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Modesty Towel

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In media, characters that have just bathed or showered will often wrap themselves in towels to preserve their modesty, even if there is no-one else around. This is often done to show a character has been interrupted while or shortly after they were bathing, as they had no time to get properly dressed yet. Towels are also common attire in public baths, locker rooms, spas, and saunas.

Men will wear the towel wrapped around the waist hanging from their hips while women will wear it wrapped around the torso hanging from their bust, in both cases covering any body parts Moral Guardians might find objectionable. If played for fanservice towels on men will be very low to best show their bare pectorals while women will wear them with Impossibly-Low Neckline to show off cleavage but also have them short on the waist for maximum leg exposure. Effeminate males are sometimes shown wearing their towels in the feminine style for comic effect or to establish their effeminacy. Female characters can wear their towels in the masculine way (or a mock-up of that way, which has one towel around the breasts and another wrapped at the waist, baring the midriff), but this is rarer and usually used for extra Fanservice. A woman will also often wrap a towel turban-style around her hair but anyone with long hair can tell you that's purely practical.


The Theiss Titillation Theory is often involved as well, since it's immediately obvious that a towel worn like this is in constant danger of slipping loose and falling off or be snagged away, a possibility that can be made even more imminent if the wearer makes a sudden movement or reaches for something, usually when surprised or when put in some kind of action sequence. If the towel does slip, the wearer will likely have a Naked Freak-Out and resort to Hand-or-Object Underwear to maintain some measure of modesty/dignity. Often, a towel actually serves as the "Object Underwear" for a character that has been caught while they were bathing.

Wearing a towel can also be a subtle way of implying intimacy between two people. A character dressed in a towel in another's home usually has the same implications as being Sex Dressed. A common situation is a third party assuming the two characters have been intimate upon when finding one of them in a towel, even if the situation is actually innocent.


In televised anime, towels are often used to censor scenes like bathing, in which the characters really should be naked. When a towel appears in the localization that wasn't there in the original, it's a form of Digital Bikini. Many Video Games also feature towels as unlockable costumes, sometimes as purely cosmetic outfit, sometimes as an equipable item with actual stats.

This is often Truth in Television: those who are accustomed to covering themselves while others are around will often do so out of habit, even if they are alone. It's also a matter of practicality and comfort, warding off a potential chill and soaking up any water left remaining on the skin. The differences in male and female practice probably stems as much from men and women having different places to hang their towels as their having different places that might require covering.

If someone tries to reach for a towel that isn't there, it may overlap with Gone Swimming, Clothes Stolen or Naked People Trapped Outside. It can also be used in conjunction with Dress Hits Floor (when a character purposedly drops their towel) and Sexy Coat Flashing (when a character opens their towel to flash someone). A common gag is for a character to wear one even when they shouldn't have anything to hide such as a Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal.

See Censor Steam and Censor Suds for another common form of bathtime censorship. Related to the Modesty Bedsheet, with characters wrapping themselves up in a sheet to preserve their modesty in a similar manner, though this trope is far more likely to occur in Real Life.


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  • A Flash cartoon advertisement for Monsavon Smoothie Care shower gel which can be seen here has a mother and daughter doing a dance in modesty towels. With the last image, the towels fall.
  • Isaiah Mustafa of the The Man Your Man Could Smell Like Old Spice adverts is known for wearing one. It's all he wears in the personalized Youtube response videos, and even mentions that the only way to do community service is in a towel. Eventually, it changes since whenever he changes the scene, he wears new clothes as the situation demands. But never a shirt.
  • Many spoofs of advertisements featuring towel-only clad models have appeared through the years. However, North Scott High School in Eldridge, Iowa, took this a step farther in the spring of 2002 when members of the school newspaper, The Lance, published a "centerfold" featuring students — including several 18-year-old male and female students — dressed minimally, including some girls wrapped only in towels. Related pictures (which also appeared in a "minimal clothing calendar") appeared on the April 25, 2002, issue's back page. The student editor told the Moline Daily Dispatch that his staff had gotten the idea from reading ads for such items as perfume and shaving cream in magazines that circulated at the school's library. The resulting newspaper gained noteriety in the community for several days as several conservative-minded community members expressed their concern about the morality of the feature and, despite the absence of outright nudity and a disclaimer that the students were dressed, the fact that child pornography had inadvertently been published. (All of the students pictured in the issue were seniors, but the worry was that some had yet to turn 18.)
  • A woman is painting a naked male model wearing only a towel over certain parts you can't show on TV, and she is even painting the towel on the portrait, but her biggest concern was the problem the model had, a discolored toenail. (This was, of course, an ad for a toenail fungus treatment.) If she wanted not to show that, why didn't she just have him wear a bathing suit or underpants?
  • In a commercial for Bad Company, Chris Rock ends up pulling the same gag as James Bond in The Man with the Golden Gun, below.
  • Subverted in this Diet Rite commercial. In the locker room a football player wraps his towel around his neck instead to the delight of the female reporter.
  • This Proactiv commercial features Olivia Munn materializing out of nowhere to the shock of a young man in a towel to tell him that Proactiv will clear up his face quicker than the cleanser he was about to use. His towel falls, of course, and Munn tries to back out of the room.

    Anime & Manga 

    Asian Animation 
  • Motu Patlu: Inspector Chingum is seen wearing one in "Water Problem". He's trying to take a shower, but he realizes that the water has suddenly gone from Furfuri Nagar and gives up.

