So you're a Lothario, perhaps even The Casanova, and you've just bedded your latest conquest after going back to her place. But what's that sound? Oh no, her husband (or very rarely his wife) is home! You're a Lover not a Fighter, so deciding Discretion is the Better Part of Valor you grab your clothes (or not) and hightail it...out the window, where you're trapped thirty floors up on the convenient but narrow ledge, often in your Goofy Print Underwear, until it's safe for you to come back in. Better hope it's not raining.
It's becoming a Discredited Trope as Art Deco buildings are replaced by Glass Towers with no ledges and windows that don't open. The less physically daring version, but more likely to get caught, would be Closet Shuffle.
- Thai company Fowin used this in ad for one of their products. Involving a giant eggplant.
- There is a XXXenophile cover with a woman lying in bed wearing strategically-placed bits of a Tokyo model as her boyfriend puts on a Godzilla suit. A later trade paperback cover (and eventually a poster) added a guy in a Mothra suit on the ledge— with two tiny naked girls...
- Red Ears: This trope is played with a bunch of times in comics involving a cheating spouse that don't use the Closet Shuffle instead. One of the balsier examples has the lover crash into the apartment below where an Abhorrent Admirer is ready and waiting.
- The Woman in Red is a Whole Episode Flashback showing why Gene Wilder is on a ledge in a woman's bathrobe as a crowd gathers below. They think he's a jumper.
- Subverted in Lascars: where the man on the ledge is the actual boyfriend, trying to escape his enraged girlfriend after a misunderstanding (even has him in his underwear).
- A rare female example that is actually completely innocent: In What's Up Doc? Barbra Streisand's character Judy has to go out on the window ledge to hide from Eunice, and ends up dangling in nothing but a towel.
- Twisted in a very cruel way in The Ledge. The choice of place for Gavin's upcoming death is no accident.
- Three men were waiting at the Pearly Gates to Heaven, but were told that there was only one spot left. That spot would go to whoever had the most worthy death.
The first man says, "I suspected my wife was cheating, but I didn't have any proof. So I decided to catch her by surprise, by coming home early from work. She was wearing a towel, but her hair wasn't wet, so I knew she wasn't taking a shower. I searched all over for the guy, and finally found him clinging pathetically to my windowsill. I pounded on his fingers until he let go, but he landed in the bushes and survived, so I threw my refrigerator out the window to finish him off. After all the excitement, I fell dead from a heart attack."
"Interesting," replied St. Peter. "Next?" The second man said, "I was minding my own business, riding one of those stationary exercise bikes on top of my apartment building, when the screws came loose, and I fell off the edge of the roof. I grabbed for dear life onto the first open windowsill I saw, but then some idiot started pounding on my fingers. It must have been my lucky day, because I landed in the bushes, alive and unharmed, but then that same idiot threw his refrigerator out the window and crushed me to death with it!"
"That, too, is horrible," said St. Peter. "And you?" The third man replied, "OK, picture this, I'm naked inside a refrigerator..."
- Lope de Vega in Harry Turtledove's Ruled Britannia is introduced in a scene like this. It's a second-story window in
ElizabethanSpanish-dominated England, so he can just make the jump; the real inconvenience comes from the fact that English attire constitutes way too many separate articles for a last-minute escape.
- A Stock Schtick in Playboy single panel cartoons.
- There's a scene in Swordspoint in which one character escapes from a tryst with a married woman by climbing down a drainpipe. (The fact that he was carrying on an affair with her husband too probably added to his incentive to get out of there fast.)
- A Night Court episode has Harry doing this, then being joined by Dan after the latter is caught in a similar predicament.
- An episode of Soap gives us the female variant: Eunice is having an affair with a congressman, and his wife returns from a trip to the beauty salon so Eunice has to hide in a curtained windowseat. Then the congressman's wife decides to open the window to get some air. She opens the curtains to reveal that the window is already open - Eunice has retreated to the ledge. (No goofy underwear, but it is raining pretty heavily.) She eventually escapes the ledge by climbing into another man's room; said man thinks she's the escort he ordered.
- Happens to Sam in Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe after he is caught in bed with the wife of an admiral.
- Happens in the first episode of Korean Drama Shut Up Flower Boy Band when Byung Hee escapes through the window and the girl's father (his school principal) chases him.
- Aramis is left clinging to a window ledge in the "Friends and Enemies" episode of The Musketeers after Adele's other lover, the Cardinal Richelieu, arrives home early.
- Zero Punctuation review of... er, Call of Duty
- Apparently there's a Russian forum where people issue "challenges"/dramatic situations and then various groups of forum members go stage (and/or Photoshop) photos of that situation. One such challenge involved this trope. Here, more pictures of half-naked Russian guys hanging off window ledges than you probably ever needed to see.