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Modesty Bedsheet

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"Sexy women would 'happen' to be topless in the 1970s movies for no better reason than that everyone agreed, including themselves, that their breasts were a genuine pleasure to regard — the most beautiful naturally occurring shapes in nature, I believe. Now we see breasts only in serious films, for expressing reasons. There's been such a comeback for the strategically positioned bed sheet, you'd think we were back in the 1950s."
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A character who is nude in bed uses the bedsheet to cover their private parts. They may be in the morning after a night of passion, or have been undressed and left resting in bed or even simply be sleeping in the buff. The nude character might get out of bed and drag along the sheet pulled from the bed to avoid exposing nudity to a sexual partner (or even an empty room) and, coincidentally, to the viewer. They may even wrap the sheet in such a way as to make a makeshift dress, instead of putting on some clothes or a robe. A character that has found themselves without clothes for any reason may also make use (or be given) some kind of bedsheet, blanket or cloth for them to covers themselves with.

Another frequent variation is during sex scenes when a sheet is used to strategically cover the couple's nudity or any explicit sexual act while they're making love. In post-sex scenes, couples will often have the bedsheet draped over their bodies, with the sheet usually falling low to the man's waist (exposing his bare chest) but having the woman's bust covered up. Apparently, L-shaped blankets, also known as the His 'n' Hers Bedsheet, are a fad in fictionland. There's also a unisex bed sheet that also falls to the woman's waist that can either: have her laying on her stomach so as to only expose her Toplessness from the Back, have her still wearing a bra or simply leaving her breasts uncovered. The latter was very popular during The '70s and early Eighties. Even media that freely show topless nudity, will frequently have sex scenes that feature sheets tightly wrapped around the waists of the two actors simulating coitus.

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Media that feature corpses for autopsies or surgeries (such as Police Procedural and Medical Dramas) also frequently have bedsheets draped over them to preserve their modesty or cover wounds. Sometimes the sheets will only cover the nudity while the gore of the body's wounds may still be in full display.

Done well, audiences won't even really notice. It's not unusual for people to have a sense of modesty, even when alone or with a lover. Or they may simply be cold. However, done poorly it can be incredibly jarring and break viewers' suspension of disbelief.

While this is a censorship trope, it is also a Fanservice one, as the idea of a character wearing solely a bedsheet is titillating in and of itself. To the point Fanservice Models posing wearing only a bedsheet became a somewhat common modeling "attire" that features in many magazines and promotional material. A character who is The Tease may even invoke this In-Universe, as wearing only a sheet is a popular way to show your potential sexual partner one is Ready for Lovemaking. A character dressed in only a sheet is also a common way to make someone look Sex Dressed.

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See Right Through His Pants for when characters are wearing pants or underwear in situations where you would expect them to be nude. See Bankruptcy Barrel, Hand-or-Object Underwear, Modesty Towel and Modesty Rags for other objects that can be used to preserve one's modesty. Compare Scenery Censor, Shoulders-Up Nudity or Toplessness from the Back for other ways of showing nudity without showing nudity.


Examples

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    Comic Books 

  • Alex + Ada: Used when Alex and Ada have sex for the first time in issue #10. Between the layout of the panels and the sheets, you can't see anything between their legs and shoulders.
  • All-New Wolverine
    • A couple Logan and Gabby interrupt while doing the deed during their escape from Cap and S.H.I.E.L.D. hastily cover themselves with the bedsheets when the pair smash through their apartment.
    • Laura gets one herself in #20 while submitting herself to examination by Monica Rappaccini while the latter is trying to find a cure for The Plague.
  • In Astonishing X-Men #14, Colossus and Kitty Pryde finally consummate their relationship it turns out he's such a talented lover he causes Kitty Intangibility powers to kick in at her climax, causing her to phase through the floor and fall into the TV lounge stark naked while students are still around. Mortified, she quickly grabs the quilt in the sofa and uses it as a modesty bedsheet as she makes a dash back to her room.
  • Catwoman: When in Rome: Selina Sleeps in the Nude in a hotel, with only a bedsheet just barely covering her waist, but since she sleeps on her stomach she's only showing her bare back and some Sideboob. When the Blonde comes into her room, she attack hims on instinct with the flying sheet still managing to provide her Scenery Censor during the struggle and she picks it back up once she realizes he's to there to harm her. Soon after Eddie comes running into the room because the hotel is catching fire and they're all forced to jump out of her window into the pool bellow, with Selina still clutching to the sheet. It comes off her during the jump, leaving her stuck naked and furious on the hotel pool that's filling with curious guests. She promises pain to her nearby male companions if they peek and orders them to get her a Modesty Towel so she can leave.
  • In the third Damage Control miniseries, a movie is made about the main characters. It includes what is, to judge by the characters' reaction, a fairly explicit sex scene. Afterwards we see the actress sitting up in bed and clutching a sheet to her breasts; one of the characters wonders why she's bothering to hide them now.
  • In Daredevil #609, Matt comes back to his house to find Elektra waiting for him in his bed and wearing solely a bedsheet. The morning after, Matt is now the only one under the sheet, as Elektra is Not Staying for Breakfast.
  • In Generation X #7, Sean Cassidy (Banshee) confronts Emma Frost at night when she keeps showing up in his dreams. She answers the door nude, holding a bedsheet to her chest, and angrily explains (she's a Telepath and already knew what he was going to ask) that being forced to sleep in cramped quarters is causing them to share dreams. Emma then intentionally drops the sheet before shutting the door, seemingly just to frustrate him.
  • In The Golden Age, when Joan Dale interrupts a moment of intimacy between Lance Gallant and Paula Brooks around Christmas to show them Tex Thompson's Secret Diary, Paula wraps herself up in a bedsheet while Lance ends up wearing a bathrobe to cover himself.
  • House of M: Used twice in the Civil War: House of M miniseries
  • Paradoxically used in Irredeemable. Cutter gets a Modesty Bedsheet after sleeping with the Plutonian... even though she's an alien with Barbie Doll Anatomy who's always been nude in previous scenes
  • In Journey into Mystery #651 the warriors three visit Thor's room to warn of a potential invasion and find Thor and Lady Sif in bed under a bedsheet. Sif puts on a nightgown before venturing out but Thor simply goes to fight wearing nothing but a bedsheet around his waist, which seems to be glued to his waist as it never comes off during battle.
  • Justice Machine: One issue has Demon sneaking into Diviner bedroom as she sleeps, and since she Sleeps in the Nude she only had a bedsheet to preserve her modesty.
  • In Legion of Super-Heroes vol 6, when Shadow-Lass and Earth-Man are caught bed, they both sit up covering themselves with the bedsheet.
  • The fact that Todd and Damon did this in Manhunter came in handy for them when Todd's father walks in on them.
  • New Avengers #14 has a flashback scene with Nick Fury giving Jessica Drew a sudden phone call at night, and Jessica is shown she Sleeps in the Nude as she answers, with a bedsheet wrapped around her for the whole scene, despite being alone in her bedroom.
  • In The Outsiders #28, Starfire and Nightwing are laying post-coital in bed, and the bedsheet covering seems to be strategically placed as to cover their naughty bits but still showing as much bare skin as the artist could get away with.
  • In one issue of Preacher, Jesse and Tulip are in bed, with the Modesty Bedsheet partially avoided: it covers them both below the waist, and we get to see Tulip topless. At the same time, the comic shies away from showing actual genitalia.
  • Subverted in The Punisher MAX #23. When Kathryn and Frank sleep together we get a shot of both of them after the act under an L-shaped bedsheet that keeps them covered, but when Kathryn shifts she ends up exposing her breast anyway. Even odder later, when Theresa ambushes them while they're sleeping, Frank is still completely covered by the sheet
  • In one issue of Runaways, Nico and Victor are found in bed together after what is pretty clearly implied to have been a sexual encounter. However, both are fully clothed.
  • In Scarlet Spider (2012) #24, Kaine finds his girlfriend Annabelle waiting for him in his bedroom naked under the bedsheets and the scene soon cuts way... to the real Annabelle who is on her way to visit him. Turns out the Annabelle he slept with is actually the villainess Shathra who took the form of Annabelle to seduce Kaine.
  • Sex Criminals: When Suzie realizes that the guy she just slept with was unaffected by the time-freeze, she leaps out of bed, grabbing the sheet to cover herself, which ironically completely exposes him.
  • Spider-Man: In JMS' Spider-Man, when Peter and Mary Jane make love for the first time after reconciling, they're show lying in bed post-coital under a bedsheet up to their waist, with MJ lying on her stomach with Toplessness from the Back.
  • In Spider-Man 2099 #37, a flashback shows Xina having an Home-Early Surprise when she comes back from her trip to find Dana coming out of the bedroom wearing only a bedsheet, and realizes that Miguel has cheated on her.
  • Squadron Supreme: Arcanna Sleeps in the Nude in the squadron's co-ed dormitories, where she is shown draped in only a bedsheet quite a few times.
  • Star Wars: Doctor Aphra: At the end of the Remastered arc, Aphra and Tolva start making out, and the scene cuts to a "the morning after" scene of Aphra waking up Tolvan, who appears to be naked with only a blanket covering her before she goes to work.
  • Star Wars: Shattered Empire: Shara has Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex with her husband in a Sexy Discretion Shot in the night after celebrating the Rebels victory in Battle of Endor. In the morning afterwards, she's still covered with only Modesty Bedsheet while her husband already got dressed.
  • Superman
    • In at least one issue of Superman, Lois Lane and her husband reunite passionately. Afterward, Lois makes use of a Modesty Cape. This even went on to become a staple for the actresses who play Lois in Real Life, with the pose usually being used in promotional material. Margot Kidder originated the pose, followed by Teri Hatcher and Erica Durance. The Modesty Cape is reused in an utterly (albeit intentionally) ridiculous scene in The Dark Knight Strikes Again where Superman and Wonder Woman copulate whilst flying around the world (and at one point through a volcano) somehow without removing their costumes, but Supes' cape still hides the dirty deed all the same.
    • Superman: Earth One at the end of issue #2, we see Alexandra and Lex Luthor laying in bed post-sex in an L-shaped bedsheet. Alexandra doesn't hold on to the sheet when she gets out of bed (convenient camera angles are used to cover her nudity), with Lex being the one to wrap the sheet around his waist.
  • Teen Titans: In the very first issue of The New Teen Titans Volume 2 (1984), Dick Grayson and Starfire are shown waking up together in bed with both barely covered by bedsheets. This scene became controversial both as the first display of a young couple post-coitus in a comic and as the first overt display of Dick Grayson's sex life who would go on to have a reputation to Really Gets Around.
  • In Top Cow Productions Tomb Raider #10, Lara falls into a whirlpool and almost drowns, losing consciousness. When she next wakes up, she finds that herself naked on a luxurious bedroom beneath a bedsheet with all her clothes, equipment and weapons nearby, since her rescuer undressed her while she was out.
  • In Ultimate Wolverine #3, the sex scene between Magda and Logan has a bedsheet covering their waists.
  • Wonder Woman:
  • Used in the "Across Diamond Seas" story arc for Xanadu. Alicia modestly covers herself with a bedsheet when she comes to in the presence of the kirin who "rescued" her (long story there). She later uses the sheet as a make-shift dress until the kirin offers her more suitable clothing. Oddly enough, Alicia didn't seem that concerned with modesty in the "Thief of Hearts" story arch.
  • X-Factor (2006):
    • When Madrox and the team visit the morgue to investigate the body related to a case, she gets possessed by Bloodbath and attacks them, with a Modesty Bedsheet being glued to her body for most of the fight.
    • One issue had Layla texts Madrox that she wanted to chat about something in his room, but he gets distracted and lets her wait, figuring it's not important. Cut to Madrox’s bedroom filled with lit candles and roses, where a bored and naked Layla lies in the bed, seductively covered only by a Modesty Bedsheet. When a fight breaks out downstairs she comes down with the sheet now wrapped around her.
  • In the Zatanna Everyday Magic oneshot, Zatanna's manager Arnie is seen talking with her on the phone while also in bed with his boyfriend with only a bed sheet covering him. Later, Zatanna and Hal are seen under one that goes up to their chest after they sleep together.