    Comic Books 
  • Adjectiveless X-Men:
    • In Issue #17 Cyclops walks in on Psylocke fresh out of the shower dressed in a skimpy towel. He gapes at her for a moment before stuttering an apology and bolting out of the bathroom, while an unperturbed Betsy smiles knowingly (This was the era where there was a lot of UST between them, as part of a Love Triangle subplot between them and Jean Grey).
    • In Issue #91, Rogue is wearing a towel in her bedroom post-shower, trying to pick a dress to use in a date with Gambit.
  • Alpha Flight: Played With in Issue #14. Aurora has finished showering and is drying herself with a towel, which blocks the view of her nakedness. But when she wipes the mirror she gets a Hallucination Mirror Scare of her Jeanne-Marie Split Personality trying to break free and Aurora falls to the bathroom floor, with her towel also falling on top of her in such a way that it conveniently covers her naughty bits. Played Straight next issue when she's back of her room with the towel properly wrapped around her.
  • Aquaman 2011 #49 has an equal opportunity fanservice moment with Mera dancing around in a towel while Arthur is shirtless at their home. Until they're interrupted by officer Watson dropping in for a late-night call.
  • Archie Comics: During one story, Betty enters her living room in nothing but a towel and panics when she finds Archie there. When she comes back wearing a bathrobe and still stressed out, Archie points out that the robe she is now wearing is the exact same material as the towel, covers even less, and she is somehow fine being seen in it.
    Betty: Well, it's... different.
  • Astonishing X-Men Xenogenesis: Storm is seen dressed in a towel during a breakfast meeting with the rest of the X-Men.
  • The Avengers #236 She-Hulk is having a bath at the Avengers manor when she is forced to abandon by the security alarms tripping, and she hurriedly throws on a towel on before rushing to confront the intruder... only for it to turn out to be Spider-Man, who broke into the manor with great fanfare to announce his desire to join the Avengers. Jen is so pissed she is ready to pummel him, until he points out how any sudden movements from her "daring outfit" would cause her to suffer a Wardrobe Malfunction and she backs off.
  • Batgirl (2000): When Oracle visits Cassandra Cain's new apartment for the first time, she finds Cass stepping out of the shower in a fluffy towel.
  • During Comet Man's Super Hero Origin story, Mister Fantastic is helping him learn about his Teleportation powers, but the first attempt ends accidentally teleporting him into the Baxter building bathroom, right while She-Hulk was showering. After she violently throws him out, she furiously comes to confront him and Reed while wearing a towel.
  • In Crimson #5, Alex and Joe break-in into Vampire Hunter Scarlet's apartment while searching for her and end up catching her stepping out of the shower in only a towel. Assuming they're hostile, she immediately attacks them in just a towel and during the struggle, Alex accidentally snatches off her towel She quickly aims her crossbow at his face and demands his surrender, which was moot by that point, as he's too distracted by the view to keep fighting.
  • Danger Girl: The first issue has a panel with heavy Male Gaze of Sydney stepping out of the shower in a towel, holding it in such a way as to show the maximum amount of skin possible while still keeping the important areas covered.
  • The Darkness: In Issue #23, Jackie has been mortally injured and the Darklings take him to an acquaintance, Dr. Kim Fang to patch him up. They arrive at her house while she was showering and she lets them in while only wearing a towel. But one of the Darklings is so worried about Jackie that he yanks off her towel to use it as a bandage, leaving her naked in front of the Darklings, who have now stop worrying about Jackie to enjoy the sight while she has a Naked Freak-Out while furiously demanding her towel back.
  • Elektra's first solo series has a few examples:
    • In Issue #8, Doctor Strange sends an Astral Projection to Elektra right as she's showering and she teases him by asking if he has nothing better to do than peeping on a girl in the shower. He dispels it and gives her a minute to get dressed. The second Astral Projection he sends finds her wearing a towel and she once again teases him by asking him if all Astral Projection can blush.
    • In Issue #10, she goes after crime lord by attacking his home while he was showering. He comes out of the bathroom in a towel, and is shocked to find all his bodyguards dead. Suddenly his towel is swiped away by Elektra's Sai, who shoves him against a bathroom mirror and begins to intimidate him, telling him if she doesn't do as he asks he'll be losing more than a bath towel.
  • One issue of Excalibur has Nightcrawler wearing a Modesty Towel when another character bursts into the bathroom and tries to kill him. Conveniently, the towel remains firmly in place throughout the ensuing struggle.
  • Freaks' Squeele: Everyone (including the camera crew) wears stylized sarongs at the pool that serve this purpose. Then the students are given the assignment to steal each others' sarongs. Chaos (and hilarity) ensues. According to Word of God, early storyboards used regular towels, but they looked like they would fall off too easily and weren't sexy enough, so the sarongs were invented.
  • A variant is used with Bree, a character in Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash, who spends the better part of two issues running for her life, wrapped up in a sheet after Jason attacks her while she and her boyfriend are having sex.
  • In Hulk Vol. 2, minor villainess Sandra Verdugo gets to wear a towel several times, one time she even threw it at her partner's face while teaching him about how her The Vamp routine works.
    Slater: You occasionally wear something other than a towel ?
    Verdugo: Done some of my best work in a towel.
  • Monica's Gang had a story titled "Como Atravessar a Sala", where Monica left the bathroom in only a towel because her clothes were in her room. Unfortunately, two male friends and her crush were waiting in the living room, and Hilarity Ensues.
  • Mr. and Mrs. X: Rogue and Gambit are on their honeymoon, so they are making love, it just happens that Kitty calls them right afterwards to give them a mission. And when Rogue agrees to go on the mission, Gambit loses the modesty blanket, to the horror of Kitty.
  • In Mystique's solo series #19, Mystique is taking a late-night shower when someone breaks into her home. She throws on a towel and leaves to confront the intruder, which is curious since she's a Technically Naked Shapeshifter and could simply shapeshift some clothes on.
  • In New Exiles #5, Sage's relaxing bubble bath is interrupted when she hears Morph and Cat getting sucked in by a portal. Sage hurriedly throws a towel on and dives into the portal after them at the nick of time. She spends the next few pages in a Fairy Tale-esque world in only a towel. When they get into a fight with a couple of evil knights, Sage deliberately throws her towel at one the knight's face to stun him and then takes him out with a Diving Kick. Morph finds her some clothes to wear soon after.
  • In Nightcrawler: The Devil Inside, Kurt takes a shower in his Christine Palmer's apartment and come out wearing just a towel. She's very honest about appreciating the view.
    Kurt: Thanks for the shower, Christine.
    Christine: Not at all, Kurt. Anything to have you wandering around my apartment half-naked.
  • Mr. Fanservice Nightwing wore one a couple of times.
  • One Smurf got stuck wearing a towel throughout most of The Smurfs comic book story "The Smurfs and the Howlibird", and when Papa Smurf has to do a bullfight with a Howlibird stripped of its feathers to wear it down, he takes that Smurf's towel to do it!
  • Spider-Man:
  • Spirou and Fantasio In the One-Shot, "Fantasio is getting Married", Seccotine becomes Spirou's new roommate, much to the latter's annoyance. At some point, she comes out of the bathroom wearing nothing but a towel and Spirou tries his best to Ignore the Fanservice.
  • Starfire: In her solo series, Starfire comes out of the shower with just a towel on the head right in front of Boone, who shoves another towel at her, telling her to Please Put Some Clothes On, which confuses her.
    Starfire: Oh, thank you! But I do not need another towel. The sun and the wind dried my skin! It is only my hair that is wet.
  • Superman:
  • Uncanny X-Men (2013): In issue #14, after showering, Benjamin (Morph) goes back to his room clad in a towel only to find his teacher Emma Frost casually waiting for him, which startles him enough to drop his towel. Nonplussed, Emma proceeds to talk to him about his powers and how they work while the poor boy backs up against the wall trying to cover himself back up with the towel.
  • Ultimate X-Men: The first time we see Jean Grey, she's in the bathroom post-shower with a towel wrapped around her waist (bare back to the viewer) as she's dying her hair black for her new identity as Karen Grant.
  • In Ultimate Wolverine Vs Hulk #6, Betty Ross, the Ultimate She-Hulk, is coming out of the shower in a towel, which she drops it in surprise when she sees Ultimate Wolverine broke into her apartment searching for Bruce. It soon escalates into a Full-Frontal Assault. A combination of Censor Shadow, Godiva Hair, and Scenery Censor are used to hide her nudity during the entire sequence after she loses the towel.
  • Wet Moon: Natalie struts around with one these a couple of times in the series, to the point Malady even tells her that she should wear something like it for a dress.
  • WildStorm Revelations #1 begins with Jodi Slayton (Backlash) and Kenesha (Savant) having some Bathtub Bonding. Jodi eventually leaves to get food, wrapping herself in a towel. In the way, she's suddenly ambushed by Lady Charis (Nemesis) and Jodi tries to fight her while keeping hold of her towel, causing Nemesis to mock her for caring about modesty during battle and proceeds to give Jodi a Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • Issue 121 of Witchblade opens with Sara stepping out of the shower and answering the phone in a towel, holding the phone in one hand while stroking her hair with the other and using The Witchblade (a cosmic artifact of nigh limitless power) to hold up her towel.
  • Wonder Woman (2011): Issue #36 shows Diana stepping out of the shower in only a short towel.
  • X-Factor:
  • Yoko Tsuno: In the The Rhine Gold, Yoko is seen wearing nothing but a towel after taking a shower.
  • Zatanna 2010:

    Comic Strips 
  • FoxTrot In one strip, Paige is Singing in the Shower (the "The Love Boat Theme") when she notices a microphone hanging from the ceiling and abruptly stops. Turns out Jason was recording her and she angrily chases after him clad in a Modesty Towel.
  • Spider-Man: Shortly after One More Day erased Mary Jane Watson and Spider-Man's marriage, Stan Lee had Peter waking as if from a nightmare to find MJ stepping out of the shower in a towel, in an alternate continuity where they were still married.
  • A strip in Pondus, during the period where Jokke lives together with Tammy-Sue, sees him sitting and watching TV, bemoaning that there is nothing interesting while Tammy-Sue pass behind him, wearing only a Towel, which gets stuck halfway through the scene dropping the Towel, without Jokke noticing.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • DC Universe Animated Original Movies:
    • Superman: Doomsday: This is used twice to imply the intimacy level between Superman and Lois Lane.
      • In the Fortress of Solitude, a dripping wet Lois emerges from the bathroom dressed in just a towel while she and Superman exchange some sexually charged banter about the possibilities of his heat and X-Ray Vision.
      • In their final scene together, Superman is wearing just a towel when he and Lois embrace in the bedroom of her apartment.
    • Superman/Batman: Apocalypse: Big Barda answers the door to Diana and Clark in a towel, and stays in it during the following discussion about them needing her help to go to Apokolips. At one point she goes into her room to get dressed and we see her Sexy Silhouette removing the towel and putting on her armor.
    • All-Star Superman: Lois briefly wears one after showering in Superman's Fortress, while she checks out the backless dress Clark left for her to wear.
    • Played With in Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay: At Scandal's penthouse apartment, Knockout is relaxing in the Jacuzzi while Professor Pyg is held hostage, tied to a chair. When Scandal enters tells Knockout to get ready, she does a Sexy Surfacing Shot in plain view of Pyg and Scandal, before she grabs a towel. But instead of wrapping herself in it, she just uses it to dry off and then throws it at Pyg's face while she embraces Scandal, giving her a passionate kiss while fully nude. All while Pyg complains about Girl-on-Girl Is Hot action he's missing.
  • In the beginning of A Goofy Movie, Goofy barges into Max's bedroom wearing a towel around his body and on his head, despite having only three hairs on his head.
  • Make Mine Music!: In All the Cats Join In, the older teenage girl dries herself in one when getting out of the shower.
  • ParaNorman: Mitch answers the door to Courtney in nothing but a towel, and her eyes clearly pan him up and down.
  • Titan A.E.:
    • Cale narrowly escaped a Drej attack in space and loses consciousness. When he awakens, he finds himself naked in a ship's sickbay with Akima and Preed examining him. When he complains about his nudity, Akima snarks she "didn't notice it" before throwing a towel over his waist.
    • Cale walks in on Akima stepping out of the shower and she quickly covers herself with a towel. She doesn't hold a grudge and just invites him in as she gets into the stall to get dressed behind the force field curtain.

