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Roll in the Hay

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The needle is here, but which haystack to put it in?

"Oh, come on, we're not just in the hay to look for needles, are we?"

A popular trope in many stories set on a farm. A young couple decides to make love while lying in a hay barrack in a barn or one in an open field. One of them (or both) can be the teenage son or daughter of a farmer, but it might also be a general couple who just happen to encounter a hay barrack while being in the countryside.

Usually they are fleeing from the wrath of the girl's Boyfriend-Blocking Dad, but rain, police, soldiers, or nightfall can be opportune reasons as well. For some strange reason, their pursuer will be unable to find them, even though a bunch of hay might be the most logical hiding place ever. As he leaves, the couple makes love to celebrate the fact that he couldn't find them.

This is especially a popular trope in erotic fiction, almost to the point of being a cliché.

Also Truth in Television, as many young people who grew up in the countryside will tell you. Of all the possible locations for surreptitious lovemaking and/or hiding, a hay barrack is the most obvious choice. It's soft, comfy, and ticklish. While the term "roll in the hay" can also be an expression for casual sex and/or quickies in general, this trope is specifically about sex on a pile of hay.


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  • In Hieronymus Bosch's painting "The Hay Wain", a couple can be seen on top of the hay wain. The man is playing his instrument to seduce the woman.

    Comic Books 
  • In Hex Wives #1, Nadiya and Isadora are having a lesbian tryst in the hayloft of a barn when the soldiers catch up to them in 1777.
  • In Teen Titans Annual #1, Wonder Girl and Superboy consummate their love in the hayloft of the Kents barn before Superboy flies off to confront Superboy-Prime.

    Fan Works 

    Film — Live Action 
  • In Act of Vengeance, Jack rapes Linda (which he regards as 'making love') in the barn on the ranch.
  • In Carry On Henry, King Henry is trying to get with a buxom lass. Unsurprisingly, they are interrupted by her father, who threatens King Henry with a pitchfork, forcing him to escape by jumping over a bush and landing in manure.
  • Colette: Early in their courtship, Willy and Colette enjoy an assignation in a barn near her parents' farm.
  • In Desire Under The Elms, Sophia Loren and Anthony Perkins share a scene in this kind of setting.
  • James Bond
    • Goldfinger features Bond and Pussy Galore in a horse barn, though their rolling in the hay consists of judo flips.
    • On Her Majesty's Secret Service: Bond and Tracy share some warmth in a barn in a brief hiatus during their escape from Blofeld's goons, and this is where Bond proposes to her.
  • In No Kidding, Vanilla and Henri make out in a pile of hay, much to the concern of David and Catherine.
  • In The Outlaw (1943) actress Jane Russell also takes an erotic pose in a hayloft.
  • A group of Dutch soldiers in Soldier of Orange catches a couple having sex in a hay barrack. The local idiot actually wasted their time by reporting that there were invading German soldiers in the barn.
  • In Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, a French pilot has to make an emergency landing in a hay barrack in France. While a farmer is going to get help, which will cost him 30 minutes to get to the nearest farm, the pilot takes the Farmer's Daughter with him in the hay barrack.
  • In Young Frankenstein, Eye-gor transports professor Fronkensteen to the castle by haywagon. Inga is lying in the hay and invites Fronkenstein to "roll in ze hay" with her. She's speaking quite literally: "Roll, roll, roll in ze hay!"

  • A young couple out in the countryside sees a field dotted with haystacks. They go in the field and make love among the haystacks for privacy.
    Then they see an Army officer walk up to the field and yell "THE FIELD CAMOUFLAGE EXERCISE IS OVER! EVERYONE BACK TO BASE!".
    And all the haystacks get up and leave.

  • In the first Codex Alera book Aldrick and Odiana pretend to be doing this as an excuse to search the stables for Amara.
  • Sparhawk's squire, Kurik, in The Elenium, hints that his eldest was conceived this way; more specifically, he says that this was how he was persuaded to get married. Later, he returns from a visit to his family farm and remarks that his wife Aslade was feeling a bit nostalgic and took him up into the hayloft while he was there — after which, he lectured his sons about being more diligent when it comes to getting thistles out of the hay.
  • In Staphorst Groeit Het Geluk (1959) by J. Van Dorsten has a farmer couple falling in each other's arms on a hay barrack.
  • Happens in DH Lawrence's Love Between The Haystacks.
  • After much Belligerent Sexual Tension, Marcus Didius Falco seduces Uptown Girl Helena Justina in a stable watched by a curious horse. The next day her senator father wants a word with him, causing a panicked Falco to think: The horse has talked!
  • Lauchlan and Corbin of Mix Beer With Liquor And You Will Get Sicker play this one straight, though they at least have the benefit of a couple of horse blankets.
  • Portrait in Sepia: Where Aurora finds her husband Diego and Susana (his brother'wife). When she and Diego talk later, he says he did not want to hurt Aurora, but he is crazy in love with Susana and does not see any reason to stop what he is doing.
  • Ruby confesses to this with her ex-boyfriend, Lewis in the Sin City Series.