    Fan Works 

  • A Demon Among Devils: When Minato awakens after spending the last four days in a coma, he's on an infirmary cot with Rias and Sirzechs watching. He suddenly notices with distress that he's not wearing anything save for a hospital bedsheet, and has a delayed Naked Freak-Out once he realizes someone must have undressed him. Cue Rias letting out a perverted chuckle.
  • A Different Lesson: Occurs after Tai Lung and Tigress's second sex scene; amusingly, the sheet isn't even mentioned during the act itself (although this does suggest the realistic point that those in the middle of sex aren't likely to notice or remark upon the bedding, and also keeps it from being intrusive). Luckily for them, they must have pulled the sheet up Just in Time, since it happens to cover his waist and her chest right when Shifu appears in the doorway.
  • The Heart Trilogy: In Heart of Ashes, Kathryn covers herself with a bedsheet when her and Smaug's bedchamber is assaulted by guards in chapter 14.
  • In The Wizard in the Shadows, Harry is brooding about the oncoming army of Mordor when Ginny comes up behind him, wearing only a Modesty Bedsheet and decides the best way to distract is to lure him back to bed by dropping said bedsheet.
    Harry: [blinks] Wow. Consider me distracted.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 

  • In Above Suspicion, when Nick (Edward Kerr) and Gail (Kim Cattrall) are having sex under the covers that fall to their waists when they're interrupted by the sound of his pager going off, Gail then starts reading a book topless before they resume their lovemaking. Nick then gets completely under the blankets and pulls them up to Gail's neck.
  • Akunin: A textbook example of the L-shaped sheet variety after Shimizu and Mitsuyo have sex for the first time.
  • Probably lampshaded in Amazon Women on the Moon when the buxom Corinne Wahl's breasts fill the screen for several minutes prior to a moderately explicit sex scene... when the sketch abruptly becomes a caught-cheating drama, they are never again seen, hidden behind the obligatory bedsheet.
  • America's Sweethearts: The two lead characters end up sleeping together and in the next morning not only is there the bedsheet, but both characters are partly dressed.
  • Anna: After they have sex in the hotel, Anna holds up the sheet around her chest while talking with Leonard, then holds it there when getting up.
  • Another Me: After having sex with Drew, Fay and he lie with the cover up over their chests.
  • In The Assignment (1997) the women are shown fully naked in bed while Carlos or Annibal are the one whose groin is always hidden by the sheet.
  • Chase Meridian is sleeping naked under a silk bedsheet in Batman Forever when she gets a surprise visit by Batman in the middle of the night. She wraps herself in the sheet when she gets up to greet him.
  • Beyond the Lights: Noni and Kaz are cuddling post-sex in bed while watching TV in their motel room in Mexico when there's a knock at the door. Thinking it's just the maid, Noni jumps up, grabs the sheet to cover herself and goes to answer it. To her horror, she ends up opening the door to her mother and a gaggle of paparazzi.
  • The Big Easy: The morning after Remy and Anne sleep together, we see her sitting up in bed naked with her back to the camera before she gathers the sheet around her and walks to the kitchen.
  • Breaking the Girls: Every female character keeps a sheet up to their breasts after sex.
  • Lampshaded in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, when Bridget is getting out of bed trying to cover herself with the bedsheet, and her bedmate points out that it's a silly thing to do because "I happen to have a very high regard for your wobbly bits." She promptly decides to drop the sheet.
  • In Bruce Almighty, after a night of amazing pleasure with his girlfriend, Bruce wakes up to find the bed in a shambles, but the duvet is still pulled up just enough to cover Bruce up to his waist. This gets even more obvious when he sits up, with his legs being exposed, and only his waist and groin covered.
  • In Cabin Fever, an impulsive affair is shown with a bedsheet covering the rudest bits. Despite the woman's vigorous gyrations, the bedsheet amazingly stays in the exact same position. Reportedly, the actress doing all the thrusting, Cerina Vincent, struck a deal with the director to limit her nudity in the film, and did the scene with bedsheets literally duct-taped to her posterior, to prevent them falling off.
  • Caddyshack: Danny and Lacey make love under bedsheets that fall to their waists.
  • Used in The Candy Snatchers when Avery has sex with his mistress. It almost looks like they're using separate bedsheets.
  • In Candy Stripe Nurses, Sandy is shown lying naked in a hospital bed after having sex with a guy.
  • Charlie's Angels (2000): Dylan is introduced post-coital in bed under a sheet, being wakened by her lover's terrible singing. Much later she's also seen in one after sleeping with Knox, just as she gets a call from the other Angel's that reveals he's Evil All Along. She confronts him still wrapped in a bedsheet, which actually ends up saving her life since she's thrown out his window, but the sheet ends up snagging into a piece of glass and it ends up serving as a Bedsheet Ladder, breaking her fall as it unravels from her body, though she does end up rolling down a hill and into a family's backyard while completely naked and has to resort to Hand-or-Object Underwear until she asks the startled residents for clothing.
  • Inverted in Dagon, where the male character has the sheet most of the way up his chest, but the other half of the sheet is somewhere around the female character's hips or (depending on the point in the scene) knees.
  • The Dark Knight Rises: Bruce and Miranda are securely wrapped in a blanket post-sex while laying on the floor in front of a fireplace.
  • D.E.B.S.: Both Lucy and Amy have these on getting interrupted by Amy's teammates.
  • In Deliver Us From Eva, Gabrielle Union & LL Cool J's characters Eva & Ray are so eager to get it on, they can't make it to the bed... but, despite all logic, find themselves, immediately after coitus, wrapped in sheets & blankets on the floor. They can't get IN the bed, but they can completely strip it? Eva is also wearing panties.
  • DOA: Dead or Alive:
  • Dragged Across Concrete has an odd example, since the very first thing on-screen is Henry and Lana having sex, completely naked. When they are done, she covers herself up to shoulder level, while Henry only gets his groin covered. Then he proceeds to play with her boobs anyway, all on-screen, making the short moment with a bedsheet completely moot.
  • In Entrapment, Gin has her luggage stolen and is forced to sleep naked in her hotel room with only the bedsheets to cover her. During the night, Gentleman Thief Mac sneaks into her room and she sits up startled making the sheet pool at her waist, giving him an eyeful while giving the audience a Toplessness from the Back shot. Later in Kuala Lumpur, she's sleeping naked again in the room they share, this time uncovered. Mac covers her with the bedsheets, probably to avoid being Distracted by the Sexy.
  • The Fly (1986): When Veronica returns to the loft after her confrontation with Stathis and wakes up Seth, as he gets out of the bed he wraps the sheet around his waist, suggesting that he went straight to bed upon emerging from the teleporter (he had been heavily drinking after all).
  • The Football Factory: Tom's failed one-night stand (in which he and Rod picked up two women, escorted them home, and then fell asleep on their beds before they can do anything) ends as this. He wakes up to see a man waving a knife in his face, who is then knocked out by Rod with a cricket bat. The two men run out with pillows and bedsheets wrapped around them (possibly because they either didn't have time to put their clothes on, or couldn't find them), leaving Tom to arrive at the garden center late, wrapped in a purple sheet. Despite trying to hide behind shelves, Billy is not impressed.
  • Friends with Benefits: A bedsheet is used extensively during the Sex Montage where Jamie and Dylan actually become Friends with Benefits, keeping all of the action hidden from the viewer. When they're finished, they also collapse in bed with the bedsheet now in an L-shaped position.
  • Laetitia Casta playing Brigitte Bardot does a phenomenally sexy dance with a modesty bedsheet in the French film Gainsbourg.
  • Played straight in Goodbye Lenin. Alex and Lara fall on Lara's bed laughing. The next scene is the morning after and Alex gets out of bed still wearing his shorts, somewhat strange in a film that does feature full-frontal male nudity.
  • Gifted: Bonnie and Frank got drunk and slept together and later Mary spots Bonnie walking around the house dressed in just a sheet and gives her a sing-song "Good Morning" in an Ironic Echo to a previous interaction.
  • God's Own Country: After Johhny and Gheorghe have sex in Johnny's house, they are seen with Johnny's private parts covered in this, even though the film has no problem showing them after their second sex in the mountain.
  • Alan in The Hangover makes a sort of improvised bedsheet skirt when he can't find his pants.
  • Harold and Maude: In the scene where they're in bed together, Harold is shown naked from the waist up, while Maude is covered up to her shoulders as she sleeps.
  • Heneral Luna: Ysabel sports them after having sex with Luna but averted by the prostitute that a Janolino is screwing earlier in the film.
  • In Hot Tub Time Machine, when Adam, Nick, and Jacob walk in on Lou and Kelly having sex, the bedsheet is positioned to prevent any kind of nudity from being seen.
  • Used in the beginning of Iron Man, where Tony Stark's one-night stand Christine Everhart wakes up and—possibly out of confusion and not knowing just who's going to walk in—grabs a sheet when JARVIS wakes her up. It's partially justified in that Pepper had taken her clothes to be dry-cleaned, so she doesn't have a choice for a cover up in a room with such a huge window. After that, however, she wears one of Tony's shirts (and nothing else).
  • Shows up often in the James Bond series, since Bond Really Gets Around:
    Frederick Gray: My God, what's Bond doing?
    Q: I think he's attempting re-entry, sir.
    • For Your Eyes Only: Fille Fatale Bibi attempts to seduce Bond by getting into his bed and in a Modesty Towel and then taking off the towel while she's under the covers. Bond turns her down, asks her to Please Put Some Clothes On and offers to buy her an ice cream cone.
    • Octopussy: Maga and Bond are both under the sheets in bed after sleeping together, with both having the sheet up to their chest. At one point Bond lowers her sheet to he can look at her "Octopussy" tattoo.
    • Licence to Kill