    Films — Live-Action 


    Live-Action TV 

In General:

  • Game shows: Many game shows with models — especially if they're the beautiful, 20-something type — will sometimes feature them wrapped in towels if they are modeling spas, saunas and similar prizes.
    • During the height of the "classic-model" era of The Price Is Right, Bob Barker frequently made a joke that the "Barker's Beauty" who was modeling a spa or sauna was "completely naked", all which drew laughs from the audience; of course, the model was dressed in a towel, but she was laying inside in such a way that only her bare shoulders and up could be seen above the ledge. The joke went away after Dian Parkinson's departure from the show (after her ill-fated affair with Barker and subsequent sexual harassment lawsuits).
    • Wheel of Fortune: Vanna White was one of the few models who never (if not, rarely) was seen in a towel to model a spa, sauna, etc. However, that did not stop her from one time sitting, bare-shouldered, in a spa alongside a bare-chested Pat Sajak at the end of one episode.
  • This is standard practice in Japan on documentary or magazine TV shows that show public baths or hot spring resorts. While no one actually wears towels in the water at these baths in real life, the presenters or celebrities are shown wearing towels in the typical male or female style. There's even often a disclaimer at the bottom of the screen saying "Towels have been used for the purposes of filming", as if to reassure the viewer that this isn't some weird prudish resort, and they do allow good old-fashioned nudity in real life.
  • Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes, which has aired its "surprise" presentations of $1 million checks on live television (usually on Super Bowl Sunday), once caught a 21-year-old girl wrapped in nothing but a towel answering the door of a winner.

By Series:

