them to try to make sense of it, till he puts them together. His face is a picture. Word has it that Craig Charles had been unwittingly handed Polaroids of the actual object and that his reaction was genuine.
"What, takin' photographs of it an' showin' it to your mates?! No, it's not!"
- And in "Krytie TV", while Lister and Rimmer are watching the feed from the girls' shower room, they start tilting their heads, mouthes gaping.
- Rescue Me has the firefighting team watching a sex video of Kim Kardashian. As one of their heads tilts, first to the left, then to the right.
- On a detective show in the '70s, the hero bought a pornographic photo to use for fast-talking his way in to see someone important, implying to all the middlemen that the picture could be blackmail evidence. Obviously, TV viewers never actually saw the picture, but the reaction of all the characters, including the hero, suggested head-tilting kinkiness; the big shot's response was, "I've never seen this acrobat in my life!"
- Much of the premise of the "Stefon" sketches on Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update" involves the Camp Gay character describing increasingly kinky local attractions (often with homoerotic undertones) for the audience to enjoy over the weekend. Bonus points for the fact that the writers often change the lines around on the teleprompter for the live broadcast, causing Stefon's portrayer Bill Hader to double over with laughter in Real Life and hide his face with his hands, a Stefon "trademark."
J.D.: Is that your butt? It is?!
- The show once features Elliot and Carla walking in on a patient having sex. With Ted.
- In the episode where Jordan orders J.D. to drop his pants, we see a shot of her from between his legs as she tilts her head slightly.
- In the deleted scenes shown over the credits for Series 8, we see one of J.D.'s fantasies run away from him, when much to his horror he begins picturing Ted getting freaky with Gooch. Cue the sound of a zipper and Ted's pants landing on him.
- In a Supernatural episode "The Magnificent Seven," Sam walks in on his brother with a couple of girls. The camera doesn't show precisely what they're up to, but the look on Sam's face speaks volumes. Although this is less head-tilting than hiding his face in horror. And later...
Sam: Let me see your knife.
Dean: What for?
Sam: So I can gouge my eyes out.
Dean: It was a beautiful, natural act!
Sam: That's a part of you I never wanted to see, Dean.
- There is an early Three's Company where Chrissy is typing a very raunchy romance novel written as a diary (which at the time they thought was a real diary). Jack, reading over Chrissy's shoulder, first does the head-tilt, then attempts a strange contortionist pose, finally exclaiming, "That's impossible!"
- Happened on Titus in a flashback, where Ken tells Christopher that his girlfriend is cheating on him... by pulling out a porn mag and showing him the centerfold.
Chris: She said she couldn't do that... it was "uncomfortable." (Ken and Chris look at the picture and Head Tilt.)
- True Blood has a sex scene in which a head is tilted (actually, turned 180°).
- Two and a Half Men: Like, every episode.
- A sketch on the Australian show The Wedge has an athlete showing photos on his mobile phone to his publicist, who advises him to delete each one. The final photo has the phone turned on its side, and the publicist pauses before requesting a copy.
Publicist: How does she—
- From the improv show Whose Line Is It Anyway?:
Colin: And we call this position "Pruning the Hibiscus!"
- The drawn-from-a-hat topic for a mini-sketch was "inappropriate slide shows that your neighbors make you sit through." So, Colin Mochrie is showing Ryan Stiles his (imaginary) slides:
Ryan: (stares silently for a moment, then tilts his head sideways)
Colin: "Buttcracks of the Rich and Famous!"
- Also, during a different episode's "Scenes From a Hat," the scene "What's on TV in Hell."
(Brad runs on stage behind him and "watches," tilts his head and keeps it tilted as he walks off.)
- In Brütal Legend, one of the first monsters Eddie Riggs meets is a Battle Nun, one of the many demonic Naughty Nuns clad in leather. Eddie comments that she's "kinda sexy in a weird way."
- In Conker's Bad Fur Day, when the King Bee "pollinates" the busty sunflower. Watching the (off-screen) action, Conker tilts his head and makes a face. Despite being a colossal pervert, the face he makes is... not pleased.
- Fallout: New Vegas the player can explore the H&H Tool Company's work computers and (along with seeing the rapidly slipping sanity of Anthony House) view the inter-office romances and trysts, all of which involve such things as riding crops, egg timers, and various other odd objects.