      • In the opening, Sanchez finds his girlfriend Lupe in bed with another man, both under the bedsheets. The man is revealed to be wearing briefs when Sanchez's men drag him off to be killed, but Lupe is clearly nude under hers, which she holds to her chest as she sits up in bed before he makes her lie in her stomach so he can whip her as punishment for her infidelity.
      • Later, Lupe Sleeps in the Nude under the sheets while on the Wavekrest when Bond sneaks into her room and forces her to cover for him (at knifepoint) which she does while holding the bedsheet to her chest, showing her Toplessness from the Back as well as the scars she received from Sanchez's whipping. She slips on a robe to cover up after answering the door.
    • Played straight in GoldenEye, with the sheets being extremely low on Bond's waist, but they're practically up to Natalya Simonova's chin.
    • Tomorrow Never Dies: Bond is introduced while in bed with Inga Bergstrom with both wrapped up in a bedsheet that covers their nudity.
    • Zigzagged with Elektra King in The World Is Not Enough. She averts it post-coitus with Bond, where he's lying on his side, cuddled up next to Elektra, while she's lying on her stomach (resulting in Toplessness from the Back), with the sheet pushed down to BOTH of their waists. She turns over at one point and we get a brief glimpse of her breasts before it cuts to a headshot. It's played straight later on post-coitus between Elektra and Renard, where he's fully dressed while she's nude under the sheet complete with Elektra strutting around the room with the bedsheet wrapped around her.
    • Die Another Day: Miranda's Dress Hits Floor as she prepares to sleep with Bond, leading to a brief shot of Toplessness from the Back before she gets into the before, under the blanket where she's quickly followed by Bond. After the Sexy Discretion Shot, Bond has just finished getting dressed while she's still laying in bed nude under the sheets.
    • Casino Royale (2006): Bond and Vesper are beneath one while having sex. She doesn't take it with her when she gets out of bed, but by the time the camera shifts to her she's already put her dress back on.
    • Quantum of Solace: Agent Fields is seen sitting up in bed holding a sheet to her chest after sleeping with Bond. He starts kissing her bare back before pulling her back to bed for another round.
  • Jennifer's Body: After Needy breaks off having sex with Chip, she covers herself with the sheet.
  • In Just the Way You Are, Susan and Peter use a his 'n' hers bedsheet after they have sex.
  • In Keep Off My Grass!, Jerry and Suze are naked in bed together when two rednecks walk in on them, causing them to sit up. Suze clutches the blanket to her chest, while Jerry lets it drape around his waist.
  • Living in Oblivion: Partially averted with Nicole: after making love to Chad she's sitting on the bed with her back to the camera and the sheet around her waist. Then when he's gone, she flops onto her back without covering herself, because she's alone.
  • Love & Other Drugs: Averted. Jamie and Maggie have a ton of sex but don’t bother to cover up. When, in a moment of brief shyness, she pulls her sheet up to her collarbone, Jamie gets off the bed and it uncovers her boob and she doesn’t bother to cover it up again.
  • Inverted in Malibu High. At the start of the movie, Kim Bently wakes up, sits on the side of the bed naked, lights a cigarette and then brushes her hair in the nude.
  • Manhunter: Graham's wife keeps the bedsheet wrapped around herself as she walks over to Graham, staring out the hotel room's window.
  • Margarita:
    • Gail has the covers around her chest after she had slept with her partner Ben. However, it slips briefly to show one breast.
    • Margarita and Jane have the covers up after having sex, although they had shown their breasts during, so it's more probably just due to being cold.
  • Subverted by Rob Lowe and Kim Cattrall in Masquerade. They don't cover up after their romp in the sack.
  • Midnight (1939) Eve Peabody sports this when she first wakes up in the hotel since her only outfit, an evening gown, isn't very comfortable to sleep in.
  • In Mississippi Masala, when it shows Meena and Demetrius in bed after they have sex, they are both covered up by the sheet. Then, when Meena's father's friends knock on their hotel door, Demetrius gets up and pulls some pants on, but you can tell he's not wearing underwear. Then they barge in and Meena gets up and covers herself with a sheet, and it is obvious that she is naked under the sheet.
  • Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day: Miss Pettigrew goes up to the bedroom to wake up "young Phil" (whom she believes is a boy from based on what Delysia said) and pulls back the sheets, revealing they were actually serving as modesty bedsheets as Phil is very nude and defiantly not a young boy, much to Miss Pettigrew's horror, especially since he's very much "up".
    Miss Pettigrew: He's a much bigger boy than I had anticipated.
    Delysia: [giggles] Oh, you noticed! He is isn't he?
  • Model Shop: Gloria's bedsheet is securely fastened under her armpits during an early scene, whereas George lounges shirtless.
  • Open Water: Averted, probably because it's an indie film. Early on Susan and Daniel are shown in bed together, and they're as comfortably nude around each other as you'd expect a married couple to be.
  • Utilized in the PBS filmed version of the musical Passion for the opening scene. While Clara and Georgio are shown having sex with her on top as the curtain rises, her back is to the audience, and the sheets are conveniently arranged so you never see Marin Mazzie's breasts. Averted in the actual play.
  • Ophelia: Ophelia wakes up alone under one after spending the night with Hamlet.
  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire: Zigzagged. Most of the time, Héloïse covers herself while in bed naked with Marianne. She's shown topless once however.
  • The Pretty One: Laurel is shown sitting up in bed next to Basel the morning after having sex with him, the bedsheet carefully wrapped around her chest.
  • A less-common male example in Ravenous (1999)—albeit with no sex involved—in which Colqhoun is completely naked and holds the blanket bunched over his naughty bits. Cuts to something like Toplessness from the Back, except that it's not toplessness so much as everything-but-the-socks-lessness.
  • The Rebound: A hungover Sandy is found passed out naked with the bedsheets barely covering her by Aram and the kids. When Aram awakes her first assumption is that they slept together, which he's quick to correct.
  • Riot on Sunset Strip: After her rape, Andy lies in bed with a bedsheet pulled up to her shoulders, although her sides are still visible.
  • Robin Hood (2010): Eleanor of Aquitaine comes into her son Prince John's room to speak to him only to find him fooling around in bed with Princess Isabella of France, but they both remain "decent" by being under the covers. Unperturbed, Eleanor decides it's best to talk to them both, but dismissively pulls the covers over Isabella's face because "I will not have you in my presence."
  • Rock Star: After the party, Emily doesn't bother getting dressed, just wraps a sheet around her for her "walk of shame" back to the hotel room.
  • Occurs in the The Rocky Horror Picture Show after Frank catches Janet and Rocky having sex. But warranted, as the entire cast comes to gawk at them.
  • Running Scared (1986): Danny lets himself in in his partner's Ray loft one morning, and finds Ray and Maryann in bed under a blanket, clearly after a night of passion. Both wake up startled by the intrusion, holding the blanket to their chests and after they trade some barks, Maryann wraps herself in the blanket and goes to the bathroom. Downplayed since the blanket only covers her front, and both men stare at her bare backside as she leaves.
  • Inverted in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. As Scott and Ramona lay in bed together, the sheet is pulled up over Scott's chest but down past Ramona's. She is wearing a bra, however.
  • Double Subverted in The Seduction. Jamie Douglas Sleeps in the Nude and she's shown taking off her robe and going to bed. We see her naked. But she immediately gets into bed and under the covers.
  • This was already enough of a Discredited Trope in 1962 to be parodied in Shoot the Piano Player. Charlie is lying in bed, his chest uncovered, waiting for a prostitute. She crawls into his bed topless... and he thrusts the sheet into an L-shape over her breasts, saying "this is how you do it in the movies."
  • Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow: After Sky Captain, Polly and Kaji Out Run The Fireball of the explosion in the uranium mine, they are knocked unconscious. When they wake up in a room in an unknown location, they find that they have been undressed and are all in bed together under the same bedsheet.
  • Subverted in Star Trek Into Darkness. Captain Kirk is shown waking up in bed with a Cat Girl, who is still wearing a pink bra and panties (with a hole for her tail, one imagines). This is despite the initial camera pan across the bed showing a pink bra lying on the sheets. Then a second Cat Girl sits up in bed beside them, clasping the sheet to her chest, explaining who the bra belongs to.
  • The Student Nurses: Phred is shown naked in bed in three sex scenes.
  • Played straight in Titanic (1997) with Jack and Rose in the back of a car. Not only is it uncertain where they got the blanket, but it took place not ten minutes after the famous nude painting scene. Allegedly, this was because of James Cameron's tiptoeing around the censors, to still allow the movie to be PG-13. Nudity while posing for a painting probably counted as "tasteful", while nudity during coitus probably did not.
  • In the Stephen Chow vehicle Tricky Brains, his character at one point wears a tan body-suit to a business meeting in a restaurant on which is written the characters for "I am naked."
  • What's Your Number?: Ally catches Colin picking up his newspaper with just a Modesty Bedsheet on.
  • William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet: After Their First Time 21-year-old Romeo and 16-year-old Juliet are shown lying on the bed with the bedsheets around their waists (but Juliet had her bare back to the camera, effectively covering her breasts). Romeo then sits up and proceeds to put on his boxers, all the while hiding his hips under a conveniently placed bedsheet. Juliet later employs it when the nurse walks in the room.
  • Averted (possibly accidentally) in The Woman in Red where Kelly LeBrock gets out of bed and pulls up the sheet to cover herself. Unfortunately - or perhaps not - the sheet briefly snags on something and while she is able to conceal her breasts, her pubic hair is visible.
  • In Zachariah, Belle Starr and Zachariah use a his 'n' hers bedsheet after they have sex.

