Elaine: Yeah, but we reversed positions, so there was no funny business.
Jerry: Reversed positions?
Elaine: Yeah, you know, head to toe.
Jerry: So what? Your genitals are still lined up.
Elaine: No, because I slept with my back to him. (long pause)
Two characters have to share a room for the night. Every room is occupied, but fortunately there is one last room available.
There's just one problem — there's only one bed, and the characters aren't comfortable sharing it.
A source of embarrassment, Unresolved Sexual Tension, or at the very least fuel for shippers everywhere, this is when two who aren't in a relationship (at the time) have to share a bed, for whatever reason.
It speaks to one's character if they insist on sleeping on the floor (or, in slightly more luxurious settings, the couch); often this will make the other upset that they then have to "owe" that person. It also speaks of their character if they demand the other person take the floor.
If one of the characters is a woman, then she will almost always end up with the bed due to one of two scenarios. The first is the woman forces the poor guy to sleep on the floor and the second is the Nice Guy volunteering to do so.
See also Innocent Cohabitation, Sleep Cute. Contrast with Sleeping Single. See: Exiled to the Couch for when married or romantic couples kick someone out as punishment, possibly for Blanket Tug O' War (which also affects non-romantic couples as well).
Shows up in far too many fanfics to attempt documentation. Usually played for shipping purposes, but can occasionally be used for comedic value.
A common complication is that one person goes to sleep on the floor or couch, but then ends up in the only bed anyway. Maybe they get a chill, or fall off the couch, or feel incredibly uncomfortable - but for whatever reason, despite being resolved not to share the bed, by morning they end up together anyway.
Not about limited art assets.
- Koyuki and Maho (LOTS of UST there) of BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad share a single bed in an episode where she crashes at his house, but nothing ends up happening between them.
- Amnesiac Makoto in Kanon insists on sleeping with Yuuichi because Pirozhki the cat is sleeping with him one night. It turns out there's another reason, and then we all get really, really sad.
- Conan and Ran in Detective Conan. Ran doesn't think anything of sleeping in the same bed as her little friend during one dangerous night, not knowing who he actually is; Conan is distracted enough by it to not be able to focus on the case. And in a subversion, this saves Ran's life, as she had been targeted by the killer of the case and he attacked them right after they went to bed; since Conan was still awake, he managed to push Ran aside so she wouldn't be hit by said killer's axe, and this woke up Ran and allowed her to repel the killer's following attack.
- Lyrical Nanoha:
- Since Nanoha's and Fate's large room with a large fluffy bed (which at a casual glance appears to be large enough to comfortably sleep at least five people) in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Strikers was specifically built with them in mind, Nanoha/Yuuno and Nanoha/Fate fans argue whether they should fall under this trope or Shipping Bed Death. Thanks to Word of Gay, it's canonically the latter.
- Hayate and Vita actually did this trope before Nanoha and Fate back during Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's. It's unknown if the two of them still share a bed now but the Fourth Sound Stage for Strikers has a scene where the two of them hold each other in bed while talking about the events of the cradle and ends with the two of them falling asleep in each others arms.
- In the flashback of episode two of Strikers, Nanoha, Fate and Hayate and Reinforce Zwei sleep in the same bed while wearing the shirts and skirts of their respective uniforms. Nanoha doesn't even wear her skirt.
- In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Vivid, the four members of Team Nakajima sleep in the same bed at the training camp. This might be justified, since the Alpines have eleven guests and their house is not a hotel, actually (even though Lutecia claims otherwise). This gives some Ship Tease between Vivio and Einhard as well as Rio and Corona.
- In Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force, the recruit trio live in the same room, but there are only two beds. The trio includes one guy (Thoma) and two girls (Lily and Isis). Thoma and Lily are the ones sharing a bed, but it's justified in that they can't be too far apart from each other since Lily's proximity is the only thing keeping Thoma from succumbing to the Eclipse.
- Pretty Cure:
- Nagisa and Honoka from Futari wa Pretty Cure, to the delight of yuri shippers everywhere. This happens when Nagisa stays over night.
- Yes! Pretty Cure 5 took it further with its expanded cast (five members). Much further. Further enough that shippers of all kinds decided it was probably best not to read any meaning into it.
- In Doki Doki Pretty Cure, when Rikka spends nights with Mana, they sleep in two futons next to each other. The very close futons can be considered as one bed. Makoto spends a night with Mana, too. Also Alice spent some nights with Mana.
- Hana and Ruru from Hugtto! Pretty Cure.
- Lina and Gourry from Slayers have to share a room in a tavern. Lina insists that Gourry takes the bed because of the circumstances leading to such a situation (and because being Lina. she's embarrassed), but at the end they both sleep on the floor, since Gourry thinks it's not chivalrous to sleep comfortably while she's not.
- Subverted two ways in Code Geass. When C.C. shows up unexpectedly and enters Pretty Freeloaders mode, she immediately takes over Lelouch's bed, remarking "A gentleman would sleep on the floor." A few episodes later they're sharing the bed, but there's absolutely no sexual tension because Lelouch doesn't even treat C.C. like a human being (let alone a woman), and C.C.'s too jaded by her past to really care. And it's a big bed, so they don't exactly have to spoon.
- In Patlabor Gotoh and Shinobu get stuck in a major storm on their way back from a conference. The only place they find to stay is a love hotel, which naturally only has a single bed. He offers to sleep on the couch, of course (whereupon Shinobu points out there's only one blanket as well). The situation is complicated by Gotoh's blatant crush on Shinobu.
- In Fatal Fury: the Motion Picture, Shiranui Mai is all a-twitter that the hotel room she and her boyfriend Andy Bogard are staying in only has one bed. Andy is often more focused on staying fit and prepared in case he finds himself having to fight someone more than indulging in his flirtatious girlfriend. Andy then sleeps on the couch just to spite her advances.
- Ran and Midori from Telepathy Shoujo Ran share a bed on several occasions.
- Parodied in Candy Boy, when Sakuya imagines a king sized bed for what would happen in Spring if she and Kanade shared a room, in which Sakuya custom designed. Kanade replies, to herself, with "Wait, why is there only one bed?" with an obviously annoyed look on her face.
- In one arc of Shugo Chara!, Ikuto lives in Amu's room for while. Amu tries to make him sleep on the floor but Ikuto, being Ikuto, just crawls back in the bed.
- In Ranma ½, for reasons that make sense in context, Ranma and Akane have to pretend to be married. Which means to keep up the ruse, they have to share Akane's room for the night. The trope isn't played out, as Ranma sleeps on the floor.
- By a third party's intervention in Dual, Kazuki and Mitsuki are not only forced to spend a night together, but also nude. It doesn't help that of the Harem, she's the least active in looking for his affection.
- Fushigi Yuugi has this happen twice in the manga. In the first instance, Miaka and Tamahome are fresh into the relationship but were placed in a single bed to get some battle injuries healed (it's not that kind of healing, but they still get bonus points for having been deprived entirely of clothes by Taiitsukun); the next time, Tamahome ends up on the floor due to Virgin Power and all that, but after a tender little conversation, he goes up to Miaka's bed and promptly falls asleep before they get to third base. The anime only has the first instance.
- Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex provides us with an episode in 2nd Gig where the Motoko goes to Taiwan to investigate a lead in the Individual Eleven case. She helps a young pickpocket get away from a local Triad gang and even lets him bunk in her hotel room for the night. The bed itself was large enough that both of them could spread eagle and not touch each other or the sides of the bed. Subverted in that when the kid asks if cyborgs can have sex, Motoko half-jokingly offers, and he refuses. Stupid kid...
- In the manga version of The Vision of Escaflowne, Van and Hitomi are in a room with only one bed. Van says to her that he can't stand brats like her, but he won't mind sharing the bed. Hitomi punches him and demands that he sleeps on the floor.
- In Cat Planet Cuties after Kio's house becomes the Catian Embassy and Aoi and Manami get drafted as its security detail, they end up sharing Kio's bed, having ejected Kio himself to the couch.
