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Stealth Hi/Bye

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"One of these days, I'm gonna nail his feet to the ground."
Commissioner Gordon, Batman: The Animated Series, "Off Balance"

When a character either suddenly appears or disappears close to someone when they weren't looking to start or end a conversation. Maybe they teleported, maybe they used amazing ninja-like abilities of stealth and concealment, but they're just so good that whoever they're talking to wasn't even aware of it.

An integral part of the Stealth Hi/Bye is that not only doesn't the character see the actual entrance/exit, but neither does the audience. Often there will be a pan of the room first showing that nobody is there, a close-up of the "victim" and then suddenly there they are.

Mysterious beings will often use the Stealth Hi/Bye to disappear as soon as the person they're talking to looks away, possibly because a third party comes into the room. (The third party will never see the person engaging the Stealth Hi/Bye.) There will always be some minor distraction making the "victim" glance away for a second, even if they're familiar with someone doing this. The camera will also pull away from the hero, thus the audience won't see how they disappeared. Sometimes, the hero might even somehow disappear unnoticed while offscreen even though the surrounding characters are positioned in a way that should let them see how the hero departs. While the Technicolor Ninja is all about this tactic, it may not be on the to-do list of any Highly Visible Ninja.

Occasionally, will be pulled off in such a way as to make it appear that the one pulling off the Stealth Hi/Bye is still in view of the other person.

This tendency is usually not really explained, but common possible interpretations would be a character who is able to teleport/turn invisible or else moves very quietly and/or quickly. Although to some extent this ability can be used in Real Life, most of the time this ability is exaggerated to the point where it is an example of very soft/implausible SF, and at times relies heavily on the Rule of Cool in order to avoid breaking Willing Suspension of Disbelief.


See also Offscreen Reality Warp, Trespassing to Talk. Surprise Vehicle is when a vehicle enters using this. Contrast Dynamic Entry, which is all about calling attention to yourself.


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This is one of Batman's two signature entrances/exits, the other being a Super Window Jump. He does this pretty reliably when talking to Commissioner Gordon or his other allies. In fact, whenever he doesn't it's usually a sign to Gordon that it's an impostor, or at least that something's wrong.
  • Comics:
    • The earliest known example of Batman disappearing on Gordon is in 1973's Swamp Thing #7.
    • He pulls this off in Batman: Year One. On a motorcycle. During a police chase. With a helicopter. Using a cloud of bats.
    • In the Knightfall comic, when Jean-Paul Valley stands in for an injured Batman, his failure to mysteriously disappear during one of his talks with Commissioner Gordon becomes Gordon's first clue that he isn't the real thing. Indeed, Gordon is nearly stunned to speechlessness when he turns around in mid-sentence to find Batman still sitting there.
      Gordon: [...] ...Blame him... My God.
      Azbats: Something wrong, Commissioner?
      Gordon: You're still here.
      Azbats: So?
      Gordon: Usually I turn and you're gone.
      Azbats: I wasn't certain we were finished talking.
      Gordon: That never stopped you before.
      Azbats: I'll be going then.
    • He's even been able to pull this off on Clark Kent (also known as Superman) a few times; e.g., During JLA: Midsummer's Nightmare, where Batman asks the JLA to wait a moment while he goes on ahead to quietly disable a sentry. Superman and J'onn J'onnz both try to follow his progress, but fail. To reiterate: a guy who can hear electrons bump into each other on the other side of the planet and see DNA through a mountain, and a guy who is an Xavier-class telepath and possesses nine senses, both utterly fail to detect Batman when they know where he left from, when he left, where he's going, and when to expect him back. It has been noted in the past, however, that Batman has mentioned that he's gone out of his way to learn how to trick Superman and others (usually more by way of mindgame stealth) — in the first issue of Grant Morrison's run, Superman doesn't hear Batman's heartbeat, his usual way of picking up on him as he approaches; Batman muses that "the device worked". Similarly, Batman has been able to block out telepathic detection on various occasions if he knows about it. And on a number of occasions, other superheroes have asked Superman how Batman could disappear on him like that, and Superman only grins affectionately and says, "Batman loves his little tricks," leaving the impression that Superman has no desire to make an effort to spoil Batman's fun. The few times Superman has truly had to catch Batman, he has been able to do so... usually with Batman chastising him that he took 14 seconds longer than Batman himself expected.
    • In Kingdom Come, Superman pulls this, albeit unintentionally, on Batman. Batman proceeds to wryly comment to himself: "So that's what that feels like...." And toward the end of the book, when Clark and Diana (Wonder Woman) are waiting at the diner for Bruce to show up, Clark worries that someone will recognize them. Diana tells him it isn't likely, then Bruce interrupts her by saying that none of them stand out. Clark's response?
      Superman: There you are. You snuck up on me. Me. How do you do that?
    • Superman does it intentionally to Batman by showing up suddenly more than once (such as the first issue of Superman/Batman), usually to Batman's annoyance, with Superman noting that he loves being able to surprise Batman like that.
    • In Supergirl story Girl Power Batman is the victim of this twice. It first happens when Superman flies out of the Batcave to help Supergirl. Later, Kara sneaks up on Batman when she realizes that he and her cousin are monitorizing her from the Cave.
      Batman: She's broken off the wing. Okay, Clark, if you manage to keep your distance, she might need some hel— I hate it when he does that.
    • On one occasion, Batman deliberately subverts this; since they are investigating a crime in the suburbs, with no high roofs for him to jump from and vanish, he simply drives away in the Batmobile, leaving Gordon nonplussed.
    • Batman also finds himself on the receiving end of a Stealth Hi/Bye from the Huntress in Justice League America #26 (of the Giffen-DeMatteis run), to which he remarks, "Now I know how Jim Gordon feels...."
    • The first character to do this to Batman is The Phantom Stranger, another DC comics nighttime hero (though a supernatural one, so it's not really that he is more skilled than Batman). When Phantom Stranger pulls this on Superman, the latter comments, "At least Batman has a heartbeat to listen to."
    • Most members of the Bat Family (Robin, Nightwing, etc.) have done this at one time or another — obviously they learned from the best. Barbara Gordon (then going by Oracle) once pulled this on Catwoman in an art gallery. In a wheelchair.
    • In Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl, Batgirl does this to Supergirl after helping her expose Lex Luthor.
    • At one point, during the No Man's Land arc, Gordon is in the middle of a What the Hell, Hero? speech to Batman and points out that friends do not walk out in the middle of your sentences. Batman is more open and above-board in his dealings with Gordon for the rest of that arc.
    • During the Knightfall storyline, Gordon briefly talks with Robin (Tim Drake), who disappears halfway through Gordon's sentence. Gordon's response: "...I bet it's the first thing he teaches them."
    • In The Widening Gyre, Batman and Nightwing are talking, Batman looks away for a moment, and when he looks back, Nightwing is gone. His response?
      Batman: Sonnova... the kid pulled a me.
    • Nightwing himself would, during his tenure as Batman, surprise Gordon when he didn't disappear like usual. Unlike with Jean-Paul Valley, Gordon wasn't alarmed...just a little weirded out. The reason Gordon is comfortable with this may be that he's implied to know that Dick Grayson is Batman.
    • An issue of Batman: The Dark Knight lampshades and subverts this. Gordon and Batman are discussing the Mad Hatter's latest scheme, with the discussion eventually ending in this exchange:
      Gordon: Oh, yeah. Here's where I turn around and you're gone.
      Batman: Nope. Still here.
      [Gordon turns around, and they stare at each other for two panels]
      Gordon: Okay, then.
      Batman: Right. [turns and leaves]
    • Subverted for laughs in Batman: Earth One (which deconstructs much of the mythos). Gordon is talking and turns to find Batman gone...only for Batman to call out "over here," as he just moved to the nearby window.
  • In the Knightfall novelization, Batman appears in Gordon's car, implicitly having snuck in while he was out. Gordon asks him if he's a ninja, and Batman says yes. After their conversation, Gordon brakes at a stoplight, makes a few quips, and turns around, only to find that Batman is gone. In defiance of several laws of physics.
  • Gotham has Bruce already doing it as a child.
    Alfred: Haven't I told you to stop creeping up on people like that?! It's bloody rude!
    • In the first episode of Season 4, Bruce does this to Gordon in broad daylight in the middle of the GCPD. It being the first time, Gordon looks amusingly confused and befuddled instead of annoyed.
  • The Dark Knight Saga:
    • Subverted in Batman Begins as Bruce Wayne stumbles out the window and falls (very painfully) down a stairwell (hey, it was his first time). Of course, this is before he was actually Batman. In response he asks Lucius Fox to develop his batsuit wings, so he can make a quicker and smoother exit by gliding off rooftops — once he puts on the suit, he does it flawlessly several times throughout the rest of the movie.
    • Later in Batman Begins:
      Scared Thug: WHERE ARE YOU?!?
      Batman: [Hanging upside down behind him] Here.
      [Thug turns around and manages a startled gasp before the screen goes black]
    Parodied in an SNL digital short with Andy Samberg as Batman and Steve Buscemi as Commisioner Gordon.
    • In The Dark Knight, Batman uses this to achieve what basically amounts to a *Click* Hello without a gun.
      The Joker: A little fight in ya, I like that.
      Batman: [Appearing from nowhere] Then you're gonna love me.
      [Fighting ensues]
      • It should be noted that this Stealth Hi occurred in the middle of a crowd of frightened cocktail party guests spread across a very well-lit room, and neither the guests, the Joker, his men, nor Rachel Dawes showed any sign they knew he was there.
    • Lampshaded on the roof of the police station, when Harvey speaks to Batman, turns to Gordon, and then looks back to see Batman having done what he does best. With a shrug, Gordon says, "He does that." This and the dialogue is based on an incident in the mainstream comics, incidentally. Note that Gordon is looking directly at Batman when this happens. To make it more amusing, imagine Gordon was actively complicit in that one. Just imagine the Bat making a shushing motion and giving him a wink before stealthing out to mess with Harvey.
    • Batman lampshades it in The Dark Knight Rises when Selina Kyle escapes using this while Batman is distracted by a police helicopter.
  • Batman (1989)
    • When Batman faces off against Jack Napier in the Axis Chemical factory. Jack Napier bends down to pick up his gun. When he straightens up and looks again, Batman has disappeared. A few seconds later, he reappears out of nowhere.
    • After Bruce Wayne has been shot by the Joker and apparently killed in Vicki Vail's apartment, he somehow manages to get out of the room without her seeing him.
  • Actually happens onscreen in Batman Forever. The execution is, unsurprisingly, somewhat disappointing (unless you interpret it as Batman disappearing by literally walking offscreen).
  • Justice League (2017) pushes this even further, as poor Gordon gets this treatment from the entire team...except Flash.
    Flash: Oh, wow, they just - they really just vanished! Huh? Oh.... that's rude. (speeds off)
  • In the film adaptation of Flashpoint Paradox Flash takes off running the second Batman (Thomas Wayne, not Bruce) turns around to look at something else.
    Batman: Hm. So I'm finally on the other end of that trick.
  • A subversion in Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. Bats tries to pull this on Andrea in her apartment, but she already knows he's there due to the open window. Played straight with the Phantasm, who can arguably pull this stunt off better than even Batman.
  • Played for Laughs a few times with Batman in The LEGO Movie. On one occasion it leads to a Right Behind Me gag.
  • Skewered in Lego Justice League: Gotham City Breakout when Superman fills in for Batman.
    Gordon: Oh. You're still here.
    Superman: Why wouldn't I be?
    Gordon: I dunno. I... thought you'd be gone.
    Superman: You were still talking. That'd be incredibly rude! Besides, what if you said something important?
    Gordon: Well, I try not to save any important information till the end. [...] So that's what it's like to finish a conversation. Not bad.
  • Batman: The Animated Series has Gordon getting frustrated.
    • "One of these days I'm going to nail his feet to the floor..."
    • "One of these days I'm going to put a bell on his neck..."
    • In one episode, Batman is able to get away while a roomful of people are watching him — during a lightning flash. He doesn't have time to close the window behind him, but then, he seldom bothers with that.
    • At the beginning of The Cat and the Claw Part II, Batman fades in from the shadows and walks forward, resulting in this exchange:
      Contact: [gasps, practically having a heart attack]
      Batman: You're late.
      Contact: Can't you ever walk up to someone normal-like?
    • Mad Love borders on Offscreen Teleportation: The Joker falls from a building but lands on a moving train. We see it taking him away from the 'camera' as he laughs and blows a raspberry, presumably at the off-screen Batman — only for Batman to somehow appear directly behind him without the Joker seeing him move.
    • In another episode Nightwing fails to do this ("You should work on your stealth, I heard you three rooftops away"). Dick also wanted Bruce to know he was coming.
    • In the episode "Zatanna," Zatanna pulls this on Batman at the end of the episode. That episode also features what might be his first one ever in a flashback — Zatanna cuffs 'John White' to a wall, then comments "If you were a real escape artist, you'd be out of those cuffs and out the door by [turns around]... now."
  • Batman Beyond:
    • In the episode "A Touch of Curaré," Commissioner Barbara Gordon tells Batman that he should go, but by the time she turns around, he's already gone, leading her to remark, "Like old times." Another episode has the police wanting to question Batman about Inque (after they shot at both of them); naturally, Batman's nowhere to be found.
    • In "The Curse of Kobra", Bruce goes to see his old ninja instructor, and gets a thrown cleaver in his walking stick. When Kairi admonishes him for sneaking up on people, Bruce admits it's an old habit.
    • In Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, after meeting Terry McGinnis, the adult Tim Drake remarks, "Some things never change".
    • Also subverted at times, such as when Tim and Barbara notice Terry is around before he gets to the "hi" part. He can get away unnoticed, but it's pretty hard to sneak up on one of the Batchildren.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold:
    • At one point Batman is able to vanish from the Flash, making him quip that Batman is "the only guy around with a faster getaway than me."
    • One episode reveals that Batman has a very intricate system of tunnels that travel throughout Gotham and are hidden in very weird places. He can go under a fire hydrant and come out of a hot dog cart halfway across the city.
    • Specifically, when entangled by Plastic Man, Batman throws a smoke bomb and, when the smoke clears, Plastic Man is left in one big knot and Batman is safely in one of his tunnels.
      Plastic Man: How does he do that?
    • And in "The Mask of Matches Malone!", Black Orchid does it to Batman. He comments that now he knows how Jim Gordon feels.
  • Subverted once in a Justice League episode. Amanda Waller explains why she and Cadmus thinks the Justice League are a menace to the world, causing Batman to just walk out the door, saying nothing. And accidentally triggering the alarms in his way out.
  • Young Justice:
    • Robin, naturally, having inherited his mentor's ability. He usually signals the "hi" with a laugh — Word of God is that, when Batman first taught him how to do it, it was so much fun he just couldn't stop laughing.
      Kid Flash: I forgot how much I hate it when he does the ninja thing.
    • In "Downtime", Aqualad seems to have picked up this trait from Robin.
    • Batman is still the master. In the first season finale, a mind-controlled Batman pulls this on Robin twice in the same fight. And the first time, he utilizes Robin's own smoke bomb.
    • Batgirl and the third Robin both use it, too. Tim apparently can do it with people watching, even!
  • In a Static Shock that crosses over with Batman, Static does a light flash and disappearance, prompting Batman to remark, "The kid has style."
  • From Batman (2016) issue #2:
    Gotham Girl: Wait...Where...? Where is he?
    Gordon: Yeah. He does that.
    Gotham Girl: I'm using ultravision, but I can't...can you...?
    Gotham: No...I...
    Gotham: I can see through everything. I can see everything. It's impossible.
    Gordon: It's not impossible, kid. It's Batman.
  • Batman: Arkham Series:
    • You can pull this off yourself in Batman: Arkham Asylum. It's difficult (because getting spotted means you'll generally be at a disadvantage in stealth sections), but pull off an inverted takedown, then leap away into the night, and all the remaining bad guys will freak out.
    • To get a medal in some of the Predator Challenge maps there is a requirement to appear out of nowhere to scare a terrified enemy. The poor thug nearly has a heart attack as the player pops up out of a floor grate, drops from a vantage point, or simply walks behind the thug until they turn around.
    • In the ending of Batman: Arkham Origins, Gordon has Batman at gunpoint in more or less broad daylight, and, while still aiming at him, answers his police radio. When he lets it go, Batman has done what he does best.
    • In the opening moments of Batman: Arkham Knight, he pulls this, after he hears of a missing patrol car from Commisioner Gordon's walkie talkie. Hilariously, he didn't fly away or anything. He's just on a gargoyle right under him.
      Gordon: Every damn time.
    • At one point during the game, you play from the first-person perspective of Gordon, and Batman pulls one on you, appearing from seemingly out of nowhere when you're not looking.
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns has Batman do this to a regular patrol cop as part of the demonstration that He's Back. From the film version:
    Cop: Y'know, I saw you once before. Years ago. I was a rookie like schmuck-face there, and...
    Batman: Tell Gordon we have to talk.
    Cop: ...Sure thing, Bats. (he looks away for a moment) But how's he supposed to get in touch with y-(he turns back around, and Batman's gone; the cop looks around for a bit, then smiles) Oh yeah. Now I remember.
  • Fan Works:
    • According to JL8, Bruce was able to pull this off even as a child.
    • This Shortpacked strip ponders what would happen if Gordon simply refused to look away...
    • ...and this fan edit shows an alternate solution.
    • What if Gordon caught Batman while he was doing it?
    • This YouTube video reveals that Batman's secret is... a really big vent.
    • This is another parody of Batman's tendency toward this.
    • Batman did this to Shlubb and Klump in A Dark Knight over Sin City while they were in a holding cell.
    • Another Batman fan-comic, though its not him doing it for once;
    • In the Alternate Ending of No Dawn No Day, Cassandra Cain does this to Batman (Damian Wayne) — she appears in the Batcave, punches him in the face, and departs.
    • In Sesssion #19 of Super Therapy!, Batman is just suddenly sitting on the couch, next to the Joker, startling him.
  • The page pic comes from a MAD strip, which deconstructs the whole concept about two panels later. Batman is actually hiding behind the trash cans just a few feet away, which makes for some very awkward explanations when Harvey Dent finds him there.