  • Altered Carbon: In "The Wrong Man", Ortega is shower is interrupted when she hears her Abuela screaming at Kovacs. She comes out of the bathroom in a towel to defuse the situation between the two.
  • Angel:
    • In "Rm w/a Vu", Angel comes to the door of his apartment wearing a towel and nothing else. In the episode commentary by writer Jane Espenson, she notes, "I put that scene in there because, frankly, I knew there wouldn't be a woman on the planet who wouldn't enjoy seeing David Boreanaz shirtless and dripping wet."
    • "Spin the Bottle", Cordelia decides to shower while she's not in an Abandoned Warehouse, and naturally gets surprised by Angel wearing only a towel.
    • "Harms Way" has a scene showing Harmony's daily routine, starting with her coming out of the shower in a towel.
  • Angie Tribeca
    • Angie has worn a modesty towel around her waist a few times, usually in the police locker room with Pixelation on her chest. The pilot al has her wearing around her waist while doing pull-ups on the shower rod with her back to the camera.
    • Parodied in one episode. To enter a locker room, Geils and Tanner cover themselves up with bath towels... over their street clothes. Later, the villain whips the towels off them and runs off while the two cover themselves in embarrassment, even though they're fully dressed.
  • Arrow:
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003): In The Documentary episode "Final Cut", Apollo uses a Modesty Towel, although he is apparently unable to properly fasten it around his waist. Starbuck, who's standing behind him, apparently gets quite a view as she can be seen smirking when the towel falls open.
  • The Big Bang Theory: Penny plays the trope straight in the pilot episode while using Leonard and Sheldon's shower. It never seems to occur to her later that Howard's constant hitting on her might have something to do with first meeting him in a towel.
  • Blood Drive: Grace wears one after she showers in the diner they're staying in "Welcome to Pixie Swallow".
  • Parodied in Blackish, when Bow and Dre are standing by the bathroom sink getting ready. Dre wears his in the feminine style, representing his conservative upbringing, while Bow's is in the masculine style, representing her carefree personality.
  • In one episode of Boy Meets World, Shawn answers the door wearing just a towel when he first meets Angela, who would soon become his Love Interest. He's clearly smitten with her immediately, and Corey, who's been recording everything in Shawn's apartment a la The Real World, is standing off to the side, muttering that he should drop the towel. At this prompting, Angela actually kisses Shawn for Corey's movie, while he's still only in a towel.
  • Broad City:
    • Bevers is wearing one when Abbi first meets him. He's considerably slimmer and more muscular than he is in every other episode.
    • Abbi changes in the locker room with a towel wrapped around herself, even while everyone around her casually gets naked.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine: In "Stakeout", during the eponymous stakeout, one of the things Charlies does that pisses of Jake is walk around in a towel in the female style and Jake puts it in their "No-No List".
    Jake: No lady-style towels!
  • In the Burn Notice episode "Better Halves", Michael and a Russian agent get into a fight in a sauna wearing nothing but white terrycloth towels. Defying several laws of physics, at the end of the fight, both towels are still firmly in place.
  • Castle: In "The Limey", Beckett and Castle storm a suspect's hotel room and find him just stepping out of the shower in a towel. Beckett orders him to hold up his hands and the man reluctantly complies, leaving his towel to fall to the ground and soon identifies himself as Detective Inspector Colin Hunt. Castle tries to cover Beckett's eyes with his hands, but she coyly moves her head aside to get a peek.
  • On To Catch a Predator, Chris Hansen has provided these on more than one occasion to "guests" that stripped naked when entering the house.
  • On Cheers, Rebecca accidentally locked herself out of a hotel room wearing only a towel, which was caught in the door.
  • In an episode of Cold Case, the second half of a gay couple emerges from the shower already wearing a towel around his waist, joining his partner, who is similarly clad. Despite the fact that by this point in their relationship, they'd likely be quite comfortable being naked around each other.
  • Cougar Town:
    • The Pilot episode has Jules walking out of the shower in a towel. She walks up to the mirror, and is disappointed at finding her body is getting older, and drops the towel to fully inspect herself.
    • A later episode has Laurie walking in on Jules coming out of the shower with a towel half wrapped around her. Feeling insecure Jules actually opens the towel to ask Laurie if she still looks good and it's relieved when Laurie says she looks great.
  • Dark Angel: In "Out", one mission ends with Max falling into a mud pit. The next time we see her is at Logan's apartment, having just showered and is walking around wearing only a towel since her clothes are still wet after they were washed.
  • Dark Matter: In the beginning of episode 7, While going to Two's room to give her a status report, One finds her in only a towel fresh from the shower and tries to leave but she tells him it's fine to stay. She casually drops the towel while he's in the middle of his report which he finds very frustrating as he knows she's very aware of his attraction to her yet doesn't consider her behavior as flirting. The episode ends with the opposite scene, with Two coming to his room while he's in a towel asking for a "status report". But this time she admits she is attracted to him and the scene ends with a Sexy Discretion Shot.
  • Dark Skies: In "The Warren Omission", John is ambushed fresh out of the shower by Juliet while he's only wearing a Modesty Towel. After being beaten up by her as a warning, she gasses him and once he's out, she rips off his towel and leaves him naked on the floor, seemingly just to humiliate him further.
  • In Degrassi: Next Class, a rival school pranks the girls by stealing the clothes in the lockers and sounding the fire alarm, forcing all the girls out of the school in their towels. Frankie's towel gets caught in the door as she's getting out, leaving her briefly naked outside the school before her friends come to her rescue.
  • Desperate Housewives: In Pretty Little Picture, Susan's ex-husband comes to visit her for their "talk" while she was showering and she answers in a towel. When she lets him in and tells him to wait while she gets dressed, he just snarks he's already seen it all anyways. They get into a heated argument, making him leaves the house with her hot on his heels still in a towel. The end of her towel gets caught on his car's door and it ends up being ripped off her body while he drives away leaving her to have a Naked Freak-Out in the sidewalk. To make matters worse, when she rushes back home, she finds the door closed and locked her out and she needs her new Love Interest help to get back inside.
  • Devious Maids: In "Setting the Table", Spicy Latina maid Carmen goes Skinny Dipping in her patron's pool, after both he and the governess are out of the house. She's later seen playing in his piano clad in only a towel, when her co-worker Sam chides her about her behavior. They're interrupted when Odessa the governess comes back earlier than expected. When Odessa walks into the room, she finds Sam wiping down the piano with the towel, covering for Carmen while she is hiding inside the piano, completely naked.
  • Doctor Who
    • In the TV movie, the Eighth Doctor escapes from a morgue wrapped in the funeral shroud they put his body under.
    • "The Lodger": The Doctor, under the (mistaken) impression that his roommate is being attacked, races out of the shower to rescue him, barely managing to wrap a towel around his waist beforehand. Considering that this is the Eleventh Doctor, it is rather impressive that he remembered to grab a towel at all.
  • Dollhouse: Whenever the Dolls shower in their large shower room, they clad themselves in red towels when stepping out from behind the convenient shoulder lenght glass walls that obscure their nudity.
  • Eastwick
    • In episode 3, Joanna is in a towel at her house, getting ready for a shower, when she hears someone break into her house. Scared, she just out the window of her house still in a towel, and runs all the way to Roxy house in it.
    • On episode 11, Kat is talking in the phone in her towel when she's startled by her boyfriend's son and ends up losing the towel in front of him, with her later angsting that her boyfriend's son saw her naked before he did.
      Joanna: Just tell the kid to report to his dad how good the goods were! If anything, it could move things along quicker.
      Kat: Gross!
  • In the 2003 sitcom Eve, a towel-clad Rita steps out of her house in the morning to grab the paper, and finds a crowd of paparazzi waiting for her. Startled, she ends up losing the towel in front of them, but decides to use her hands to cover her green-cream-masked-faced instead of her exposed body.
  • Fairly Legal: In "Start Me Up", Lauren catches Kate walking around the office in only a towel, since she has been homeless for a couple of days after her divorce and had to shower there.
  • Family Matters:
    • During the house party scenes of the first-season episode "The Party", Shawn Harrison makes an appearance as "Boy in Towel," a classmate of Eddie's who is dressed only with a towel around his waist; the kid still has just a towel on when Carl comes home early and kicks everyone out. (Although he was nameless in this episode, the "Boy in Towel" had the same mannerisms and voice as Waldo Faldo, whom the character (fully dressed in future episodes) eventually became.)
    • In the seventh-season episode "The Naked and the Nerdy", during a bathroom scene Urkel humorously wears his towel high up on his chest, somewhat in the female manner. (Laura wears one too ... only after Urkel accidentally sees her in the buff.)
  • The Flash (2014): Used on The Stinger of "The New Rogues" when Caitlin finds out she's turning into Killer Frost. She's having a Shower Scene but is shocked when the water suddenly freezes. She comes out of the shower in a towel and is terrified when she looks at herself in the mirror, finding she now has blue lips and a Skunk Stripe on her hair.
  • Flashpoint: "Attention Shoppers" ends with Sam walking in on Jules in the lockers clad in a towel while checking her bruised shoulder she got in the last job. He checks it for her in an awkward UST fueling moment.
  • The Fosters:
  • Frasier: In the episode "Junior Agent", Frasier and Kenny go to a steam room, wearing giant, blanket-like towels from slightly below the chest to slightly above the ankle. Junior Agent Portia storms in on them, and Kenny hides, exclaiming several times that he's naked.
  • Friends:
    • Discussed by Chandler in "The One Where No One's Ready" in a Seinfeldian Conversation:
      Chandler: You know what's weird? Donald Duck never wore pants. But whenever he's getting out of the shower, he always put a towel around his waist. I mean, what is that about?
