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Sexy Silhouette

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Kala: [hidden behind a screen] Do you have any other questions?
Jarrell: As a matter of fact I do. What are you doing this weekend, because your silhouette is kicking!

When a person, more often than not a woman, is showing off her curvaceous figure via a silhouette, implying nudity without showing any. Usually, the character is shown to be undressed or undressing behind a backlit screen of some kind, but often the projection of the shadow itself is used. Nipple and Dimed will almost always be in effect, as the silhouette focusing on the curvature of the breasts without the nipple.

Expect her to have to bend down. A lot. Slowly. If the character is shown don't expect more than brief Toplessness from the Back or Shoulders-Up Nudity shots. Expect also that the screen — which is apparently supposed to ensure some form of modesty — will be as thin as paper and positioned right in front of a source of light, leaving absolutely nothing to the imagination and thus utterly defeating its supposed purpose.

This may happen during a conversation with another character, who may react by enjoying the sight or by ignoring it. It commonly occurs during Shower Scenes with shower curtains or frosted glass walls. Also used often in Transformation Sequences especially with Magical Girls.

When only a part of the character's body is hidden in shadow, then it's using Censor Shadow. Also compare Barbie Doll Anatomy, Censor Steam, Male Gaze and Watching the Reflection Undress.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Ai Yori Aoshi: In episode 1, Kaoru lets Aoi use the bath in his house after letting her stay for the night. She goes into the changing room and Kaoru gets distracted by the silhouette of her stripping through the screen panels.
  • Bakemonogatari:
    • Senjougahara when she showers in her apartment in preparation for her exorcism that Meme Oshino is going to perform on her later.
    • Happens when Senjougahara and Hanekawa shower together.
  • Beelzebub:
    • In episode 57, Aoi's demon partner Koma is trying to feed her his manju that would have them Body Swap, and one of the scenes in the montage he tries it when she is in the shower where only her silhouette is seen.
    • In chapter 222, Nene is taking a shower at her house while one of the split up mini-forms of Furuichi is hiding in the bathroom watching her silhouette from a distance. When she walks out of the shower, she reveals she knew he was watching and was wearing a bikini the whole time.
  • Black Cat: Rinslet while a showering behind a purple shower curtain in episode 2.
  • Code Geass: Happens in "The False Classmate", when Lelouch brings Kallen a change of clothes while she's showering, she is seen as a silhouette behind a yellow shower curtain. During the ensuing conversation, she accidentally causes the shower curtain to open, exposing herself to him causing her to have a Naked Freak-Out.
  • Cowboy Bebop
    • In "Jupiter Jazz Part 1", Gren is seen taking a shower behind a green shower curtain just before Faye comes in and points a gun at him and finds out he has grown female breasts.
    • In the episode "Black Dog Serenade", Faye Valentine's silhouette is seen behind a shower curtain while she is trying to take a shower, but the shower breaks and we see her jumping around due to the hot water.
  • DARLING in the FRANXX: When Hiro gets his first glimpse of Zero Two Skinny Dipping in a lake she's only a silhouette.
  • In Detective School Q, there is a scene involving Sakurako and Kyuu.
  • Dirty Pair: Yuri during her Shower Scene in episode 12 and OVA episode 6.
  • Done in the Dragon Ball anime during the Bulma's Shower Scene in Oolong's double-decker camper in episode 6.
  • Yuki when she showers in episode 24 in Haruhi-chan. She's even temporarily un-chibified.
  • Done in some of Lupin III media (tv series, special and movies), usually with Fujiko Mine.
  • Machiko in Miss Machiko in some shower and bath scenes; however she end up with show more than her simple silhouette every time.
  • Shizuru in My-HiME... in Fan Disservice mode, since the scene in question is a flashback of her apparently raping Natsuki in her sleep (although whether it actually happened is debatable).
  • Naruto: During a Filler episode of Part I, Naruto caught a glimpse of Hinata naked, while she was dancing in the middle of a river, and the camera gives us a silhouette of her as she does so. In reality, she was practicing a new Jutsu, and Naruto never realized who it was.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • In the OP Asuka and Rei's naked silhouettes pan over the screen in the background. Asuka is upside-down while Rei is upright.
    • Rei's naked silhouette can be seen, reflected upside-down in water, spinning against the dark blue background of the Closing Credits.
    • In chapter 8 of the Manga, Shinji comes home with groceries and gets nervous when he sees the silhouette of Misato's body showering through the bathroom door.
  • One Piece. After easily incapacitating Nami who interrupted her bubble bath, Kalifa proceeds to taunt Nami by slowly getting out of the bath and slowly getting dressed behind a screen where her naked silhouette is shown.
  • Persona 5: The Animation: After Makoto convinces Sae to go wash up (and thus leave her computer unattended so Makoto can get the files off of it), there is a brief shot of the shower door with Sae's silhouette behind it.
  • Psyren: Sakurako gets one in the fourth trip to Psyren when she needed to change clothes and talk to Ageha at the same time.
  • R.O.D the TV has Yomiko's Sexy Silhouettes in its opening credits.
  • Parodied in Umisho; various props made it seem like the silhouettes of the undressing girls suddenly grew extra bits.
  • Doronjo when showering in episode 24 of the Yatterman 2008 remake.