  • Steve Smith, demonstrating "incendiary" speed, does both hi and bye in this Sportscenter commercial.
  • The Burger King can do this, which helps in his quest to bring delicious burgers to everyone.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Schrödinger of Hellsing is introduced this way, teleporting straight into a top-secret meeting. His consciousness-defined existence lets him do that. And makes him immortal.
    • Alucard does this too, walking through walls behind people.
  • Sailor Moon
    • Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune are fond of suddenly standing or sitting behind the barely five-foot-tall Sailor Moon wherever she goes, and making comments, as if they had been there the whole time.
    • Usagi herself does this once: Mamoru's just standing on a street corner. A passing truck blocks our view and after it passes... there's Usagi right next to him. Mamoru doesn't notice her until she greets him, startling the hell out of him.
    • Mamoru often gets in on this too as Tuxedo Mask, combined with *Twang* Hello. No wonder the fans make him out to be the Japanese equivalent of Batman.
    • It's also quite common, at least in Fanon, for Sailor Pluto to do this to Usagi as well. There's one particular episode of Stars where she scares the living daylights out of the girls on about three occasions by popping up out of the blue. This episode is famous in fandom. The girls are eating icecream when she appears. Pluto pops up holding a popsicle. She actually pulled that trick twice, the second time was without the popsicle. And it really doesn't help that the episode is the first time Pluto appears after the Nehelenia mini-arc.
  • Saki Hanajima of Fruits Basket does this twice, once to Shigure, Kyo and Yuki, and once to Yuki himself, appearing beside him and saying, "I didn't mean to scare you", causing him to jump out of his seat in terror.
  • The original Club President of the Genshiken has a habit of doing this.
  • Parodied in Kidou Tenshi Angelic Layer, where Icchan always makes over-the-top, utterly ridiculous entrances out of nowhere and his disappearances are, half the time, caused by either his co-workers calling him to ask where on earth he is or bystanders reporting him as a creepy-looking Mad Scientist hanging around a little girl.
  • Kaitou Saint Tail, as a phantom thief, has mastered the entrance bit — but always disappears in a flash with streamers, confetti, doves and a bunch of multicoloured balloons.
  • Bleach: Captains like doing this. Lampshaded in Chapter 99 (Episode 34) by Hinamori. She doesn't realise Byakuya is behind her until he speaks, almost scaring her out of her wits. When he's gone, she doesn't realise Gin is leaning against a wall until he speaks, again almost scaring her out of her wits. When Gin is gone, she doesn't realise Hitsugaya is standing right by her side until he speaks, at which point she explodes.
    Hinamori: "That's enough! How come all the captains don't make any sound when they walk?!"
    • And in a much later chapter, Ichigo shows that he got used to it: after having a stranger suddenly appear in his bedroom where he is having a small party with friends, Ichigo's first reaction is "I don't know who you are, but get off my bed." instead of usual surprise.
  • Misato pulls one on Asuka in Episode 9 with the aid of a sliding door in Neon Genesis Evangelion.
  • Legato Bluesummers from Trigun loves doing this to Vash, in order to torment him. This usually happens right before/during/or after something horrific happens, which just cements Legato as horror incarnate.
  • Hei from Darker Than Black is a grandmaster of this trope, capable of even vanishing in a fully lit corridor from someone he was walking alongside no more than two feet away. This is part of why he's known as Chinese Electric Batman.
  • Ellis pulls this off in El Cazador de la Bruja, instantly teleporting to the bottom of a well to accompany Nadie when she isn't looking. Nadie shouts at this, but quickly goes back to investigating the mysterious whatever, as Ellis has shown other powers prior to this.
  • Nadeshiko pulls a lot of this in Shugo Chara!. Oddly, she/he generally doesn't do so while openly showing her/his real gender. Within fact, the only time she/he gets close to doing so would be the subversion of her/him tying her/his hair up like Nadeshiko as a surprise answer towards Amu's longing for Nadeshiko to come back. Tsukasa also tends to do this, no matter how far the Guardians may be from him, to the point where it's surprising that the fandom hasn't pedo-ified him yet.
  • Kyo Toba, a minor character from Lagoon Engine, does this all the time. In an interesting variation, it's not that he enters or leaves the room, but that he has such a weak presence that people forget he's there almost as soon as they look away. He's also The Faceless for the same reason; even his own immediate family can't remember what his face looks like.
  • Xellos, from Slayers, frequently uses this trope... and when he doesn't, it's because he's using Offscreen Teleportation or onscreen teleportation instead. Seriously, he never makes entrances or exits normally. He kind of subverts it in that he doesn't need you to look away: he'll teleport anyways.
  • Azumanga Daioh: Mr. Kimura does this occasionally, notably in the 2nd Year Sports Fest episode. Nobody, not even the audience, sees him come in, but all of a sudden, there he is in the middle of everybody. Almost everyone is pretty startled by his unexpected proximity.
  • In Tokyo Mew Mew, Kish regularly appears behind Ichigo to hug or try to kiss her.
  • One Piece. Lafitte surprises everyone in the big Marine meeting in their very headquarters when he suddenly appears in the room. While wearing tapping shoes.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry
    • Used in the fourth episode of the anime; Rena is walking down the road a few dozen feet away, Keichi looks away for a second, and then Rena is suddenly standing right behind him... With a cleaver in her hand...
      Rena: Found you~, Keichi...
    However, this might be a subversion, as it's later revealed that Keichi was suffering from the (extreme) paranoia-inducing disease that drives the plot. It's unlikely that the cleaver was really a cleaver, though some fans theorize she did carry one in another screen (for non-malicious reasons).
    • Rika and Hanyuu also disappear when Maebara turns his back in Matsuribayashi-hen. In the middle of a wide open field, after dispensing some prophecies.
  • Umineko When They Cry. Kanon tends to do this with his sister Shannon. Later this is completely justified with the reveal that Kanon and Shannon are the same person and so his appearence and dissappearence is only in her head.
  • Girls Bravo: Fukuyama does the "hi" part a few times... particularly on the ladies. One instance had him suddenly appear lying on the floor below a skirt-clad Kirie, complimenting her choice in undergarments.
  • Ranma ½:
    • Ranma Saotome does this often in the manga (not the anime).
    • This is also Hikaru Gosunkugi's main shtick; he's supposedly so banal and socially invisible that other characters (even martial artists) fail to notice him until he makes his presence known. It's exaggerated in the anime, where it looks like he's materializing out of the shadows to startle people.
  • Alandeilon from Beelzebub does this often, though by far the most disturbing is him appearing from underneath Furuichi's bed!
  • Played frequently by Gaku of Absolute Boyfriend, who has the habit of popping up at the main character's school, workplace, and even in her home.
  • Karin's little sister Anju does this a lot.
  • Lavi pulled this in D.Gray-Man, appearing from in between Komui's paperwork and scaring both him and Allen.
  • In the Harukanaru Toki no Naka de - Hachiyou Shou OAV episode "Omoi no Arika" there's a running gag consisting of Yasuaki suddenly appearing just in the wrong place and time; the Stealth Hi/Bye ability gets lampshaded by Tenma at on point. On one occasion, Yasuaki scares Shimon by popping up from nearby bushes; another scene has him emerging from behind Tenma, prompting the latter to unleash The Scream. Worth noting that the characters are trying to hide something from him, so, of course, most of the time he appears when they're talking about it...
  • In Gundam 00, Setsuna F. Seiei sneaks into Marina Ismail's bedroom late at night. He quietly leaves her near the end of her speech while she was looking down.
  • Ling Yao is known to do this on occasion in Fullmetal Alchemist.
  • Sayoko does this to Milly in the Cupid's day episode of Code Geass.
  • The vanishing of characters in Angel Beats! occurs this way. Often just a brief cut to a character staying behind and when we cut back the person is gone.
  • Teacher Sawako of K-On! makes a habit of showing up unexpectedly in the main cast's club room in the middle of a conversation. She even mysteriously appears during parties at Yui's house.
  • Pokémon
    • Conway from the anime is particularly fond of combining this trope with Scary Shiny Glasses whenever he pops up. He almost always appears behind Dawn, and she's always startled when it happens.
    • The eleventh episode of Best Wishes shows that Team Rocket is able to do this as well.
  • Xerxes Break from Pandora Hearts. It seems that every time the he comes into the screen, unless he's already there and sitting down, he appears from the most random places for the explicit purpose of freaking everyone out. These include an endtable, under a bed, and under a couch.
  • Rosario + Vampire:
    • Mizore pulls a Stealth Hi with Tsukune on more than one occasion. She appears inside cupboards, in his closet, and standing outside an upstairs window, among others.
    • The Bus Driver often does this, freaking out everybody, even the people with Super Senses.
  • Tenchi Universe. Sasami manages to pull this off against Tenchi in her first appearance.
  • Shigure from Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple usually does this.
  • Regularly in Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, Nozomu's devoted Stalker with a Crush, Matoi, will suddenly appear behind him, even if she wasn't anywhere to be seen in the previous frame. The two always have this exchange where Nozomu asks "Were you there the whole time?" and Matoi replies "Yes, always."
  • Kujaku does this all the time in RG Veda.
  • Tiger & Bunny's Origami Cyclone takes this to a new level: he manages to photobomb pictures in the very millisecond they're being taken. It has not yet been established whether this is a manifestation of his superpowers or just Rule of Funny.
  • Belldandy pulls this on Peorth in Ah! My Goddess when she's trying to ditch the sisters to get alone with Keiichi on a date. Not only does Belldandy show up whenever Peorth turns around, she also just happens to have scored tickets to the next fun activity for them to do.
  • Renamon of Digimon Tamers has some ninja-esque ability to appear and disappear out of thin air, and talk with her partner at length in the middle of crowded intersections. Takato asks "Where do you come from all the time? Do you just wait around to scare us?"
  • Nobody ever sees Himari's penguin hat appear on her head in Mawaru-Penguindrum; often it remains unnoticed until "SURVIVAL STRATEGY!!" At least once, it isn't seen until it makes a comment as though it was part of the conversation the whole time — cue gawking and, moments later, the aforementioned announcement.
  • InuYasha: Usually one for the big, flashy entrances that make sure he's the center of attention, Sesshoumaru is very capable of this when he feels like it. At one point, Byakuya is secretly messing with Inuyasha's group from a hiding place and they don't even know he's in the area. He turns to leave, only to find Sesshoumaru standing right behind him.
  • Momose from Bloody Cross can do this using her shadow manipulating powers to hide in someone's shadow and sneak up behind them. She usually uses it to stab her opponents In the Back.
  • The main character of Kuroko No Basket has next to no presence, so whenever he talks to someone else, they have no idea where he came from or how long he's been there.
  • Homura Akemi of Puella Magi Madoka Magica is very good at this, and quite possibly the best example. It's practically her primary mode of transportation, and she has the habit of doing this multiple times per conversation, solely for the sake of showing the other girls just how sorely outclassed they are. At first she seems to be accomplishing this by Flash Step, and then by straight-up teleportation; ultimately, however, it turns out to be a creative application of the power to stop time.
    • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion, Sayaka turns the tables and pulls it on Homura of all people. Sayaka covers herself with her cape just as Homura freezes time. She walks up and pulls the cape away, only to find Sayaka is gone. She presumably teleported away or used incredible speed.
  • If Sakuya in Hayate the Combat Butler is going to appear in a scene, chances are she's going to do it like this.
  • In The Pet Girl of Sakurasou, Mashiro does this to Sorata in episode 2 when he comments on a beautiful painting he saw in a book. Which turns out to be Mashiro's.
  • In the anime adaptation of Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions, Dekomori comes out of nowhere to slide tackle Shinka while the latter is sitting in art class, then runs back out the door. They aren't even in the same grade (Shinka is in high school while Dekomori is still in middle school).
  • The Colossal Titan from Attack on Titan quite literally appears out of nowhere and vanishes just as quickly, even though it's a 60m tall monster that appears with nowhere to hide. Justified, with the revelation that he's a human with the ability to create his massive Titan form out of thin air. With his steam powers creating a Smoke Out and the massive destruction left in his wake, no one notices him sneaking away from the scene by swinging on a set of Omnidirectional Maneuver Gear.
  • All of the characters in the Lupin III stories get into the Stealth Hi part. Lupin is the most frequent user of the Stealth Bye part, unfortunately for Inspector Zenigata.
  • In the Blue Exorcist manga, this happens in Chapter 22. Performed by Rin of all people! Justified by the fact he's a) the Son of Satan and thus has a lot of natural potential, and b) Bon just hit a Berserk Button of his that made him recall his foster father's Heroic Sacrifice resulting in a meltdown.
    • However, he also does it before then: the first time is during Kuro's first appearance when he suddenly shows up behind Yukio and bluffs his way into joining him on his mission. The second time is when Todo first appears, suddenly appearing with the rest of the team and freaking out everyone. Most likely genetic, akin to the Real Life thing with cats. Considering he has shown to have essentially springs (or perhaps rockets) for legs with how far he can jump, he most certainly is as fast as he is strong. The real shocker comes from the fact Rin is able to do every single one of these in complete silence.
  • In Musou Kakyou: A Summer Day's Dream, Aya pulls this on Remilia. The latter's look of sheer surprise at Aya coming out of nowhere is priceless.
  • In Kill la Kill, Mako does this at times, even appearing right next to Gamagoori while he is making a speech from a high podium, startling the hell of of him.
  • Hakim from Victorian Romance Emma is fond of suddenly appearing in his friend William's house, right behind him, without warning.
  • Death Gun pulls a Stealth Hi on Kirito in Gun Gale Online.
  • Kaitou Joker. Dark Eye pulls this in his debut episode.
  • Shiina does this to Ryou in the supermarket in episode 9 of Gourmet Girl Graffiti.
  • Go! Princess Pretty Cure's housekeeper Shirogane-san does this at least once every few episodes.
  • Reina from Sound! Euphonium is prone to doing this to Kumiko.
  • A Running Gag in Inazuma Eleven involves Kageno sneaking behind people's back, which unintentionally scares them, which is not helped by the fact that he's so quiet most of the time, he tends to freak them out when he speaks.
    • Hilarity Ensues at the beginning of season 2, when the Football Frontier trophy suddenly disappears while the boys were admiring it, only to reveal that Kageno has stolen it. The others become angry and the moment they start to fight over the trophy, he's gone.