    Literature 

  • Played With in the YA werewolf series by Steve Feasey, alternately titled Changeling or Wereling. The first book begins with Trey, who lives in a group home, waking up to find his bedroom trashed for some reason. He gets into a fight with a bullying caregiver about it and only belatedly remembers that he's naked. He quickly covers himself with a quilt and pulls his shorts on under it.
  • Memory, Sorrow and Thorn: Near the end of "To Green Angel Tower", when Miriamele and Simon finally have sex, and Josua barges in and wakes them up in the middle of the night, Miriamele keeps the bedsheet pulled up to her neck so she can hug him without compromising her modesty. Simon is left rather exposed by this, though.
  • The Kingkiller Chronicle: In The Name of the Wind, Kvothe discovers Fela Sleeps in the Nude when he calls upon her in her dorm room late one night, only for her to drowsily answer the door clad only a in a bedsheet that is barely covering her. He struggles with the urge to gawk openly.
    "She was unmistakably naked, with a bedsheet half-wrapped around herself. I will admit that the sight of gorgeous, full-breasted Fela half-naked in front of me was one of the most startlingly erotic moments in my young life.
    "Kvothe?" she said, maintaining a remarkable degree of composure. She tried to cover herself more fully and met with mixed success, pulling the sheet up to her neck in exchange for exposing a scandalous amount of long, shapely leg.
  • The Millennium Trilogy: In "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo", Lisbeth wears these twice; first when Mikael shows up at her apartment while she Sleeps in the Nude, and again when she decides to sleep with him.
  • Jenna Black's Morgan Kingsley series: Whenever Morgan wakes up in Lugh's Dream World she finds herself in his bed with all of her clothes gone but still covered by a silk bed sheet. One time she deliberately doesn't sit up as she thinks the bedsheets are too slippery to keep her covered.
    "Besides, silk sheets are kind of slippery, and it might be hard to keep this one over my naughty bits if I sat up."
  • Nos4a 2: After having sex with Carmody, Vic's got the covers around her chest.
  • In the Relativity story "Secret Recipe", a hooker named Babs agrees to help the police by luring a bad guy into a sting. When the cops bust into the room where she's "entertaining" him, she quickly covers herself with the bedsheet. Which is actually kind of strange, because the man was a foot-fetishist and she had all her clothes on other than her shoes and stockings.
  • Under the Pendulum Sun: The morning after having sex, Cathy wakes up, sits up in bed, realizes she's naked, and gets embarrassed. Her lover points out this is silly—and she agrees—but she covers up anyways. To be fair, they are Victorians.
    Laon: I have seen you naked already. I’ve even dressed you.
    Cathy: That’s not the point.
    Laon: And I do intend to see you naked again.
    Cathy: I intend to let you, but it’s still hardly proper.
  • The narrator of We Can't Rewind is both horrified by the circumstances in which he observes this trope being put into practice and a bit mollified by it: "Jackie and Jaymee did still have the covers pulled up over themselves; for that I am grateful."