    • In "The One With The Flashback", in a flashback, Chandler finds a sad Monica in her apartment, wearing only a towel. When prompted she confessed she's upset that Phoebe moved out and she wonders if she's difficult to live with. Chandler comforts her and they have a heartfelt moment that ends in them hugging. Chandler then breaks the ice by asking if her if the towel she's wearing is 100% cotton since it feels so nice.
    • In "The One With The Boobies", Rachel is a victim of an interesting case of malfunctioning modesty towel.
      Chandler: That's a relatively open weave and I can still see your... nipular areas.
    • Parodied in "The One With The Hypnosis Tape". Chandler uses a hypnotic tape to help him quit smoking, which offers such encouragement as "You are a strong, confident woman who does not need to smoke". He then spends the rest of the episode behaving in a very effeminate manner, including coming out of the shower wearing a towel all the way up to his armpits the way a woman would, along with having another wrapped over his head.
  • Gotham: In "Under The Knife", Lee is having a relaxing bath when she hears a noise around the house. A dripping-wet towel-clad Lee tiptoeing around her apartment until she discovers that the intruder was actually a cat. When she lets the cat around she's scared again, this time by Gordon suddenly barging in.
  • Grand Hotel: Alicia finds out Carolina slept with El Rey and cheated on her fiancé when she finds her coming out of the shower of El Rey's room wearing only a towel.
  • Grey's Anatomy: Dr. Sloan's first appearance. His very first appearance was actually hitting on Meredith in the hospital, although the scene with the towel is probably his most famous.
  • Hellcats: Marti gets her clothes stolen in the locker and is forced to go to the boys locker room for a towel, but she hears them coming in while she's sneaking and has to hide in a stall. Thankfully for her, the only one that catches her is Lewis who helps her out by taking off his towel in front of her stall, giving her his towel and clearing out his playmates from the locker room since they don't want to see him naked.
  • The BBC's 2012 production of William Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 2 decided that a short conversation between the Prince of Wales and his "friend" needed to be in a sauna. With wet towels.
  • How to Get Away with Murder: "It's All Her Fault" has Rebecca showing up at Wes's door at 4 in the morning asking to use his shower (hers is broken) while wearing just a towel. She even drops it when the door is still open, causing him to get Distracted by the Sexy for a bit. The visit turns out to be important as she hid a cellphone under his sink before she got arrested.
  • The Incredible Hulk (1977): In the episode "The Lottery", Banner is Hulking Out halfway up an emergency ladder in a block of flats, he busts his way through the wall, and into a room with a couple looking on in shock and confusion. He then bursts through another wall, and the scene cuts to a sexy lady stepping out of the shower and wrapping a towel around herself. The Hulk steps into the bathroom and looks her up and down and smirks before leaving the room by breaking down another wall. The scene ends with both the couple and the towel-clad lady in the shower just looking on confused through the giant holes in the wall. It really has to be seen to be believed.
  • In Plain Sight: Humorously Played With in "In My Humboldt Opinion", where Rafe asks for Mary a towel from inside his shower. She goes to look for them, she finds them all missing except a washcloth, explaining a towel filled suitcase earlier in the season which was thought to contain drugs. She leaves the washcloth hanging on the handle and joins him in the shower.
  • Kim's Convenience:
    • Jung's ex-girlfriend Grace comes out of the bathroom in Jung and Kimchee's apartment wearing only a towel, essentially confirming her and Jung's date the night before was a success. Jung's mother is unfortunately also present when she appears in this manner.
    • Jung comes out of the shower with just a towel around his waist in one episode when Kimchee's date arrives at their apartment. Kimchee is annoyed to no end because he was trying to get Jung, the Mr. Fanservice of the series, to stop "stealing" his dates.
  • La reina del sur: The very first scene starts with Teresa enjoying a bubble bath before she's interrupted by a cell phone ringing. She hurries out of the bath in a towel since the cell phone is the one her husband warned her would only ring if he's dead.
  • Leverage: In The Maltese Falcon Job", Tara (Jeri Ryan) uses one as part of a con where she pretends to be an unlucky woman who got trapped outside her hotel room in just a towel to trick a waiter into opening a door for her. Then also drops the towel to short-circuit his brain enough so he won't question her story.
  • Life: In "Badge Bunnies", Bob goes to Crews house to get his sister Kathy who is Skinny Dipping at Crews pool. When she leaves wearing only a towel, he tells her to Please Put Some Clothes On and she makes a move to take off her towel right there in front of everyone before he yells at her to get dressed outside.
  • Life with Derek: In one episode, Casey is seen reviling over the disorganization of the bathroom, clad in only a Modesty Towel. About as hot as you'll ever see on Disney Channel.
  • Lois & Clark: In the pilot episode, Lois arrives at Clark's apartment to give him a ride to work. He answers the door wearing nothing but a towel.
    Lois: It's nine! I thought you'd be naked. Uh, ready.
  • Lucifer: In "Manly Whatnots", Chloe (Lauren German) hears an intruder while she was showering, grabs a towel and a gun and goes to investigate. It turns out to be Lucifer, who's casually barged into her house to cook her breakfast, but ends up startling Chloe, who drops her towel in shock. Lucifer is impressed with what he sees.
  • Hilariously subverted in an episode of Lucky Louie where a male character enters the kitchen wearing a towel the way a woman would, the "hem" barely concealing his package. Then, standing with his crotch a foot in front of Louie's face he casually bends backward revealing what the towel was meant to conceal.
  • Mad About You: The first episode of season 7 had Jamie trapped outside her gym in just a towel after she's wrongly directed to an outside door instead of the showers. She spends the entire episode wandering the streets still clad in it, trying to get back home.
  • Married... with Children: In "What Goes Around Comes Around", Bud tries to make amends with Alpha Bitch Heather McCoy who humiliated him back in sixth grade, but he just ends up being humiliated by her yet again when she leaves him with just a towel on the stage of the Homecoming Dance party. In a rare moment of Big Sister Instinct, Kelly tells him she'll "work things out" with Heather for him. Cut to a distressed Heather gagged and with both arms bound to a bank of lockers with a huge sign taped to her that reads "DON'T MESS WITH A BUNDY" and wearing nothing but a towel that is attached to a rope being held in Buck's jaws. Then Kelly walks in and calls Buck to her, and he runs to her, dragging away the towel by the rope, just as the bell rings and students come flooding out of the classrooms.
  • M*A*S*H had many.
    • "Requiem for a Lightweight" begins with the P.A. system announcing the arrival of wounded, while newly arrived nurse Margie was in the shower. She runs through the camp in only a towel and accidentally bumps into Hawkeye, before extricating herself from him and dashing away causing the towel that was still on his grip to be snagged off. The sight of her as she streaks through the camp prompts a rare salute from Hawkeye and Trapper.
    • In "The Sniper", a sniper is shooting at the camp, Radar (who was in the showers with Col. Blake) tries to make a run for it in his modesty towel. He loses it just before he gets back to the showers, but gets another while he's inside.
    • In "Fallen Idol", Radar is out delivering mail and encounters nurse Perry wrapped in a towel. She asks if he has any mail for her but he's too stunned to answer. He manages to blurt out, "I don't think so. If I may say, that's a very nice towel you're wearing, Lieutenant." But by then she has closed the door on him.
    • In "Father's Day", Margaret's father calls the 4077th and she ran through the camp wearing only a towel to take the call.
    • "None Like it Hot", where Hawkeye and BJ get a portable bathtub during a Heat Wave, has several:
      • When Hawkeye first tried out the tub, he had just wrapped his modesty towel around himself when Margaret came in.
        Margaret: I want it. I want it.
        Hawkeye: Women often have that reaction when they see me naked.
      • Later, two soldiers get in a fight while line waiting to use the tub (one accused the other of cutting). During this, Charles pointed out the fight and as people in line went to watch, he moved forward. The last person he mentions it to is the soldier using the tub, who runs out in a towel to check it out.
      • Near the end, Margaret finally gets to use the tub, until Klinger (who had been trying again for a Section 8 by wearing winter clothing during a Heat Wave) jumped in the tub with her. Margaret runs out of the tent wearing only her towel, humiliated.
  • Midnight, Texas: The pilot has a scene with Olivia walking around her room fresh out of the shower in a towel. Since she's a Hitman with a Heart, instead of clothes her room is comically filled with Wall of Weapons.
  • The Messengers: In "Path to Paradise", when Alan tracks down Vera in her hotel room at Houston she answers the door only wearing a towel, implied to have been taking an offscreen Shower of Angst.
  • In the first season of McLeod's Daughters, Nick walks into the bathroom while Tess is dressing. She holds a towel to her chest to cover herself, but doesn't realize until he leaves that he could see her exposed rear in the mirror.
  • Monday Night Football: An infamous pre-show skit aired November 15, 2004, as a takeoff of Nicollette Sheridan's Edie Britt character on Desperate Housewives. Sheridan, in-character as Edie and dressed only in a towel, enters the Philadelpia Eagles locker room and seduces wide receiver Terrell Owens. Owens remains focused until Edie drops it, after which Owens remarks that the Eagles "are gonna have to win this game without me" as an ecstatic Edie jumps into Owens' arms. Afterward, two women — perhaps reflecting the soon-to-come negative criticism over the incident (and it did come, despite the absence of outright nudity) — scoff at the skit before shouting to the camera, "Are you ready for some football?!"
  • Modern Family: In "Las Vegas" Gloria goes into Claire and Phil's room to borrow Claire's hair products dressed in a towel, which gets stuck in the door between their rooms. While she struggling to get it free, Phil and the leader of the secret magician's society (Patton Oswalt) walk into the room. She abandons her towel runs into the closet before they see her and Phil places a French Maid Dog Statue named Rebarka in the same closet, not knowing Gloria is hiding in there. Phil then performs his magic trick, but Oswalt isn't impressed... until Phil accidentally causes smoke and Gloria pops out now dressed in the French Maid Outfit she took from the statue, making Oswalt believe that it was all part of the trick.