- In Spice and Wolf, Holo teases Lawrence about saving money by taking a room with a single bed. It doesn't really matter, since they usually sleep together in a not-particularly spacious cart while traveling anyway.
- In Axis Powers Hetalia, whether or not there is an extra bed at Germany's house we will never know, because Italy insists on sleeping in the same bed as him — either naked (original comic) or in his undies (anime).
- Goes from awful to absolute worst in the Midori Days manga. The class goes to a ski resort, and Seiji and Ayase get lost in a snowstorm. Freezing cold, they decide to spend the night in an awkwardly-placed love hotel, with one bed. Ayase divides the bed with a blanket - that doesn't stop things when they accidentally start up some of the... kinkier mechanics of the bed. And then the entire class finds them.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion's only episode with Kaworu shows him sharing his bedroom with Shinji. However, Shinji insists on sleeping on the floor since he asked Kaworu to let him spend the night there in the first place.
- No. 6: In the novels, it is expressly stated that Nezumi and Sion share a bed at night.
- Creo the Crimson Crises has Creo use this as her excuse as to why she climbed into bed with Suou when she was asleep. Suou and her sister Akane don't buy it, and it probably wasn't helped by the fact that Creo was naked when she slept with Suou.
- One episode of Trigun has resident Chivalrous Pervert Vash offering his services as a bodyguard to a pretty girl. She thinks that someone might be out to kill her, and he jumps at the opportunity to have a little fun. She books two hotel rooms for the night, one for each of them, but she secretly switches her room with Vash's just to play it safe. While Vash is laying on his bed, a grenade flies in through the window and blows the whole room apart, launching Vash and his bed outside into the street. Vash asks if he could then sleep in the same room as her, not caring if this trope is put into effect or not, but she denies his request by saying that he already has a bed...
- In The Familiar of Zero, Louise made Saito sleep on the floor, but starting in season 2 let him share her bed. Much to Louise's chagrin, Siesta is assigned as Saito's maid and shares their bed. At one point in season 4, Tabitha joined their bed, and squeezed Louise out.
- As Touma of A Certain Magical Index lives in a single-bedroom apartment, he sleeps in the bathroom tub while allowing Index to sleep in the actual bed.
- My Monster Secret: Due to a series of improbable events (helped by the principal using her powers to put them in a position to bang because she thinks it's funny), Asahi and Youko end up trapped in her bedroom at night. First she suggests he take the bed, which he refuses. She refuses as well, and gets halfway through suggesting they share it before she realizes what she's saying. They both end up sleeping on the floor.
- Senki Zesshou Symphogear: Hibiki and Miku are roommates in their school and they share one bed. It's not that they are not two beds in their room. Actually, they do have a bunk bed, but they decide to sleep on the top bunk for whatever reason. When they have their relationship crisis, Miku decides to sleep on the bottom bunk to avoid Hibiki.
- A gag OVA from the second season eventually reveals that since their original dorm room was a tad too small for them, they were using the bottom bed as a makeshift storage room. After the school is destroyed at the end of season 1 they move to a much bigger room... but keep sleeping in the same bed anyway, because Hibiki reflexively unpacked all their stuff in the new bottom bunk and Miku didn't really want to correct her.
- Free!: In one of the later episodes of Eternal Summer, Rin takes Haruka to Australia with him. When they check into a hotel the night before they go see Rin's transfer parents, it turns out the hotel gave them a room with just one bed. Played for Laughs when Haru, who has never been outside of Japan, says that things like that are probably common in Australia, only to be told by Rin that it's not. Come the actual sharing-the-bed scene, there's a crazy amount of Ship Tease.
- Haruhi Suzumiya: Kyon and Mikuru have to share a futon when having Yuki send them back to their own time (by time-freezing the room they're in for three years), leading to much freaking out on both their parts. From their perspective though, they only had to share for a few seconds before Yuki opened the door again and they were back in the present. The anime adaptation changes this to each of them having their own futon... but still freaking out for some reason.
- Double Arts: Since the male and female leads must remain in constant physical contact at all times or she will die, they naturally have to share a bed. They tie their hands together to make sure they don't separate in their sleep, and Elraine usually insists on putting a curtain or other barrier between them.
- In one of the Superman/Batman annuals, Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne, both ignorant of the other's secret identity, are forced to share a room with a single bed. They weren't very happy about it.
- Scott Pilgrim and his gay roommate Wallace have to share a futon because their apartment is apparently too small for another bed. Or Scott being a total freeloader who doesn't want to spring for a bed of his own.
- In The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Quatermain and Murray visit a school, posing as a married couple, with Nemo as their servant. They are shown to their rooms: a big one with a huge luxurious bed for the "married couple", and a small one the size of a closet with a tiny cot for the "servant". Nemo imperiously informs Mina that "you will, of course, take the single room"... Cut to Quatermain and Nemo both squeezed into the servant's room, and Quatermain's sardonic comment of "Women" and Nemo's admission that women are "hardly my strong point."
- Zigzagged in Belgian comic Les démons d'Alexia (Alexia's demons). Alexia is actually surprised her assistant Berenice rented a room with two beds. Then the local correspondent enters the room, and falls on one bed, exhausted. Berenice asks how they will deal with this, and the answer is off-panel. Notice that Alexia and Berenice are Ambiguously Gay, but Berenice is much more extroverted (she's the one who invited Alexia to go sunbathing naked).
- Vanity and his Mirror Self in The Smurfs comic book story "The Hundredth Smurf" (and its Animated Adaptation) shared a single bed, which they didn't mind at first, but eventually found uncomfortable as they had to deal with each other tossing and turning in mirror-reversed sync.
- Circles: The bed in Taye and Marty's bedroom. They initially share it platonically (and without clothes on), but it becomes their bed when they become a couple. Made even funnier when after they become a couple, it is revealed that Taye arranged to have there be only one bed.
- In the Runaways story "It's Not Lupus", Molly and Klara are seen sharing a bed, presumably because, living in a vacation house meant for a family of three with four other housemates, beds are at a premium.
- There's a gag to this effect in the erotic comedy series Red Ears. A catholic priest and nun are traveling towards the same convention and become acquainted on the journey, but are forced to share the same hotel room, which turns out to have only one bed. Before they go to bed, the nun grabs a handful of snow from outside and puts it up to her crotch, claiming that it's to "freeze her abstinence". The priest does the same with a small crucifix and similar religious regalia, claiming that he's "putting on his snow chains".
- Played for Drama in the "The Two Brothers" as recorded by The Brothers Grimm. The one twin with his entourage of animals gets the Standard Hero Reward for slaying a dragon, marries the Princess and settles down with her. After this, however, he gets in trouble with a witch who turns him to stone. His identical twin brother, meanwhile, comes to town with his own entourage of animals (also perfectly identical twins to his brother's animals) and is immediately mistaken for his brother. When the young queen brings what she thinks is her husband to the royal bedchamber, the twin brother lays out a sharp double-edged sword between them to keep from pulling an adulterous Bed Trick on her. After he rescues his brother, this sword proves rather important to establishing his continued chastity and faithfulness to the purity of his brother's marriage.
- Aladdin does this in the original version. Having ordered his genie to kidnap the princess he's fallen in love with (while she's in bed, so he just lifts up the bed and flies off), he gets in bed with her but puts a big sword between them in case case he gets any funny ideas. This continues until the poor princess finally confesses to the sultan, who starts looking for the mystery man.
- In The Unchosen One, Twilight and Trixie ends up having to share Twilight's old bed in her old room at the castle. (They're not a couple... yet.) Trixie offers to sleep on the floor, but Twilight refuses, and insists that the bed is big enough for both of them. (It's not.)
- This is one of many Kim Possible slash fic cliches parodied in In the Hands of a Hack:
"I'm going to confirm the wood supply for the stove is inadequate and that we have a single bed and single blanket. You know where this is going, don't you?"
