Also known as a "ménage-à-trois"note or a "threesome".
The most common forms of sex involve two people. Supposedly it feels pretty good. So what's the most obvious way to take this steamy dynamic and ramp it Up to Eleven? Add another person—preferably a sexy one.
This trope is most commonly used as a form of basic Fanservice, and—due to Male Gaze and Most Writers Are Male reasons—the third person in this scenario is usually a woman, and the important in-focus character is usually a man. Who these women are or why they're willing to get into a threesome is rarely considered important information. Oftentimes, both women won't even have Nominal Importance, and will exist entirely to show off how manly the guy is for having a threesome. This aspect of the trope is shown in one recurring aspect of the sex act—it will sometimes start out with the two women making out for an extended period of time before eventually "inviting" the man to join in, conveniently shortly before we Fade to Black. Naturally, this form is very common in pornography. note
As a narrative tool, most dramatic tension is built in the lead-up to the act, with characters discussing how or why they want to do it. It can also be used to develop sexual tension during the act by having the male character do it with his girlfriend and a third party, only to discover he kind of likes the third party more. Some audience members will be annoyed that his getting too much sex is supposed to count as a "problem". One common variation that turns the trope into a joke involves a man's girlfriend suggesting to him that they do a three-way, and he quickly and eagerly accepts, only to discover at the last minute that the third party is a dude. This puts him in the hilarious situation of either having a Gay Moment, or admit that he was being hypocritical in only wanting three-way-sex when it fulfilled his fantasy.
Like any sex-related trope, Double Standards apply. If a woman acknowledges to have partaken or to desire the 2 males/1 female variation of this trope, expect people around her to view her with disgust or at least with suspicion because My Girl Is Not a Slut. In real life, the 2M/1F ménage-à-trois is just as common a fantasy among women as the 2F/1M is among men.
The Super Trope to Twin Threesome Fantasy. For specific examples of MFF, MFM and MMF variants, see A Threesome Is Hot.note This is an easy way of raising the stakes in an Everybody Has Lots of Sex setting. Compare Mile-High Club in terms of sexual rubicons that all men are supposed to aspire to.
- Rosario + Vampire: 11-year-old Cute Witch Yukari seems perfectly fine with having one of these with Moka and Tsukune. In fact, it's one of her main ambitions in life.
- Sailor Moon, Makaiju Arc of the anime. Usagi fantasizes about Mamoru in both his guises (Tuxedo Kamen and Moonlight Knight), making this also Screw Yourself. Usagi didn't learn that Moonlight Knight was Mamoru's guise or better said—sort-of other self until the end of the Makaiju arc itself.
- In Mahou Sensei Negima!, Nodoka fantasizes about Three-Way Sex between Negi, Yue, and herself. There's a Censor Box involved, but it doesn't obscure the fact that in the fantasy, all three are naked and Yue appears to be sitting on top of Negi.
- Makoto with Minami, Natsumi and Kumi in the anime-only version of School Days.
- Played for Laughs in Servant × Service. Though she was most likely joking, Kaoru mentions she wouldn't mind having a threesome with her brother Yutaka and his coworker Yamagami when Yutaka brings a drunk Yamagami in her apartment.
- The Testament of Sister New Devil: After several volumes of flirting and foreplay between Basara and his aunt, Chisato, the final volume culminates in a threeway where he finally takes her virginity. In which, Basara uses his power to create a copy of himself mid-coitus. An additional note mentions it was also Chisato's first experience with double penetration.
- Uchi no Musume ni Te o Dasu na!: Played for drama and fanservice in "Uncanny Eighth Wonder no.2", in which Athena gets brainwashed by Blowjob. Clara and her girlfriend, Mei, double-team her with a pair of strap-ons until she finally climaxes hard enough to return to her senses.
- Omaha the Cat Dancer has two major incidents. The first was with Joanne initiating it partially to keep Chuck and Omaha entertained while she is hiding them from a murderous businessman's minions. The second was when Omaha and Chuck celebrate their first New Year's Eve party after reuniting after an extended break up. Specifically, Chuck had invited Omaha's boyfriend whom she met during that separation to the event and to show his appreciation for that guy's support of Omaha during that tough time, Chuck invites him to participate in a threesome and a fun time is had by all.