    Live-Action TV 

  • 10 Things I Hate About You: Kat and Patric are under one in the season finale after they have Their First Time together. Which is lucky for them, since Kat's Overprotective Dad Walter barges in on them.
  • The 100:
  • In 24, Renee, having just had sex with Jack gets shot wearing one of these. It seems to cling on by sheer magic all the way to the hospital, which can turn what should be an emotional death scene into sheer narm.
  • The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.: In the pilot, Dixie seduces Brisco and the two fall in bed. The next time we see them, Dixie is under a bedsheet in bed while a fully dressed Brisco is sneaking out.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
  • Alias: Used a lot whenever Sydney sleeps with her Love Interests. It usually averts the L-shaped sheets by having Sydney sleeping on her stomach and thus only showing her Toplessness from the Back.
  • Arrow:
    • "The Odyssey": In a flashback, Oliver and Laurel are Talking in Bed under the sheets presumably after sex.
    • "Nanda Parbat": Ray and Felicity are under the covers after they have sex. She's practically completely covered, while Ray gets a Shirtless Scene.
    • "Public Enemy": Roy and Thea are seen Talking in Bed covered by bedsheets after doing their thing.
    • "Underneath": When Oliver and Felicity sleep together at the bunker, we see them snuggling on the floor covered by individual blankets.
  • Babylon 5 had several examples.
    • "Born To The Purple" shows Adira and Londo using this the morning after she spent a romantic evening in his quarters.
    • Sinclair and Catherine Sakai after getting back together again.
    • Seen at the end of the fourth season as Sheridan and Delenn are spending their first night as a married couple.
  • Averted in Band of Brothers where an American soldier (played by a young Tom Hardy) is having sex with a German girl — although there's a bedsheet over the 'action' both characters are naked and you can see the girl's breasts. Then his commanding officer bursts into the room and it's played straight when the embarrassed girl covers herself up.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003): "Hero" has D'anna waking up under one after her tryst with both Baltar and Caprica-Six.
  • Beastmaster:
    • The Sorceress and Sharak are wearing one after sleeping together in "Rescue", when a displeased Ancient One barges in on them.
    • In "Orpheo", when Arina and Orpheo make love in the middle of the forest, they're shown later post-coitus both covered by a convenient sheet.
    • In "Choice", it's used once again when Sharak and The Sorceress sleep together. She wraps herself in one when trying to convince him to Come Back to Bed, Honey.
  • Beverly Hills, 90210 (2008 series): Naomi and Max do this after having sex. It is made doubly amusing by the fact that Max gets up a minute later and it is shown he was wearing underwear anyway.
  • Bodyguard (UK 2018) gets round this by showing, at the start of episode 3, Julia Montague and David Budd snugging under the bedsheet, so we just get a tight shot on their faces as they have a post-coital conversation and a shot at the end of the sheet draped over their entire bodies so nothing is visible.
  • The Borgias:
    • Of the L-shaped variety for Cesare and Ursula in "The French King".
    • Giulia wears one in this promotional poster.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The first time Jake and Amy sleep together, they skip the L-shaped sheet for one that goes up to both of their armpits.
  • Buffyverse:
  • Burn Notice:
  • Chicago Med: Dr. Rhodes and Dr. Zanetti share one during their bedroom scene in "Intervention".
  • Chuck: "Chuck Versus the Three Words" ends with The Reveal that Sarah's super spy friend Carina and Chuck geeky friend Morgan hit it off, with a shot showing them both in bed post-sex under a goofy Star Wars bedsheet. This gets a Call-Back in "Chuck Versus the Cat Squad" when Morgan wakes up in his room to find Carina sleeping right beside him while clearly nude and wrapped up in the same goofy bedsheets. This time he has a Freak Out (since he's dating someone else) and demands she leave, which she coyly complies by standing up and flinging the bedsheet away, flaunting her body and causing him to bolt out of the room in a panic.
  • In Cold Feet, Fay Ripley's character is making love to her husband in the woman-on-top position. Fay said afterward that the only reason it was shot from the back was not so much for greater erotic effect as to conceal the fact her not-inconsiderably-large breasts had to be seriously taped down, or they'd have been flying all over the place and quite possibly delivering a knockout blow to the poor chap. Or to Fay herself. This also precluded any chance of her going topless in front of the camera.
  • In an episode of Covert Affairs, Auggie is on vacation and romances a woman. The next morning, she holds a bedsheet uncomfortably over herself while having a conversation with him. This is especially amusing because Auggie is blind, so she has no in-character justification at all.
  • CSI .
    • This is often averted with the original, opting instead to go with selective blurring / framing / blocking to avoid showing any "naughty bits". Even still, at least on one occasion, a nipple of a female victim manages to get in-frame.
    • Played Straight in the spin-offs where bodies being examined in the morgue are always covered with a modesty sheet, even during the forensic examination, which doesn't make sense. Sometimes they go to ridiculous extents to show injuries or bruises while keeping the sheet to avoid revealing too much of the body.
  • Cursed:
    • Lenore is shown with a blanket covering her chest after she had slept with Merlin.
    • Arthur and Nimue both have the bed covers up over their chests on waking up the next morning.
  • Dates:
    • Kate has the bedsheet over her when she wakes up beside Erica after they had sex. Erica later uses it to cover herself as well.
    • Jenny covers herself this way after having sex with Christian.
  • Deadly Class: Gabrielle covers herself with the sheet after she sleeps with Willie. He lampshades this by noting he's seen everything, though she replies that it's different after the sex ended.
  • In the Australian crime drama series Deep Water, the detectives at a murder scene are inspecting a dead body on a bed. The victim is naked but no nudity is shown as it is partially covered by a sheet.
  • Desperate Housewives: In "Being Alive", Kat and Orson's conversation is interrupted when they hear Bree's orgasmic screech that could be heard throughout most of the neighborhood. Cut to Bree collapsing in bed next to Karl, both sweaty and each wrapped up in their own modesty bedsheet.
  • Due South: In "Chicago Holiday Part 2", Fraser passes out from exhaustion at the hotel after chasing Christina around all night, he wakes up in her hotel room wearing only a blanket. Christina quickly explains away any concerns: She had the hotel's excellent staff move him into the room and had his uniform removed and dry cleaned for him.
  • The Enemy at the Door episode "The Jerrybag" has several scenes with the young lovers in bed together, always with at least their lower halves covered by the bedsheet. His naked torso gets plenty of exposure, hers none at all.
  • Averted in Farscape with Chiana by having the alien nymphomaniac always have sex in a reverse cowgirl position, so she's just showing her Toplessness from the Back. In one amusing scene Crichton barges in on her having sex with D'Argo and starts ranting. Chiana storms off naked while D'Argo then wraps the blanket around himself with a long-suffering expression as he listens to Crichton's problems.
  • Father Brown: In "The Two Deaths of Hercule Flambeau", when Lisandra and Flambeau are in bed together in Italy, Lisandra covers her with a bedsheet to preserve her modesty. Flambeau, on the other hand, seems to have gone Right Through His Pants.
  • Firefly:
    Saffron: But aren't we to become one flesh?
    Mal: No, we're still two fleshes, and I think your flesh should sleepover in the... [Saffron drops the blanket that was covering her nakedness] Whoa! Hey! Flesh!
    • In the episode "Heart of Gold", Mal and the ex-Companion Nandi have sex in the female dominant position with a sheet covering most of the action, but exposing Nandi's naked back. In the next shot, they're both shown sleeping each wrapped in their own bedsheet.
    • The opening to "Objects in Space" shows River sleeping naked, but she has a bedsheet covering her.
  • The "His n Hers Bedsheet" was used in FlashForward after Demetri and Zoey have sex. She covers her breasts, but Demetri is kind enough to let the sheet fall to his waist.
  • Forbrydelsen: Subverted with Lund in season three; after sleeping with Borch, she wakes up with the sheet pulled up to her chest, then leaves it behind in her hurry to get up.
  • A French Village: After their failed attempt to have sex, Suzanne is shown with the sheet around her breasts, but Antoine is lying bare-chested beside her.
  • One particular episode of Friday the 13th: The Series featured an "artist" who made her statues by petrifying the models who posed for her. When this occurs on-screen, the model is wearing a bedsheet, which magically disappears once she becomes a nude statue.
  • From Dusk Till Dawn: Richie and Santanico are shown under one while making love in "Opening Night".
  • Grand Hotel:
  • On an episode of Heroes,'' Claire is "killed" and wakes up naked on the autopsy table. They have no problem showing her opened ribcage with all her internal organs on display, but as soon as she puts herself back together, cue the camera cutaway until she puts on the Modesty Bedsheet.
  • Justified in How I Met Your Mother both times Robin sleeps with The Casanova Barney when they aren't actually dating. She feels bad because she slept with her ex-boyfriend's friend and she usually mocks the type of chicks Barney sleeps with. The second time she was cheating on Kevin and Barney was with Nora.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • "Lord Snow": Thanks to the strategic placement of body and bearskin blanket, Daenerys is revealing much more than Drogo while they're naked in bed together.
    • Played With in "The Wars To Come". Loras Tyrell quickly throws a blanket on top of his lower half when his sister Margaery interrupts his little tryst. His lover Olyvar, on the other hand, has zero shame about his nudity and even walks out of the chamber bare ass-naked, which Margaery appreciates.
    • Done awkwardly in two season 5 episodes, when Daenerys keeps herself covered by the sheets. Due to the fact that her paramour Daario is walking about shamelessly nude and the fact that one of their establishing moments was her complete lack of modesty around him, Dany's modesty stands out.
    • Also in season 5, there are several scenes in a mortuary where dead bodies are being washed to prepare them for burial. In every instance, a modesty sheet is used, even when Arya and the other worker are actively trying to wash the body. Since there is a sheet in the way, they can only wash the arms and head of the body, which the actors compensate for by washing extremely slowly.