- In Fairy Without Wings Lelouch and Erza do a variant of this with a hammock, though initially the trope doesn't come into play because Erza chooses to keep an eye on Lelouch while he sleeps. Lelouch, being a gentleman, refuses to let Erza sleep on the ground. Solution? After figuring out that the hammock will support their weight and girth, Erza throws Lelouch onto the hammock and cuddles up with him for the night.
- Happens again with an overlap of Bedmate Reveal when Gray spends the night of what he knew would be one of many in Gildarts summer home only to find that Juvia had snuck under the covers in the middle of the night. Juvia actually quotes this trope verbatim.
- In The Party Incident And Other Embarrassing Anecdotes, Reader has brought Sans along to a friend's wedding as her "boyfriend" so as to avoid being paired up with someone else. Unfortunately, the bride was the one reserving hotel rooms for guests, and decided that, as a couple, they would likely only need a single bed. Sans and Reader awkwardly agree to treat it as a sleepover.
- In the Miraculous Ladybug fic The Space Between Us, Marinette and Adrien are forced to share a motel room while delayed on a road trip to Megève, and each stubbornly refuses to let the other take the much less comfortable couch, which Plagg eventually takes at the last minute. The two end up sharing the bed by putting up a pillow fence between them, but after Adrien falls into a particularly restless sleep, from a combination of his growing pains and his unconscious fear of the thunderstorm outside, Marinette chooses to remove the pillows and move over to try to calm him down by singing "Au Clair de la Lune". It works, and she ends up falling asleep on his chest with his arms around her. The next morning is pretty awkward, but Adrien later notes it was the best sleep he'd had in a long time.
- In this The Goblin Emperor fanfic, Beshelar ends up in such a situation and does, rather surprisingly, not volunteer to sleep on the floor. To be fair, he is married to the woman in question. They awkwardly sleep next to each other, with no funny business, prompting the woman's mother to suspect he is gay. While his sexual orientation is not confirmed either way, it seems probable that Beshelar can avoid funny business by willpower alone.
- Deliberately invoked by Dawn in AAML: Diamond and Pearl Version during Chapter 9. The group only has two rooms to stay at a hotel, so she quickly takes Brock to share one, leaving Ash and Misty with the other, which only has a single bed. Ash decides to let Misty sleep in it while he takes his sleeping bag to sleep on the floor, but she wakes up later and noticing he's rather cold and uncomfortable, she willingly lets him share the bed with her.
- In Dragon Age: Inquisition fanfic Walking in Circles, it's played for drama when Evelyn and Solas share a room after their escape from Ostwick. Evelyn is a Tranquil so she doesn't see the act of sharing a bed as anything special despite her partner's protest, but at the same time, even with her state there's still enough of her in there to want to comfort him to the point that she mimic her old self's habit of holding his hand. After that experience, Solas avoids sleeping next to her and only touches her when he needs to since the pain of seeing her like that is just too much. He still arranges for her to sleep in the same room with him, though, to take care of her better.
- In Princess Celestia Is In Your Bed, Princess Celestia from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic goes into the human world and insists on sleeping in a human named Steve's bed in exchange for being cuddled (like a puppy).
- In the Laverne & Shirley fanfiction The Bed, Laverne and Shirley have to share a bed in a hotel and they end up falling in love.
- In A Long Time Ago Harry and Salazar Slytherin have to share a bed in a small inn. Slytherin states that it's not an uncommon practice for total strangers.
- The short Josie and the Pussycats comic Of Dumb Dumbs and Pussycats revolves around this. Alexandra and Melody end up sharing a bed while at a hotel. Due to their Unresolved Sexual Tension, it leads into sex.
- Subverted in Still Running. Weiss and Blake stay in a room with only one bed. Instead of sleeping together, Blake decides that the bed is too small and it'd be more comfortable if she slept on the couch.
- In It Happened One Night (1934), the couple, (who barely know each other) have to share a room with twin beds. They hang a sheet between the two beds and call it "The Wall of Jericho." This is probably where anything similar comes from.
- In Bandits they did the sheet thing on a double bed, but it didn't last very long.
- The Pink Panther (2006). There's no actual UST, but Clouseau keeps saying exactly the wrong thing.
- Happened in Alex & Emma. Well, initially. They ended up having sex, but originally they were just going to share the bed.
- It initially shows up in MouseHunt. They are shown sharing the bed later, though Lars uses an old rug for a sheet as Ernie hogged all the others.
- In Anger Management, it's highlighted with a funny exchange:
Buddy: You know, in Europe, it's not considered unusual for three or four men to share a bed.
Dave: That's why I'm proud to be an American.
- In Mel Brooks' Life Stinks, the protagonist and the love interest, being both homeless, share... a cardboard box. A knife is used as wall between the two.
- Subverted in The Bourne Identity, where the eponymous Jason Bourne doesn't hesitate at all before preparing a space on the floor. Blink and you'll miss it.
- In Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, before Ms. Kensington showed any attraction to Austin. She made him sleep on the couch.
- The Sure Thing uses this bit three times. Only once, though, do both characters make it through the night in the bed.
- Played straight (so to speak) in Mulholland Dr., when Betty suggests to Rita that she needn't sleep on the couch, as the bed is big enough for two. As Rita disrobes and get into bed naked, Betty realizes she feels sexually attracted to her — and as it soon appears, the feeling is mutual.
- In Idiocracy, Joe and Rita have to share the Lincoln Bedroom in the White House. Joe, naturally, takes the floor, even after Rita invites him into the bed. To add to the humor, Rita is a former prostitute.
- This happened in No Holds Barred, a 1989 Hulk Hogan vehicle. They share the bed after Hulk's character puts up a barrier.
- French movie Le Bossu (released in the U.S. as On Guard) has a hilarious sequence when the Duc de Nevers is traveling to marry the woman he loves and needs to share a bed with his new friend Lagardére. As they get into bed, the Duc comments that his marriage will surprise a relative who "thinks I only like boys. Ever dabbled in sodomy?" The unnerved look on Lagardére's face is priceless. So is the way he clutches at the blankets.
- In Outsourced, a movie about an American guy training a call center in India, the main character and his romantic interest are forced to share a room at a Kama Sutra hotel since it's the last room / last hotel available and it's the honeymoon suite. They somehow end up consummating their romantic tension due to the circumstances. The movie is a bit of a cliche storm, albeit a cute one.
- In The Illusionist, by Sylvain Chomet, there's only one bed in the room that Tatischeff and Alice stay in. Tatischeff opts to sleep on the sofa.
- The Professional (International Cut). After Léon turns down the Fille Fatale Mathilda's offer to sleep with him, Mathilda insists that at the very least he share the bed with her and not sleep on the couch. Leon is justly cautious, but nothing untoward happens. In the US cut they just wake up in bed together with no explanation.
- In Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Neal and Del have to stay in a hotel room with only one bed. Hilarity Ensues when they wake up.
Neal: Del... Why did you kiss my ear?Del: Why are you holding my hand?Neal: Where's your other hand?Del: Between two pillows...Neal: Those aren't pillows!
- The movie Leap Year has one of these scenes, although it makes sense as the pair are staying in a religious bed and breakfast and are pretending to be married in order to wait out a storm there. Funny because at first Declan gets the bed (after tricking Anna in a coin toss) and then Anna gets the bed (after realizing she's been tricked like ten minutes later) and then Anna takes pity on Declan for having to sleep in the shower. They wake up to realize they've been snuggling.
- The Proposal: Because the family thinks that they're engaged, they are given a room with only one bed. It goes without saying, in-universe, that Andrew takes the floor.
- In Far and Away, when Shannon loses everything, Joseph and Shannon have to take up rent in a whorehouse for a long time. There's only one bed, which she gets, of course. However, after an arguement their first day there, he uses her pillow for the night and fluffs it up a little just to annoy her.
Shannon: Give me back my pillow.Joseph: Not in a hundred years.
- In Superman II when Lois and Clark are trying to bust a honeymoon racket in Niagra Falls, Clark points out various "complimentary" things in their room (complimentary champagne, complimentary corsage) before trying to be suave (and failing spectacularly) and asking Lois about the "sleeping arrangements".