    Live-Action TV 
  • A standard Soap Opera trope is for a couple to make love in a barn or stable. Bonus points if it's Their First Time and/or it's the first time overall for one or both partners.
  • In 1000 Ways to Die, two cases feature different Farmers Daughters trying to get it on with outsider guys. Both times, the poor outsiders got killed off in ridiculously hilarious manners.
  • Happened a lot in the Dutch TV series Bartje on BNN with Bart De Graaff, where the little farmer boy was always trying to get in the hay with the beautiful farmer's daughter from the nearby village.
  • In The Big Bang Theory Amy says she thought Penny's high school prom dress had just ended up crumpled in a barn somewhere in Nebraska.
  • A Genre Savvy reference occurs in the Flemish TV series Buiten De Zone episode "Kitsch en Kunst", where the clichés of every typical Flemish farmer film are ridiculed.
  • Dad's Army. In one episode Captain Mainwaring gets hooked on a barrage balloon and is carried across country, at one point smashing through a hay bale and startling a pair of young lovers.
  • Dead Man's Gun: In "The Healer", Dr. Butler's wife Anna is an old flame of the outlaw Dalton Coe. A flashback shows their assignation in a barn that was rudely interrupted by her father and his cronies.
  • One episode of Happy Days saw Richie and Fonzie making out with a beautiful pair of sisters in their father's barn... only to be caught by the father, who tried to force a Shotgun Wedding.
  • Duncan has a scene of this in the Highlander episode 'Epitaph for Tommy'.
  • In True Blood, a Flash Back to Eric's mortal life in medieval Sweden showed him getting it on with some village girl in a stable, showing that even back then he was a total manwhore.
  • In The Walking Dead when Glenn and Maggie first get together he slips her a note saying he'll wait for her in Herschel's hayloft. When he gets there he finds the barn is already occupied.
  • The Westerner: In "Mrs. Kennedy", the eponymous Mrs. Kennedy sets her cap for Dave, and attempts to seduce him in the barn, leading them to making out in a hay pile.

  • The cover for Adam Ant's Strip album shows Adam, presumably awaiting such an encounter.[1]
  • "Girls" by The Beastie Boys, from Licensed to Ill also references this.
    I hope she'll say: "Hey, me and you should hit the hay!"
  • "Hayloft" by Mother Mother, later covered by Nickel Creek, is all about this trope, complete with gun-bearing Boyfriend-Blocking Dad.
  • The first two verses of "Fields of Gold" by Music/Sting describe a couple at least making out in a field of barley. The third verse is a Babies Ever After ending.
  • The Flemish song "Vlaanderen Boven" by Raymond Van Het Groenewoud has the singer singing an ironic homage to the Belgian region Flanders. One line summarizes "waterzooi, het meisje in het hooi, de Vlaamse romantiek". ("Waterzooi, the girl in the hay, the Flemish romanticism.") (Making love in a hay barrack is a popular plot device in many Flemish farmer novels and their subsequent film adaptations.)
  • In Enigma's "Return To Innocence" video, the Back to Front montage of the protagonist's life includes a lovemaking scene in a hay shed.

  • Anne of Green Gables: The picnic scene has Mr. Phillips and Prissy entering stage with him plucking bits of straw off her back.
  • Lizard Boy: Cary mentions wanting to have sex in a barn so he can say he's "rolled in the hay" while listing the things he wants to do before he dies.
  • Spring Awakening: During the rainstorm, Melchior convinces Wendla to have sex in a hayloft even though she has no idea what sex is or what it can cause.

    Video Games 
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition: the Inquisitor and a romanced Blackwall share such an encounter in the loft above Skyhold's stables. This also happens right before "Revelations".
  • According to an interview with the developers in the game's 10th Anniversary Ultimania, this was the original plan for a particular scene towards the end of Final Fantasy VII. Shortly before entering the final dungeon, the party disbands so that its members can spend some of their final hours before the apocalypse at home and/or with their families before returning. Cloud and Tifa remain behind however, having no families of their own to go home to. Event planner Masato Kato proposed a scene where, if Cloud and Tifa's relationship values are high enough, the two of them would be shown exiting the airship's chocobo stable while checking around them to make sure that no one was looking. The scene was cut for being too obvious however and was replaced with a toned-down version wherein which the two of them are shown standing in the grass just below the airship and under the night sky, and a risqué line of dialoguenote  from Tifa is followed by a fade-to-black. The intent remains the same however, with Cloud and Tifa still shown huddled up beside each other the next morning, and Tifa falling on her knees in embarrassment upon realizing that some of the other party members may or may not have been "watching" the whole time. Additional quotes from several other Ultimanias eventually confirmed that yes, Cloud and Tifa did have sex.

    Web Original 
  • Peasant's Quest requires you at one point to jump into a pile of hay while covered in mud to disguise yourself as said pile of hay. The narrator caption mentions, "You've not known much better than a roll in the hay alone."

    Western Animation