- Elves in ElfQuest are bisexual and tend to open relationships. Stable trios include Pike/Skot/Krim, Scouter/Dewshine/Tyleet, Cutter/Leetah/Skywise, and temporarily Cutter/Nightfall/Redlance. Then there's Skywise/Vurdah/Ruffel/Maleen, particularly in The Heart's Way. The pre-battle orgy in Book 4 shows Skywise with at least 2 unamed Go-Backs, and Nightfall and Redlance mixing it with another unnamed couple. In the Futurequest storyline it's suggested that Kullyn, Jink and Tamia will enjoy a threesome at the end of the story, all having previously had twosomes with each other.
- Colossus of X-Men apparently had a threesome the first time he was in the Savage Land (chronicled in X-Men: Vignettes). During a later visit, one of the girls strongly hints that her son is his son, but he's oblivious.
- Circles: At one point in the 70's, Paulie + Arthur + John lived together and they were all in a close relationship.
- A recurring event in the XXXenophile comics written by Phil Foglio:
- Four-way sex between a man and three dryads appears in the volume 2 story "Tree's A Crowd".
- Volume 3's "The Big One" has a two-man-one-woman threeway as its "plot".
- Volume 4's "Now Museum, Now You Don't" has a lesbian five-way.
- Volume 5 has "Family Reunion", which features a threesome between black space salvager Otis and Judiths 16 and 17, the last surviving clones of a lost ancient female white astronaut.
- Volume 6's "Wish Fulfillment" features the male genie dividing into a Mind Hive of three clones in order to better pleasure his female human lover.
- Volume 7 has "Rule of Three", in which a Love Triangle between male human spacefarer Omar, his long-lost female human lover Trillby, and his alien lover Snixor is resolved courtesy of Snixor being a hermaphrodite and the three deciding that this makes a threeway relationship quite viable.
- Volume 8 opens with "Overly Familiar", in which a female witch, her male familiar (a cat turned human) and the witch's patron spirit Cernunnos have a threesome to cure her of the miscast Love Potion spell she applied to herself. The next story, "I Swing The Body Electric", has a cute Robot Girl getting it on with the six male members of her crew. Finally, "The Monster Under The Bed" has incestuous lesbian twins being sexually ravished — much to their pleasure — by an unseen male monster under their bedsheets.
- Raptors: After the Molina twins have captured Vicky, there's a threeway scene between Drago, Camilla, and Vicky, made rather uncomfortable because of the Twincest and Questionable Consent involved.
- Germany, Italy, and Japan undertook this towards the end of Axis Powers Hetalia fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità. Let's just say Prussia, Spain, and France definitely enjoyed the sight.
- A Crown of Stars: Discussed. During a sex ed talk, Rayana mentions Shinji and Asuka that in some alternate timelines they had a very happy three-ways relationship with Rei. However Asuka declares she does not intend to share.
Rayana: Youve got a true innocent here, Asuka. Careful breaking him in. Hmm, would you like some of my helpful pamphlets?
Asuka: Wait, there are way too many legs in that picture
Rayana: Just the right number for three people.
Rayana: I wanted to be prepared for any questions you might have. After all, there was that one worldline where you, Shinji, and Rei-chan were in a very enthusiastic threesome, [ ] You spent most nights together playing "who can wear out Shinji first?" Shinji never got much sleep, but never seemed to complain.
- Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton: In chapter 13's Omake Misato and Asuka are fighting over Shinji. When it is evident Asuka has the upper hand, Misato talks her into "sharing" him, hinting she knows "things" and she can teach them both. Asuka agrees, and she is about to kiss Shinji when Pen Pen wakes him up from his dream. Shinji was not amused.
- My Immortal has Ebony, Vampire and Draco have a threesome in Chapter 43. Plus Voldemort's past self.
- Lelouch and his girlfriend Milly have "played with" other girls in The Black Emperor, sometimes together.