  • In the Korean drama ''My Love From Another Star" main character Do Min-Joon takes this trope further by repeatedly wearing a towel while showering, although this can be explained by the fact that he is secretly an alien.
  • NCIS:
    • Starting with the sixth season, NCIS simply covered the bodies with towels.
    • On female corpses, they are often shown with the chest cavity already open and a towel covering the lower half, thus using a sort of "Modesty Flesh" and reducing the need for a towel up to the neck.
    • Given the fact Ducky's lab is often visited by not only assorted NCIS personnel but sometimes outsiders as well, it's not unreasonable to imagine that Ducky might cover up genitals and breasts with towels out of respect for the dead if there's no real reason to expose those parts of the body—this is actually very touchingly and genuinely invoked as he prepares to autopsy Caitlin Todd:
      Caitlin's Spirit: I appreciate you keeping me covered up, in front of the others, Ducky.
      Ducky: Yes, I know how modest you are.
  • NCIS: Los Angeles: In "Neighborhood Watch", Kensi and Deeks are living together in an Undercover as Lovers situation, and one of the situations that fuel fueling their Unresolved Sexual Tension is when Deeks barges on her in the bathroom while she's only wearing a towel, causing her to freaks out.
  • Neighbours:
    • Matt volunteers to model for a life drawing class, on the basis that his wife Lauren was the only person who signed up, and Lou makes a bet that Matt is too laced up to go through it. When Matt steps out into class in a Modesty Towel, he is shocked to find that at least a dozen people have turned up, as Lou bolstered the numbers by spreading the world and a lot of Lauren's girlfriends showed up just to make it embarrassing for Matt. Right when he's about to drop the towel, the fire alarm goes off (pulled by his son Bailey, having been alerted to Lou's prank) and everyone is forced to evacuate. Matt's still left embarrassed, though, as he's now trapped outside in a towel until the fire brigade has declared the building safe.
    • In one episode, Hot Teacher Elly had her clothes stolen and towel stolen while she was showering in Erinsborough High as a prank by one of her students, a bully that Elly has a feud with. Elly then improvise a poster, wrapping herself around like a modesty towel, before make a run to her office.
  • Off The Map:
    • In "Smile. Don't Kill Anyone", Lily, Tommy and Mina's first meeting with Dr. Ryan is when they stumble upon her taking a Waterfall Shower in the wild. But she has keeps a Modesty Towel nearby, wrapping herself in it before properly greeting them.
    • Later in the same episode, Lily decides to take a Waterfall Shower herself, but it turns into a Naked People Trapped Outside situation when her modesty towel falls into the water and is washed away... right into her Love Interest Ben, who was just strolling by and gets an eyeful which causes Lily to have a Naked Freak-Out. When he returns her towel, he warns her she's bathing on the main hiking trail.
  • One Tree Hill: Used a couple of times, usually involving Nathan or Brooke.
    • In "Near Wild Heaven", Hayley is talking with the girls when Nathan walks up to them wearing only a towel. Brooke playfully sneaks behind him and snatches it away causing him to flee with Brooke and Peyton laugh, until they notice Hayley is giving them a Death Glare for ogling her boyfriend.
    • In "Lifetime Piling Up", Nathan is showering in the locker room when a towel-clad joins him with the intent of seducing him which leads to an awkward time for him.
      Brooke: [entering the shower while eyeing him up] So I guess the rumors are true... Mr. Size 14.
      Nathan: [nervously grabbing the nearest towel to cover himself] Uhh, I think you're in the wrong locker room.
      Brooke: [feigning innocence] But the sign says boys [drops her towel] doesn't it?
      Nathan: [averting his eyes] Ooookay.
      Brooke: [unashamed] Oops.
    • In "Deep Ocean Vast Sea", one of Nathan's commercial shots involves him wearing just a towel. When it's abruptly canceled one of the set assistants snatches it away from him while his female co-star Kylie stares appreciatively and quip "What a pity, I just found my motivation".
    • "Valentine's Day Is Over" has a gratuitous scene with Quinn lotioning her legs while wearing a towel.
  • The Originals: In "Alive and Kicking", Elijah confronts Haley (Phoebe Tonkin) while she's in a bathtub, about her witch massacre. Hayley isn't really in the mood for his judgment and defiantly climbs out of the tub, taunting and challenging Elijah (whom she has tons of UST with) to look at her. Elijah, unamused, wordlessly reaches for a Modesty Towel and holds it to her, though he doesn't avert his eyes. She rolls her eyes at it, but takes the towel and wraps herself in it before walking away.
  • Pandora: When Jax showers in her room, the shower doesn't seem to use water, spraying some mist against her body instead, yet when she comes out of the Hard Light door at the stall, she still uses a Modesty Towel despite not being wet, meaning modesty really is the towel's only purpose.
  • A Passion for Revenge: Arturo's attraction for the villainous Isadora (thus starting the main Love Triangle of the story) begins when he Accidentally walks in on her room to find her clad in a towel post-shower, which she happens to drop just as he comes in.
  • Private Practice: The show starts with Addison coming out of the shower dressed in towel and in good spirits. She decides to celebrate her new life at her new beachfront home by dancing around her home in just the towel. She even flings the towel away right as the moment screeches to a halt when she notices she's in front of the window where her next-door neighbor (who is also her coworker) can clearly see her. She immediately drops to the ground in mortification.
  • Pretty Little Liars:
    • In the pilot, Emily is wearing a towel in the locker room when she finds A's note in her locker.
    • In "The Perfect Storm", a flashback with Alison and Emily in the locker has the former dropping her towel in front of the later, who's gets visibly distracted since she's a Lipstick Lesbian.
    • In "It Happened 'That Night" Toby showers at Spencer's room because the plumbing at the loft he moved into is broken and comes into her room wearing only a towel. Spencer starts ogling him and tells him she can hardly remember why she had said she wanted to wait to have sex.
    • "Hot Water" has Spencer is wearing a towel in the sauna, when A traps her, and leaves her in there do die (Aria rescues her in the nick of time).
  • Rizzoli & Isles: In "Class Action Satisfaction", Jane and Maura have to take a decontamination shower after being exposed to a potential pathogen. Jane is extremely distraught at the excessively small Modesty Towel she's given and amusingly spends most of the scene trying to keep a medical waste bin between her and anyone else.
  • Sisters: The first two seasons (summer 1991-1992) of this weekly serious-drama featured the four main female leads sitting in a steam sauna, towels wrapped around their chests and chatting about whatever.
  • Smallville
  • Star Trek:
  • Smash
    • The pilot's Singing in the Shower scene with Karen shows her stepping out and wrapping herself in a towel, while still singing.
    • Bombshell's "Don't Say Yes Until I Finish Talking" number takes place entirely in a steam room filled with towel-clad executives.
  • Played straight in an episode of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody when one of the title characters spent a good part of the episode wearing a towel that reached from his ankles to his ribs. Was it a towel or a carpet??
  • Teresa: When Teresa visits her ex-boyfriend Mariano to confront him the day before her wedding, she catches him half-naked wearing only a towel and her jaw almost hits the floor. Unsurprisingly, after some Slap-Slap-Kiss exchanges they end up in bed soon after.
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: In "StrangeThings", Jesse is coming out of the shower wearing a towel when she finds her apartment ransacked, with all the pictures she secretly took of John out in the open and Derek waiting for her, clearly angry about them.
  • Three's Company had an episode where they played Strip Poker, ending with a "winner take all" hand. As all the losers left the apartment where the game was held, it showed Larry, Jack and Furly were wearing newspaper, boxes or pillows while the two girls Furly brought with him had Modesty Towels on.
  • In the Titans episode "Together", Dick wears one when coming out of the shower. He loses it when he and Kory start making out, before they fall onto the bed and the scene ends with a Fade to Black.
  • Um Anjo Caiu do Céu: Raphael appears draped in one during one episode, where Cuca visits him. Curiously, Raphael seems to wrap his towel in a way that hides most of his torso but keeps his chest exposed, somewhere in between the male and female variants. After Cuca kisses him on the cheek and leaves, he becomes so giddy he throws his hands in the air and ends up pulling his towel off in the process, quickly covering himself for precaution once he realizes what he just did.
  • The Vampire Diaries:
    • In "Friday Night Bites", Elena is wearing one in the morning before getting ready for school.
    • In "162 Candles", Lexi (Stefan's vampire Best Friend) is wearing one when she meets Elena at Stefan's house, causing Elena to assume she has a thing with Stefan and getting visibly jealous. Elena even nicknames her as "Towel Girl".
    • Played With in "Bring It On". Elena, having turned off her emontions forgoes it and comes of the shower in the buff, right in front of Damon and Stefan. But once she seems to get bored of their blatant ogling she does wrap herself in a towel.
    • "True Lies" has Damon barging in Caroline dorm room to talk to her while she's in a towel. She's indignant, but he couldn't care less.
      Caroline: Damon! Towel! Knock!
      Damon: Caroline! No one cares! No!
    • In "Handle with Care", Katherine sneaks into Caroline and Elena dorm room to shower. She's in a towel when Caroline finds her, and being Elena's Evil Doppelgänger she can't even tell who she really is until Katherine makes it clear, since normally the way they dress is what tells them apart.
    • In "No Exit", Katherine has finished showering, when she hears Stefan in the bedroom. Acting coyly she comes to the bathroom door wrapped in a towel and plays the "could you pass me my clothes" game, deliberately holding the towel as low on her chest as possible. After he does she lets the door open ajar enough to see her dropping the towel.
  • V.I.P.: Nikki meets one target at a spa's sauna, with both of them wearing only towels. When he's suspicious of her wearing a wire underneath it, she removes it to prove she isn't, framed with a Between My Legs shot. Then she Sexy Walks up to him and starts strangling him with the towel when she gets close enough.
  • White Collar: "Master Planner", opens with Elizabeth and Peter had just walked out of a Shower of Love, wearing Modesty Towels and still bantering about it.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess: In "Here She Comes... Miss Amphipolis", Xena and many other woman wear one during a scene at a steam room. Xena gets locked inside and she escapes by taking off her towel and using it as a whip to snap open a vent.