    Comic Books 
  • It's a Once per Episode moment in French comic Lucky Luke, and several Animated Adaptations too, for the eponymous character always disappears when people are trying to reward him. Lampshaded in Tous à l'Ouest when he actually tries to tell everybody he's leaving, but they're too busy bickering to notice until he's left.
  • In Astro City, the Confessor, who's something of a Batman Expy, loves to pull this. He even sneaks up behind his sidekick when he's looking at a mirror, which turns out to be a clue...
  • In Superman story War World The Spectre helps Superman find Supergirl and gives him food for thought. As Clark reflects on his newly-learned lesson, The Spectre fades quietly when he was not looking.
    Superman: Thank you again, Spectre. Spectre? He's gone.
  • Supergirl:
    • In The Supergirl from Krypton, Big Barda ushers Superman and Wonder Woman into her house, turns around and finds Batman is already waiting inside.
      Big Barda: Batman...? But... How... Where? WHEN did you get here? (muttering) Why do I even ask...?
    • In the third issue of Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade, Lena is so busy berating her rival Belinda that she doesn't notice Linda sneaking away.
  • Escape Artist Yorick pulls a vanishing act on several occasions in Y: The Last Man, much to the annoyance of his bodyguard Agent 355. At the end of the series Agent 355, though claiming this is one trick Yorick hasn't taught her, pulls the same trick to avoid having to say goodbye to him.
  • Wolverine is also fond of this. Notably, he once pulled it off inside the cockpit of a plane while it was in flight (okay, coming in to land). On a ninja with psychic powers. Wolverine has an unusual advantage in that he's short, making it easier for him to hide.
  • Likewise his Opposite-Sex Clone/daughter, X-23. In one case she appears out of nowhere to regroup with Hazmat and Reptil (who hangs a lampshade on it) in Avengers Arena, and her fight against the Facility mooks sent to recapture her in Target X has her taking many of them down Batman-style (before Kimura does it to her). Justified due to extensive training as an assassin, and arguably the genetics she shares with daddy.
  • Spider-Man's been known to do this too, although it's usually played more comedically. He often does this by webbing himself to a nearby out-of-sight surface, like an exterior wall.
  • Spider-Man is on the receiving end in Sensational Spider-Man Volume 2, Issue 40 when a non-descript homeless guy ( The One Above All, a.k.a. God) approaches while Peter is giving a vicious beat-down to a city dumpster, without setting off Peter's spider sense.
  • Storm Shadow makes a habit of this in IDW's continuation of the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero comic.
  • Wallace pulled this on Lt. Liebowitcz in Sin City. He even had time to make sure that the Corrupt Cop didn't have any bullets in the gun that was supposed to be hidden.
  • John Constantine pulled this on Swamp Thing. "How do you baffle a vegetable?"
  • In the 2005 Blue Beetle series, Peacemaker manages to pull this while riding a motorcycle.
  • 2012's The Shadow comic from Dynamite does it, no doubt due to the character being the main source of inspiration for Batman.
  • V from V for Vendetta has this as his calling card.
  • Batman's erstwhile Outsiders teammate Black Lightning demonstrates this trick more than once in his 1990s solo book. He first uses it to infiltrate and surprise a group of teenage gangbangers. When one of them asks, "How'd he do that?", Lightning explains that he "had a good teacher", with the Bat-symbol forming in shadow behind him.
  • The first issue of Red Hood and the Outlaws has this being pulled on former Robin, Jason Todd. Apparently he never learned the trick.
  • Batwoman, as part and parcel of the entire Bat-package, has on numerous occasions just appeared in a scene without anybody aware of her presence, but it is not a requirement for her like it is with Batman. During her run on Detective Comics she once needed to visit a doctor to have a pair of blood samples analyzed and the script for the scene explicitly instructed that she be drawn just waiting in the office, not trying to surprise the doctor. This time she is standing in plain view, and would be seen by the doctor as soon as the lights were turned on.

    Fan Works 
  • A Boy, a Girl and a Dog: The Leithian Script: In the first chapter of this The Silmarillion fanfic, Beren talks to Beleg and Mablung before leaving... and in spite of they were watching him, neither of them saw how he vanished in the woods. He just disappeared.
  • HERZ:
    • In chapter 5 Rei does this to people when she is walking around.
    • And in chapter 12 she does this to Shinji. She appears for an instant to say goodbye, Shinji looks away for one second, and when he looks back she has faded.
  • Last Child of Krypton: In chapter 1, Shinji saw Rei standing in the street. He turned his head for a second, and when glanced back at her, Rei was gone.
    In the distance, shimmering with the heat, there was a girl in a school uniform, her skin as white as alabaster, hair so pale that in the strange afternoon light, it looked blue. She gazed at him with piercing red eyes. Instinctively, he turned his head towards the screech of approaching tires. When he glanced back at the street, the apparition was gone.
  • Nobody Dies: If you see an airduct in Tokyo-3, chances are that you are Being Watched. This is Terrifying!Rei's trademark move, on borderline-Big Brother Is Watching levels. "Heee~ey..." On (at least...) one occasion she did it on purpose to Scare 'em Straight.
  • The "Hi" part happens between Vegeta and Ginyu in Dragon Ball Z Abridged.
    Vegeta: What are you, dense!? The Ginyu Force could be here any second, and then we're...
    Ginyu: Hi Vegeta.
    Vegeta: [barely paying attention] Hi Ginyu. And then we're... [stops and does a Double Take]
    • In Season 3, Krillin manages to sneak up on Future Trunks while they're in mid-air, despite the fact that Trunks has the ability to sense ki; Krillin affectionately refers to it as his "Stealth Mode".
  • One Piece's Fan fiction Website, Ship of fools, Brings us Tarakudo Hunter, who is so quiet that pretty much every time he does anything somebody jumps out of their skin (at one point, he answered a question, and made the person asking jump). Malachi is a more standard case, who tends to appear from nowhere, often entirely unnoticed.
  • In Weightless, Garrus pulled one on Aria while she was disguising as a dancer. To boost the effect, all the cameras were hacked by Archangel's team, too. Needless to say, Aria wasn't impressed to say the least.
  • In Origins, a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands/Halo Massive Multiplayer Crossover, the Master Chief (while wearing Power Armor no less) repeatedly does this to Samantha Shepard. It's entirely Played for Laughs so he can drop in to give a one-liner of some kind.
  • A Shadow of the Titans: Jade maintains this trait from her canon counterpart, though now it's aided by her ability to hide in shadows. That said, it's been done to her a few times as well, usually by either Gadjo or Jinx.
    • Slade does this to Brother Blood in his first appearance, seemingly for no other reason than to rub his superiority in Blood's face.
  • Bad Future Crusaders: Snails does this a few times, but the cake goes to the Masquerader. who seemingly cannot enter or exit a scene without doing this, at time bordering on Offscreen Teleportation.
  • The Twilight Child:
    • The main character manages to perform one of these, while standing in front of the Cutie Mark Crusaders, who by all accounts haven't turned away from her either. Sweetie Belle even questions how it happened.
    • Zecora's second appearance involves her managing to perform one of these in a heavily crowded wedding.
  • Episode 7 of Sailor Moon: Legends of Lightstorm: Jason does this while planting bugs in Darien's apartment in the middle of the night. He leans close over a sleeping Darien to hear what he's saying during his nightmare. Darien wakes up suddenly and gets up to take melatonin, but Jason has somehow made it out of the apartment and onto the roof without making a sound.
  • Child of the Storm has a few examples:
    • Sean Cassidy, thanks to his powers, is able to nullify sound around him, making him capable of sneaking up on anyone whenever he feels like it.
    • Doctor Strange, in keeping with his all knowing mysterious figure role (and the fact that he loves messing with people), often does this as well.
    • Huginn and Muninn do this as a Running Gag, popping up on people's shoulders without anyone seeing them approach.
    • Loki gets into this occasionally, as does Harry, causing Carol to complain that someone should put bells on him.
    • Naturally, Bruce Wayne is an up-and-coming master at this - as in, even Thomas Raith, an actual vampire, has no idea how he does it.
    • In the sequel, Dumbledore occasionally demonstrates a knack for it. Among other things, this startles all of the teenagers, making them jump, including Diana, who jumps about fifteen feet in the air.
    • On a grimmer note, the Winter Soldier is also incredibly good at this.
  • In "Wayne Manor", part of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Hearts series, eight-year-old Bruce is already good enough at this to catch out a secret agent who's trained to be alert to his surroundings.
  • The New Adventures of Invader Zim:
    • Zim and his group pulls this on Dib in Episode 2.
    • Norlock, as a vampire, is capable of doing this. And does so, more than once.
  • In the Superman fan film One on One, Clark Kent pulls this on a young woman he's been interviewing. No prizes for guessing how...
  • In the Fate/Zero and Lupin The Third crossover fan fic Just An Unorthodox Thief, Lupin shows up in a chair in Zenigata's office seemingly out of nowhere, then leaves equally mysteriously while Zenigata's back is turned. When he first shows up, Zenigata reveals he anticipated Lupin's tendency toward this and prepared a trap to capture him.
  • In Something in the Night, Chat Noir pulls this on Ladybug (both out of costume, but he can't see her face and she can't see his) when he walks in on her in his kitchen getting a glass of water.
    Chat: I should have thought to offer you a drink. Do you need anything else?
    Ladybug: I’m good. So long as you don’t give me any more heart attacks.
    Chat: I wasn’t the one sneaking around someone else’s apartment.
    Ladybug: (chuckles) No, you were just sneaking around your own apartment. Are you actually a goddamn cat or something?
    Chat: (laughs) Sorry, just a force of habit.
  • Universe Falls: In "Magic and Mystery, Part 2" Dipper, Mabel, and Steven have to find a second Laser Light Cannon, and Steven calls Lion out to help. Much to Dipper's mixed shock and annoyance, Lion suddenly appears standing right behind him.
    Dipper: Steven, what’s Lion’s deal with always trying to scare me to death?
    Steven: That just means he likes you!
  • X-Men: The Early Years: At the end of "Hit Women, Goats, and Other Vacation Blunders", Scott gives Jean a present and slinks off before she can turn it down.
    "It's gorgeous." Jean held up the robe so she could see the whole thing. "I love the color! But I can't accept this. I mean, it's just too expensive." But when she lowered the robe to see Scott, he was gone. The ice was on the floor. The Band-Aids and ointment for her blistered feet were on the bed.
    But Scott was nowhere to be seen.
  • In To Hell and Back (Arrowverse), Barry, Oliver, and Kara, having been trained by the League of Assassins, often pull these on people-either for tactical advantages, or else just because Barry (and, to a lesser extent, Kara) is The Gadfly.