- "From Bajor to the Black, Part II": Eleya states that her roommate Jazz once brought home a girl and a guy (which led Eleya to Need a Freaking Drink), and she refers to a Noodle Incident where she woke up with a hangover next to two Klingons with a cracked rib and "several bruises in embarrassing places".
- Most Hurog fanfics: Laying Foundations ends with an implied threesome, Human Magic has a more explicit one, all with Tisala, Ward, and Oreg, the fandoms OT3
- One of Marisa's many sex jokes in Imperfect Metamorphosis involves inviting Reisen to have a threesome with her and Reimu. Reimu is unamused.
"We haven't even gotten the strap-on out yet. You're welcome to join in if you want, ze. Make it a party."
- Discussed in Advice and Trust, after Rei has been ordered to spend some more time with Shinji and Asuka (who, unbenknownst to anyone else at that point, are now an item). Asuka firmly vetoes the idea while Shinji protests that it genuinely hadn't occurred to him. Then we find out that Rei wouldn't say no if they offered either
Asuka's Unusual Euphemism for it, "The Israfael Special", went on to become a minor meme on the forums where A&T is posted.
- It's also implied during Asuka's birthday party that Kensuke had a threesome with his two girlfriends while on a camping trip.
- In, With This Ring, Karon and Holly offer Paul the chance for a three-way in the Spring in Blume arc. He ultimately turns the offer down since there were too many unpredictable emotional variables and it could mess with her rehabilitation.
- In Code Geass: The Prepared Rebellion, Lelouch has a threesome with C.C. and Sayoko after the Battle of Saitama Ghetto.
- In the Discworld of A.A. Pessimal, Miss Alice Band wakes up with two very close friends following an evening spent drinking strong liquor and losing inhibitions. Alice, Dolores and Steffi have their night of drunken abandon in Clowning Is A Serious Business''.
- A New Hope Danganronpa, being Hotter and Sexier than its canon material, includes some detailed sex scenes. This includes two three-ways: one with Makoto, Mukuro, and Hina, and later with Hajime, Chiaki, and Mikan.
- In Chasing Amy, Holden feels insecure that he has less sexual experience than his girlfriend Alyssa (Alyssa participated in a three-way with two men in High School, which saddled her with the unfortunate nickname "Fingercuffs" and convinced her to swear off men for a while), and things are awkward with his best friend Banky because of Banky's repressed feelings for Holden. To solve both problems at once, Holden proposes that the three of them all have sex together. Banky tentatively accepts, but Alyssa is insulted, and both relationships end.
- In Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle it is explicitly offered by Freakshow and his wife. While they debate whether or not to accept, Freakshow offers to make it a Four Way, which causes them to flee in terror.
- One of the selling points of Wild Things was a threesome between Neve Campbell, Denise Richards and Matt Dillon. (The others were Girl-on-Girl Is Hot and a surprisingly complex plot.)
- The climax (heh) of the Mexican film Y Tu Mamá También features such a scene between the female lead Luisa and the two male leads, Julio and Tenoch. It's actually important for the film's story, as it exposes the underlying attraction between both boys. At first, Julio and Tenoch focus their attentions on the incredibly lovely Luisa, but as she kneels to the ground to pleasure them both, the camera focuses on Julio and Tennoch as they begin to passionately kiss. Notably, the threesome ends the friendship between both boys, as they can only manage an awkward silence after waking up next to each other and never speak to each other again, except for a chance meeting months later.
- In American Psycho, Patrick has threesomes with callgirls several times. Then, he usually tortures them to death.
- Featured in A Clockwork Orange where Alex brings home two girls he meets at the local record store. The entire scene is sped up and set to a synth rendition of the "William Tell Overture". The scene in the original book is decidedly less hot, seeing as the girls are nine years old.
- In The Sex Monster, Marty convinces his wife to have a threesome with another woman. Then she wants to have another one, except really more of a twosome.
- The two film versions of Schloss Gripsholm by Kurt Tucholsky (see Literature).
- In Magic Mike, Mike and his girlfriend Joanna have a three way with a woman that they don't know. Later on in the movie, Joanna approaches him about a three way with Brooke (it doesn't happen).