  • The cover of Beauty and the Beat by The Go-Go's uses this trope for all five members.
  • Captain & Tennille: The duo wear them in the cover of "Keeping Our Love Warm", during the sauna scene.
  • "Girl on the Billboard" by Del Reeves.
  • The cover of Heart's Dreamboat Annie album shows sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson sitting back to back, seemingly topless, but the image is cropped below the shoulders. Other publicity photos from the same session make it clear that they were wearing modesty towels.
  • Little Mix: Jesy Nelson wears nothing but a towel for her part of "The One I've Been Missing" music video.
  • PSY and two other men sport one in the sauna scene of "Gangnam Style"; however PSY wears his around his chest (i.e. the way women traditionally do it).
  • Trisha Yearwood: A music video for the "There Goes My Baby" song featured a scene at the beginning where Yearwood exits a bath and is seen returning to her bedroom to sit on the bed while wearing only a towel wrapped around her.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • At the WWF's 1987 "Slammy Awards," "Ravishing" Rick Rude, having The Gimmick of a sexy ladies'-man chippendale, did a strip-tease act when he came onstage to accept the "Jesse 'the Body'" award for best-looking male wrestler. At the height of his act, Rude began taking off his pants when "Mean" Gene Okerlund ran out and began wrapping a towel around an annoyed Rude's waist (Rude, of course, was wearing a thong). After his acceptance speech, he took one of the showgirls backstage and threw a towel on-stage, giving the impression that Rude was completely in the buff (off-stage).
  • WWE's Val Venis (Sean Morley), as part of his "porn star" gimmick, wore a modesty towel around his waist during his standard ring entrance during the late 1990s. (Yes, a pair of wrestling trunks was underneath).
    • Unfortunately for Stevie Richards, when doing a copycat gimmick in his first cup of coffee stint in WWE, forgot to put his trunks on before the towel.
  • In a 2002 episode of Raw, Chris Jericho and Christian come out of the shower wearing towels and find out their bags (and along with them, their clothes) have been stolen by The Dudley Boys. Jericho and Christian spend much of the rest of the episode wandering backstage trying to find something to wear. Later, the Dudleys came out to the ring and began throwing Jericho and Christian's clothes into the crowd, prompting them to come out on the stage. Once the Dudleys finish throwing their clothes and their bags into the crowd, Spike Dudley comes out and relieves Jericho and Christian of their towels.
  • Subverted on WWE No Mercy of 2006: William Regal was wearing a towel during a segment with Vito. While Regal was moving around, his penis was exposed.
  • A week after the Terrell Owens-Nicolette Sheridan Monday Night Football "towel skit" aired and gained negative criticism by conservative critics and women's groups, a parody skit aired on Monday Night Raw. Shelton Benjamin was initially in the Owens role, while — despite wearing a nose brace due to a legit injury suffered a week earlier — babelicious blonde Diva Trish Stratus was the towel-clad Edie Britt (Sheridan's Desperate Housewives character), this time with Benjamin trying to prepare for a match and Trish doing her best to turn on her sexual charms. WWE owner Vince McMahon entered the locker room to express (mock) outrage, claiming the swift downfall of society would result by solely said actions being aired on TV. Benjamin walked off disgusted, and after he left McMahon immediately focused entirely on Trish... who took it all off (with her back to the audience). Cue the Monday Night Football theme as an orgasmic McMahon gleefully said, "Are you ready for some wrestlin'?"
  • In a spot in 2005 WWE Raw where John Cena is trying to poll backstage to find out how they feel about Kurt Angle, he ends up in the Divas' locker room. A flirtatious Candice Michelle steps in front of him and drops her towel.
  • After their Face–Heel Turn, Velvet Sky came to ringside in a towel, then flashed the referee, distracting him and allowing Angelina Love to cheat and win.
  • On the July 3, 2013 episode of OVW TV, Heidi Lovelace was seen wearing one of these when she overheard Manipulative Bitch Taeler Hendrix bragging to Nikki St. John in the locker room about having Heidi wrapped around her little finger, as seen here.
  • After defeating Barbie Boy for the vacant World Wrestling League Diosas title, the camera next showed Ivelisse Vélez in the locker room, covering herself with a towel when Wonderful Xander barged in to flirt with her.
  • During Mickie James and Melina's Falls Count Anywhere 2007 match, it spills into the locker room and a towel-clad Candice Michelle orders them out. Melina pulls Candice's towel off and the camera crew cuts away.
  • In a 2007 RAW, when Melina was "dating" Hornswoggle, he came upon Melina while she was showering, causing her to cover herself in a towel and flees from him causing him to give chase and eventually managing to pull it away, leaving her to have a Naked Freak-Out offscreen.
  • WWE Raw, September 6, 1999. The hardcore WWE Women's Champion Ivory vs. Tori match started with them in the locker room before going into the bathroom, causing a towel-clad Jacqueline to come running out of the shower.
  • In WWE SmackDown 04/10/2003, Sable invades Torrie Wilson's bathroom while she's showering to brag that about her Playboy is selling better than Torrie's. Sable then takes the towel outside the stall and holds it open for Torrie, forcing her to walk across the bathroom to get it while, with the towel covering Torrie from the shoulders down as she does.
  • In WWE SmackDown 01/06/2005, Kurt Angle was tricked into walking on Joy Giovanni in the shower. She has a Naked Freak-Out and covers herself with a towel while fleeing the bathroom. While he's trying to explain himself he reaches for her and accidentally snatches off her towel leaving her naked offscreen.