    • In "High Sparrow", Tommen and Margaery are covered by the blankets after their wedding night, though the audience (and Tommen) do get a look at her Toplessness from the Back as she climbs out of bed before she puts on a robe.
  • Glee: After Quinn and Santana have sex, they lie in the bed covering themselves with the sheet before deciding to do it again.
  • Good Omens (2019): After she has sex with Newt, Anathema carefully covers herself with the sheet this way.
  • Hercules: The Legendary Journeys:
    • After Hercules and Nemesis sleep together in a barn in "The Enforcer", we see them both cuddling under a bedsheet in the morning after, still at the barn.
    • In "Long Live the King", King Orestes and princess Niobe have an L-shaped bedsheet covering them after they sleep together, with one of her bare legs peeking out seemingly just to show them off. The sheets do come in handy when guards break into the room to arrest Orestes.
    • In "Stranger and Stranger", Ares II (an Alternate Self of Ares that is a god of love instead of war) uses his aphrodisiac powers on Ares and Nebula to get them to have sex to buy time for Hercules. They go at for hours but we only see movement from under the sheets as they both shout and giggle. After the effect wears out, a furious Nebula rolls out of bed with the bedsheet wrapped around her to yell at Ares II.
    • In "We'll Always Have Cyprus", after Hercules and Morrigan sleep together, we see her walking to the window clutching a bedsheet to her chest. A shirtless Hercules joins shortly thereafter.
  • Iron Fist (2017): After Danny Rand and Colleen Wing first have sex in "Felling Tree With Roots", Colleen is shown waking up wrapped in her bedsheet. It's done again in "Black Tiger Steals Heart" when they wake up in bed at Bakuto's compound after Danny passes out from using the Iron Fist to suck the poison out of Colleen's veins.
  • JAG: Seen several times in season nine with Mac and Romantic False Lead Clayton Webb.
  • Jane by Design:
    • In "The Birkin", a scene begins with India rolling off Jeremy post-sex, each of them wrapped in their own Modesty Bedsheet. Averted when India climbs out of bed, she doesn't carry the bedsheet with her, her nudity is instead covered via Shoulders-Up Nudity.
    • In "The Sleepover", India and Eli are shown under one after sleeping together.
  • Jane the Virgin: Couples are always seen under one in post-sex scenes, usually in the L-shaped variant.
    • Rose and Luisa being both women avert the "L-shaped" scenario, instead each has their own sheets wrapped around them for post-coital scenes.
    • Jane wears one when she finally loses her virginity in "Chapter Forty-Seven", with both her and Michael under an L-shaped sheet.
    • Notably "Chapter Fifty-Nine" shows why not taking the sheet with you can be a bad idea, as a naked Petra has to rush to hide in Mateo's closet when Jane comes into the apartment while Petra was walking around in the buff after getting out of bed.
  • Jessica Jones (2015) has several sweaty sex scenes, but sheets and/or bras keep anything from being exposed.
    • Used the second and third times Luke and Jessica have sex.
    • Used whenever Trish has sex, whether with Simpson in season 1, or Griffin and Malcolm during season 2.
    • Jessica in season 2 gets a case of this when she first sleeps with Oscar. She wakes up in Oscar's bed and is a bit embarrassed by the fact that Oscar has been painting her sleeping form. He gives her the completed painting by the end of the episode.
  • Killjoys: D'avin and Sabine's sex scene has her pulling up a sheet over her breasts as she falls back while hemorrhaging green plasma, whereas previously the camera was simply panned below to conceal them.
  • Krypton: The pilot has a scene with Seg and Lyta-Zod make love, albeit under with both under Modesty Bedsheets.
  • Law & Order: Mostly played straight whenever police raid a home and, unfortunately, find the suspect intimately, erm, you know the rest. It's played for laughs in an earlier episode, when the police are handcuffing a mostly-naked perp; Det. Logan approaches his girlfriend to tell her to dress up, but she promptly drops her bedsheet in a case of Toplessness from the Back. He actually isn't amused.
  • Lost
    • Subverted with James and Juliette: when they wake up in the morning and he gets up to pick up the phone, he has a shirt on, and she, while having nothing top-region on, keeps lying with her back up (while half-asleep, so this even looks genuine). Played straight later when she gets up and pulls the sheets up along with her.
    • Played all too straight in "The Economist", when Sayid is lying naked in bed with a woman whose navel is exposed, and yet has a sheet strategically placed across her bosoms.
  • Mad Men:
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel:
    • In the season 1 finale, after being startled awake beside Joel, Midge gets up and starts stumbling around the room wrapped in her bedsheet, while Joel has put on underwear at some point in the night. She slips into a bathrobe off-screen.
    • In season 3, when Joel and Midge have a one-night stand while drunk in Las Vegas, the same thing happens again. Joel tosses Midge a bathrobe as she crawls out from under the covers.
  • In UK mini-series Mister Eleven, the protagonist and Hot Teacher Saz has dreams where she's lecturing her class, explaining to them the logic about her decisions in her love life, all while clad in only a sheet that keeps threatening to drop as she talks. The L-shaped sheet is also used when Saz does sleep with her Love Interest.
  • New Girl: Cece and Schmidt frequently make use of these when they sleep together.
    • In "Fancyman Part 2", Winston ends up borrowing Schmidt's SUV car for an emergency drive to Mexico, not realizing Cece and Schmidt were having sex at the back of the car. He's stopped the border, and the border agent and Wiston find both at the back of the car, both covering themselves with a road map as if it were a bedsheet.
    • One memorable case when Cece wrapped up in Schmidt's blankets before walking out into a living room full of his roommates. Of course, why she didn't just put on her own clothes, or even his, before wandering around in front of his friends is another question.
    • In yet another case of this trope defeating its own purpose on this show, Schmidt wraps a small sheet around himself and comes into the kitchen to complain to the others about how he'd been unsuccessful in "getting something going with myself." With his bedroom door open.
  • Noughts & Crosses: Sephy has the covers up over her breasts in bed beside Callum after they have sex.
  • NCIS: In the Season 3 episode The Voyeur's Web, Tony and Ziva must fake having sex in order to pass for the married assassins they are impersonating. They alternate between the "completely covered by bedsheet" missionary position and Ziva on top, shot from behind. 5 seasons later, it's implied that they weren't faking after all.
  • On Once Upon a Time, Emma Swan and her son Henry walk in on Snow and Charming in bed clearly post-coital, and luckily under a Modesty Bedsheet. Henry is only eleven and is oblivious, asking why they're sleeping in the afternoon but Emma is scarred for life because while they are about the same age because of a magic curse, they're still her parents.
  • Discussed on One Day at a Time (2017), when Elena is getting ready to have sex with her girlfriend Syd for Their First Time.
    Elena: I just feel like in the movies they just skip to, like, the end of this.
    Syd: Yeah, boom, one of us has the sheet here, the other has it down here.
  • One Tree Hill:
    • Used constantly throughout the series with Nathan and Haley. They are often seen Talking in Bed post-sex covered with a bedsheet. It came in handy at least once when Dan walked in on Hayley wearing only this, which made her very uncomfortable.
    • Brooke and Julian are also often seen wearing only in post-sex scenes where they're Talking in Bed, although often Julian is just shirtless and still wearing pants.
    • In "Somewhere A Clock Is Ticking", Both Jake and Peyton are shown wearing this while having sex.
    • In "Almost Everything I Wish I'd Said The Last Time I Saw You...", Quinn and Clay are in bed after sex, with both of them covered by a bedsheet. Quinn is sleeping on her stomach so Clay starts pulling the sheet down so he can admire her bare back.
  • Pandora: Jax greets Xander while in his bed with the sheet around her chest. Since they have been an intimate couple for a while he obviously saw her naked before and they're in private, this is clearly done for the actress's sake.
  • Party of Five (2020): Natalia has a sheet covering her breasts the morning after she sleeps with Emilio.
  • Pasión de gavilanes: As a classic Telenovela, sheets are frequently used to conceal nudity whenever couples are shown in bed post-sex. The Remake A Passion for Revenge also plays this straight, but tends to show more skin with the men showing more of their bare chests while the girls show their bare backs.
  • Pretty Little Liars:
  • The Punisher (2017). Averted in "Gunner" by having Dinah Madani refuse to take off the bandage wrapping her midsection (from her near death in a car crash) before having rather frantic sex with Russo. Played straight post-coitus in the following episode, because she's taken the bandage off then.
  • In Quantico, Alex has a bedsheet over her breasts when answering the phone after she has just had sex with Ryan, so we the audience won't see anything.
  • Revolution:
  • The Rookie (2018): Chen and Nolan each have their own when they're seen post-sex in "Time of Death".
  • Parodied on a Saturday Night Live sketch with Alec Baldwin showing various Soap Opera clips where both men and women walk away from the bed with a sheet already attached and covering their body without them holding it!
  • Schitt's Creek: "Honeymoon" opens with David and Stevie in bed with the red satin motel sheets pulled up to their necks after their unexpected tryst. This works In-Universe because the pair is mortified and don't want to be showing their bodies to each other or in David's case, to himself. They also later mention that the presence of a mirrored ceiling is freaking them both out.
  • Second Chance (2016): In "Palimpsest", we see Mary gasping softly before rolling off her Friends with Benefits billionaire lover, with both of them mostly covered by the bedsheets, save for some Toplessness from the Back. Their ensuing business talk also happens while both of them are under the blankets.
  • The Secret Circle:
    • Friends with Benefits Melissa and Nick are always shown under the bedsheets after they sleep together, when they climb out of bed, Nick puts on his pants and remains shirtless while Melissa puts on her lingerie and remain like that for the rest of the scene.
    • After Faye And Jake sleep together with a Sexy Discretion Shot and the next morning we see both of them sleeping under a modesty blanket. When they get out of bed, they're also both show to still be wearing underwear although Faye is still topless.
    • When Adam and Cassie sleep together they're both shown with the bedsheet up to their chests.