- In Ken Park, Peaches has a threesome with Shawn and Claude.
- The most important Three Way Sex scene in history came in 1966 film Blowup. Thomas the hip London fashion photographer has sex with two would-be models. Even though the film used a Sexy Discretion Shot cutaway after the clothes came off, the nudity cost the film any chance at approval under The Hays Code. In response, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer released the film anyway, and the Hays Code became a thing of the past, soon replaced by the MPAA rating system.
- Not actually seen in Darling, which came out one year before Blowup. What we do see is Diana and her lover Miles in the apartment, as Diana's former lover Robert comes by, only to leave in embarrassment. That's followed by shots that reveal an Asian woman in the bedroom of the apartment, in front of the mirror, dressed only in her underwear.
- Sweetwater: Josiah is seen about to engage in it with his wives.
- Novecento features a bizarre two male, one woman variation where protagonists Olmo and Alfredo visit a prostitute who gives them simultaneous hand jobs, then suffers an epileptic seizure while in bed with them. Unlike most examples, this scene's used more to emphasize the difference in their characters (Olmo, the Working-Class Hero, expresses compassion towards the young woman while Alfredo, the Upper-Class Twit, belittles her, triggers her seizure by forcing her to drink alcohol, then leaves while she's recovering) than to provide titillation.
- In The Girls, Evie and Suzanne are sent to Mitch as a sexual bribe to help get Russell a record deal. Evie is deflowered by Mitch but doesn't enjoy the experience at all, holding him in contempt, being far more attracted to Suzanne.
- Comes up a couple times in the Anita Blake novels. Generally the Everybody Has Lots of Sex moments are what broke the fanbase.
- The Star Wars Expanded Universe subverts this. In the Dark Nest Trilogy, Zekk and Jaina become part of a Hive Mind and have a lot of sex. Zekk realizes that adding Jaina's other Love Interest, Jag would be nice. Jag, upon finding that his romantic rival now had the same feelings for him as did his romantic interest, refused to comment.
- A Song of Ice and Fire: Either it's just a kinky Dornish thing, or an interest in threesomes runs in the Martell family.
- Oberyn Martell and Ellaria Sand—a couple—like to share. They're both bisexual. Once they get a whore for the third party, and another time, Ellaria expresses interest in Oberyn marrying Cersei so the three of them could have threesomes.
- Lady Nym (Oberyn's daughter) had a Twin Threesome Fantasy with the Fowler twins, Jennelyn and Jeyne.
- Tyene Sand (also Oberyn's daughter) and Arianne Martell (Oberyn's niece) had—or at least tried to have—a threesome with Drey Dalt when they were young.
- In Sergey Lukyanenko's Seekers of the Sky duology, Helena is a glider (wood-and-cloth plane) pilot. She retells a few stories from her flying days, many of which end in pilots having sex after (crash-)landing. One story ends in a foursome with her as the only woman. Apparently, this is quite common among pilots, even though most are male.
- Smoke and Ashes ends with a threesome to save the world, because the gay protagonist needs a man involved to become aroused enough to activate Leah's sex-based powers.
- Black Iris has an instance that manages to be plot-relevant. When Blythe, Laney, and Armin give in to their mutual Unresolved Sexual Tension, someone gets a picture of them and uses it for blackmail. It's the typical MFF/FMF variant, but slightly different here in that both girls are bisexual anyway, and have plenty of sex without Armin.
- A Fox Tail includes a foursome between Vulpie and Polar and another gay couple.
- Happens in Dhalgren as a more-or-less stable relationship.
- In The Dresden Files short story Backup, Thomas Raith is talking with his sister Lara over the phone, and it turns out she's apparently calling him while in the middle of a three-way. Being White Court vampires, neither of them are perturbed by this.
- German writer Kurt Tucholsky had this in Schloss Gripsholm and claimed it was based on Real Life. His girlfriends would later claim this was NOT the case.
- This is how Rolf Carlé from Isabel Allende's Eva Luna loses his virginity. To his two cute cousins, even. This evolves into a steady Secret Relationship until Rolf leaves his uncle and aunt's household and goes to college, and later the cousins marry other guys; still, the three consider this a very happy period of their shared lives.