Lois: Mr. Smith...The complimentary couch.Clark: Right!
- In Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, at one point Harmony takes Harry's bed (naked no less) and says that Harry can sleep in it too but it would only be sleeping, as long as that isn't too frustrating for him. He decides to find out. It is.
- Played for Laughs in classic comedies such as Laurel and Hardy and The Three Stooges.
- Happens in Gozu. The hero leaves the hotel bed to his love interest, but not without getting a good look at her in her undies.
- North by Northwest - Roger hides out in Eve's room on a train ride to Chicago. As they make out passionately he observes there's only one bed, asking if she knows what that means. She knows - he's sleeping on the floor.
- Lolita (1997). Humbert arranges for him and Dolores to stay in the same hotel room, as he's planning on taking advantage of her while she's asleep. When they arrive at the hotel, Humbert finds that the twin bed room has been given to someone else. Ironically Dolores is more comfortable with the sexual implications of this than he is.
Humbert: For all practical purposes I am your father and I'm responsible for your welfare. Now we're not rich, and so when we travel we-we may be thrown together... sometimes. Two people sharing the same hotel room are bound to enter into a...well how can I put it, into a kind of—Dolores: The word is incest.
- In The Wolverine, Logan and Mariko are on the run from Yakuza thugs when Logan suddenly declares they'll hold up in the nearest hotel. Unfortunately it turns out to be a Love Hotel and there aren't any empty rooms adjacent to each other. Mariko asks where he's going to sleep; Logan says curtly, "I won't" and stands outside in the rain, presumably his version of taking a cold shower.
- In October Baby, Hannah and Jason check into a hotel, only to find out there's only one bed. Jason ends up on the floor, before they both leave the room to sleep on the couch in the lobby.
- In Shish O Besh, there is only one bedroom in the stolen appartment. Sami is not happy about how much Davood snores.
- My Night at Maud's: Maud does this deliberately, inviting the protagonist to stay the night and then revealing that oops, she doesn't have a guest room.
- Wonder Woman (2017) contains a variation in which the "bed" in question is simply a slightly more comfortable portion of the small sailing vessel. Diana doesn't understand Trevor's Nice Guy-inspired reluctance to sleep alongside her. Played for Laughs as he attempts to explain the concepts of marriage and commitment and what they have to do with sleeping alongside someone of the opposite gender, to a woman who has grown up on an all-women hidden island. He eventually gives up trying to explain it and accepts her offer for him to sleep next to her.
- In one scene in Elle, Michéle and her best friend/business partner Anne share a bed, look longingly into each other's eyes, and come close to kissing.
- Mortal Engines. After being rescued by the Scuttlebug, Tom and Hester are put up for the night in an extremely sparse compartment with a single bunk with no mattress and a hard metal floor. Tom turns away from the door (where he's just been pointing out to his host that Hester is not his girlfriend) saying he'll take the bunk only to find Hester is already asleep on it. There's a reason for the lack of amenities; turns out they've been 'rescued' by slavers and they're actually in a cell.
- Moby-Dick has Ishmael and Queequeg forced to share a bed at the beginning, which starts the Ho Yay between them. It should be remembered, though, that it was common practice for guests to share beds in inns at the time. Queequeg got to sleep alone because he frightened everyone.
- Similar to the above is the scene in Book of the New Sun where Severian manages to get a free bed in an inn on the condition that he share it with the two men who are currently staying there. (They haven't paid their bill for a couple of days, and Severian is a torturer by profession; he is by no means the sharpest knife in the box, but even he can figure out that he's serving as a human eviction notice.)
- In Dragon Blood, Ward carries an injured female guest to his own bed to recover. As the building he's living in is still under construction, this may be the only proper bed he has to offer, as he is the highest person in rank, and therefore the most likely to have a bed. It's a very nice bed, too. As events conspire to remove him from the place, we don't get to see where he would have slept if he had stayed the night.
- C. J. Cherryh's Morgaine Cycle has Morgaine and Vanye given a room with a single bed in the first book, Gate of Ivrel. Vanye offers to sleep on the floor, but Morgaine tells him not to be an idiot and waste the first comfortable bed they've had in ages. She puts the demon sword Changeling down the middle and tells him to deal with it.
- The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons. Tatiana and her sister Dasha share the same bed due to the restrictions on space in a Soviet family home of the 1940s. This causes problems whenever Dasha's Love Interest Alexander stays overnight, as Tatiana is secretly in love with him and vice versa. There's an additional problem with this too — Alexander offers to break up with Sasha, and Tatiana has to keep pointing out that thanks to the housing shortage there's nowhere for her to move away from her sister should she find out the truth.
- In the Night Huntress novels, Cat wakes up in Bones' bed with him after she passes out. In an inversion, she ends up sleeping on the floor, since Bones doesn't see why he should have to give up his bed just because she's being silly.
- On Wings of Eagles, the non-fiction novel by Ken Follet. Two of Ross Perot's men are flying back to the States after escaping from Iran. There's a huge bed in the luxury airliner, and figuring there's room enough to two, the black member of the team flakes out next to his companion who's already on it.
(alarmed) "What are you doing in bed with me?""Relax. Now you can tell all your friends you've slept with a nigger."
- Happened in Lolita, just before the couple first had sex in a hotel at the beginning of their infamous road trip.
- In Beachwalker, the female protagonist spends much of the book hiding a severely injured fugitive in the aftermath of an earthquake. There is only one bed, and there are some nights when it's too cold for her to sleep on the floor. Made even more awkward for her by the fact that he is wearing nothing but bandages and his underwear, since he's injured to the point of being barely able to move, and repeatedly dressing and undressing him would shift the bandages and aggravate his wounds.
- A Song of Ice and Fire:
- There's a famous legend about a knight who ran into this problem while escorting a lady and solved it by putting his sword down the middle of the bed. Nimble Dick tries to talk Brienne into a similar arrangement while they're traveling, but it's clear that he's just making fun of her and/or hitting on her.
- Brienne however has no problem sharing a bed with her squire Podrick Payne, and it's not played for sexual tension at all as he's only twelve.
- Averted when Daenerys shares a bed with her handmaidens Irri and Jhiqui, after her husband Khal Drogo dies. They all sleep nude too. Eventually Dany ends up having sex with Irri.
- Invoked in-universe when Jon Snow is undercover and trying not to break his chastity oath while camping with a woman who is trying to seduce him. He makes his pet direwolf sleep between them.
- The French novel Le Père Goriot: Our social-climbing hero is invited by his very rich girlfriend to the apartment she intends to keep him in (he's currently staying in an extremely run-down hotel) and notes that there's only one bed. She starts blushing.
- Harry Potter: Ron and Hermione see that there is only one couch in the room, but Ron takes the floor "in a fit of chivalry". When Harry sees them sleeping, they're still holding hands.
- In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the poverty-stricken Bucket family can only afford to have one large bed in their little house, which is shared by the four grandparents in the family; the paternal grandparents on one end, and the maternal grandparents on the other. Charlie and his parents must sleep upon mats on the floor.
- In the Jeeves and Wooster novel Thank You, Jeeves, one of these situations is involved in setting off the main conflict. Two of Bertie's friends, Pauline and Chuffy, are in love, but the former ends up at Bertie's cottage wanting to spend the night there before moving on to Chuffy's place in the morning (since she has just swum ashore from her father's yacht and doesn't want to show up at Chuffy's stately manor in the middle of the night in a swimsuit). There's no question of a gentleman like Bertie not surrendering the bed, and as the cottage has no other suitable furniture, he eventually retreats to a pile of sacking in a shed. Unfortunately, his unorthodox sleeping arrangements result in the local police mistaking him for drunk and summoning Chuffy to help him home. Chuffy therefore discovers his love interest in Bertie's bed, wearing Bertie's pajamas. Bertie is quick to establish that nothing actually happened, and Chuffy more-or-less accepts it, but the argument about it still causes Chuffy and Pauline to break off relations.
Bertie: What you want on an occasion like this, Chuffy, old man, is simple faith. The poet Tennyson tells us...