    Comics Books 
  • Hawkeye: In Hawkeye (2012) #20, this happens with Kate Bishop after she smuggles herself into Madame Masque's headquarters as a Body Sushi. She is later seen as a silhouette behind a dressing screen while admonishing all the old men in the room for Eating the Eye Candy.
  • The Incredible Hulk: In The Incredible Hulks #633, Hulk and Umar are shown are black silhouettes while in bed having sex.
  • Played in a sophisticated manner in Le Petit Spirou, where the curvaceous Maths teacher is seen waiting for a car lift. It's dark and headlights casts a clean shadow of her against a nearby wall. Add the fact her skirt is rather sheer, and that's about as nude as a fully dressed person's shadow can be. Cue slow-motion walking.
  • Miss Fury #2, there is a full frontal shot of a nude silhouetted Miss Fury staring outside the window, uncaring of whoever can see her, which makes her lover jealous. He eventually lures her back to bed.

    Films — Animation 
  • Batman: Gotham by Gaslight: When Bruce and Harvey visit Selina in her dressing room after the show, they (and the viewer) are treated to a silhouette of her changing clothes behind a screen.
  • Make Mine Music: In All the Cats Join In, when the older teenage girl goes to take a shower and strips down behind the glass door, where we can only see her silhouette.
  • Happens to Mulan in the beginning of the movie, as she is getting changed at the Matchmaker.
  • Subverted in The Prince of Egypt for comedic effect. After Moses has Tzipporah sent to his chambers by Rameses, he sees a shapely, shadowy figure sitting on his bed behind a curtain. He composes himself awkwardly before pulling the curtain backā€”to reveal that it is actually the servant who had escorted her sitting there, Bound and Gagged. He then notices that his dogs are tied up as well and there is a Bedsheet Ladder going over the balcony.
  • Lola Bunny intentionally makes one as she enters the arena at the start of the game in Space Jam.
  • When Rosita and Gunther sing and dance for the show in Sing, Rosita has a quick costume change that involves stepping behind a screen and Flung Clothing appearing as her silhouette gets larger and larger.
  • Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie: During Chun-Li's Shower Scene, we get a brief Impending Doom P.O.V. of Vega sneaking in and seeing her silhouette in the shower.
  • Tekken: Blood Vengeance: Ling Xiaoyu while behind a shower curtain during her Shower of Angst scene.
  • Titan A.E.: After Cale walks in on Akima stepping out of the shower, she goes back into the stall to get dressed and her silhouette is seen behind a force field curtain.
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit:
    • Jessica Rabbit makes one when she visits Valiant's office and when she's running to her car outside Maroon Studios.
    • Played With when Eddie sees what he thinks is the silhouette of Jessica Rabbit in a hotel window, but once he gets up there, much to his horror it turns out to be the hideous Lena Hyena.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Austin Powers
    • Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery Alotta Fagina did one of these in her room while Austin sat there watching.
    • Played With in the second Austin Powers movie, with the tent scene.
  • AWOL: Rayna is shown in silhouette taking her shirt off while sharing a tent with Joey when they prepare to have sex there.
  • Barbarella: After sex with Mark Hand, the camera cuts to the outside of the plastic tube thing to show a naked Barbarella through the semi-transparent material.