- In Shadow Hearts 2, during a sidequest involving Joachim, you become involved in "The Man Festival," which basically involves climbing a tower of wrestling rings and defeating several opponents. On reaching the top and defeating the champion, known as The Great Question, you are informed that now Joachim must take part in a ritual involving "receiving the other's manhood." The scene then cuts to Yuri and Anastasia, who have accompanied Joachim to the top, and their reactions are quite honestly the most hilarious thing you'll ever see in a video game.
- Team Fortress 2: In the "Meet the Spy" video, this is the Heavy and Soldier's response to pictures of the enemy Spy having sex with the Scout's mother.
Heavy: (shows Soldier a photo)
Soldier: Ooooh! (admiringly)
Scout: Hey, gimme that! (as he frantically grabs at the picture)
- Dragon Age II: If you bring Isabella along on Sebastian's quest, she has this reaction when you walk in on a nobleman getting into some implied S&M with a servant. More conservative party members like Sebastian have more of a Brain Bleach reaction.
- In Sonic Shorts 2, Sonic and Shadow are looking at various fan art on the internet. Upon looking for art depicting them both fighting each other, and finding slash instead, they tilt their heads in shock.
Sonic: Is that...?
Shadow: And is that my...?
- Done once in Adventurers!, when Karn and Ardam are browsing the web and find what is implied to be some very risqué material of Karashi.
Ardam: I find myself very glad I don't have fansites.
Karn: Are all ninjas that flexible?
- Matt's introduction to Candi was Jon and Candi watching him make out with Trevor on the dance floor.
- Carry On: Kathy Garrison has drawn this more than once.
- The artwork Kathy and her sister are looking at here.
- In sister comic "The Legend of Anne Bunny", Anne looks for her shipmate in a brothel. The first time she peeks into a wrong room, she slams the door and thinks, "I didn't know you could do that outside of space!"
- In the "we did WHAT!?" arc of College Roomies from Hell!!!, the boys find out they performed in a gay porn movie while drunk some weeks before, and the girls make them watch the whole tape.
Mike: (whose left arm had since mutated into a tentacle) Man, I miss my left arm.
Dave: That... is not... your arm.
Roger: Hot damn! I'm going back for more of that stuff!
- Cthulhu Slippers: It's probably for the best that readers can't see what's in Sim's mind in this clip. It involves Captain Kirk... and a... uh... thing.
- Ctrl+Alt+Del: Player 4's character has such a reaction to player 1's character's sexual antics.
- Dominic Deegan: Visiting a Hobgoblin camp... during the mating season.
- El Goonish Shive: Tedd does the turned-magazine version with a Cat Chicks magazine complete with a three-page fold-out.
Tedd: Whoa I needs to get me some yarn!
- Girl Genius:
- When Agatha is working in the traveling Heterodyne Circus as the psychic Madame Olga.
Agatha: She... tea cozy... ...forty-three hours... ...only one spoon... ...how... eek!
- And again with Agatha when she discovers that in her two and a half years of absence, multiple book series, with ten plus volumes each, have been written about her ahem exploits with Gil and Tarvek. Luckily Zeetha, the resident expert, is on hand to give advice.
Agatha: This... this is ridiculous! Not to mention impossible!
Zeetha: Nah. You just need the right shoes.
- When Agatha is working in the traveling Heterodyne Circus as the psychic Madame Olga.
- The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!: We don't actually get to see the three-eyed lobster aliens mating. We're told that's a good thing.
- Mick's reaction in a certain strip of Least I Could Do follows this trope.
- Terra's webcomic impression in 1/0.
- The Order of the Stick: Redcloak finds the Monster in the Darkness scrying on two dwarves having sex.
Redcloak: (covers eyes) Ugh! How can you sit and watch that— (listens, gradually opens eyes) Wow... You know, with those short stubby little bodies, you'd never think they had the agility to...
- Penny Arcade featured this when Gabe and Tycho released the Fruit Fucker in "Omega Mode" on a horde of zombies. Its actions weren't shown, but were accompanied by spurts of blood and lovely sound effects like SQUICH, SKUTCH, and P-KUSH P-KUSH P-KUSH.
Tycho: (in disbelief) What is going on? Why is he...? I thought that....
- Questionable Content
- There's a downplayed example when this was invoked solely by the mental image of a Faye/Dora lesbian scene. Mostly amusing due to, apparently, being infectious.
- Played straight with Sven's fine, fine ass.