  • Sex and the City: Sarah Jessica Parker was criticized for relying on these techniques to avoid topless scenes, which all three of her co-stars performed.
  • Shadowhunters: Utilized whenever a couple is shown in bed post-sex. Special mention goes in the finale with the Seelie Queen and her lover under a sheet made out of grass.
  • 'Sherlock: Invoked in "A Scandal In Belgravia" by the title character, of all people. In the middle of Buckingham Palace''. He Sleeps in the Nude and was simply too lazy to put his clothes on before Mycroft's people hauled him off for a meeting. He's quick to grab the sheet when it starts to slide off (because his brother Mycroft stepped on it to keep him from walking away). He is, however, willing to use the threat of abandoning the sheet as leverage against Mycroft, who is already ticked off about his state of undress and calls his bluff.
    Mycroft: We are in Buckingham Palace, the very heart of the British nation. Sherlock Holmes, put your trousers on!
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World:
    • In "Cave of Fear", Professor Challenger and Cassandra are under a fur blanket after sleeping together, although he still noticeably has his shirt on
    • In "The Visitor", Veronica is sleeping naked at the tree-house when she hears Danu sneaking out of the house. She quickly wraps the sheets around herself like a dress and grabs the dagger under her pillow before rushing to investigate.
  • Skins: When Jal and Cassie find Chris passed naked on the sofa, they cover him with a bedsheet. Cassie also takes pity on his Teeny Weenie and rearranges his Modesty Bedsheet to create a big tent shape.
  • Smallville
  • Smash:
    • In the "Pilot" episode, Karen and her boyfriend Dev are seen post-coital under an L-shaped sheet. "The Bells and Whistles" also shown them both in bed but this time the sheet is on their waist, with Karen sleeping on her stomach showing Toplessness from the Back.
    • Both Ivy and Derek are seen under a bedsheet during the many times we see them having sex. In "Let's Be Bad" Ivy wraps the sheet around herself before going downstairs to find Derek.
    • The In-Universe Broadway musical based on Marilyn Monroe has the character wearing a bedsheet in several scenes. In the episode "The Coup", Karen's performance as Marilyn for the song "Touch Me" also has her wearing only a sheet wrapped around her while dancers playing paparazzi swirl around her.
  • Spartacus: Blood and Sand: Played With in "The Red Serpent". After sleeping together, we see Sura and Spartacus cuddling under a bedsheet that carefully covers their bodies, but then the Romans arrive and take Sura away, exposing her breasts in the process as well as most of Spartacus's body. In a bit of Continuity Snarl when this scene is flashbacked in future seasons, she's donning a Modesty Bedsheet differently depending on the season.
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
      • In "Change of Heart", we see Worf and Jadzia getting ready for bed. As soon as Worf is finished praying Jadzia's nightgown hits him in the head and he turns to see a naked Jadzia waiting for him under the fur covers and he's quick to join her as the scene fades away and we cut to a scene of them snuggling still under the covers, although Worf is still wearing his full-body pajamas while Jadzia is clearly nude. When Kira calls them for an emergency, Jadzia just groans and burrows beneath the covers and Worf has to yank them off to get her to wake up (we only see her bare legs and as she complains).
      • "Treachery, Faith, and the Great River" opens with Odo giving Kira a back massage in her quarters while she's using a bedsheet to cover her lower half. She also hugs the sheet around her chest when she sits up to talk to him.
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation: "Tapestry", Picard, while reliving his youth, has sex with his Best Friend. The next morning, Picard rolls over in bed to see Q laying next to him, on top of the covers. Startled, Picard pulls the sheet up (for some reason, over his chest) while talking to Q, until he realizes exactly what he has done, and relaxes his hand a little.
    • Star Trek: Voyager: In "The Disease", Tal wakes up naked but wrapped in a bedsheet, to see Harry standing dressed in his underclothes and brooding over how he's breaking Starfleet regulations with their Secret Relationship. Tal of course urges him to Come Back to Bed, Honey.
  • Stranger Things: In "The Sauna Test", Hopper wakes up naked under a Modesty Bedsheet on his couch after being beaten into unconsciousness by Grigori in the previous episode. He is nursed by Joyce who apparently brought him home and undressed him. Hopper only realizes that fact when he gets up and feels himself without clothes. An embarrassed Joyce turns her head and nods at the direction of his clothes.
  • Supernatural
    • In "Heart", when Madison wakes up as a human after a night spent as a werewolf, she is naked under the bedsheets. She wraps the sheet around herself when she gets out of bed and asks Sam what is going on. They also both make use of it later when Sam and Madison are cuddling under the sheets after having sex. The sheet is only up to their waist, displaying Sam's bare chest and Madison's bare back.
    • In "What Is And What Should Never Be", Dean Adventures in Comaland start by him waking up in bed next to the Girl of My Dreams white both are tucked under the bedsheets.
    • The TV-friendly missionary position version is used in the interrupted sex scene in the episode "The Monster at the End of This Book". This would work a lot better if one of the participants were not Lilith.
    • Later in season 8, we're given "after" scene between Sam and Amelia, where the camera slowly pans across a trail of clothes littered across the floor to the bed... where Sam is wearing a t-shirt, presumably some type of bottoms, and has a sheet pulled up to mid-torso. Amelia has bare arms and has a modesty sheet tucked around her chest and it seems to be implying from their harsh breathing and heavy sighing that they're engaging in post-coital cuddling.
    • In "LOTUS", Lucifer, posing as Rooney, sleeps with Rooney's lover Kelly. In the aftermath, we see them both in bed wearing modesty bedsheets while Kelly conveniently reminisces about their Secret Relationship, giving exposition to both Lucifer and the audience.
  • Take Two:
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: In season two, Derek and his New Old Flame Jesse are seen under the bedsheets whenever they sleep together.
  • True Blood:
    • Used rather blatantly after Sookie and Eric have sex. Borders on Fridge Logic since Sookie was on full display moments ago.
    • Deborah Ann Woll has had a "no-nudity" clause in her contract since the start of True Blood. The measures the show takes to keep Jessica Hamby's nipples hidden in sex scenes while showing almost every other square inch of her body are heroic. Also possibly mandated by HBO since Jessica is supposed to be permanently underaged.
  • The Vampire Diaries
    • In "Children of The Damned", Elena and Stefan cover themselves with a sheet when Damon suddenly wakes up. They're both in nightwear, but Elena is still embarrassed by the intrusion.
    • After Damon seduces and sleeps with Rebekah in season 3 we see both under the bedsheets, with her almost fully covered while Damon is exposing most of his chest.
    • In the season 5 opener with Elena narrating what the rest of the cast is doing, she mentions Rebekah and Matt being in Europe and we see both in a fancy bedroom with a sheet-wrapped Rebekah bringing champagne to Matt who is also under a bedsheet in bed. And then a Fanservice Extra also pops out from under the sheets.
    • In "Fifty Shades of Grayson", we see Katherine and Stefan under the bedsheets after sleeping together in the last episode. She wakes up and begins to cuddle him when she notices grey hair on the sheets, a sign of her Rapid Aging after being cured of vampirism. She panics and leaps out of bed while completely draping herself in the sheet while ordering Stefan not to turn around as she doesn't want him to see her in that state.
    • "Rescue Me" opens with Elena and Damon under the sheets after a case of Sex with the Ex. The sheets are positioned in such a way as to expose Damon's bare chest as well as Elena's legs.
    • In "I'll Wed You in the Golden Summertime", when Elena and Damon have sex at a barn both their waist are covered by a blanket, while Elena still has her bra on.
  • Veronica Mars:
    • "Mars, Bars": When we find Mac in bed with her boyfriend, the sheet covers him at the waist, though she has the sheet cinched tight clear up to her neck.
    • In "The Rapes of Graff", Keith getting a phone call from Cliff and then finding him in an apartment, Chained to a Bed naked except for a blanket covering his private parts and having had his briefcase stolen by the woman who he seduced and tied him. When Keith asks Cliff how he made the phone call, he responds, "Acrobatically".
  • The Walking Dead: At the end of "Walk With Me", The Governor sits in his apartment and sips brandy while Rowan sleeps face down in his bed, with only a bedsheet up to her waist preserving her modesty.
  • War of the Worlds (2019): After having sex, Kariem and Emily have a blanket over them both up to chest level.
  • White Collar: Utilized in almost every post-sex scene with Neal's Love Interests.
    • In "Forging Bonds", both Alex and Kate wrap themselves in a sheet after having sex with Neal. Kate and Neal actually fight over the sheet when getting out of bed, with him walking naked in the apartment after she wins.
    • In "Scott Free", Sara wakes up wearing one the morning after she sleeps with Neal.
    • In "Wanted", Maya and Neal and seen wearing the "L shaped" one after sleeping together.
    • "No Good Deed" opens with a post-coital Neal and Rebecca Talking in Bed while both each has their own separate sheet.
  • Why Women Kill: When shown in bed after having sex, female characters have the sheets carefully covering their breasts each time.
  • The Wilds: In one flashback of Fatin after having sex with a guy, she's got the bedclothes around her chest.
  • Witches of East End:
    • The pilot episode shows Dash rolling off Freya in bed after they have their "goodbye sex" before he leaves the country for a while, both carefully wrapped under a bedsheet.
    • The Sex Montage of all three couples (Jenna & Killian, Ingrid & Dash, Wendy & Tommy) I'm "Sex, Lies and Birthday Cake" ends with all three couples cuddling under conveniently placed blankets or bedsheets.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess:
    • In "Adventures in the Sin Trade Part 1", we hear Xena and Borias shout and grunt as they frolic beneath a wolf pelt while having sex. Once they're finished, they both wrap themselves in pelts as they get up.
    • "Succession" opens with Mavican and Ares going at it under the bedsheets. When they both emerge, they keep both keep the sheet up to their shoulders, but neither of them brings the bedsheet along when they climb out of bed as Ares dresses extremely quickly and Mavican is only seen from the shoulders up.