    Films — Animation 
  • Emily in Corpse Bride does this on the bridge before sealing the marriage, complete with Jump Scare.
  • Kung Fu Panda:
    • The title character manages one on Master Shifu at one point, after being told that he'll have to face Tai Lung. Impressive considering he's a panda, and Shifu is a Kung Fu master with super sensitive hearing who you'd think would've heard him leaving. Shifu's reaction is priceless.
    • Shifu has this pulled on him again (possibly knowingly) by Tai Lung, when the latter appears before him after a flash of lightning on the steps of the temple.
    • Parodied in Kung Fu Panda 3 as Shifu's "dramatic exit" consists of him saying "What's that?" and walking out the door as Po looks away.
  • In Monsters University Squishy does this so often they incorporate it into his scaring technique. The dummy turns around to see him staring at it.
  • The Shadow Man in The Princess and the Frog does this all the time.
  • In Ellie's introduction in Up, she goes from shouting at the far end of the room to directly behind Carl in less than a second.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Alien. While Ripley is inside the computer room talking to Mother, Ash suddenly appears behind her inside the room with no explanation. Note that the door makes a standard "whooshing'' sound, so he couldn't have gotten in that way.
  • Flint does it twice in Assassination Games, albeit both times where the person he's escaping front is convinced they're still being held at gunpoint, and are babbling for their lives.
  • The Avengers (1998). Sir August starts a fight with Steed in a hedge maze. After he knocks Steed's umbrella up in the air, he disappears while Steed is looking up at the umbrella.
  • Baby proves surprisingly adept at this in Baby Driver; disappearing while people's heads are turned outside the nursing home, outside the diner, and in the parking garage.
  • In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Batsy pulls this on Luthor in prison near the end. The guards tell Luthor the warden wants to see him...then the lights start flickering, and they're suddenly gone while Batman is feet from him. Batman then leaves just as stealthily, despite the only visible exit being a long corridor.
  • Jason Bourne is so good at it, he does it subconsciously. The Professor, from the first film, also uses it when he comes to Nikki to pick up the assignment to kill Bourne.
  • Kronos of Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter has this ability.
  • In Congo, a pair of Mizumu appear at the edge of the camp, and Munro tells Peter not to look at them, as they believe their magic keeps them from being seen before revealing themselves. He goes on to say that there are probably twenty more hiding around the camp, truly out of sight.
  • Cool Runnings takes this Up to Eleven when Derice and Sanka hold a meeting for potential recruits for their bobsled team. The lights go down so that Irv can show a video on the sport, which happens to focus on the potential for serious injury/death; when the lights come back on, everyone has left.
  • Mick and all of his Aboriginal friends can do this in the Crocodile Dundee films, but only while they're in the bush. It's used most extensively in the second movie.
  • In The Crow, Eric Draven does this in almost every scene he has with Officer Albrecht. Eventually, they both tire of it:
    Albrecht: Are you gonna disappear into thin air again?
    Eric: ... I thought I'd use your front door.
  • DEBS. Lucy Diamond does it twice: first when she takes off after meeting Amy for the first time, and again when she appears in Amy's bedroom.
  • Most slasher movie characters are fond of stealthily saying both Hi and Bye in their special way. Jason Voorhees seemed pretty good at this in the Friday the 13th series, and by the eight film it eventually evolved into the Offscreen Teleportation we know and love.
    • Scary Movie, of course, mocked this. When Cindy turns away from the killer watching her through the classroom window, he runs and hides behind the nearest tree when she's not looking.
  • Godzilla of all things pulls this off in Godzilla (2014), usually when underwater, though occasionally he uses smoke and debris clouds.
  • The Golden Child. While Chandler Jarrell is confronting an old beggar/medallion-seller, the man kicks him in the leg and throws some money in the air. Chandler looks up at the money, and when he looks down again the old man has vanished.
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. What characters "see" is often dictated by the edges of the frame rather than anything realistic: for instance, at one point Tuco sneaks up on Blondie in an entirely flat landscape, getting close enough to hold a gun to his head before he notices.
  • A variation in Interview with the Vampire, when Louis turns on the light and sits down next to the interviewer in an instant, without the interviewer seeing any movement.
  • James Bond:
    • In On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Bond, Tracy, and Draco are having lunch outdoors. When Tracy leaves, Bond and Draco talk for a bit, but when Draco takes his eyes off him, Bond abruptly disappears to follow Tracy.
    • Bond does one of these to a Russian soldier in the iconic opening sequence of GoldenEye, complete with Bond One-Liner. This is the first time in the movie the audience sees Bond's face, as played by newcomer Pierce Brosnan.
    • And again in Casino Royale (2006), introducing Daniel Craig, Bond is sent to kill corrupt section head Dryden in his office. When Dryden walks in, Bond is already there sitting in a chair in the shadows.
    Bond: M really doesn't mind you earning a little money on the side, Dryden. She'd just prefer if it wasn't selling secrets.
    • Unlike other examples, however, Dryden is unimpressed.
    Dryden: If the theatrics are supposed to scare me, you have the wrong man, Bond.
    • Spectre: M does this after the SPECTRE mooks ram his and Bond's car and abduct Bond. An especially good one considering that there's absolutely no way he could have escaped undetected (their backs are turned to him very briefly, and he travels much too far a distance). The sheer impossibility of this is pointed out in CinemaSins takedown of the film. Then, in an Homage to Casino Royale, M pulls this on the nefarious C, lurking in his office just like Bond did to Dryden.
  • Jonah pulls this on the Union officers in Jonah Hex. He suggests they try talking to the body themselves. They do so and when they turn around, Jonah (and his horse) have vanished.
  • The Hospitaller does this to Balian in Kingdom of Heaven. According to Ridley Scott, this is one of several intentional hints that the Hospitaller is not human.
  • The dark-robed, whispering, creepy-looking, angelic, alien-like men in Knowing do this.
  • The Landlord and Landlady do an excellent version of this in the film Kung Fu Hustle.
  • In the film version of The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf uses this several times in Bag-End, startling Bilbo Baggins. True to the book, "He comes and goes as he pleases."
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Captain America: The Winter Soldier has the titular character pull one on Cap, who has been chasing him. They're on top of a roof. The Soldier steps off it. Cap runs to the edge and there's no sign of his quarry, despite there being nowhere he could possibly have gone to get out of sight.
    • The Soldier pulls a Stealth Hi on his boss, Alexander Pierce when he shows up in his living room, waiting to be briefed on his next mission.
    • Continues into Civil War, where he appears out of thin air behind Cap, who's just found the apartment he's been using as a hideout. Up to Eleven when we learn that this area is also surrounded by UN forces trying to arrest him.
  • Done in the 90s version of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Puck, when summoned by Oberon, always appears just off-screen or otherwise hidden. His teleportations are accompanied by tinkling chimes and Oberon's awareness. Of course, none of this comes as a surprise to anyone, what with faeries and all.
  • Emelio, the butler of the Mr. Deeds remake, is another master of this. In addition to his ability to be standing in front of an elevator's doors both as they close, and as they open on another floor, he can also instantly move from a stage balcony to the podium to deliver a badass line. One should not underestimate the sneakiness.
  • At the end of The Mummy (1999), a bandaged hand grabs Jonathan and he freaks out, thinking it's a mummy, but instead, Ardeth has managed to sneak up on them. On a camel.
  • This trope is used by the titular nanny in Nanny McPhee, mostly on poor old Mr. Brown, pretty much daily. Apparently, however, it's a genetic thing to the Brown family, as Simon, the oldest son, walks into Nanny McPhee's empty bedroom, walks by a barren alcove, turns to find her staff resting against a wall, and bangs it, attempting to use the powers Nanny McPhee has been using the entire movie. The moment we hear the staff hit the floor, Nanny McPhee calls out, the camera spins, and Nanny McPhee is seated in a plush chair, with a cup of tea and a book in the empty alcove, with some décor around her. Actually justified in that she's a borderline Reality Warper.
  • In Now You See Me, Dylan somehow manages to soundlessly bypass a set of prison bars. However, we don't see how he did it because the view is blocked by another character.
  • In Pandorum, Gallo does this to Peyton several times. Justified, as Gallo is a halluncination of "Peyton"'s younger self.
  • There's a nice example in the Mel Gibson film The Patriot. Eldest son, Heath Ledger, is watching a disastrous Continental Army defeat from the upper window of an abandoned house when suddenly there's his badass French and Indian War veteran Dad standing calmly beside him leaning on his long rifle. On the other hand, he's mostly focused on watching the battle, which is fairly loud as well as visually distracting.
  • Played repeatedly and for all it's worth by the film adaptation of Dean Koontz's Phantoms, once involving an entire town's population appearing in the street. Probably rates as an invoked example, given that the Ancient Enemy probably learned how to scare the crap out of humans from its victims' memories of horror movies!
  • Captain Jack's own father pulls this on him in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides at the end of their meeting.
  • In Queen of the Damned, Marius pulls this on David Talbot after taunting him with the usual person-pass-in-front-for-a-second trick. Could be justified with Marius being a vampire and thus a Super Speedster, except that all vampires can usually be still seen as a fast-moving shape. Then again, this could be a tribute to him being so old (he's Roman). Mael also pulls this on Jesse.
  • An entire tribe of Australian Aborigines pulls this off in Quigley Down Under. Quigley is suitably impressed.
  • Red Hill: Jimmy is a master at this, appearing behind his targets absolutely silently and multiple points in the movie.
  • Subverted in the first Scary Movie, when the killer is seen through the window by one of the characters, who looks away for a moment, then looks back and the killer is gone. The audience sees the killer quickly but awkwardly hide behind a tree the moment the character looks away.
  • In Serenity, River pulls this off at the beginning of the movie; Simon tries to wake her up, steps way from her to look out a door, turns around, and River is there in his face, without warning. Making this really impressive is that Simon only looks away from River for an instant, during which time she apparently wakes up, climbs out of the chair she's in, and runs all the way across the room. It's apparently genetic; Simon pulls one of these on Mal a few minutes later in the film, jumping him as he comes out of the engine room.
  • Elijah Cohen, the mysterious servant of God, pulls this in Six: The Mark Unleashed.
  • Spider-Man Trilogy:
    • Spider-Man does it a few times in the first movie. Most notably was when he somehow leapt from the ceiling, out the window and ended up on the underside of the balcony in mere seconds, all without alerting the attention of Norman Osborn, who was in the room at the time and suspected Spider-Man of being there.
    • He also does it when bringing the body of Osborn back home. Harry looks away for about a second to grab a gun from a drawer, and Spidey is gone when he looks up.
    • In Spider-Man 2, Doctor Octopus appears to do this after completing a deal with Harry Osborn, taking a sphere full of tritium with him. Though initially surprised, Harry does manage to catch a glimpse of Doc Ock on his way out, moving at a normal (and noisy) pace. Somehow, he managed to move about twenty feet in the span of two seconds without managing to make a sound, before deciding to slow down a bit.
    • In the third film, MJ walks into her tiny apartment, and walks toward the answering machine, which is near an open window through which light is coming. Then Harry ambushes her, grabs her by the throat, and pushes her up against the wall. Given that James Franco is a shade under six feet, and the character is riding a large hoverboard with glowy bits, one wonders how MJ failed to notice him.
    • Played with later before Harry and Peter's fight. The camera follows Harry as he fixes himself a drink, pans down to show him add olives, and pans back up to show Peter standing on the balcony. If you listen closely, you can hear the distinctive sound of Peter shooting a web line, and Harry, with his Goblin serum-enhanced senses, likely heard it too.
    Harry (not even bothering to turn around): Would you like a drink?
  • Spies Like Us. While Emmett is being held by the Tadzhik highway patrol officers, the two KGB Special Branch agents he met earlier suddenly appear inside a room and begin interrogating him.
  • Happens in every Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Really, these might just be the only guys who are better at this than Batman.
    • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), Raphael manages to slip into Vernon's van without Vernon noticing until he revealed himself. Vernon is visibly confused and wondering just how the hell that happened before Raph snaps him out of it.
  • D'Artagnan plays it straight in the 90s version of The Three Musketeers. Complete with open window.
  • Val Kilmer in Thunderheart is an FBI agent chosen to investigate a crime on a reservation because his father was Sioux and so the higher-ups think the locals will respect him. A few of the locals pull this trope on him as an insult, implying that a real Sioux wouldn't fall for it. That implication is never tested.
  • All over the place in V for Vendetta, but the most ridiculous one has to be when a team of Fingermen search the area where they're supposed to meet V and declare it clear, only for V to suddenly appear smack dab in the middle of the group.
  • Weekend at Bernie's produced perhaps the best line of the entire two-film series. Bernie's hitman friend Paulie walks into Bernie's house unannounced, and when Bernie turns around and sees him, they have this exchange:
    Bernie: OH! Oh, I didn't hear you come in...
    Paulie: Yup... I'm REAL good at that.
  • Wind River: When Pete is fleeing through the snow, he stops to look around him, turning a full circle. As he gets back to where he started, he finds Cory standing there.
  • The Dark Knight Trilogy as you'd expect from Batman.
    • In the first movie, Batman's initial attempt to pull his signature vanishing act on Gordon is an Epic Fail, with the detective chasing him onto the roof where Batman injuries himself leaping onto a nearby fire escape and nearly falling to his death. After this he has Lucius Fox develop his Batsuit so he can glide away with a bit more dignity.
    • By the second movie, Gordon has become used to it; when Batman disappears in the middle of a rooftop conference with Harvey Dent, Gordon says only, "He does that."
    • In Rises, Catwoman pulls the same trick on Batman, causing him to muse, "So that's what that feels like."