  • Nicollette Sheridan got one in Beverly Hills Ninja. And so did Chris Farley.
  • Used in some Busby Berkeley Numbers.
  • The second The Cannonball Run movie had some girls changing in the back seat with a blanket hanging in front—when a track pulls up behind with high beams to highlight them perfectly. Burt Reynolds and Dom De Luise (who think that the ladies are nunsthey're actually just actresses just playing nuns) are practically biting their lips in the front seat.
  • Circus of Horrors: When Inspector Ames is searching the circus for Nicole, he sees her silhouette going through her limbering up routine projected on to the wall off of her tent.
  • Gods of Egypt: Zaya getting changed behind a dressing screen.
  • Gone (2012): Jill behind the curtain during her Shower Scene.
  • In Leap Year, this trope is played with when Amy Adams showers, unaware that her love interest is watching her silhouette through the curtain—he points this out to embarrass her, and then gives her a similar show.
  • Lifeforce (1985), when the naked Space Girl walks through the research facility, you see her backside, clad in shadows, as she climbs up some stairs. Shortly after that, we get another scene as she passes in front of a security guard, first her shadow and then her, as she makes it for the exit.
  • In No Good Deed (2002), Erin (Milla Jovovich) has a shower in front of Jack (Samuel L. Jackson), who is tied to a chair. As Jack tries to escape in the foreground, in the background, we see Erin's shapely body behind the shower door.
  • Mulholland Dr.:
    • In the bedroom, when Rita unrobes, we see little more than just her silhouette against the light coming in through the window.note 
    • During Rita's Shower Scene, the shower door is notably foggy from the moisture.
  • Spoofed in The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult when Tanya (Anna Nicole Smith) undresses behind a screen but reveals a Biggus Dickus, much to the chagrin of Frank Drebin. With a 90-degree angle!
  • Oblivion (2013): Used when Victoria strips to go Skinny Dipping during the night.
  • Played With in Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Robin and Marian are both behind a curtain that they don't know is see-through, and Robin, as he finishes an incredibly overdone opera-style love song, drops to one knee, causing his sword scabbard to rise up like a... you know.
  • Played straight in The Shadow, when Margo (Penelope Ann Miller) strips behind one of these while talking to Lamont (Alec Baldwin).
  • And Soon the Darkness: Elli's is silhouetted behind a shower curtain when she yells for Stephanie to bring her a towel.
  • So Close: Lynn is behind a shower curtain when she climbs out of her bath and wraps herself in a towel.
  • The Spirit: When Sand Sareff drops her Modesty Towel to embarass The Spirit, the Censor Steam spilling from her shower obscures her full frontal shot, only showing her Sexy Silhouette.
  • In State of the Union Grant is distracted by the curvaceous shadow Mary casts as she changed her clothes in an adjoining closet. (Said shadow was presumably cast by someone pinch-hitting for the non-curvaceous Katharine Hepburn.)
  • Terminator
  • To Forget Venice: A relatively uncommon male example. Piccio's rugged physique, complete with a hint of wang, is shown when he's showering in his room with his boyfriend Nicky.
  • A Very Brady Sequel: Greg and Marcia are forced to share the attic room and hang up a sheet for privacy. Instead the sheet lets them watch each other undress in shilouette. Cue them both realising they're Not Blood Siblings and spending the rest of the movie trying to fight the sexual tension between them.