    Music and Music Videos 

  • The music video for Amber's "Sexual (Li Da Di)" shows the singer taking all her clothes off to go to bed and covering herself with a Modesty Bedsheet.
  • Faith Hill's "Breathe" music video features her singing while sensually writhing in bed covered only by a silk bedsheet.
  • The end of Jennifer Love Hewitt's music video of "BareNaked has her climbing in her bed while naked, but with all of the essential bits covered up by the bedsheet.
  • The Mariah Carey music video for "My All" as her clutching a sheet to her chest.
  • The music video for Roxette's "Stars" opens with vocalist Marie Fredriksson waking up from her nuder sleep and covering herself with Modesty Bedsheet before getting dressed by her maids in the following scene.
  • In the steamy video for her 1993 single "Soon", Tanya Tucker is wrapped in a bedsheet except for the scenes where she's shown in bed thrashing around with her lover.
  • Yoshiki Hayashi uses a bedsheet to cover himself in "Nude".

     Newspaper Comics 

     Tabletop Games 

  • Highlander: Amanda has an Immortal-specific card called Distract, which is a dodge that covers the whole grid with no penalty, and the 2nd edition illustration had her dressed solely in a bedsheet.

    Theatre 

  • The Normal Heart: When Felix and Ned are tangled together in bed after making love for the first time, a bedsheet covers the relevant bits.
  • Sheri in Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World covers herself with the bedsheet when Gamila walks in on her.

    Video Games 

    Visual Novel 

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 


 
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Video Example(s):

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Pillow Pistol - Burn Notice

Despite laying in bed post-sex under a modesty bedsheet with no clothes on, Michael and Fiona both have guns hidden behind their pillows, which they quickly draw the moment they wake up after being disturbed.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / PillowPistol

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Main / PillowPistol

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