  • Discworld:
    • Likewise, the Igors specialize in appearing behind their masters' backs, regardless of how vigilant the master or how coverless the room is. Like most Igor traits, it's hard to be certain whether it is a natural talent, or the result of rigorous training. In Going Postal, Reacher Gilt tests this skill by setting a bear trap down, turning his back to it, and calling for his Igor; the Igor arrives and hands him the now-closed bear trap.
    • Another Igor example referenced in Going Postal has a character stand with his back to a pit of spikes before calling the Igor. Doesn't explain what Igor did, but they found it very laugh-worthy when the mad scientist forgot and stepped back.
    • The Psycho for Hire assassin Jonathan Teatime is also skilled at this, being introduced in Hogfather by entering undetected the heavily guarded office of the head of the Assassin's Guild (entering by and hiding in a chimney over a lit fireplace) and shortly afterward surprising his mooks in a Bad-Guy Bar by pretending to be a waiter. In the movie adaption, he does that all the time.
    • Another Discworld example: Lord Hong in Interesting Times has "the Grand Vizier's talent for appearing out of nowhere". (Note: The Grand Vizier on Discworld is usually not a wizard and is more likely to have been rejected from Unseen University for being mentally unstable. They can Stealth Hi/Bye on pure narrative-causality power.)
    • Night Watch shows Vetinari training himself in this. He got so good at it that he flunked his stealth class for lack of attendance — despite having never missed a class.
      "Where is Havelock?" cried Madam Meserole.
      "Here," said Vetinari, detaching himself from a shadow by the curtains.
    • It also has Vimes show himself to be aware with regards to the Stealth Hi/Bye used by the History Monks — not that it helps. He sees a monk, and then a cart begins to pass in front of him. He drops to the ground, watching the monk's feet. As it's partway past him, his feet are still there. As it's halfway past him, his feet are still there. As it's mostly past him, his feet are still there. When it's completely past him, he's gone.
    • In Pyramids, when Assassin-trained Teppic was cornered by Dios and a slew of armed guards, he was able to perform this when they looked away for a moment, although it's more like a Flash Step, since he wasn't too far away.
    • Granny Weatherwax is very good at this, managing to fade into the foreground and occasionally go where ever she'd like while people are keeping their eye out for her.
    • Inversion. Susan, granddaughter of Death, can make people forget or ignore that she's in the room. To them, it seems she's pulled one of these -if they remember she was there at all.
  • Bertie Wooster, in P. G. Wodehouse's stories, is perpetually astonished by his valet Jeeves's suddenly being at hand whenever Bertie realizes he needs something. When Bertie is the narrator, he describes it as if Jeeves had a mysterious power of teleportation and/or mind-reading, but the real (implied) explanation is always that Jeeves is streets ahead of his clueless employer.
    • This is possibly the reason for the Discworld example — Igors are portrayed as a cross between a butler, a surgeon and Frankenstein's monster.
  • Kragar of Steven Brust's Dragaera series is well known for entering a room and not being noticed until he actually speaks. He claims he doesn't do it intentionally; it's just a natural talent (but a handy one for a mob lieutenant). However, it's also why he expects that he'll never be more than a lieutenant; it's not easy to be a mob Boss when people don't notice you.