Chuffy: Shut up.
Pauline: [angry] Oh! So that's what you think?
Chuffy: I don't think anything of the kind. I know that Bertie has been...
Bertie: [suggesting] Scrupulously correct in his behaviour throughout.
Chuffy: ...sleeping in a potting shed. That's not the point.
* Noah and Joy are forced to do this in Las Vegas in Back When You Were Easier To Love.
- Invoked in The Golden Feather when the main character has a sleepover with his friend/crush Isaac, going as far as stabbing the inflatable bed Isaac was going to sleep in just so he could carry this trope out. It works.
- In the book The Outsiders Ponyboy and his older brother Soda sleep in the same bed.
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid: In the book "Dog Days", Greg and Rowley stay at a condo on the beach and they have to share a bed because the only other bed is the one Rowley's parents are sleeping in. Eventually, Rowley goes to sleep in his parents' bed so Greg takes the bed.
- Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle:
- In a side story, the main characters are staying in an inn room with multiple beds, but the number of beds is one fewer than the number of people. Krulcifer suggests that each of the girls take one bed and can choose to share with Lux if he asks. Lux ends up deciding to sleep on the sofa, but in the morning it turns out that Philuffy has moved to the sofa as well. She claims that this is because she went to the bathroom and mistook her bed on the way back.
- The trope gets taken to its logical conclusion in the seventh book, where there's again one room but with just two beds. Lux again proposes sleeping on the sofa but Krulcifer shoots this down, as nights in the country they're in are too cold for this. They end up pushing the two beds together and all sleeping together.
- Justified and Played for Laughs in The Falling Kingdoms Series; while visiting a noble, Prince Magnus and Princess Cleiona are given a room with one bed, as they're married...against their will. As soon as they're in it, Magnus immediately offers Cleo the floor.
- In Wicked, Elphaba and Glinda are forced to share sleeping spaces on their way to the Emerald City. It's one of the more Ship Teasey scenes between the two:
In a single lumpy bed, they huddled together for warmth and encouragement and, Glinda told herself, protection.
- In 30 Rock season 7 episode "Florida", perpetually platonic lead characters Jack and Liz must share a bed when Jack visits his mother's home in Florida. Throughout the series, hopeful fans asked Will They or Won't They? and despite Word of God explicitly stating 'never, ever' the show enjoyed Lampshading this several times throughout the series, usually ending with a reaffirmation that it would just be awkward for everyone.
- In this episode, Jack's mother's live-in caretaker remarks how much they look and sound like a married couple, despite Jack's insistence that they are, at best, Platonic Life-Partners , 'if Plato had an elderly shut-in aunt'. At bedtime, Liz and Jack, both equally stubborn, refuse to compromise and insist that nothing will happen if they share a bed. Cue Five-Second Foreshadowing comment about the bed having an old mattress and, of course, they roll comically into each other's faces.
- Doctor Who
- In "The Shakespeare Code", the Doctor and Martha end up in an inn with only a double bed, which they have to share. The Doctor doesn't see anything risque about this, but Martha finds it an excuse to flirt...which the Doctor in all his obliviousness promptly ruins by lamenting about Rose.
- In the mini-episode "Clara and the TARDIS", Clara finds her bedroom in the TARDIS has vanished. Numerous temporal duplicates of her then appear, finished off by a pair of her flirtatiously saying that they have to share a bed.
- iCarly: During iTake On Dingo, the trio+ Spencer share a 2 bed, tiny hotel room. The floor recently had a dead body on it, so I doubt anyone was sleeping on the floor. No matter who slept in what bed with who (although it's a good chance it was probably Sam+ Carly and Freddie+ Spencer), it would get shippers excited.
- Morecambe and Wise in many of their sketches, only without a trace of embarrassment. They treated it as something perfectly normal, and as a result so did the audience.
- Apparently Eric and Ernie objected to the original bed sketch precisely because of the Unfortunate Implications, but writer Eddie Braben convinced them on the grounds that their heroes Laurel and Hardy had done the same. Eric did, however, insist on smoking his pipe as a symbol of masculinity.
- Referenced in a sketch on Goodness Gracious Me where a young man tries to explain to his parents that he is gay and a friend he brought home is actually his boyfriend. The parents are too oblivious to understand, and when he says he and his friend are sleeping together, his mother replies "Morecambe and Wise slept together!"
- In addition to the aforementioned Seinfeld example, there was another episode where Kramer couldn't sleep in his apartment so he stays over at Jerry's. After lamenting that he can't fit on Jerry's couch, he, much to Jerry's annoyance, sleeps in Jerry's bed with him.
- Scrubs: When Carla got pissed off at Turk in the second season premiere, he and JD had to share a bed. This leads to a conversation quite similar to the Seinfeld page quote. JD insists that they sleep head to toe. Turk claims it doesn't matter, as their genitals still line up, but JD says it makes it impossible for them to accidentally "lock in".
- JD is so uncomfortable in this position, that he goes to sleep in his work clothes.
- Family Matters saw Urkel and Laura having to spend a night in a motel. Laura takes the bed, while Urkel tries to keep a roll-away folding bed to stay in place so he can sleep peacefully (it turns out the bed hates him with a passion). Laura, who spent the entire time making rude and sarcastic jabs at him, suggests he go sleep in the bathtub. After being in the bathroom about a second, he runs back out and unloads on Laura for essentially being a total bitch to him.
- They compromise, though; she sleeps under the covers, he sleeps on top of the covers. This is followed by a hilarious moment wherein Steve, trying to prove that his intentions are pure, says "If I've had one single impure thought, may God strike me dead." Immediately there is a loud thunderclap, after which he concedes, "Well, maybe one."
- Happened in the The 4400 episode "Life Interrupted" (the Happy Place episode) where Tom wakes up in an alternate reality where the 4400 were never abducted. The only person who is also aware of the change is a woman named Alana, who does not know him yet everyone claims they are married. When they turn in for the night, Tom suggests a number of alternate places for him to sleep yet Alana suggests they share the bed to keep up appearances and because "it's a large bed. We can maintain our sectors."
- In one episode of The O.C. Seth, Summer, Ryan and Marissa stay in a hotel where there is only one bed. Seth and Summer wind up sharing the bed (the usual Double Standard of this trope being subverted when Summer demands Seth take the floor, but he refuses) and Ryan and Marissa share the couch. Marissa and Ryan wake up to discover they're spooning.
Seth: [at a breakfast place] Should we have just left them there like that?
Summer: Oh, but they looked so cute! It would have been a shame to wake them.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- In the first season episode "Angel," Buffy and Angel face this problem when Angel spends a night in Buffy's room. Buffy offers Angel her bed (because he's wounded) but he declines. Their first kiss occurs about 24 hours later.
- In the seventh season episode "Showtime," Kennedy tries to engineer this in order to seduce Willow.
- Hilariously averted in Angel "Rm w/a Vu" when Cordy turns up at the apartment of a shirtless, dripping wet Angel desperate for a place to stay — she talks right over Angel's objections and states he'll be the one sleeping on the sofa. The next day Angel is so desperate to get her out he agrees to fight a demon loan shark stalking Doyle if he finds Cordy a new apartment.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation
- While being secretly ferreted behind enemy lines in the episode "Unification", Picard and Data are shacked up in a shared quarters with a single bunk, setting up this trope, but since Data is an android (and therefore doesn't need sleep), it never comes to pass. The awkwardness of the situation is still in effect, however, with Data creepily watching Picard sleep...
- There's also the two times that Q decided to hop into bed with Picard. The first time, he does it to taunt and annoy Picard, but in the second, he pretends to be the woman Picard went to bed with the night before. There's no reason for him to do it, he just does, and after Picard gets over the shock of finding Q there, they have a civil conversation.
- Oh, there was a reason for him to do it. But this being Q, the reason was because he could.
- Designing Women:
- In one episode, Suzanne and Anthony share a motel room with only one bed. Initially, Anthony tries to sleep in the car (at Suzanne's insistence), but she relents after the temperature outside drops well below freezing.