  • In Cactus Flower, Julian enters Toni's apartment one evening and is surprised to find Igor Sullivan wearing nothing but a towel.
  • "Ah, But Underneath" in Follies (used in some productions to replace "The Story of Lucy and Jessie") has Phyllis executing a striptease to increasingly Double Entendre lyrics. At the end, she appears in only a towel and says:
    Sometimes, when the wrappings fall,
    There's nothing underneath at all.

    Video Games 

    Visual Novel 

    Web Animation 
  • Subverted in Homestar Runner. While Coach Z is talking to Homestar about girls, an alien is shown in the background showering, while wearing a modesty towel... and then the towel falls down to reveal the alien's butt.
  • In the RWBY episode "Burning the Candle", Ren is stepping out of the shower in a towel when Jaune grabs him and drags him into their dorm room. Jaune says he needed someone to confide to, and drones on about his failed love life, while Ren awkwardly sits there and tries to grab his clothes.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Played for Laughs on Adventure Time: a paranoid Jake wears one in the shower after finding out that Marceline sometimes sneaks into his house, then puts on a second one when he steps out. Note that he's a dog who always looks naked anyway, though technically he claims to wear spider-web pants too thin to see.
  • The Animaniacs episode "Meet Minerva" start with Minerva Mink walking out of home with just a towel (and another for the head), causing affectionate reactions (Tex Avery-styled) to males of every species, before bathing naked in a lake. Then again, this trope was applied to Ms. Mink every chance the writers got in the comics.
  • Used on Archer, when Mallory hires a black Jewish man to fulfill minority hiring requirements, and Archer confronts him in the locker room. When they end up nearly fighting, both towels fall off.
    Archer: He's uncircumcised.
    Lana: Okay, glossing over how you know that...
    Archer: We touched penises.
    Lana: Glossing over!
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: In "The Winter Solstice Part 1" after the Earthbenders capture the naked Iroh, they wrap a towel around him off-screen so they wouldn't "experience" what Zuko did earlier. Later:
    Zuko: [after beating up the Earthbenders] Now would you please put on some clothes?!
  • After soaking in his bathtub in a previous scene of Beast Wars, Megatron comes out with a towel wrapped around his waist. Considering that he is a robot and thus always naked just like everyone else, and considering that he has a rubber ducky in his bathtub, this is pretty much due to the Rule of Funny.
  • Both girls and boys wears this in few episodes of Braceface. In the "prank episode", Sharon scares Connor with a rubber cockroach causing him to drop his towel in public.
  • Bugs Bunny, is always naked except for his gloves, wears a towel in the short The Wabbit Who Came to Supper, during a scene in which he's coming out of the shower.
  • Bathtub Granny from ChalkZone wraps herself in a towel in the rare instances of her leaving her bathtub.
  • Code Lyoko:
    • Yumi Ishiyama is seen in a Modesty Towel in at least two episodes, most notably the first. To be fair, the boys are seen wearing one even more often over the run of the series.
    • Near the end of "Bragging Rights" has a scene with Odd dancing around for "breaking the record of fastest shower", while wearing only a Modesty Towel.
    • In the opening of Season 4 episode "Bad Connection", Ulrich is stuck in the hallway wearing just a towel. When Aelita and Yumi walk in with Jérémie, the girls at first pretend to be looking away, but spend pretty much the rest of the scene ogling.
  • The Crumpets: Caprice wears a towel in at least two episodes, one of them where she wears a towel while showering (appearing as a Sexy Silhouette through the curtain) and emerging out the bathroom after one of her Trickster Twins siblings changed the water temperature for a prank, and the other episode where when half of her family lives in a shanty house with no electricity, she has hairy armpits and complains of her hair remover not working while wearing a towel. Her father also wear a towel in at least another episode.
  • One episode of Daria has the title character visit a special boarding school for gifted, and rather elitist, students. One of them bitterly mentions leaving his old school after the quarterback of the football team told everyone that he wore a towel in the locker room shower.
  • DC Animated Universe
  • Disenchantment: "For Whom the Pig Oinks", Bean enters her room wearing a towel after bathing, and almost drops it before noticing Elfo is in the room, Eating the Eye Candy. She then turns his cage around and so she can get dressed, throwing the towel at Luci from offscreen when he starts snarking.
    Elfo: I was just admiring the towel! My people don't have terrycloth.
  • Donald Duck wears a Modesty Towel after taking a shower. Given that he doesn't wear pants, presumably it's done because it's funny.
    • A Brazilian animation had Donald being interviewed, questioned about this, and saying he's impressed why people don't understand: "It's to dry my huge butt!".
  • Used by Judy Funnie in Doug when she's waiting for her brother Doug to get out of the bathroom so she can take a shower.
  • Drawn Together
    • Subverted when Princess Clara discovers Captain Hero sleeping with her cousin Bleh. She gives her a towel and instructs her to "...cover your shame!" Bleh takes the towel and wraps it around her head before skipping back to her room otherwise naked.
    • In "Terms of Endearment", Clara, Foxxy and Toot are wearing towels when confronting Captain Hero about him peeking on them showering with his X-Ray Vision.
  • Duck Dodgers: "Too Close for Combat", has The Martian Queen and the Commander meeting with an assassin at in a Steam Room, with both of them wearing towels. Played for Laughs when the Centurtions come in and are also wearing towels, despite being Mecha-Mooks with nothing to hide.
  • DuckTales (2017)'s first episode begins with Donald getting ready for a job interview; he wants to wear his usual sailor suit, but the triplets force it off of him, saying that he needs a suit. Donald quickly pulls on a towel, despite the obvious Fridge Logic that a.) Non-Humans Lack Attributes and b.) he wasn't wearing pants before anyway.
  • The Fairly OddParents: In "The Zappys", The Tooth Fairy makes her first appearance wearing one, after Timmy's knocked out tooth lands under a pillow earlier than expected, resulting in her having to leave in the middle of a shower.
  • In Family Guy
    • "Viewer Mail no 1", Peter wishes he had no bones and is turned to a shapeless blob. At one point he gets thrown out of the Teacups ride at Disneyland and through a window into a locker room, where Michael Eisner comes out and uses him as one of these, tucking his face into the inside as he walks out of the room.
    • Subverted in "Whistle While Your Wife Works" with Jillian. When Brian is trying to break up with Jillian, his incredibly attractive but intellectually challenged girlfriend. He goes to her apartment and she answers the door wearing only a towel, which she absent-mindedly removes to dry her hair. Needless to say, he was too Distracted by the Sexy to go through with the break-up.
  • The Fantastic Four (1978) shows The Thing wearing a towel in the episode "The Impossible Man".
  • Final Space: In Episode 6, Quinn sees all of Gary's old video messages to her. In one, it shows him, dressed in just a towel, trying to sing a balad he wrote for Quinn. While playing on a small, improvised guitar he made from scrap since HUE wouldn’t let him have an actual guitar.
  • Futurama: Happens in the episode "War Is the H-Word":
    • A joke similar to Hot Dog!: The Movie was used with Zapp Branningan stepping out of the shower.
      Richard Nixon: Damn it, Brannigan, I didn't live for thousands of years and travel millions of miles to look at another man's gizmo!
    • Subverted seconds before also: Pvt. Lee Lemon suggests that his her Captain puts on a towel after exiting the shower. He obliges by putting a towel on his head. Considering in the world of Futurama there's no nudity taboo, it leads you to think what's wrong with Zapp's anatomy. Or, more likely, the sight of him brought shameful memories to mind. note .
    • Leela herself wears her towel wrapped around her entire torso in the same scene, but nobody notices that she's a Sweet Polly Oliver. (Well, Zapp seems to notice subconsciously.)
  • The Manotaurs in Gravity Falls wear towels all of the time as their only clothing. A scene near the beginning of the episode also shows Dipper with one in the bathroom.
  • In the Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi episode "Dis-Harmony", Ami and Yumi quickly start wearing towels when they find their mud bath disturbed by their Loony Fan Harmony.
  • Hotel Transylvania: The Series: In the Halloween Episode, "The Legend of Pumpkin Guts", Mavis is ordered not to go outside by her father, which she naturally ignores and Lydia spends most of the episode trying to find her. When Mavis sneaks back inside, she makes sure to walk out of the bathroom in a towel in front of Lydia, to claim that she's been in the shower... for the last ten hours.
  • Kaeloo: In one episode, Kaeloo does a painting of Quack Quack wearing no clothes except a leaf covering his crotch. Once she's done, Quack Quack wraps a towel around his waist.
  • The Madballs episode "Escape from Orb" had a scene where Slobulus and Aargh accidentally fire their ship's bathtub at the spaceship of Wolf Breath and the Badballs. Freakella isn't happy about this because she was going to take a bath, and is seen wearing a towel and a shower cap. Since the Madballs are heads with arms and legs and therefore don't really have any visible naughty bits, this was most likely done for comedic effect rather than modesty.
  • In the episode "Hot Lava Shower" on Mixels, Vulk wears one after coming out of the shower. This actually ends up being more than he normally wears.
  • Played for Laughs with Jimmy Five during the first half of a Monica's Gang cartoon named "Quero Entrar" ("Let Me In").
  • Phineas and Ferb
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: In "Night Terrors", Daphne steps out of the shower in a towel and is soon attacked by what looks like a giant Medusa. Curiously, before she runs out of the bathroom, she also throws a robe over her modesty towel.
  • In the She-Ra: Princess of Power episode "Flowers for Hordak", Mantenna, perpetual Butt-Monkey of the Evil Horde, is called into Hordak's throne room over an issue, as per the norm. This time, he was in the middle of a shower, so he's dripping wet and only in a shower cap and Modesty Towel. Hordak's more irritated over the fact he's dripping water on the floor, and sends him down the trapdoor, as always.
  • The Simpsons episode "Bart Gets Famous": When Homer comes out of the shower at the nuclear plant to answer the phone: "You'll have to speak up. I'm wearing a towel."
  • South Park: In "Towelie", the military is destroying all towels to stem the threat posed by Towelie. In one scene, Mr. Garrison is getting out of the shower in a towel when the soldiers storm in and rip off. He cries out, "Oh, all right, have your way with me, you sick freaks!"... and is immensely disappointed when they leave once the towel's destroyed.
  • Spider-Man: The Animated Series: Felicia Hardy wore a light blue towel in the opening of "The Vampire Queen" before suiting up in her Black Cat attire.
  • In Star vs. the Forces of Evil, Marco wears one the traditionally feminine way, including with a towel wrapped around his (short) hair.
  • Sym-Bionic Titan: In the second motel that Lance and Ilana stay episode 19, Ilana comes out of the shower and in a towel before setting beside Lance in bed while he's watching the news.
  • Krang in the '80s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon wears one in his robotic body after Shredder contacts him on his communicator and "interrupts his shower" in one episode.
    • Krang dons a towel again in one scene in the 2012 Crossover episode "The Big Blowout".
  • Dr. Vic on the Toonsylvania episode "Love Potion Number Nein!" was wearing a towel the feminine way (covering from under the armpits to around the knees) and had another one wrapped around his hair when he came out of the bathroom to find Igor being chased by the ghost woman Natalie Nightshade.
  • Total Drama characters have been shown wearing them at times.
    • Heather's audition video shows her wearing one, then walking off-screen and throwing it back behind her.
    • In "Hook, Line, and Screamer", DJ finds Heather in the communal bathroom draped in a towel and shaving her legs. She's later still in a towel when she tries to shower, which causes her to be eliminated when the "killer" catches her. She's still wearing it when Chris lectures her about her Genre Blindness in showering alone during the horror film-themed challenge.
    • "Rock n' Rule" starts with Lindsey coming out of the communal bathroom in a towel while singing. Or trying to sing.
    • In "Get a Clue", Lindsay needs to get Courtney's footprint for a challenge, and she tries it by getting her to walk in paint and then on a sheet of cardboard while she only has a towel on after showering.
    • In "A Mine is a Terrible Thing to Waste", Jo is wearing just a towel while bragging in a confessional about having the girl's side of the cabin to herself, so she can now workout while naked.
    • In the Ridonculous Race episode "I Love Ridonc And Roll", Don wears one while introducing Finland, and the Finnish Don Box for the "Spa Day" all-in. It falls off at the end of the segment.
  • Totally Spies!:
    • "Matchmaker" Clover wears one when spying on a posh and wash spa, along with several other women.
    • "Freaky Circus Much?", The Reality TV Show Crew that Clover signed up for is very intrusive and even sneaks up on Sam while she was showering and she wraps herself in a towel to complain to Clover about it. She's still wearing it when Jerry WOOHPed'd them to his office, with her holding on to it to keep it from falling off. Jerry also just happens to have a camcorder recording their interactions, and at one point, he does a close up on the towel-clad Sam, before he blushes and sends them to put on their Spy Catsuits.
  • In the VeggieTales song about Larry's hairbrush, Larry is shown in a Modesty Towel (even though he doesn't wear anything other than the occasional period-appropriate headdress in the regular animated stories or on one occasion, in a corporate setting, a tie when his character was promoted) coming out of the shower, and everyone who walks into him still recoils in embarrassment. At the end, the Peach shows up and is also wrapped in a towel. The two are shocked and slightly embarrassed at the sight of each other.
  • In episode 4 of Wakfu, almost the whole cast wears one, though not just to keep modesty but also to hide the "ugly princesses" disguises. Unfortunately, the only one to have the towel fall off is Ruel.
  • Winx Club: Helia is seen in one during episode 21 "The Red Tower" in season 3. Perhaps it was a little Fanservice, since we hadn't seen him much in that season.


Video Example(s):


I'm In A Towel

Kensi freaks out when Deeks barges on her in the bathroom while she's only wearing a towel.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (13 votes)

Example of:

Main / ModestyTowel

Media sources:

Main / ModestyTowel