    At one point, a devised plan relied on Kragar's ability to hide out in the open. It actually works, much to the not-surprise of anyone. In one instance, Vlad's wife accidentally sits down on him. In the latest book, Vlad takes great pleasure in finally pulling this on Kragar.
  • The Dresden Files: In book one, Storm Front, Morgan pulls this on Harry, who lampshades how terrifying it is to have a man suddenly appear out of nowhere in the middle of the night with a sword in hand, never mind the fact that this particular man has a grudge against him. Later books describe invisibility spells, which is probably how he did it. Surprisingly enough, despite her gift for them, Molly never pulls one of these.
  • In David Eddings's Elenium, one of the Knights gets tired of the Goddess Aphrael doing this and asks her to signal next time she appears. So her next manifestation is preceded by a huge trumpet fanfare and holy chorus. Naturally, they ask her to go back to popping up silently.
  • Bondsmagi of the Gentleman Bastard series are notorious for pulling this, generally much to the surprise and/or irritation of whoever they're dropping in on.
  • From the book (not the movie) The Guns of Navarone, Andrea describes Keith Mallory:
    "People call me 'the big cat,' I know, but among the mountains and rocks the captain is more than a cat. He is a ghost, and that was how men called him in Crete. You will know he is here when he touches you on the shoulder."
  • Witches and wizards in Harry Potter just love doing this. Causes quite some confusion for Harry in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone when he wonders how Hagrid got to the island to give him his letter and how he left platform 9 3/4 in the time it took Harry to blink. Stealth skills are unnecessary for this, since most wizards can simply teleport.
    "'Don't waste your breath!' yelled Harry, his eyes screwed up against the pain in his scar, now more terrible than ever. 'He can't hear you from here!'
    'Can't I, Potter?' said a high, cold voice.
    Harry opened his eyes.
    Tall, thin and black-hooded, his terrible snakelike face white and gaunt, his scarlet, slit-pupilled eyes staring; Lord Voldemort had appeared in the middle of the hall, his wand pointing at Harry who stood frozen, quite unable to move."
  • In Rachel Aaron's "Legend of Eli Monpress" series, Nico is quite literally capable of disappearing or appearing with no warning, due to her ability to teleport through shadows. For the most part she only uses it in the presence of her teammates who are aware of her ability and used to it, if still fairly unsettled by it, but will occasionally use it more conspicuously in special cases. At one point, when her emotions overwhelm her to the point of panic, she teleports out of an entire room of onlookers, leaving Eli to talk everyone into believing nothing out of the ordinary had occurred.
  • Harley Quin. Not that one, but rather the title character of Agatha Christie's collection The Mysterious Mr Quin. He appears to the elderly Amateur Sleuth Mr. Satterthwaite and leads him to ask questions that will lead him to the solution, then disappears. There are signs Quin may not entirely be of this Earth.
  • The Rangers in Ranger's Apprentice are well known for this. Halt in particular likes appearing apparently out of nowhere. Reality Ensues when Horace, wearing a Ranger cloak, tries to pull this off . . . and it's pointed out that he's a tall man wearing a cloak too small for him and riding a one-ton warhorse.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Rhaegal, the green-and-bronze dragon, starts getting a rep for pulling these in Meereen. Where Drogon is The Dreaded of the three dragon siblings thanks to his size and strength, Rhaegal is quickly becoming feared for being far too sneaky for comfort. Ordinarily a vocal and highly visible individual, Rhaegal can very quickly find ways of popping up or vanishing where you'd least expect him/her/it to be able to... after dropping the loud act and going into hunting-mode, that is. As Quentyn Martell found, much to his cost.
    • The Stark direwolves can all be pretty hard to keep track of when they wish to be (just ask the Ironborn and Bolton trackers), but Ghost is the best of the bunch at pulling this trope. White fur + ice and snow = Cheshire wolf.
  • In the Spiral Arm series, this is a specialty of Greystroke. A Running Gag involves characters wondering where he is only for him to reveal that he is sitting next to them. At one point, he and Little Hugh are riding in a car together, and Little Hugh keeps checking to make sure Greystroke hasn't somehow vanished.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • The Noghri. A whole race having trained to hunt and survive on a Death World, their ninja-like abilities are so refined they're often able to sneak up on freaking (and freaked) Jedi.
    • Jedi and Sith (or, heck, any force user) also has a tendency to do this as well.
    • General Melvar does a bit of this. Justified as it turns out he A) has a talent for moving quietly, and B) has installed special hydraulics throughout the ship to allow him to open doors silently, for the explicit purpose of pulling these. His boss finds it annoying but tolerable.
  • In the "between the numbers" entries in the Stephanie Plum series and the Lizzy Tucker spinoff series, Diesel is an expert at this. His cousin Wulf can do a quite good Stealth Hi/Bye if he wants, but prefers a more dramatically pyrotechnic approach.
  • Words of Radiance (second book of The Stormlight Archive): Hoid pulls one on Kaladin for giggles.
    Wit sat on a bench by the far wall, outside the cell and under the spheres, tuning some kind of strange instrument on his lap made of taut strings and polished wood. He hadn't been there a moment ago. Storms... had the bench even been there before?
    "How did you get in?" Kaladin asked.
    "Well, there are these things called doors..."
    "The guards let you?"
    "Technically?" Wit asked, plucking at a string, then leaning down to listen as he plucked another. "Yes."
  • Hobbits are said to be good in that. A widely known Informed Ability. Well, a couple of them turned up in the middle of Mordor without anyone seeing them come in. Gandalf is Lampshaded as having this ability. "He is a wizard, you know." It's also how Merry managed to stab the Witch King of Angmar in the leg.
  • Vorkosigan Saga: Elli Quinn pulls this twice in Ethan of Athos, both times by quietly leaving while everyone else is distracted by something very attention-holding. Fulfills the "audience doesn't see" criteria because the author doesn't describe her departure, just the reaction when somebody turns and looks for her.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Michelle, a member of La Résistance (literally) in 'Allo 'Allo!, frequently does this.
  • In Green Arrow's own series Arrow, he does this a lot, particularly after threatening villains.
    • At one point he does it out of a moving car in the middle of an empty street.
    • In Season 5, Vigilante is even better at doing this than Green Arrow himself. In the episode "Vigilante", the titular Vigilante Man manages to pull this off when he's tied to a pillar.
  • The murdered copper in Ashes to Ashes has a habit of this.
  • In the finale of Battlestar Galactica Kara Thrace does this in the middle of an open plain when Lee turns away for a moment, proving that she really was killed in Season 3 and is actually some kind of corporeal angel.
  • In The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon attempts to stay at Raj's apartment in order to avoid a bitter argument between Penny and Leonard. Unfortunately, when he enters, Raj was already in a severe argument regarding leaving for a wedding back in India (citing that he has something important to do for his university as his reason), as well as his parent's implication that he and Howard Wollowitz were a couple ("The closest thing we have to a daughter in law is that Jewish boy Howard"). When Raj turns and angrily asks Sheldon to back him up by telling them that they are just friends, Sheldon was already long gone (obviously because of wanting to run away from their argument).
  • In Birds of Prey (the TV series), Huntress is constantly doing this, especially to her Friend on the Force, Detective Reese. At one point, even Alfred did this to him, prompting him to say something to the effect of "you've gotta be kidding me."
  • The Cleaner in Black Books, constantly scaring Bernard half to death and/or creeping him out.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    • Angel was fond of doing this in the first season, when he was simply the Mysterious Protector. He kept this power throughout Buffy, and into his own series, on one occasion vanishing out of the back seat of a car with closed doors without seeming to open one. As such, lampshaded with increasing ferocity as the series went on. Hell the lampshade practically hung itself for a while there.
      Xander: [referring to Angel, who has just exited stealthily] One of these days I'm going to put a bell on that guy!
    • Buffy has other examples of this, particularly a subverted scene (somewhat of a trope of its own) when the geek trio attempt a stealth bye with a flashbomb, but the smoke clears to reveal them fiddling with the door ("dude, I thought you said it was unlocked!").
    • Also in Angel, Connor has a tendency to use this trick, prompting Cordelia to comment, "It must be genetic" (In this particular case, Lamarck was, in fact, correct).
    • In the Angel episode "Somnambulist", it's hinted that Angel doesn't teleport or use super speed, as it shows Kate looking around dumbfounded while the audience sees Angel is just walking away at a normal pace. There are many other examples on his own show where the audience can see Angel has just walked away while other characters clearly seem to think he's vanished. Angel and Connor have some sort of obfuscation, and they have much better reflexes than a normal human, but neither can cover significant distances faster than the human eye can see. Illyria and Glory had super-speed. (Technically, Illyria slowed the world down, but since time is relative, depending on your point if view it's the same thing when they're moving quickly or you're moving slowly.)
    • In "Epiphany", Lyndsey runs Angel over with his car, then gets out and beats on him with a sledgehammer. He then retrieves a stake from his car... only for Angel to be right behind him and beat him up.
    • In the series 2 final episode "No Place Like..." it's lampshaded again and Fred is revealed to be capable of doing it, too. (When we first met Fred she had spent some years in a world where, for humans, stealth is a survival skill.)
      Gunn: He's Angel. He does that. How'd she do that?
      Angel: She's Fred. She does that, too.
  • Subverted in Burn Notice, where Michael explains that it do not involve spy magic, but quick feet and strong fingers, as he is seen hanging from the roof.
  • Charlie does this in episode 1x02 of By Any Means; disappearing when the DI he is talking to turns to look at the tied-up villain in the boot of a car Charlie has just delivered to him.
  • Agent Gray, the CIA agent from Castle.
    • Becket pulls one of these on Esposito in "Probable Cause".
  • From Chuck:
    Bryce: [steps out from behind a wall] Chuck.
    Chuck: [startled] Aah! You— What did I say about the entrances?!
    • Casey used to love startling Chuck that way, too.
  • In Constantine, the angel Manny often disappears while John is still talking to him, often to the confusion of whoever Manny was taking over.
  • In Crusade, Galen, the resident techno-mage, did this frequently. In an episode, another techno-mage did the same to him, leading Galen to mutter "Now I know how it feels...".
  • Horatio Caine on CSI: Miami also does this from time to time (mostly the Stealth Hi version), complete with *Click* Hello when he's sneaking up on the Perp of the Week. Apparently Jerry Bruckheimer didn't think the sunglasses routine and super-serious monotone fulfilled the show's Narm quota.
  • Daredevil:
    • More than half the time, Matt Murdock's appearances among the bad guys (and sometimes the good guys) come with him just appearing in a spot he wasn't standing in a moment ago when the camera panned away.
    • During "In the Blood", Ben Urich pulls it on Karen when he sits down behind her at an auction, then seemingly disappears into thin air just as she's about to ask him how he knew she was there.
    • Throughout "The Ones We Leave Behind", Ben gets subjected to this three times: Matt first jumps off a dumpster behind Ben while he's getting in his car, prompting Urich to say "You like making an entrance, don't you?". Then Karen, waiting in a doorway, surprises him as he's returning to his apartment, to which he says, exasperated, "Everybody's got to be sneaking out, tonight?" Lastly, at the end of the episode, Wilson Fisk breaks into Urich's apartment, then sits in a chair in a dimly lit corner and waits for Ben to come home. He's unnoticed until the camera pans and Fisk begins talking. This last one ends fatally for Ben.
    • Thrice happens in "Penny and Dime". First, Karen pulls one on Matt and Foggy, using the distraction of Foggy pulling Matt into his office to tell him about a client to slip out unnoticed with the Punisher files. Later, Matt pulls one on Sgt. Brett Mahoney in a storage closet while Brett is answering a call on his radio. And in the final scene, Elektra is able to pull such an entrance on Matt, who is in a bit of a love daze after having kissed Karen.
  • Dexter notes that Astor and Cody have the ability to enter a room without their presence being known until one (usually Astor) speaks.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Second Doctor was fond of this trope (did it to himself in "The Three Doctors").
    • In "Remembrance of the Daleks", the creepy schoolgirl vanishes more than once when someone turns their head away from her for a few seconds.
    • The Ninth Doctor pulled this off very well in "The Empty Child". When Nancy and her fellow orphans sneak into a dining room while the home's residents are in a bomb shelter (the ep takes place during the Blitz), Nancy starts a plate around and everyone takes a slice of beef. The Doctor was already sitting at the other end of the table, accepting the plate from the child ahead of him. No one notices him until he speaks (keeping in mind there are around a dozen other people in the room). He later does it again when he follows Nancy to her hideout. She points out that people can't usually do that to her.
      • For that matter, Nancy herself did it to the Doctor, appearing seemingly out of nowhere to tell him not to answer the phone in the TARDIS (which shouldn't have worked to begin with), and having vanished when he turned around again to question her further about the phone call.
    • In the same two-parter, Jack disappeared very suddenly... and then, better yet, Rose and the Doctor managed not to notice that they were being teleported.
      Jack: Most people notice they've been teleported... You guys are so sweet.
    • The Eleventh Doctor has a tendency to Stealth Bye people without warning. The first time he does it is off the hospital roof in "The Eleventh Hour" to Amy and Rory — both of whom were closer to the door than he was.
    • He does it to Amy again in "The Beast Below". He's in the middle of explaining that that time travel is like a nature documentary, they must only observe and never interfere, while the scanner pans over a crying child. Amy questions how hard it must be not to help people, only to realize the scanner now showing the Doctor outside, interfering...
    • He also does this to Craig in "Closing Time", twice. Once while Craig is trying to tell the lady at the shop that they aren't a couple, and again just before Sophie gets home. Poor Craig.
    • The Tenth and Eleventh Doctors sneak up on River Song a couple of times. Once when she was telling another character about who the Doctor was and what she had seen him do, thus accidentally serving the Doctor some spoilers since those things were still in his future. The other time she was just mad at him for wandering off in a crisis:
      River: [...] if he's dead back there, I'll never forgive myself. And if he's alive, I'll never forgive him. And Doctor, you're standing right behind me aren't you?
      The Doctor: Yeah.
      River: [lovingly] I hate you.
      The Doctor: You don't.
    • "Deep Breath": Clara is waiting for the Doctor in the back booth of a restaurant, only to smell something awful, look to her left and discover him sitting at the table.
    • A rather weird example in the Eighth Doctor Adventures novel Vanishing Point.
    "How dare you?" It was a whisper colder than the wind outside, and it seemed somehow to fill the room. Vettul was back, just behind him. The way she seemed to just appear was uncanny. [...] And she swayed from the room, thump-thumping on her twisted legs.
    • In "The Pilot", Bill stares out the window of the Doctor's office while telling him about the weird puddle she and Heather found, only to suddenly break off her story when she sees the Doctor sprinting across the yard.
  • In The Dresden Files, Morgan often pulls this trick on Harry. Late in the first season, he reveals that he actually turns invisible while Harry (and the audience) aren't looking. Morgan's actor suggested that it worked because the cameraman liked him.
  • Father Brown: In "The Face of the Enemy", Lady Felecia's New Old Flame takes advantage of the cover of a cloud of steam to vanish during his Train-Station Goodbye with Lady Felicia.
  • Neatly subverted in the final episode of Father Ted where a mysterious priest asks about Ted and then vanishes with a little music sting. Ten seconds later he re-appears with the comment "Sorry, I went over there. What did you say?"
  • Firefly
    • Played with a bit of a horror aspect in the episode "Bushwhacked". As Mal and Zoe are cleaning out the derelict's cargo bay, the feeling that something is wrong starts to overtake them. They look around the previously empty bay, and find that River has snuck up on them without warning, only this time, she's looking up. The camera pans up, and cue the horror.
    • Mal pulls one of these on Jubal Early in "Objects in Space", when Early climbs out on top of Serenity and starts for his ship, only to have Mal pop up behind him, rip off a witty one-liner, and hurl him into deep space. More easily justified, as it's space.
    • Early himself manages to pull it off on Kaylee earlier on, and exploits it for maximum terrifying effect. It helps that Early's appearance would have been completely shocking, since he was a complete stranger and they were in the middle of space (meaning that there would have been no obvious means of him getting on the ship at all).
    • River pulls off a subtle one in "Safe" when she slips out of the store while Kaylee and Simon have their disagreement. If you watch closely, you can actually see her circling around Kaylee and then vanishing off-screen.
  • Game of Thrones: Ghost is master of this, especially his Big Damn Heroes in "The Gift", after which he vanishes again.
  • Gilmore Girls:
    • Paris does it to Rory, prompting Rory's "God! You're like the pop-up book from hell!"
    • Francine is also quite adept.
  • David Karofsky from Glee started a meme of Suddenly Karofsky due to his tendency to appear seemingly out of nowhere despite his big size and habit of wearing a distinctive red letterman's jacket. It was played for dramatic effect when he was bullying Kurt.
  • Grimm: Nick's mother Kelly makes a habit of doing, continually surprising with her appearances/disappearances in "Bad Teeth".
  • Sylar from Heroes does this several times in the first season, both the quick disappearing act and the suddenly appearing from nowhere. Usually Sylar pops up just behind the protagonist's shoulder who only moments before had been looking around an empty room or empty plaza. Bennet and Peter actually speculate in the season finale that Sylar has the power to "hide in plain sight". Given that Sylar has assimilated an unknown number of superpowers, it's not that unlikely.
    • About Bennet's "hide in plain sight" comment; guess who taps on his shoulder a second later?
    • He does this in season four out of the back seat of a closed car, reappearing on the top of an apartment building about 100 feet away in less than ten seconds. The writer admits this is 100% Offscreen Teleportation.
  • Stacy Warner, in House, would often do that. House found it cool.
  • Subverted in the first episode of How I Met Your Mother, when Marshall and Barney were talking, and Marshall suddenly noticed Barney had disappeared, naturally assuming that Barney was doing another one of his magic tricks(which he used to impress the ladies into bed). Barney pops his head from behind the bathroom doorway and remarks: "I'm taking a leak, dumbass!"
  • Kamen Rider Ryuki: Main villain Kanzaki Shirou does this in virtually every scene he's in. He pops in on one of the Riders, tells him to go kill the other Riders, and pops out. Justified as he is utilising a Portal Network that connects all reflective surfaces.
  • This happened on Las Vegas, of all places. James Caan's character, Ed Deline, is around a bend in a corridor, holding a gun to the head of someone on the floor. Another character, McCoy, comes along and tells him that the police want him for murder. Ed looks up, and then McCoy turns at the approach of the police. When he, and the camera, turn back, Ed is gone. When the other character reviews the security tape, Ed actually waved through the camera at him, when he wasn't looking. McCoy deletes the recording before we actually see Ed leave. It's implied, but never shown, that Ed escaped through the fire doors behind him.
  • On Leverage, Parker ran out on the group in the middle of "The Orphan Job", but tech guy Hardison, having experienced her pulling a stealth bye earlier, tracked her down with the GPS device he sneaked into her shoe should she disappear again. She does this sort of thing all the time.
    • This is, in fact, a direction note for the series, as noted in the commentary. The audience almost never sees Parker entering or exiting from a room. She just walks into scene once everyone's there.
  • Lost's Others are capable of this. A memorable example was Harper's appearance at the beginning of "The Other Woman". The audience was convinced this meant she was actually an apparition, until this was officially debunked.
  • Subverted in M*A*S*H:
    • Jerkass Colonel Flagg frequently attempts to do a Stealth Hi/Bye, but always fails miserably. Ending with this exchange:
      Hawkeye: Well, Flagg, I guess you've got better things to do — like torturing sheep.
      Col. Flagg: As a matter of fact, I do. Now everybody close your eyes.
      BJ: Beg your pardon?
      Hawkeye: Whaaa?
      Col. Potter: Close our eyes?
      Radar: Oh, nonono...
      Col. Flagg: When I finish a job, nobody sees me leave.
      BJ: Oh, I forgot. You're the wind.
      Col. Flagg: I'm either swallowed up by night, or disappear in the mist. It's my trademark. Now close your eyes.
      Hawkeye: I'd rather close my ears.
      Col. Flagg: [finally exasperated] If you don't close your eyes, I'm not leaving!
      Hawkeye & BJ: [both rapidly covering their eyes] Bye! See ya!
      [sound of enthusiastic yelling, followed by the crash of glass; Hawkeye walks over to the office window]
      Hawkeye: The "wind" just broke his leg.
    • He succeeds at least once, after being humiliated by Winchester in a tent filled with angry people he turns off the only lamp and is not there when someone manages to turn it back on again. Those present are more impressed by Winchester than by this stunt.
  • Agent LaRoche in The Mentalist is good at sneaking up on people, a useful skill for him to have as an Internal Affairs investigator, since otherwise, the protagonists are likely to try to avoid him.
  • Dang of Canadian teen sitcom Mr. Young tends to suddenly appear at random times, mostly when people say his name. He's so good, he can even do this in outer space. In fact, he's so amazing at this that he can do this in two places at the same time.
  • In an episode of Murphy Brown, someone asks a Deep Throat-like informant how he always manages to mysteriously appear out of the shadows, to which he offhandedly explains, "You just stand in a shadow, then step out."
  • Jessi's introduction on MythBusters.
  • NCIS:
    • Gibbs does this with the other agents (although he mainly does the Stealth Hi and not the Stealth Bye). It's usually played for a Right Behind Me moment. In one episode Abby puts bubble wrap on the floor across her door as an attempt to warn her when Gibbs is sneaking in. It works, but annoys Gibbs so much that he orders her to get rid of it.
    • When Gibbs temporarily comes back from his 10-Minute Retirement, he finds Tony, who had been filling in as the team's leader, hiding behind a stairwell while the other agents are talking, eavesdropping with a speakerphone. He tells Gibbs that "you know exactly what I'm doing", and then attempts a Stealth Hi just like Gibbs did as soon as the opportunity arrives. He quickly finds out that Gibbs did not gain his information that way, causing him to remark, "I have much to learn still, master."
    • Gibbs has a stealth bye pulled on him when he, Kate, and Tony visit Guantanamo. He's giving them orders while reading a newspaper, and they're down the hall arguing over who gets the bedroom with the bathtub. Naturally, Gibbs gets back at them by taking said room.
    • One particularly memorable moment is, unfortunately, only implied: Abby thinks that Gibbs has forgotten her birthday, and says that she forgives him, prompting Gibbs to tell her to check her desk drawer for his gift, despite her having been in the office all day.
    • Charles "Chip" Sterling pulls one in his introduction. He attributes it to special shoes, which make him extremely quiet; he turns out to be setting up Tony, so his sneaking skill is appropriate.
    • On one occasion Tony attempted to outfox Gibbs. When Gibbs failed to appear on cue, Tony was flummoxed, and then Gibbs showed.
    • Tony and Tim experience a twofer in one episode. They are hiding behind the stairs, observing Gibbs in the bullpen when all of a sudden director Vance appears behind them to ask what they are doing. They make an excuse and watch as the director leaves. Just as Vance closes the door behind him, Gibbs appears right behind them telling them to go back to work.
    • Happens to Vance after Gibbs and Fornell have been forced to work with their mutual ex-wife on a case, with the shared feeling among the three just one step below amicable. While focusing on his paperwork, Vance suggests that the three could form a permanent interagency task force; when he looks up, all three are gone.
  • An episode of NUMB3RS featured a mysterious government agent checking up on the characters. He had a bad habit of surprising people with a "stealth hi" (his exits were normal), but in a subversion he was also disarmingly cheerful and helpful.
  • Happened in The Palace, of all things, with one of the king's senior advisors. Prince George is enjoying a nice bath, when he opens his eyes and jumps, startled. Not only has Sir Iain entered the room without a sound, but he's casually perched on the side of the tub.
  • Frank Lemmer from Parker Lewis Can't Lose was quite good at the "bye" part, simply fading into thin air occasionally. At one time this failed when he tried to teleport out of an awkward situation with his current love interest and he just flickered a bit, with a strained facial expression.
  • Person of Interest:
    • John Reese does this a lot, as befits a mysterious vigilante, but in the episode "Judgement" we actually see him do so, sneaking off while Detective Fusco is still yakking away to him, until Fusco turns round and realises he's gone.
    • Shaw is always sneaking up on Harold Finch, who being a Properly Paranoid hidden Chessmaster finds it rather annoying. We see her doing so in "4C".
      Finch: Would it be too much to ask you to snap a twig?
      Shaw: [obviously suppressing a smile] Not my thing.
  • Pixelface: In "Fool's Gold", Claireparker demonstrates she is an expert at this. Alexia spends most of the episode attempting to prove she is better, without success.
  • The Pretender, on occasion. Perhaps most notably in a first season episode where Jarod meets a Magical Native American (or one who likes to play up the trope, anyway) who does this, initially confounding Jarod. By the end of the episode, Jarod has picked up the skill from him.
  • The eponymous Queen demonstrates her ability to do this in Queen of Swords.
  • The Devil does this a lot in Reaper.
  • In Revolution, this is the standard method of Big Damn Heroes. In Episode 2-9, "Everyone Says I Love You", Monroe takes the time to lampshade it afterwards.
    Monroe: I'm Batman.
  • Scrubs
    • Ted occasionally does this unintentionally, as he puts it: "No one expects me to be anywhere." One episode exaggerates this to the point that he's able to spy on people for a newspaper because people simply don't pay attention to him.
    • Dr. Cox manages to pull one off. Turk is sitting on a bench near the hospital's parking lot, enjoying a sandwich. A van passes in front of the screen and Dr. Cox is magically sitting next to him. Once he begins talking, Turk is understandably surprised to see him there.
  • On Seinfeld, Elaine was annoyed by a co-worker who did this. She dubbed the practice "sidling", and convinced the guy to start carrying Tic-Tacs around, figuring the rattling would let her know when he was coming. The result was that the rattling of Tic-Tacs was heard throughout the entire building constantly and driving everybody nuts, but nobody knew where it was coming from because the sidler was just as invisible as ever. Elaine then had the brilliant idea to pop a few Tic-Tacs herself while her boss was in the room, making him think that she was the one who had been rattling.
  • Sherlock:
    • In "The Blind Banker", John and Sarah are at the circus on a date and John is getting their reserved tickets when he is informed that there are three waiting for them, not the two John was expecting. John is confused - until Sherlock pops up out of nowhere behind them, explains that he called back to get the third ticket for himself, introduces himself to Sarah, and promptly walks off offscreen.
      John: I've got two reserved for tonight.
      Box Office Manager: What name is it?
      John: Er... Holmes.
      Box Office Manager: Actually, I have three in that name.
      John: Oh, no. I think that's an error. He booked two.
      Sherlock: [offscreen] And then I phoned back and got one for me as well. [slides onscreen; turns to Sarah] I'm Sherlock. [slides offscreen]
    • Done again in "The Sign of Three", when Sherlock vanishes from a park bench in the middle of a conversation with John, without John noticing.
  • Smallville:
    • Clark Kent does this on occasion, though he usually just speeds away on-screen while everybody is looking away.
    • Kara picked up the family business and arguably did a better job (read:more off-screen Stealth Byes due to budget cuts).
    • Green Arrow also pulls this at least once in Season 9 on Cat Grant. When Green Arrow is first introduced, Clark turns from him for two seconds and turns back to find him gone. It's all the more bewildering because Clark doesn't appear to have noticed himself, despite having had super hearing for years by this point.
    • Lionel Luthor also frequently pulls this off, usually to help reinforce the point that Lionel is sneaky. For instance, Clark or Chloe goes down to the cave and the camera pans around the cave and shows that nobody is there. All of a sudden, a literal second later we hear Lionel's voice saying "Miss Sullivan" or "Clark?" and the character turns around and suddenly Lionel is just there. Lionel managed to do this so often that, given that the show takes place in the DC Universe and the fact that Lionel hangs out with other rich people, one seriously has to wonder if young Bruce Wayne learned this trick by studying Lionel.
    • Chloe finally gets to pull this trick on Clark when he's stuck in a virtual world. He seems to realise how irritating it is.
  • A running gag in Spooks, despite the show otherwise taking itself quite seriously, is that every Director of a national intelligence agency knows how to do this. Harry in particular seems able to effortlessly break into any building, no matter how difficult it was for the rest of the team.
  • On Stargate SG-1, Daniel in ascended form does this quite often. In fact, this is the preferred entrance of most ascended beings. Particularly notable in "Full Circle": Jack, Sam and Jonas need Daniel to appear to help them out, so Jack starts looking round the room calling out to him. The camera follows him, panning round the room. When it gets back to the start, Daniel has appeared, standing right in front of Carter! Naturally, she doesn't notice him until he speaks.
  • Done by Koloth in an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine who sneaks into Odo's office. Odo, being the Chief of Security is understandably disturbed by this, especially since he didn't hear the telltale sound of doors opening. When asked how he got in, Koloth simply introduces himself. When Odo persists that this isn't an answer to his question, Koloth replies that it is. He later explains that he's a Klingon Dahar Master, implying that all Dahar Masters can pull off stunts like that.
    • Section 31 agent Sloan has demonstrated this ability as well, appearing out of nowhere, then disappearing just as quickly, with no indication that he's using a transporter, and leaving no trace that he was ever there. Once he simply stepped through a door, Dr Bashir chased him through a moment later, only to see an empty hallway.
  • Supernatural:
    • Castiel does this, even when people are looking directly at him. One time Dean was driving in a car, the camera pans around the side of the car (losing sight of the passenger seat in the process) and when it comes to the side of the car, Castiel is sitting calmly shotgun. Dean is considerably startled. Another time, mid-conversation with Dean, he vanishes from the park bench after Dean glances away. It can be assumed that he is flying from place to place (since he's an angel, and the sound of wings and rushing air accompanies his arrival) but visibly he only appears and disappears.
      Dean: Why is it always gotta be me that makes the call, huh? It's not like Cas lives in my ass. The dude's busy!
      [Castiel appears behind him]
      Dean: Cas, get out of my ass!
      Castiel: I was never in.. your...
    • Crowley turns this into an artform. In fact, he doesn't make any noise at all. When Cas gets upgraded, he starts doing the same thing.
    • Anna is also shown doing it. At one point appearing in the back of the Winchester car, while Dean's driving.
      Anna: [suddenly appearing in the backseat] Hey, guys.
      Dean: Ah! [jerks steering wheel, but manages to get the car under control]
      Anna: Smooth.
      Dean: You ever try calling ahead?
      Anna: I like the element of surprise.
    • When Crowley proposes a deal with angel Naomi, she leaves silently before he even finishes.
      Crowley: Maybe we can make a deal before this gets truly bollocksed. I mean, I must have something that you want. [looks over, notices she's gone] Tart stole my move.
  • Franchise/Survivor: In "Worlds Apart" Mike did this to Carolyn and Sierra in the episode, My Word is My Bond."
  • In The Thick of It, Malcolm Tucker is able to sneak up on people in a glass-walled office. "I'm a shapeshifter!"
  • Top Gear's resident Deadpan Snarker James May delivered one one of these during the Cheap Alfa Romeos Challenge:
    Jeremy: I have been rescued [referring to the two women with him] and I haven't even broken down.
    Richard: Well then you don't—
    [cut into James, who just arrived]
    James: Hello.
  • In The Vampire Diaries, vampires in general are experts at doing this using their superspeed.
  • Rounding out the Nathan Fillion-related examples is a presentation at the Spike TV 2010 VGAs where, due to an optical illusion, Fillion seems to appear from nowhere on a stage. If you're looking for it you can tell where he is.
  • Warehouse 13:
    • The enigmatic Mrs. Frederic, who rarely enters or leaves a room except via this method. Her bodyguard and the Regents (Mark Sheppard, at least) seem capable of doing it as well.
    • Artie does this once to Claudia in order to catch her disobeying his and the Regents' orders.
      Claudia: Did you just Mrs. Fredric me?
    • When Artie and Jinks see Mrs Frederic walk out of the Warehouse in "All the Time in the World", it's a sign something has gone very wrong.
    • In the Distant Finale epilogue, Claudia — as new Caretaker Miss Donovan — does this to the new agents.
  • On an episode of The West Wing, C.J. manages to sneak into Leo's office behind him without him noticing. After Leo recovers, he says, "You should wear a bell around your neck, you know?"
  • H2O: Just Add Water: Miss Chatham does this to Cleo in her first several appearances while delivering cryptic warnings.
  • Psych: In "Woman Seeking Dead Husband, Smokers Okay, No Pets" (1.4) Shawn somehow got into Lassiter's back seat while his car was parked and Lassiter and Juliet were in it on a stakeout.
    Shawn Spencer: "Shouldn't you be wondering how I managed to get in here and lounge for two minutes without either of you noticing?"