- Another episode ("Julia and Suzanne's Big Adventure") cranked the discomfort up further. The Sugarbaker sisters were stuck sharing a Japanese capsule hotel room (think very tiny, the entire floor being the size of a single bed) with a man they had only recently met. Suzanne complains about a hand resting against her breast, and the guy reflexively apologizes. Julia stops him, says it's her hand and she has literally nowhere else to place it, so Suzanne's just going to have to put up with it.
- One episode of Genius has Dave Gorman and guest Johnny Vegas testing a "conveyor duvet" designed to prevent duvet hogging. The test of course leads to them both sharing a bed, and Hilarity Ensues. Link
- There is an amusing example of this in Nobuta Wo Produce, when Akira unexpectedly arrives at Shuji's house for a sleepover. Despite Shuji's protest, Akira happily climbs into his bed, which is a single. Ho Yay Galore.
- In an episode of General Hospital, Lucky and Elizabeth have to share a hotel room that only has one bed. As usual, Lucky decides to sleep on the floor, but then Elizabeth decides to sleep next to him...on the floor.
- Silent Witness "Finding Rachel". A young female Australian backpacker with no cash convinces a reluctant Dr Cunningham to let her stay the night in his hotel room. The next day Professor Dalton turns up and draws the obvious conclusion. Cunningham indignantly replies that he slept on the floor and took a cold shower. A very cold shower.
- In Reaper, this is used as an excuse for Sock to have sex with his (step) sister. Of course, as it turned out, there WAS another bed provided by the time they got to the room, which Sock hastily tossed out of the window.
- An episode of The Bob Newhart Show has Bob and Jerry spending the weekend in Peoria to watch a blacked-out football game, and discovering this in their motel room.
- In one episode, Tony and Ziva spend a few days in Paris and their room only has one bed. Tony tells a witness Ziva took the couch. Ziva tells McGee that Tony took the couch. By the end of the episode it is revealed they shared the bed.
- Another example is when McGee and Abby are in Mexico and have to share a one-bed hotel room. The woman getting the bed is subverted when Abby sleeps in the room she is given for her class on solving cold cases after McGee uses tap water to brush his teeth.
- The infamous "Ghost" episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has the fact that There Is Only One Bed in the safe room Alex is staying in, while Olivia is sleeping in the same room, ostensibly to protect her, has become a Fandom-Specific Plot for the folks who ship them. This scene was deliberately written to Ship Tease, as the producers are very much aware of the Les Yay. As are the actresses, who, luckily, are friends in real life.
- In an episode of The War at Home, Dave, Larry and Kenny stays in a motel room with only two beds. Dave ends up sleeping on the floor because he doesn't want Pet Homosexual Kenny sleeping with neither Larry nor himself.
- Never actually shown on The Amazing Race, but frequently talked about, especially when teams spend the night in a remote location.
- An episode of That Girl featured the lead, a young Marlo Thomas, and her boyfriend having to share a hotel room.
- In The X-Files episode "Arcadia", Mulder and Scully go undercover as a married couple and have to deal with this. Mulder, of course, goes into innuendo overdrive, but it's more played for laughs than anything else and he ends up sleeping on the couch anyway.
- "Rain King": Mulder and Scully investigate a series of weird weather conditions. A tornado happens to crash a cow into Mulder's motel room. All the motel rooms are booked and since everybody assumes the agents are boyfriend and girlfriend, the motel manager just informs Scully that they moved Mulder's stuff into her room. Scully insists that they are partners and prefer separate rooms but she didn't have much of a choice apparently. However, there was no scene of them being in Scully's room together.
- In Chuck, Chuck and Sarah go on the run at the end of season two, they end up staying in a motel with only one bed, which they share after Sarah refuses to let him sleep on the floor. This very nearly leads to them consummating their relationship. Lampshaded when they are discussing how they're going to be locked up together because they broke the law, and Chuck mentions them sharing a two-bedroom cell. Sarah points they'll only need one bed.
- In My Name Is Earl the reason Earl and Randy share a bed is because the motel rooms with twin beds don't have a pool view (and are above a meth lab) so it's either not have a pool view (and deal with the occasional bullet coming through the floor) or share a bed.
- Happens in Lois & Clark when the two are pretending to be married (in a hotel for honeymooners, no less!) in order to get a scoop. Lois forces Clark to take the couch.
- The episode of Frasier where owing to overbooking, Frasier and Roz end up sharing a hotel room with only one bed. Just as they are reconciling themselves to sharing the bed, their boss turns up, also roomless. Roz takes the couch while Frasier ends up sharing the bed with his snoring boss.
- Subverted in the second season of Mad Men. During there first separation Don and Betty are visiting the home of Betty's father. Rather than tell him their problems they take a room with one bed and Don agrees to sleep on the floor. They end up having sex in the bed, but it does nothing to solve their marital disputes.
- A variant in The Big Bang Theory. The arrangements are Amy and Penny in a double, Bernadette and Howard (a couple) in a single, Raj in a single, and Leonard and Sheldon in a double. Which works until Bernadette and Howard have a fight leading Bernadette to take Penny's bed and Penny to have no choice but to climb into Amy's bed. Amy suffers from extreme night terrors (and bites), leading Penny to enter Leonard, her ex's, room. She can't climb into bed with Sheldon because with all of his quirks he'd end up killing her, so Leonard and Penny awkwardly share a bed. Sheldon leaves for Raj's room because "Penny and Leonard may or may not be having coitus". After Sheldon leaves Penny gets his bed to herself, but after talking with Leonard they decide they actually DO want to share a bed and be intimate with each other for the night. Except Sheldon's quirks drive Raj out of his room, leading to Raj hopping into the adjacent bed and Leonard and Penny sharing a bed being platonic (much to Leonard's chagrin).
- In Scarecrow and Mrs. King first season episode Weekend, Lee and Amanda are sent to a resort as a married couple. After giving Amanda a hard time about junior agents have to take the couch, Lee explains he will be staking out the room of a potential kidanpping target all night.
- In Season 2 Luther has to bring a teenaged prostitute back to his apartment after she's threatened by gangsters. He's had a very long day, and tells her that he'll bring in a second bed tomorrow but tonight she's sleeping on the couch. After she makes a cup of tea she comes out of the kitchen to find Luther sleeping on the couch instead.
- An episode of Happy Days in which Joanie and Chachi check into a motel, only to discover that the only room available in the honeymoon suite. Chachi suggests they can share the bed if they keep one foot on the floor, like in the movies. Then Fonzie turns up and assumes the worst.
Chachi: We asked for seperate rooms!Fonzie: Tell me another one!Chachi: We kept one foot on the floor!Fonzie: I was kidding about telling me another one!
- In Penny Dreadful, this occurs twice in the episode "Above the Vaulted Sky":
- Vanessa sleeps in Ethan's room after she (possibly) hallucinates the witches in her room. Ethan sleeps on the couch.
- Lily gets scared by a thunderstorm and runs to Victor's bed. They have sex shortly after.
- Person of Interest. When John Reese and Joss Carter have to stay in a tiny hotel room, he volunteers to sleep in the tub, but there's only a shower (the case gets wrapped up before they need to sleep anyway). When Reese and Sameen Shaw have to stay in a hotel together, neither wants to compromise, so they both end up sleeping on the floor, leaving the bed for their extensive array of weaponry. The trope is played straight in "Bury the Lede", where Reese chooses the couch despite an obvious chance for Sex for Solace with the Victim of the Week.
- Daredevil (2015): Matt puts Karen up in his apartment for a few nights until her name is cleared. Matt only has one bedroom, and Karen offers to sleep on the couch, but reconsiders once he points out the giant neon billboard across the street that shines into the living room at night. Ultimately, Karen takes the bed, while Matt takes the couch, since as a blind man, the billboard isn't distracting to him.
- Million Yen Women: By the end, Shin is living alone in a place only really big enough for one person, as opposed to the house that had enough bedrooms for each of the women to have their own as long as he slept on the couch. When Hitomi decides to move in with him, he points out that the only sleeping space available is his own bed. The problem is only really brief because Hitomi is coming back to start a proper romantic relationship with him.