  • The last chapter of detective novel Stranger in Town has private detective Michael Shayne finally getting home to Miami after nearly getting killed more than once while solving a tough case. He arrives at the apartment of his Sexy Secretary Lucy, who greets him in a translucent "hostess gown" that "clearly outlined her slender figure in the light from beyond."

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Babylon 5 episode "Day of the Dead", Dodger emerges naked from the shower and all we see of her is a silhouette before Garibaldi hands her a shirt.
  • The Big Valley: In "In Silent Battle," Major Eliot is propositioned by a prostitute, who tells him she has an upstairs room nearby. He contemptuously tells her to leave him alone, but later sees a silhouette of her getting ready for bed and goes over there (unfortunately for her).
  • Castle: Beckett is seen as a showering silhouette while Castle is desperatly calling to warn her about the bomb in the apartment.
  • The Catch: In the season 2 premiere, Benjamin poses as a masseur but only finds out the masseur he's replacing is the Happy Ending kind when his client shows up completely naked, with either a silhouette or Scenery Censor to keep her modest.
  • Dollhouse: "Meet Jane Doe", Echo is seen a silhouette in the shower when Paul talks to Boyd about her in the phone.
  • Eureka:
    • "Momstrosity" starts with a "Psycho" Shower Murder Parody, with a someone slowly approacing Jo Lupo (Erica Cerra) Sexy Silhouette as she's taking a shower behind the glass door...but it turns out to be just Kevin's pet robot EMO. But she's still pissed it saw her naked and demands Carter get rid of it.
  • General Hospital. While they're on the run, Laura insists on sleeping separately from Luke, hangs a sheet in between them, and while changing for bed, teases him like this.
  • Rachel does it in the hospital during the "Laryngitis" episode of Glee, prompting Finn's rendition of "Jessie's Girl".
  • JAG: In "Rogue", Raglin sneaks into his CO's house to try and kidnap his wife, who is in the shower. Except Harm anticipated this and the woman in the shower is really a Marine NCO being used as bait.
  • Lost Girl:
  • The Magicians: On episode "All That Josh", in order to get Quentin and Alice alone with Josh, Kady stays on the ground floor to distract the party guests by singing. She then rigs up a magical Sexy Silhouette of herself to continue the act so she can sneak away. The illusion betrays itself when it starts reaching beyond the borders of the panel.
  • Mutant X has Ashlocke watching the silhouette of Avaris getting dressed in "Past as Prologue".
  • NCIS: Happens in "Terminal Leave", when Kate is singing "Outrageous" in the shower while Tony is brushing his teeth outside.
  • One Life to Live. When Tina and Cain are on the run, they hang a sheet between them to change, and tease each other with their sexy silhouettes.
  • Relic Hunter:
    • Nigel (and the audience) are treated to a backlit silhouette of Sydney undressing in a tent during a rainstorm in "The Emperor's Bride".
    • "Cross of Voodoo" uses this when Sydney is bathing behind the shower curtain.
  • Seinfeld:
    • In "The Contest", George visits his mother at the hospital and sees the silhouette of her attractive roommate getting a sponge bath from a sexy nurse. He revisits at the same time the next day just to see that happen again.
    • In the "The Outing" when he and Jerry are Mistaken for Gay, he sees the exact same thing happen but with a male nurse and a male patient.
  • Sheena (2000): Used regularly with Sheena as the Darak'na as she fights with only mud to cover her.
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World: In "The Elixir", when Marguerite and John are in the shower washing off the mud from their bodies.
  • Smallville:
  • Star Trek: Voyager. The episode "In the Flesh" has the shower version, as seen by Chakotay; the irony being that he knows that the woman showering is a shapeshifted Starfish Alien.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise: T'Mir (Jolene Blalock) in the episode "Carbon Creek". She and two other Vulcans have crash landed on Earth and need some clothes to blend in. T'Mir and Mestral spot a clothesline with various garments and bedclothes on it, so T'Mir takes a dress and goes behind a blanket hanging on the clothesline for a modicum of privacy. But the sun is shining so brightly that Mestral could very well look at T'Mir's silhouette if he wanted to. And since T'Mir put the dress on backwards, she has to go behind the blanket a second time to correct it.
  • Ugly Betty: In "A Thousand Words Before Friday", Daniel and his Love Interest Renee spend the night in her apartment. The morning after, Daniel walks in the bathroom and sees a silhouette in the shower. Thinking it's Reene, he strips down barges in for a Shower of Love... only for it to turn into a Shower of Awkward when he finds his Arch-Enemy Wilhelmina there instead. Cue a mutual Naked Freak-Out. Turns out that they're sisters and Renee was actually crashing at Wilhelmina's place.
  • The Vampire Diaries:
    • In "We All Go a Little Mad Sometimes", Elena behind the curtain at the beginning of her Shower Scene.
    • Katherine showering in a hotel room she's sharing with Stefan in "No Exit".
  • The opening and in-between-sketch title credits of French sketch show Vous Les Femmes show the instantly recognisable figures of leads Judith Siboni and Olivia Cote, in (rotoscoped) silhouette. The episodes might start out conventionally enough - Olivia, in a miniskirt, walking along looking chic and attractive - until she picks up something on her shoe and then inelegantly tries to shake it off. Or Judith, looking chic, French and sexy - until her skirt falls off.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess:
    • In "The Furies", when a naked and confused Xena confronts a village full of women and children, accusing them of murder.
    • In "Chakram", Xena is seen taking off her clothes to bathe behind a curtain.