    Pro Wrestling 
  • The detective Alan Kuroki used to appear and disappear at will in Fighting Opera HUSTLE, typically scaring RG.
  • Winter achieves this either by climbing around to drop on unsuspecting wrestlers or in TNA, by virtue of being a Mirror Monster that disappears whenever a wrestler not named Angelina Love enters the scene.
  • A favourite move of Lucha Underground manager Catrina, usually invoked against face luchas like Fenix and possibly achievable because of her supernatural nature. Lampshaded by Dario Cueto during one of her sudden appearances ("you like doing that, like a ghost") and taken to an extreme when she managed to vanish from a casket at ringside.
  • If The Undertaker isn't making one of his big, dramatic entrances, he's doing this. Many a hapless victim has heard the gong, had the lights go out, and found Taker standing there when they came back on.

  • A Running Gag in Hut33 is Minka suddenly appearing and butting into the conversation, making everyone else in the room jump. And scream in terror.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Starblazer Adventures, based on the 1970's-80's British science fiction comic book. The Quick Exit and Vanish stunts allow you to do the "Bye" version of this out of combat and during combat, respectively. Using the Vanish stunt requires a dramatic flourish such as a smoke bomb or bright flash.
  • Maid RPG has a few different versions. As a maid, if you get the power 'Trespass', you can intrude on any scene - including if another character uses the power that makes another dimension solely for them and one other character. The power 'Stalking' makes you completely undetectable while following someone, so you could just appear after following them. And then of course there's "Teleport". As a butler, you can also get "Stalking". You can also get "Now You See Him..." which is exactly this, or "Two as One", which is limited to appearing near the master when in danger. As these have nothing to do with colors, you could even be wearing rainbow tie-die dress or suit while doing this.
  • Hollow Earth Expedition supplement Mysteries of the Hollow Earth. The Hermit will guide lost travelers to the edge of the Northern twilight region so they can return to the surface world. If after taking a few steps to the south they turn and look back, he will have mysteriously disappeared.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: The 3.5 supplement Exemplars of Evil has a monk alternate class feature called "Invisible Fist". It allows one to turn invisible for 1 round every 4 rounds. Very useful in fights, of course, but can also be used to make sneaky entrances and departures, without wasting any ressource for such theatrics.

    Video Games 
  • Assassin's Creed allows you to do this when killing guards or targets, but for a non-gameplay example, this is how Altaïr kills one of his targets in the intro video.
    • Brotherhood also does this with your assassins. When you call them, they will immediately pop out of any nearby hiding space and attack.
  • Half-Life. The G-Man has this habit, which is lampshaded in Concerned when Gordon Frohman spots him hiding several times.
  • Sans from Undertale pops in and out as he pleases.
  • King Trode likes to do this to put a tag on dramatic scenes in Dragon Quest VIII. Every time he does so, Yangus leaps away and yells "COR BLIMEY!"
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
    • A shopkeeper does this to Link, then admits that it's a hobby of his. He doesn't like it much when Link manages to pull this on him.
    • Tetra likes this one as well. She pulls it once on Link and once on Ganondorf.
  • Gilgamesh pulls one of these, played for laughs, after the final battle with him in Final Fantasy XII.
  • Garrett does this to half the people he meets in Thief: Deadly Shadows, including the Big Bad. His mentor manages to pull the same trope over on him once, however, in a hilarious and brilliant inversion.
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl:
    • At one point in "Subspace Emissary" mode, Princess Peach offers Fox a cup of tea to defuse a fight between him and Sheik. Not only is she able to pull a tea set out of thin air in the moment Fox glances away, but Sheik is also able to pour herself a cup during that same moment. Mundane Utility at its finest.
    • Sheik also did it straight in Ocarina of Time on at least one occasion, although she usually uses a Deku nut as a distraction.
    • This is also done by Impa the first time Link meets her. It is suggested that Zelda picked up many of Impa's techniques for use as Shiek.
    • The Pokémon Trainer also does this during Subspace Emissary gameplay, and in large scrolling multiplayer stages. The Trainer himself trails his Pokémon at all times. However, he doesn't follow its movements over Bottomless Pits and similar obstacles. So, the Pokémon can leave the Trainer behind to leap over pits, onto platforms, down elevators... only to find the Trainer inexplicably waiting on the other side.
  • In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Lucien Lachance will sneak up on you when you sleep (and the right conditions are met) to engage your first meeting. When the meeting is over he will use a powerful invisibility spell to hide himself, then leave the room. It's supposed to emulate this trope, but fun things like detection spells, dispelling, and the ability to speak to him tend to ruin the moment.
    • In a way, it's sort of a subversion — the game's makers could have just had him disappear into thin air, but they decided to do it realistically within their game's rules, and let the player not get "Gordoned" if they're actively trying to avoid it.
    • Try following him though a door, suddenly he's gone, spooky....
  • Vitali from Soul Nomad & the World Eaters does this constantly, much to the annoyance of Gig who inevitably gets spooked by his appearance whenever he does it.
  • A favorite tactic of serpent thieves in Achaea, who rely on various semi-invisibility tricks to creep into rooms and remain unnoticed while they plant hypnotic suggestions in their victim's mind, only revealing themselves at the last moment to snap their fingers in front of the victim's face and activate the suggestions. One prominent thief likes to play this trope literally, saying "Hi." at the moment of the snap.
  • One of Alma's favorite tricks in F.E.A.R. Justified, as she's a psychic ghost who can teleport at will.
  • The aptly-named Houdini Splicers in BioShock are big fans of this one, appearing and disappearing in a cloud of crimson smoke, usually right in front of you or, in your initial encounter with one, right behind you without any warning whatsoever, with hands ablaze.
  • Played straight with the Lutece's in BioShock Infinite who can appear and disappear at will and sometimes to use shadows caused by flickering lights to cover it.
  • Tales of Xillia has this as Jude's ability, called 'Snap Pivot'. Backstepping just as he's about to get hit by an enemy, he flashsteps behind them. It actually gets lampshaded in a skit that this is what he does, once the player has used Snap Pivot a lot.
    Alvin: I don't see Jude anywhere...
    Jude: [pops up out of nowhere] You called?
  • There's a neat little trick in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty where you can get an early peek at at a villain who will come in next scene. You can only see him by looking in first-person mode while unarmed (and his face will be partially obscured), and the second time you try it, he'll be gone(cue creepy fanfare).
    • Played straight in the same game by Mr. X, shortly after giving Raiden a cell phone.
    • In the ending to Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, Solid Snake pulled this off on Holly and Campbell, although Campbell implies that this has happened before.
  • A rather unusual version of this occurs in The World Ends with You. Before Shiki and Neku make a pact by the statue of Haichiko, Joshua is standing right next to Neku. After the cutscene however, he's disappeared.
  • Government agent Mike Toreno does this to C.J. throughout his missions in GTA: San Andreas. C.J. eventually admits "that guy's like the devil".
  • In Vagrant Story, the mysterious Sydney does this. Ashley enters an empty room, looks around and sees nothing, then turns toward the door he entered. As he tries to open it, he finds it is inexplicably locked. He turns around again to face the room, and Sydney is there. Their conversation is intriguing. How he got inside or whether he was hiding there the whole time is never explained.
  • Faith does this in Mirror's Edge when speaking to a detective. The detective looks away briefly when he hears sounds, turns back toward Faith and she is gone. It turns out the sounds he heard were Faith's footsteps as she was vanishing while he was looking at her.
  • A Gmod addon called The Harmless Companion Cube remains still in plain sight and rewards players who look away with cold, unyielding steel between the shoulders.
  • Onikage from the Tenchu series is a demonic practicioner of this type of exit. One of his best was following a defeat by Ayame in Wrath of Heaven. The camera pans so that his body is behind her for only a split second, and he is gone. There are a number of other examples from the series. They are Ninja after all.
  • Played with in Xenosaga episode I, when chaos pulls this off in his first appearance. KOS-MOS re-checks her secondary sensors and sees that yes, he really did just appear out of nowhere. It's just the first clue that this Pretty Boy is far more than he seems.
  • In Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis, Flay got this down pat, startling Vayne several times with his sudden appearance. Nicely averted when Vayne starts to look to where Flay should be at... then he walks through the door.
  • In Jade Empire, Sagacious Zu likes to pull this on the party while you're infiltrating the Lotus Assassin Fortress. He's even good enough to appear from nowhere in Death's Hand's throne room for his Heroic Sacrifice.
  • In Daxter, Taryn does this to Daxter.
  • Breath of Fire II has an interesting version of this. Characters tend to sneak in behind word bubbles.
  • In Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, Yuffie has a habit of popping in at the end of certain missions.
  • Mass Effect 2:
    • Thane will do this during his loyalty mission. He stops to pray in the middle of a well-lit street, and as he finishes the prayer, two people cross in front of him. As soon as they pass, he's gone. The Shadow Broker archives have a video clip of him stepping into a shadow and not coming out the other side.
    • It seems to be a drell thing, as Feron does the same in the closing cinematic for the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC during a momentary power outage.
    • Kasumi's special attack — she Lampshades it with her "Now you see me..."
    • Shepard himself does this in one scene. Cloaking devices are nice, huh?
    • In Mass Effect 3, the kid during the Vancouver blitz vanishes without a trace and without making a sound, while inside a rather echoey air vent, in the split second Shepard looks away. The implausibility of this has led to the kid in question appearing regularly in discussions of the Indoctrination Theory.
  • In [PROTOTYPE], Alex Mercer seems to be able to teleport in addition to his Person of Mass Destruction and Plague Master status. For example, he manages to get the jump on his ex-boss despite the fact that the morgue security camera confirmed he was still there less than a fraction of a second earlier. Of course, this scares the hell out of everyone else, particularly given that Alex is basically The Thing (1982) save the Antarctic environment and extraterrestrial origins.
  • Kingdom Hearts is full of them. Riku and Mickey are quite good at it, but the Organization 13 are experts. Xaldin manages to sneak up on Roxas, but the best example has to be Xion and Roxas, who manage to disappear in front of Carpet and Genie... in the middle of a vast open desert... while wearing black robes. That takes skill. Or a black swirling vortex that they use to travel between the worlds...
  • Team Fortress 2: The Spy's playstyle revolves around these.
  • Unintentional: One of the Sherlock Holmes adventure games, "Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis", wants Watson to always hang around the player (Holmes) so that you can talk to him. Watson doesn't have a walk animation, however. It gets really creepy.
  • The titular oni of Ao Oni is a master of this. He'll pop out from fireplaces, closets he's (logically) too big to fit in, rooms you were just in — that only had that one entrance! — and will even use the game's large black text boxes to its own advantage when the opportunity arises (which is notably played for laughs in the "South Park" version and even lampshaded by that version's Takeshi).
  • The Anguished One in Devil Survivor 2 likes doing this. He's so good at it that the hero, despite being very much The Stoic, can in one instance get freaked out enough to outright yell at him to cut it out.
  • Stefan in the Fire Emblem Tellius series consistently joins the party by sneaking onto the battlefield out of nowhere from a space he should have theoretically been visible from (i.e. one that was near but not an edge space). Additionally, in his first info conversation in Path of Radiance, Ike asks him "What the...? Um...who are you? How long have you been a member of my troop?."
    • Kellam from Awakening has it worse. Despite wearing gigantic shiny armor, he manages to be unseen by everyone. It even takes over a chapter for the characters to notice that he was there from the start, and he has to be re-recruited by the very group he's working with! Apparently he doesn't make any noise when he moves, and he tends to assume conversations are over before they really are, which is why several characters experience him "disappearing" on them as they're speaking to him.
    • Saizo from Fates is capable of doing this since he's a ninja (albeit a rather loud one), and in his supports with his prospect girlfriend Charlotte he trolls her via invoking the trope several times on her.
      • Setsuna from the same game also has a tendency of doing this. She even manages to surprise Kaze, another ninja, with how quietly she sneaks up on him.
  • In Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland, Totori's father is an absolute master of this. In nearly every conversation with him, the characters freak out after his first line and wonder when he showed up. In his case, it's because he has so little presence that even his own daughters often forget he's there.
  • Suikoden:
    • A character joins your party using this trope in Suikoden III — simply travel through the appropriate area with space in your party, and he'll somehow slip into your ranks with no warning or notification whatsoever.
    • Ditto the flying squirrels in Suikoden II. While Mukumuku can be recruited in another way, the other four only appear if you wander around a certain area with a space in your party and wait.
  • Shadow the Hedgehog, of Sonic the Hedgehog fame, pulls off an absolutely awesome subversion in "The Fall" stage of his titular game. The GUN Commander gives him a (completely unjustified) You Killed Maria rant with a gun between Shadow's eyes, then pulls the trigger while the camera is on his face. Cue the camera cutting to behind the Commander — revealing Shadow is gone. And then panning down to reveal Shadow is standing behind the Commander, arms crossed.
  • In the Greed trailer for Crusader Kings II the Spymaster does this, repeatedly.
  • In the beginning of Mortal Kombat 9, tournament host Shang Tsung declares he will be the final opponent for the winner. Johnny Cage turns to the others and pokes fun at Shang's age, then is shocked when a displeased Shang is suddenly right next to him when he had previously been on the other side of the room.
  • Space Station 13 allows one to do this with some preparation or quick thinking, making the skill essential for any antagonist seeking to elude Security or get the drop on a kill objective. Common methods include smoke reactions or spells, vent crawling, cloaking devices, chameleon projectors, opening doors the player did not use while closing the ones that were passed, and hiding in a locker or trash bin after turning a corner. Less common methods usually revolve around the hard-to-obtain hand teleporter, teleporter stations and cleverly placed beacons, or the Teleport and Ethereal Jaunt spells.