- There are a lot of Romance Novels that often portray two-guy, one girl threesomes in which both guys have sex with the girl and each other.
- In The Mists of Avalon Guenevere, Arthur and Lancelot try a threesome once. It doesn't work out.
- In The Dinosaur Lords, Melodía gets in a threesome with Bernardius and Bi the Way Violette.
- When the cops come for Mob hoodlum and strip club manager Luke Goshen in Trunk Music, he's in bed with two of his strippers.
- In Portnoy's Complaint, the sex-obsessed protagonist has threesome with his girlfriend and an Italian prostitute in Rome, but he finds it more strenuous than sexy.
I can best describe the state I subsequently entered as one of unrelieved busy-ness. Boy, was I busy! I mean there was just so much to do. You go here and I'll go there- okay, now you go here and I'll go there- all right, now she goes down that way, while I head up this way, and you sort of half turn around on this...
- As per its Everybody Has Lots of Sex notoriety, Nip/Tuck seems to engage in this trope with a fair amount of regularity. Most of the time it's just Christian doing it because, you know, he's Christian, but a couple of plot-focused examples stand out:
- Matt agrees to engage in these with his ex-girlfriend lesbian cheerleader and her also-a-cheerleader lover, who feels that her new girlfriend is getting turned off the relationship because she's "not getting enough cock".
- Sean and Christian engage in one with a high-class call-girl. Notable for sounding like a subversion of the "one guy two girls" dynamic while actually being completely unlike most examples of the trope. It's not really a "threesome" so much as it is "they take turns mounting her".
- Eric's girlfriend's best friend suggests they all do it. Her motivations are treated as suspect, and are the first thing Eric brings up with his (male) friends. They conclude that what she really wants is to have sex with Eric's girlfriend, and Eric being around is just a plausible excuse for her to suggest it. Though not considering this in itself to be a dealbreaker, Eric ultimately decides against the proposal. But when he offhandedly mentions to his girlfriend that he "didn't think you'd be into it", she insists that they do do it, apparently interpreting Eric's statement as some sort of remark on her not being adventurous enough.
- When Turtle and Drama, after spending days trying to impress the same girl asks her to make a choice, she simply takes them both by the hand and leads them upstairs. Cue uncomfortable silence the next morning due to accidental "crossing of swords".
- Doctor Who:
- Captain Jack Harkness mentioned waking up with his erstwhile executioners the morning after they were supposed to well, execute him, and says they're a nice couple and they've stayed in touch. In Torchwood, he mentions having once been involved with a pair of twin acrobats.
- Also in Torchwood, one of the team Owen picks up a woman in a bar with an alien lust spray. Then her angry boyfriend shows up. Since this is Torchwood, Owen just sprays the boyfriend too and is implied to have had sex with both of them at once. (Technically, he sprays himself with the stuff. Whether this makes it less rapey depends on whether it just makes him smell really good, or actually impairs their judgment.)
Joey: Yeah, I guess, but what's like heads and what's tails?
- In the episode "The One Where Ross and Rachel Take A Break", Chandler and Joey once thought they might end up having sex with the same woman. When Joey asked who would go where, Chandler suggested flipping a coin:
Chandler: Well, if you don't know that I'm not sure I want to do this with you!
- Hilariously subverted in a hypothetical What Could Have Been episode, where Ross and Carol—still married—agree to have a threesome with Susan, who was then only a friend of Carol's. Ross, tossed aside during most of the act, finds out the hard way about his wife's homosexuality. He made and ate a sandwich halfway through. They didn't mind.
- In the episode "The One with the Jellyfish", it was revealed that Phoebe was conceived from a threeway between her parents and the girl who ended up being her adoptive mother.
- Averted in The Drew Carey Show, when Drew and a lesbian both get the same woman's phone number at a wedding and both start dating her. Since the two got rather competitive over who got to have sex with her first, she proposes a threesome. Drew ends up accidentally falling asleep on the couch while the two women go upstairs to start without him. By the time he wakes up, they've both already left, having fallen in love and decided to take a trip across the country together. Neither of them are ever seen on the show again.