  • The Beatles Anthology: The music video of "Real Love" shows silhouette animation of a man and a woman falling in love and flying away on a horse.
  • The logo for Dirty Workz, the Belgian hardstyle record label.
  • The Corrs: The girls in the "Breathless" music video.
  • NS Yoon-G: In "If You Love Me", Noogie's silhouette, juxtaposed against physical photographs of the moon's phases, remains perhaps the most revealing leitmotivs in the video.

  • Truck Stop features the "Mudflap girl" silhouette on a playfield road sign, along with the caption "Dangerous Curves".

    Video Games 
  • Agent Under Fire: When James Bond infiltrates an embassy in Romania, he enters a room with a changing screen, and can make out the silhouette of the woman changing behind it.
  • Captain Rainbow: At night, Crazy Tracy can be found in her mansion taking a bath behind a shower curtain.
  • Danger Girl introduces Abbey Chase as she's getting out of a lake in her wetsuit, then changing under the moonlight into her casual outfit.
  • Deponia: In Deponia Doomsday, Rufus walks in on Ulysses Singing in the Shower and he remains The Faceless as only his silhouette is seen behind a curtain.
  • An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire has a sexy silhouette of a Daedra Seducer on its cover.
  • In Fate/Grand Order VR the Modesty Towel that hangs over Mash's shoulder-high changing screen falls away just as she strips down, leaving this in its wake.
  • Fear Effect: In Madame's Chen Restaurant, Hana undresses behind a screen when she changes her outfit to go undercover.
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us: On the Gotham streets part of the Gotham City level there's the strip club the Sin Kitty advertising Live Nudes where the silhouette of a naked woman can be seen dancing through the window.
  • Played with in Luigi's Mansion with Miss Petunia, the Bathing Beauty. Luigi encounters her in a bathroom where he can see a svelte woman taking a bath behind the curtain, but once he moved it, Miss Petunia is actually a pig-like Brawn Hilda. It might have more signification that a simple joke, as some background information revealed that she used to look beautiful, enough to be the Miss Ghost runner-up from six years before the events of the game.
  • In a very odd example of this trope, in R-Type Final's final level (if you go the normal route, there's an inexplicable image of a naked woman and naked man that will appear in the background of the level who race toward each other, appear to start having sex, then merge into a ball. It Makes Just As Much Sense In Context.
  • Samurai Shodown: When Iroha lands her Limit Break, everything suddenly cuts behind Japanese screen doors. Then, she tears off her clothes then it rapidly cuts to her beating down on the opponent, and then- did she just turn into a bird?
  • The Crystal Flash move in Super Metroid has Samus surrounded by a blinding corona of energy, with only her silhouette, stark naked- it's even more apparent in the "official artwork", that she's naked as the day she was born and shows a very nice view of her bottom.
  • Whacked!: During Lucy's audition, she is shown naked behind a dressing screen as she's choosing which outfit to wear.