  • MS Saga: A New Dawn has Hal Vizardt do this twice in the final dungeon of the game. Once when the main character is trapped alone and ambushed, and again when fighting the final boss.

    Visual Novels 
  • Hiroshi in Family Project has a tendency to either teleport into the screen or somehow sneak into the attic and from there gain access through to the bathroom ceiling to make sure he is present at any events he feels he should be at. Or at least to cling upsidedown to the bathroom ceiling. It's not exactly clear how he does strange things like this and is chalked up to the fact that he is pretty insane.

    Web Animation 
  • Agent Washington in Red vs. Blue: Reconstruction Chapter 5. From Church's comment, "I hate when they do that." It's a common Freelancer habit.
  • Both Condor and especially Kid do this in The LeBrons episode "Coach", when an angry Gloria chases them down the school hall for stealing a book that she wrote.
  • Penny pulls this off in RWBY, causing Ruby to ask where she came from.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Fubar of the Whateley Universe likes to pop in behind people. (Yes, his codename is really Fubar.) Since it's not his real body but an astral projection with telekinesis to give it the appearance of solidity, he can pop in and out whenever he wants.
  • On Atop the Fourth Wall, Bear does this from time to time.
  • Todd in the Shadows does it in two Crossover videos, with The Rap Critic (vanishing when the Critic suggested a Lady Gaga review) and Film Brain (first, appearing in a locked bedroom; then, leaving when FB suggested to watch more The Asylum movies; and finally, appearing again when asked how the hell Todd vanished). He eventually explains that he "moves in the space between spaces".
  • Ystos from Noob is prone to doing this when using his assassin avatar, frequently creeping up behind other players while they're talking or distracted.
  • Azrael of Gaijin Smash fame was once haunted by a Japanese Schoolgirl who would appear out of nowhere, shout "boobs!", then disappear again.

    Western Animation 
  • In the American Dad! episode "Failure Is Not a Factory-Installed Option", Stan loses his confidence in his persuasive skills so he goes to see his Sensei. When he returns he enters and exits every scene by pulling a Stealth Hi/Bye, complete with a Sting. When the car salesman still manages to get the best of Stan, he attempts a Stealth Bye, only for the camera to pan over and show him with his head in the mailbox. "Damn! I can't even exit mysteriously anymore!"
  • Animaniacs: Yakko, Wakko & Dot, being modern inheritors of Bugs-style cartoon antics, pulled this a lot.
    Mr. Director: Hoyl! How'd you... with the going... you were there... [turns back to where they were standing before, and there they are again] but here now... [turns back forwards, where the Warners are standing in front of them once more] you are... for me to see... how'd you do...
  • Arthur: DW occasionally does this to Arthur.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Azula pulls this in the first episode of season 2. She waits for Zuko and Iroh by sitting in the shadows of the house they are staying in, and waits several seconds before interrupting their conversation. Given where she was sitting, they should have been able to see her.
    • Katara also does this in the middle of season 2. On their way to stop the drill from taking down Ba Sing Se, she approaches the guy who's fixing the drill, says a short "Hi", and freezes him so that the others could get the blueprints.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • Eska pulls an impressive one on Bolin at the end of Book 2, nearly giving him (and the viewers) a heart-attack.
    • Iroh pulls a Stealth Bye on Tenzin, Kya, and Bumi at the end of Book 2 — from right in front of them. They all glance at each other for just a moment, and when they look back he's gone. Though it's probably justified, considering that Iroh is now a spirit, and they're in the Spirit World.
  • Birdman. Although the title hero doesn't normally do this, he does at the end of "Versus the Speed Demon" while the prison warden is telling him what will happen to the re-captured villain.
  • In Code Lyoko, the heroes frequently pull this kind of exit on any bystander whenever they hear about a XANA attack. Actually Lampshaded by William about Yumi in "Sabotage":
    William: As usual, she couldn't wait to give me the slip...
  • Fenwick keeps doing this to Bob Santino in Dogstar. Any time he asks where she is, it can be almost guaranteed that she will be standing right behind him.
  • In Droopy's case, there's often more than one Droopy. Whenever the antagonist wonders how Droopy can be everywhere at once, it turns out there are hundreds of them.
  • In Dungeons & Dragons, a typical episode begins with Dungeon Master saying something off-screen, the characters going "Dungeon Master!" and then cutting to him as he gives out a set of cryptic clues and warnings, before either the characters look away, or he walks behind a tree or rock — and not appearing on the other side.
  • Family Guy:
    • Parodied when Stewie and Brian are standing by the side of the road, and note that they need a quick escape. A truck passes in front of them, and they're gone. Then the camera pans a few feet down the road. Brian and Stewie are standing there.
      Brian: It would probably have been a good idea to get on that truck.
    • Something similar happens in the first Chicken Fight between Ernie and Peter Griffin: Ernie the Giant Chicken manages to escape by Peter unintentionally knocking him onto a truck passing under the overpass, with Peter being shocked at letting the Giant Chicken escape. After waving Peter goodbye, the Giant Chicken smugly turns around, only to express shock at Peter being at the next overpass, who then proceeds to jump onto the truck after him.
  • The Robot Devil tries this in one episode of Futurama, vanishing in a cloud of smoke in an opera house. Cut to him running up the aisle while everyone is distracted.
  • Snake Eyes from G.I. Joe: Renegades, as befitting any self-respecting ninja.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: Jade does this everytime her Uncle Jackie Chan tells her to stay away. Every. Mission. From opposite sides of San Fran, America, the world, and even IN SPACE.
  • Johnny Bravo:
    • Parodied when a villain throws a smoke grenade and gives an Evil Laugh, but when the smoke clears, he hasn't moved at all.
    • In another episode, the smoke in was parodied. Johnny had unwittingly summoned up a devil from the underworld with a ritual that ended with a puff of smoke in his living room, but with no infernal adviser showing up. To his credit, a devil came in through the front door Within the next few seconds, rushed to the spot where he should have appeared, and laughed maniacally before introducing himself.
  • Jonny Quest TOS episode "Werewolf of the Timberland". White Feather disappeared repeatedly while talking to Jonny and Hadji.
  • Looney Tunes: Bugs Bunny does this all the time. Also Daffy, and in one of his cartoons, "The Little Man from the Draft Board".
  • The penguins, both in Madagascar and The Penguins of Madagascar.
    • The human antagonist in the TV series adaptation, Officer X, is even stealthier, to the point that even the penguins themselves have to spend half an episode unsuccessfully trying to elude him to go for a swim at a nearby lake after he became a zookeeper.
    • In addition, there is Savio, a suave boa constrictor from the Hoboken Zoo who curbstomped the penguins multiple times, easily avoided their bombs and traps, and surprising them when they least expect it.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic:
    • Pinkie Pie can do this. The strongest examples come from the episode "Green Isn't Your Color", where Pinkie is able to appear from an apple cart (with apple in hoof, of course) and from a bucket of sponges smaller than her.
      Pinkie: FOREVER!
    To clarify, Pinkie said this from inside a mirror.
    • Zecora pulls this off in "The Cutie Pox". After she cures Applebloom's condition, she stays just long enough to offer the filly some sage advice before mysteriously vanishing, much to the amazement of all present.
    • Trixie... tries. She uses a smoke bomb, but everyone can still see her running away once it disperses — in her second appearance, she trips.
  • Mr. Burns once attempted this in The Simpsons, disappearing in a cloud of smoke (laughing maniacally as he did so), in order to avoid paying a sum of money. When the smoke cleared, he had only just managed to get the exit door open and shouted something along the lines of "Oh, fine! Take it!"
  • Parodied in South Park (in The Dark Knight parody episode "The Coon"), when Cartman's titular alter ego does this to the police repeatedly in each conversation, only to reappear on the other side of the room. Oddly enough, only Da Chief has to look away for him to do this — the rest of the force is still looking at him. Rival hero "Mysterion" plays it straight.
  • Star Wars Rebels:
    • At the end of "Spark of Rebellion", Kanan pulls it on Ezra twice while on the top level of the old communications tower Ezra lives in. Jedi tend to be good at this by default.
    • In "Through Imperial Eyes", Agent Kallus pulls one on Ezra when they're in Thrawn's office. Ezra doesn't even hear the door opening and closing. This is especially impressive because normally, when you have a Jedi, a non-Force-user and this trope, it's usually the Jedi pulling it on the non-Force-user instead of the other way around.
  • Storm Hawks: In the penultimate episode, Cyclonis does this a few times with Piper, popping up in front of/behind her. This was some sort of mental telepathic conversation they had, so it overlaps with Mind Rape and Circling Monologue.
  • In Superman: The Animated Series Clark sometimes does it when he has to be Superman, leaving Lois to wonder where the hell Clark is.
  • Teen Titans:
    • Slade combines this with Behind the Black. Terra sees Slade's reflection in a mirror and turns around to face him (and we actually see Terra facing in Slade's direction while his reflection remains motionless in the mirror) but when the camera angle changes to show where Slade should be standing, he's already gone.
    • Slade also manages to pull this several times in the Season 1 climax, on Robin. You know, the guy who was trained by Batman.
  • Dawn from Total Drama Revenge of the Island tends to appear and disappear without warning.
  • In the end of Turtles Forever, the Mirage Comics Turtles pull the bye part on their animated counterparts. 80s Raph approves.
  • Thomas the Tank Engine does this during "Thomas and the Jet Engine", when Thomas passes Gordon of all engines.
    Gordon: Tempting Fate I am the fastest.
    Thomas: Hi Gordon, bye Gordon.
  • Lucy Loud from The Loud House always does this whenever she appears. It is one of the shows most recurring jokes.

    Real Life 
  • Sam Witwer and Sam Huntington of Being Human (US) seem to enjoy pulling this on each other when one of them is being interviewed.
  • Sir Anthony Hopkins was said to have pranked several people during the filming of The Silence of the Lambs via quietly approaching them from behind and suddenly saying "good morning" when they didn't expect it.
  • A well-known moment during the town hall-style U.S. Presidential debate of 2000: While answering an audience member's question, George W. Bush turned his head and was surprised to see that his opponent Al Gore had very suddenly appeared standing close to his face. Bush smiled, nodded at Gore, and continued talking, eliciting laughter from the crowd. Even Gore appeared to find the incident Actually Pretty Funny.

Alternative Title(s): Subtle Sneak