- Baltar is shown to have done it with a Number Three and a Number Six in Battlestar Galactica. Quite an achievement since he's basically their captive at that point. Oh, and both women, being Ridiculously Human Robots, are strong enough to effortlessly snap his spine if they wished to.
Jerry: I can't! I'm not an orgy guy!
- George realizes the only way to make a switch from dating one roommate to another—normally an impossible situation—is by suggesting a Ménage-à-trois to the current girlfriend. The old girlfriend will be Squicked, refuse, and tell the other. The roommate will be flattered that she's been offered. The girlfriend will dump the boy, and the other roommate will contact him to go out. Problem: when Jerry tries it, his girlfriend and her roommate both react positively, thus Squicking Jerry out of the relationship.
George: Are you crazy?! This is like discovering plutonium by accident!!
Jerry: Don't you know what it means to become an orgy guy? It changes everything! I'd have to dress different, I'd have to act different! I'd have to grow a moustache and get all kinds of robes and lotions. I'd need a new bedspread, new curtains. I'd have to get thick carpeting and weirdo lighting. I'd have to get new friends; I'd have to get orgy friends. No, I'm not ready for it.
- In another episode, George discovers that his girlfriend has a male roommate, which makes him uncomfortable (especially since he looks a lot like George). He convinces his girlfriend to make the roommate move out, but then discovers that the velvet furniture he loved belonged to the roommate and would be leaving with him. He then tries to weasel out of the relationship entirely by proposing a "ménage-à-trois", hoping to disgust the girl and get her to break up with him. However it turns out that the girl had already been discussing such a thing with the roommate beforehand and they're both delighted to find out George is into it too. Cue Big "NO!" from George.
- Sex and the City:
- Charlotte's boyfriend expresses interest in a threesome and she goes for it, even though Samantha advises her that the only way a threesome is good is if you're the third party they bring in for it. It ends badly; her boyfriend is more interested in the other woman than with her.
- Samantha has been dating a guy for some time, and he asks for a threesome as a birthday present. Samantha is quite jealous, but he kicks the other girl out of bed when she calls him "Daddy" mid-sex.
- Samantha has been listening to her neighbours having sex Right Through the Wall and starts to join in from afar. They invite her to join in in person, but they're too unattractive for her.
- Samantha (noticing a trend here) is propositioned by two Gay Best Friends of hers since they want to find out what it's like to be with a woman. It doesn't end well, because they can't bring themselves to do anything.
- One time, Miranda contacts a couple online who are looking for a woman to join in a threesome. Miranda actually has no intention of going through with it, though; she's just looking for validation that she could have one if she wanted to.
- In Coupling Patrick proposes a threesome to his girlfriend, and she's very eager, but he doesn't realise until he's already waiting naked for her that the third party she invited was, in fact, Jeff.
- A major goal for Barney in How I Met Your Mother; he bought a wrestling-championship-style belt to be awarded in such an occasion. In one episode, he quotes the Bro Code's guidance on the matter: "No eye contact during a Devil's Threeway." (A Devil's Threeway being two men and one woman, implied to have happened between George Washington and Benjamin Franklin.) He also claims in another episode to "almost" have had a 4-way. In addition, Ted may or may not have scored one. He refuses to say, but it's strongly implied. Yes, this is a story he's telling to his kids.
- Happens a few times in the British version of Queer as Folk, as well. The show being what it is, all of the participants were men.
JD: (thinking) Oh my god, would I have a threesome with Turk and Carla? Well, it's certainly flattering and I don't think they'd tell anyone
- Todd, when pressed, admits he's had a threesome. Normally he would flaunt information like this, but it wasn't the "cool kind." This was before his sexuality was revealed as "The Todd". In later season, he became involved with a pair of swingers.
- Elliot's old friend Melody claimed to have been in a threesome. When J.D. asks if it was 2 girls and a guy or a "Devil's Threesome", she answers "all girl". This causes every man in the room to slap a nearby table in a fit of horniness.
- When Turk and Carla told JD they had something to ask him (and it would mean a lot to them if he said yes), he got the mistaken impression they were suggesting a threesome.