    Web Comics 
  • Dangerously Chloe: On her first page Chloe appears this way in a flash.
  • Doc Rat: The premonition of Ben and Daniella's first time: the strip before their Sexy Discretion Shot shows their silhouettes at dinner, and Danni looks like she's about to jump over the dinner table at Ben.note 
    Ben: Did you bring dessert?
    Daniella: Did I ever.
  • El Goonish Shive
  • Love Not Found: Abeille's session with the Stimulator 3K is portrayed in this manner, though unlike most examples, it's done as a discretion shot.
  • The trope is used here on Thelma from Nip And Tuck.
  • Seekers: In their first meeting, Eloya spends hours staring at Giselda's shadow on the canopy before ever seeing her face.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In a nice Parent Service, Minerva Mink does this in Animaniacs when she bathes naked in a lake and later behind the curtain in a Shower Scene.
  • Betty Boop does this in two of her shorts (though not on purpose). In "Is My Palm Read?" after the room's lights turn off besides a lamp directly above Betty, Bimbo and Koko sneak a peek at Betty's figure through her hoop skirted dress. Also in Red Hot Mamma, while walking past some flames her figure is shown through her night gown.
  • Cybersix: In "The Mysterious Shadow", when Cybersix is stripping out of her Adrian clothes and suiting up there is a brief glimpse of her naked upper body as a silhouette.
  • Parodied in Family Guy when older Stewie shows Brian his Japanese screens as he "really likes changing in silouette while carrying on a conversation". Going behind the screen inexplicably results in the silouette of a woman changing (including taking off high heels and stockings). Going behind a "very foggy" shower screen also has this same effect. Stewie's only explanation is that he has a lot of money.
  • Samurai Jack:
    • Ashi provides one against a stream of water during a Waterfall Shower in "Episode XCVII".
    • Jack gets one in "C" when he washes off all the gunk from the previous episode.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: In "The Gungan General" one of Turk Falso's pirates has the "mudflap girl" silhouette etched on both sides of his speeder's tank.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: "Tiny Toon Music Television" has a one-episode character Julie Bruin. Julie's intro has her orange silhouette dancing with bouncing effect.
  • Toonsylvania: The first episode included a scene of Igor, Dr. Vic, and Phil drooling over a Sexy Silhouette of a woman showering... until they draw back the curtain and find the Darla Doiley doll ready to kill him.
  • Heather from Total Drama in her several ShowerScenes during Island.
  • In season 2 of Winx Club an episode has, in shadow, Flora showering. In the censored version, 4Kids flattens her chest.

    Real Life 
  • The "mudflap girl" silhouette, popularized since The '70s on semi tractors and pickup trucks, is arguably the most famous version of this trope.
  • A WW2 cartoon has two ARP wardens perving on a woman who'd forgotten to draw her blackout drapes, leaving her silhouetted against the curtains. "We'll give her another 20 minutes, then fine her."
  • Tik Tok had a silhouette challenge that involves the use of this trope. The person doing the challenge is supposed to be showing off how unkempt they are, then switch into a sexy silhouette (usually in a red background).


Sumeragi Showering

Sumeragi is interrupted while she's showering, with only her silhouette being visible under the curtain.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / SexySilhouette

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