- something of a running gag, Marigold in a bikini and Bubbles without her armour produce similar reactions, mostly from Dora and Tai
- Rooster Teeth Comics: Combining it with Nerdgasm and Innocent Innuendo.
- Tripp: Sam and Coco watch Tripp and Proxy's sex tape.
- From Tripping Over You, five words: small-town ironic puppet burlesque. It is just as perplexing to the main characters in the audience.
- Deconstructed in TwoKinds. The Bastin culture is so sexually repressed that Flora chasing Kathrin out of her room while both of them are naked (Kathrin was teaching her how to give a Happy Ending Massage) is enough to cause an entire tavern to drop everything to watch and fill the entire taproom with mortified faces. Their heads probably would have exploded if they had actually gone down.
- Sunstone has this as a younger Lisa's reaction upon opening her brother's homework folder on their shared computer.
- Least I Could Do: Rayne and his secretary are touring a porn studio, trying to figure out which acts are real. This one seems special.
- Joueur du Grenier: In the Papy Grenier special episode about Resident Evil, Gilles Valentine (Seb) tilts his head just after Chris Redfield (JdG) throws a Japanese Schoolgirl toward a tentacle monster to distract it.
- That Guy with the Glasses:
- The Nostalgia Critic's tribute to Siskel & Ebert starts with him asking, "When you hear the word critic, what's the very first thing you think of?" Cut an image of him, then The Angry Video Game Nerd, then to a half-naked violinist running down a street wearing a big bird's nest on his head. Cut to the Critic, head at 45° angle, softly whispering "Why would you...?"
- Also, The Nostalgia Chick, in response to BFF Nella's over-the-top reaction to the phrase "My Little Ponies," which is apparently strong and deep-seated enough to be more important to Nella than the fact that the Nostalgia Chick had a camera installed in Nella's bedroom at her parents' house.
- And on Bad Movie Beatdown, when we don't see all of the sex scene from Live Wire, we see Film Brain staring through binoculars, head tilted, saying "I didn't even know you could do that."
- When Stan finds his kink in American Dad!, we see him collecting supplies like the largest candle in the world, hungry prairie dogs, and comprehensive butthole insurance, then inviting Principal Lewis and Marguerite to watch. While Stan and Francine get it on off-screen, the audience is treated to Lewis and Marguerite making a variety of facial expressions in response to the (clearly very freaky) things they're seeing.
- In the Family Guy episode "PTV," Peter goes into a very long explanation of how his wife pleasures him, with the relevant parts bleeped out by an airhorn. Among the things he mentions that aren't naughty are a toothpaste tube, an extension cord, a parking ticket, and something to do with Episcopalians.
- In the Futurama episode "Mother's Day," when Farnsworth tries to court Mom and she repeatedly slams the front door into his foot, Zoidberg says "Is this what human mating looks like? Because I like it!" Also, when everyone barges in on Farnsworth and Mom making love, Zoidberg is the only one not disgusted.
- Very mild example in Kaeloo. In the episode "Let's Play Happy Rotter," Kaeloo, Stumpy and Quack-Quack tilt their heads with quizzical expressions when watching a documentary in which a male crepidula turns female for mating purposes.
- The King of the Hill episode "Return to La Grunta" features a dolphin named Duke that is sometimes flirtatious with humans that swim with him. In one scene, an onlooking boy cringes and tilts his head as Duke sexually assaults a man in the pool off-screen. Dolphins have been known to really do this in captivity.
- The Simpsons
- In the episode when they go to Brazil, Bart is watching a kids TV show hosted by a woman in a very Stripperific outfit. The bit on "counting" has scantily clad dancers writhing around on giant letters and a showgirl demonstrates "clockwise" and "counterclockwise" using the tassled pasties on her chest. As the shot cuts away from the show, the host says "On top of... beneath!" Marge and Bart can only stare in disbelief.
- One episode has Krusty giving Bart a list of things that can't be said on TV.
Bart: I've never even heard of number 6.
Krusty: It's 11 and 3 while she's 9ing your 5.
- The South Park episode "The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers" revolves around a porn video, "Backdoor Sluts 9," that the children accidentally come to possess. All the adult men in the episode recognize the title instantly as the "single most vile, twisted, dark piece of porn ever produced" (without ever saying why). It's not until late in the episode that Token explicitly (pun intended) describes some of the tape's contents, which include salad dressing and DVDA.