Turk: Will you be my best man?
JD (disappointed): Oh
- In The Wire, Jimmy McNulty has a threesome with two prostitutes while he is undercover during a bust. He ends up justifying it as, "I was outnumbered." and has to write a report on why he did it, as obviously he wasn't meant to "close the deal" before the raid. Bunk warns him that his report will make him a Baltimore PD legend. Sure enough, in season 5, Dozerman brings it up and McNulty only partially denies it.
- An old man has been trying to reclaim his youth by taking over the bodies of young, fit men from the gym across the street from his retirement home. The first of the men we see the old guy possess has apparently just been engaged in a threesome with two women, just before his body melts from the inside when the old man's spell wears off. It's later sort of subverted, however, when it's revealed that the women were actually prostitutes.
- Reportedly occurred sometime in the past involving Drusilla, Darla, and the Immortal—just one more way he topped Angel and Spike, especially as D & D had refused to do a threesome with either of them.
- Perhaps they asked the wrong girl—in the comics it's revealed that Buffy's favourite sexual fantasy involves a bondage threesome with Angel and Spike (while dressed in a Naughty Nurse Outfit), and in a later comic issue she reveals another sexual fantasy involving two different film characters played by Gerard Butler.
- In an episode of Just Shoot Me!, Maya and a lesbian model get revenge on Finch, who tried to hook them up, by pretending they're willing to have a threesome with him, but only if he completes an insane list of impossible tasks, before sundown. Throughout the day, Finch is able to get anything he wants from fellow men simply by mentioning that it will help him in this goal (a mounted policeman even gives him a ride on his horse). After he fails miserably, the crowd of men waiting to know if he had succeeded (where they all failed apparently) is disappointed when he shrugs and says no cue a Slow Clap moment for his effort.
- Gossip Girl:
Nate: Look man, I know things. I've been to Europe. Chuck Bass is my best friend. The third person is supposed to be a stranger.
- In the third season an upcoming threesome was announced, and created a lot of publicity. Reactions among the fans quickly went from excitement to boredom when it turned out that the threesome was between Dan, Vanessa and Olivia (guest star Hilary Duff). Two of the show's least popular characters together with a guest character few people cared about. The whole thing is generally considered one of the least hot moments on the show.
- Chuck seems to have more than his fair share, and both Nate and Blair lecture Dan about the unwritten rules for the activity.
- In an episode of Special Unit 2, a pair of Medusa sisters pick up men in clubs with the promise of a threesome and, when they're alone, they show their real "hair," petrifying the poor saps. O'Malley goes in undercover and is immediately approached by a pair of sisters offering the same proposition, followed by the Medusae doing the same. He is torn between the two pairs of sisters until one mentions that she's not wearing any panties, tipping the scales in her favor. Incidentally, she is a Medusa. He's been hunting Links for a long time now, so they don't catch him off-guard, although he probably would've rather gone with the other sisters, who actually meant what they said.
- Monty Python's Flying Circus featured a fake-documentary sketch about village idiots, centering on one Arthur Figgis (John Cleese). When the narrator asks "What about his relationships with women?" the scene cuts to Figgis in bed with two gorgeous and apparently naked women, saying, "I may be an idiot, but I'm not a fool."
- Two and a Half Men:
Charlie: Come on Alan! Get your priorities straight!
- After Alan and Charlie meet several members of a women's volleyball team in a bar:
Alan: I do have my priorities straight! I've had a wife for eleven years, but I've never had group sex!
Charlie: Don't bother; it's an overrated male fantasy.
Charlie: No, are you kidding?!
- Jake is implied to have a pair of girlfriends for this purpose in at least one episode.
- Alan later breaks up with a girl because their sex life was boring, just moments before she could reveal that she agreed and had invited her hot friend over to help spice it up.
- On The Office, Michael brags that Todd Packer had a three-way with two saleswomen they met in a bar. Considering how repulsive Todd Packer is onscreen however, it could just be Michael telling tales. Or considering how naive Michael can be, the women might have been prostitutes.