- Miller and Hardy have to share a double bed in season two of Broadchurch. Especially awkward since their relationship is not only a rather frigid one, they've just been accused of having an affair. Hardy immediately offers to sleep in the car, but Miller won't let him, since she knows about his heart problems. They eventually settle for Miller sleeping under the spread while Hardy sleeps on top of it.
- At the very beginning of the first season of The Joe Schmo Show, a parody of reality shows in which everyone other than the chosen schmo is an actor with a script, Matt, the season's schmo, discovers that he has to share a room with two of the other "contestants," Earl and Dr. Pat and there is only one bed. One of the early plotlines involves the fact that Matt will do whatever it takes to get his own room with his own bed, even if it means purposely loses a competition and accepting the "punishment" of a small closet room. The show quickly arranges a plotline of him winning use of a luxury suite in order to make it easier to keep track of him.
- The song S-S-S-Single Bed by '70s pop group Fox revolves around this trope. The singer's date (whom she's invited over to her place) apparently missed his train but she has to tell him "all I've got is a single bed". Though in context this could imply "I enjoy your company, but I don't want to sleep with you right now."
- Cabaret, "Perfectly Marvelous":
Cliff: Besides, I've only got one narrow bed.
Sally: We'll think of something.
- A throwaway line in Henry V mentions that Lord Scrope had shared a bed with the King when they were boyhood friends. (Evidently, in fifteenth-century England, it was the boys rather than the girls that had sleepover parties.) This makes it all the more shocking that Scrope has taken bribes from the French to assassinate the King.
- A plot point in Othello: for a while, Iago shares a bed with Cassio. He lies to Othello, claiming that Cassio fondled him in his sleep while calling him "Desdemona".
- Peter Pan: In the Lost Boys' "Home Under the Ground", all the boys share a bed except for Michael, who has his own cradle. That's eight boys sleeping in the same bed. This detail appears in the book as well, but it was probably originally added for the purpose of comic stage business: stage directions indicate that Wendy won't let them turn over in bed unless a signal is given, at which point they all turn over at once.
- Sheer Luck Holmes. Dr. Watson indignantly retorts, "But Holmes, we're both males!" when forced into this situation with Sherlock Holmes. Bromance jokes aside, as it's a pantomime Watson's part is usually played by a woman.
- Good Times: JJ and his younger brother Michael share a bed which is the family's living room pull out sofa. Dudes don't even have a private room to themselves.
- This is what happens when Madoka invites Homura for a sleepover in the Puella Magi Madoka Magica Play Station Vita game, The Battle Pentagram. While focusing on being sweet and adorable, this scene is the most explicit portrayal of Romantic Two-Girl Friendship in any official media for the franchise so far.
- GrimGrimoire has Lillet Blan more or less kidnapping/adopting/eloping with Amoretta Virgine the Homunculus, not least because she's grown quite fond of Amoretta, but more immediately to make sure she's safe. (This is a very real concern, considering what happened to her in previous time-loops, sometimes of her own choice.) However, Lillet has only one bed. Neither of them mind, however — Amoretta has only existed for 106 days, and has not had physical affection of any kind. She thus really enjoys snuggling, and is apparently so vigorous about it that, in her sleep, she knocks Lillet out of bed more than once. Lillet doesn't mind that either, but she does (in an amusing inversion) threaten to exile herself to the couch and leave Amoretta in the bed alone if Amoretta doesn't keep safe.
- Happens in Tales of Phantasia when Cless and Mint first arrive in the past. They're both embarrassed by the situation, and it ends with Cless sleeping on the floor.
- Happens in Shenmue II, when Ryo is invited to stay with Master Tao (Xiuying). He's quick to point out that she has only one bed, and she's even quicker in pointing out that he'll be taking the couch.
- Happens in Legaia 2 Duel Sage, due to one of the inn's rooms having a broken door, forcing Maya and Laang to sleep together. The player can have Laang either be bashful about sleeping with Maya, or have him jump at the chance.
- Happens in the Neverwinter Nights 2 parody mod The Sinister Series, where an initial sign that Cordelia is warming up to the player is her insistence that he take the bed because she had been cold, rude, and standoffish since the two first met.
- A variant happens at the beginning of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel: There are plenty of beds for the mixed-gender party, but they're all in the same room. Given that one of the girls had only just gotten over a Thanks for the Mammary accident that happened in the prologue, this causes awkwardness. Later on the same party ends up having to share a tent, but by that point they'd all known each other for several months and they're much more comfortable with the idea.
- Comically subverted in War: 13th Day. A gentleman and a lady share a bed but not because there's only one available:
Ambrosia: Is there no other bedroom thats been untouched by the fire aside from this one?Arsenik: There are plenty more. Only the second floors been incinerated. I suppose you would like me to move, but to be perfectly honest with you, Im quite exhausted. You wont mind if I rest here for a little while, do you?
- In El Goonish Shive, before Ellen got her own bed, Elliot slept in a sleeping bag and Ellen got his bed.
- At a hotel room with two beds and three people, Susan insists that Sarah share a bed with Grace. Before Sarah can really argue, Grace cuts the discussion short by reminding everyone that she can turn into a squirrel and just sleep on a pillow.
- Double Subverted. Grace still shares with Sarah.
- Subverted in Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures: Cubi don't need to sleep to begin with.
- Early on in It's Walky!, there were two beds...and four people.
- This Questionable Content strip has Faye and Dora discussing it.
- A Namir Deiter storyline puts Tipper and Charles into this predicament, even though they've gone to a couples resort, engaged and in the midst of wedding preparations.
- In Misfile, guy-turned-girl Ash insists on giving up his bed for Emily to prove he is a chivalrous guy. She finds his Porn Stash under the bed, also gender swapped. Emily returns the favor a few strips later by inviting Ash for a sleep over and insisting Ash take the bed, since he's the guest.
- This kind of leads to a bit of Fridge Logic when you remember Ash's dad is out of town at the time and so Emily could've very well slept in his room. Though between the Porn Stash and the sheets thing, this can be excused by Rule of Funny.
- Much later, Emily again stays over at Ash's house. They share the bed. Squee!.
- The situation comes up again in the fanfic Misfiled Dreams, where a blizzard knocks out Ash's power and Ash and Rumi are more or less forced to spend the night at Emily's. Em gives Rumi her sleeping bag, and since it's too cold for anyone to sleep on the floor, she and Ash share her bed. The above-mentioned Fridge Logic is circumvented by Emily saying that her mom (away at the time) would kill her if anyone slept in the master bedroom. Yes, it does go somewhere, but if you want to know where, you'll have to read the story.
- In Sluggy Freelance, this is played for Fanservice when the gang all share a tiny apartment, and Zoe and Gwynn have to "snuggle" in the only bed. Parodied when a later strip reveals Zoe was actually sleeping on the couch; Zoe and Gwynn sharing a bed was just how Torg liked to picture it.
- Happens in this 8-Bit Theater episode, creating some rules for when this happens and isn't gay.
- In Sabrina Online, Zig Zag deliberately sets up this scenario during a trip to a convention with Sabrina. It doesn't go as planned...
- In General Protection Fault, Nick and Ki are forced to stay at a motel after a science fiction convention when Fooker leaves with their car. The only room available has only one bed, and Nick sleeps on the chair and Ki sleeps on the bed. It is implied that Fooker reserved the room in an attempt to get Nick and Ki together.
- Penny Arcade offers a solution to the "who gets it" dilemma.
- Used here in Wapsi Square with two characters who have known each other since grade school.
- During the "trip to E3" story arc in Full Frontal Nerdity, the hotel room had two beds ... but three occupants (not counting Shawn the webcam). Nelson solved the problem by scamming three large bags of promotional stress balls and piling them into a "bed" for Lewis.
- Subverted every which way in Girly. At first, Winter doesn't need a bed, since she's willing to sleep standing up in Girly's front yard (yep). But on the second night, it's raining, so Winter agrees to come inside and take the couch...but an elephant wanders into the scene and eats the couch, leaving only the one bed.
- Dangerously Chloe skips right to the result, on the chapter page under the technically true title "Demon In Bed". Of course. Because she was summoned and obviously had no other place to stop.
- The Fox Sister: Alex insists on Yun Hee taking the bed while he sleeps on the floor when he invites her to stay at his place after the Kumiho turned her home into a crime scene.
- Said practically word for word by Tifa in Final Fantasy VII: The Sevening, talking about the cell she and Cloud have been thrown into.
- Juvenile Diversion: In the "Chasing Jenny" arc, Team B (Chris, Julie, Corky and Missy) have one bed for four. It is shown two pages later to be anything but sexy, but another panel is less than SFW, so no link.
- Stand Still, Stay Silent:
- In the Just Before the End prologue, one of the sets of focus characters is a family of six that are deliberately having a boat trip during the outbreak to isolate themselves from the rest of the world. A panel shows the entire family huddled together in a single bed, wearing their winter clothes, presumably to keep warm during the night.
- At the end of Chapter 10, Mikkel decided that he no longer wanted the Deep Sleep ridden Lalli sleeping under Tuuri's bunk, but on the out in the open part of the dormitory floor. The issue is that that part of the floor fits exactly two mattresses, that are nominally Mikkel and Reynir's. Mikkel is quite large, Lalli is quite thin, Reynir is somewhere between the two. Fitting the three on the two mattresses hence ends up with Reynir being forced to share with Lalli, with the bonus points that Lalli is not fond of Reynir at all when awake.
- In The Blackrock Chronicle the main characters have only one bed in their main base for a good while. Naturally, this provides plenty of awkward moments. And even after more beds are made, they still seem to wake up the same place, only adding more fuel to the shipping fire.
- On The Ricky Gervais Show, Karl talks about having to sleep "tops and tails" with his longtime girlfriend Suzanne. Why? Because the relatives they were staying with had hacksawed a mattress in half to fit in into the tiny space where they were sleeping.
- Double subverted in the JulianSmith.tv music video "Nice Hotel", in which the two guests in the hotel room realise there is only one bed, but choose to flip a coin to decide who can have the bed to themselves. Unfortunately, the coin lands on its side, and they must both share as a result. "But it's okay, 'cause [they're] not telling. Anyone."
- In Dead West, this crops up more than once. Our narrator, Gervas usually shares a room with the Porcelain Doctor, and more than once there was only one bed. The first time it happens, Gervas opts for the floor, but when there is a slight chance that Niall's going to have an "episode", sharing a bed it is. This result them being Mistaken for Gay, and if Gervas wouldn't be so careful, in his death.
- In the LoadingReadyRun videos, Graham and Paul often sleep in the same bed as a light parody of children's cartoons characters that do so.
- In lonelygirl15, "Sleepover", Jonas and Bree wind up in a hotel with only a double bed. Jonas builds a "Great Wall of Jonas" out of pillows and sheets to separate the two of them, to reassure Daniel.
Bree: Are you uncomfortable?
Jonas: I wasn't, but now I am, 'cause you're not.
- Sonic and Tails in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog often sleep within close proximity of each other, and at one point do share a bed.
- Only noticeable in the background but in Batman: The Animated Series when Harley and Ivy were hiding out in a small one room apartment there was only one bed.
- Though this is justified, as it was to show that they had absolutely no money and could barely afford this empty room with a bed.
- And given the amount of Les Yay in that partnership, very deliberate.
- Somewhat averted in The Flintstones episode "The House Guest" with the Rubbles staying at Fred's house for a few nights. The women sleep in the double bed without comment, but Fred and Barney keep quibbling over who gets the couch and who has to struggle lying across two side chairs.
- Subverted in "A Haunted House Is Not a Home" in which involved Fred and Barney having to share a bed. After Barney complains about it, the bed is split in half.
- In an episode of Liberty's Kids, John Adams and Ben Franklin share a bed in an inn.
- Several Looney Tunes cartoons did this with Porky and Daffy as a comedic setup. In one, they were business partners who roomed together, and in another, they were strangers at a packed hotel.
- Rarity and Applejack are forced to share a bed in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode Look Before You Sleep. It's not ten seconds before they're kicking each other out of bed, stealing the sheets and engaging in hilariously childish bickering.
- In the episode "Haunted House" of The Alvin Show, Dave and the Chipmunks have to share a bed since "Chesley Estate" only had one bed.
- In episode 19 of Sym-Bionic Titan, in the second motel that Lance and Ilana stay in, the room only appears to have one bed. However Word of God says that the most they see each other is Brother and Sister.
- In an early King of the Hill episode, Luanne angrily leaves the Hill home and stays at Boomhauer's. Knowing his reputation she nervously, haltingly lays down some ground rules, but as she's talking, he quietly gets some pillows and blankets, drops them on the couch, walks into his bedroom and shuts the door behind him.
- In The Smurfs episode "Papa Smurf, Papa Smurf", the two Papa Smurfs realized that there was only one bed for them to sleep in and so offered each other the opportunity to sleep there while the other slept elsewhere. Both of them turned the offer down and slept elsewhere in the house.
- In a season 4 episode of The Legend of Korra the suite Desna and Eska are sleeping in only has one bed. Depending on who you ask it's not too creepy since they're twins (or maybe that only makes it worse). Eska informs it's not a mistake, and that her brother sleeps in the tub.
- Bob's Burgers - Dr. Yap, the family dentist, has the family (including Linda's sister Gayle) over to his time-share ski condo, and has it planned that he and Gayle will have to share a bed. It's complicated by Gayle's thinking she and Bob have something going on.
- Kaeloo: In Episode 106, Mr. Cat buys too much stuff at a garage sale from Kaeloo, Stumpy and Quack Quack, so his bedroom gets too full and he can't get inside. He tries to invoke this trope by breaking into Kaeloo's bedroom and trying to sleep next to her, but it's subverted when she makes him sleep on the couch instead, to his disappointment.
- Happens frequently at conventions due to how expensive hotel rooms can be.
- The tradition of bundling. Sometimes it'd get really cold, and the couples would get together all warm and cozy, and sometimes there were ...babies!
- "And sometimes there were... uncomfortable things to talk about in Confession on Sunday!"
- This scenario is often encountered in real life, in general. Some people choose to sleep on the floor rather than share a bed, though. Also, back in the old days, entire families would often sleep in the same bed, because beds and the soft stuff that goes on them were expensive and rare but also for the sake of not freezing to death in the night.
- Similarly some kings managed to get beds large enough to allow over a hundred people to sleep together. And apparently put them to use that way. To sleep, you know, not just...
- It was general practice in inns and such for quite a long time, too. Again, expense of beds and linens, and also of building and maintaining an inn large enough for everyone to have his own room.
- This was (and is) also common practice among Eskimo tribes, being that the alternative to cuddling up with a family member was freezing to death. Having two separate beds in an igloo would be impractical, and having two igloos for two people would be even more impractical.
- Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, during their pre-fame days.
- Referenced in Paul, where Graeme and Clive share a hotel room with one bed when they go to Comicon.
- Rhett & Link talked about sharing hotel rooms and occasionally having to share the bed in an episode of Good Mythical Morning.
- Benjamin Franklin and John Adams once had to share a bed at an inn, and spent pretty much the entire time arguing over whether to keep the window open, with Franklin in favor and Adams opposed. Franklin won on a technicality as Adams got bored by Franklin's explanations about how fresh air was good for the body and fell asleep.
- When Richie Finger moved to Sydney and was looking for Drag Queen work, he shared a flat with a woman where there was only one bed. In his own words, "It was cold, so we started sharing the bed. It must have been very cold, because next thing you know I had a son." Richie, also known as Cindy Pastel, was the basis for the character of Tick in The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert.
- Common on school trips that involve hotel stays, which will often put four students (of the same gender, of course) in a room that has two beds. While girls don't seem to have much of a problem sharing, the boys are a different story.