- A season one episode of Californication has Hank and Charlie having a rather messy one with a woman. The episode is titled, appropriately enough, The Devil's Threesome.
- The Double Standard attached to the trope is discussed in an episode of Quincy, M.E., as an analogy to the one attached to alcoholism (one of Quincy's female coworkers is alcoholic). (If a guy wakes up in bed with two women, he's awesome. If a woman wakes up in bed with two men, she's a slut.)
- An episode of Dream On featured Martin dating a woman who wanted a threesome with him and his best friend Eddie. At the end of the episode, they decide to go through with it.
- In the final season of House Wilson had a threesome on his bucket list. House helps him get one by playing up the "dying of cancer" angle, the girls steal his wallet and keys.
- In Peep Show Jez had been planning to dump his scary girlfriend until she suggests doing a threesome. Though the third person is a stranger, it is someone who detests the whole idea and the event is implied to be pretty horrible.
- Pete and Dawn from Gavin & Stacey attempt one with a guy they met off the internet to try and spice their relationship up. It doesn't work out.
- In Mr. Show after Lyle unsuccessfully asks out 2 of the female scientists living in the Biosphere with him (both of who have dates with other scientists), he asks the only female scientist left, who also has a date. He says there should be no one leftnote . She reveals she's going to spend the night with the scientist who another woman had plans with.
Lyle: he's sleeping with Dr. Shaddock.
Dr. Laura Balance: I know. I'm joining them later for a threesome thing.
Lyle: But what about me?!
Dr. Laura Balance: It's a threesome.
- In Season 7 of Mad Men, Don has one of these with Megan and one of her acting friends in California. It was Megan's idea.
- The Vampire Diaries:
- Rebekah/Damon/Sage in season 3; as part of Damon and Sage's plan to read Rebekah's mind, they invite her over in a situation that looks very three-somey, though Sage is ultimately sidelined.
- In 5x01, a flashback to their time in Europe reveals that Matt and Rebekah had a threesome with a European girl named Nadia (aka the girl who steals the Gilbert ring from Matt).
- The whole point of Threesome is that Mitch, Alice and Richie have a threesome in the pilot.
- In Vikings Ragnar and Lagertha offered to share their bed with Athelstan (who declined since he was a monk).
- On Passions, Charity had a threesome with the two shirtless hunks she was dancing with at the ski lodge club.
- An early episode of The 100 has Bellamy waking up in bed with two girls. Part of a general pattern of Bellamy getting laid a lot in Season 1, thanks to Power Is Sexy and looking like Bob Morley.
- The Magicians: Quentin, Margo and Eliot have a threesome while "high" on emotion magic.
- Babylon 5: Centauri are polygamous, and their *ahem* Exotic Equipment kind of makes it easier to have them all at once. In one episode where Londo gained the right to divorce two of his three wives, but was having trouble deciding which ones, two of them tried to persuade him with a threesome, but the third refused to participate. Later in the series finale Emperor Cotto is introduced in bed with two women, responding to a messenger with an aggravated "Whaaattt?!"
- House of Cards (US): Frank, Claire and their secret service agent Meechum have a threesome together, and, surprisingly, it's triangular: Frank and Meechum are clearly having sex with each other (Frank's bisexuality had been set up in the previous season).
- In The Mists of Avalon, Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot get into bed together so as to help her conceive.
- Hemlock Grove: Roman and Peter have a spontaneous threesome with Miranda in season 2. They both feel weird about it the next morning, while she's just like "it's the 21st century, guys!".
- The Britney Spears song "3" is about threesomes. It's as bad as it sounds. Catchy, though.
- Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)":
Last Friday night
We went streaking in the park
Skinny dipping in the dark
Then had a ménage à trois
- "Triad" by David Crosby.
- Marilyn Manson's "(s)AINT" video cuts right to the chase, with Manson engaging in an all male threesome with two crossdressing male hookers—portrayed by his ex-bandmate, Gidget Gein, and Eric Szmanda of CSI.
- In the musical Cabaret, one of the musical numbers presented in the caberet was "Two Ladies" including the master of ceremonies and two ladies in bed.
- Two thirds of "Surf City" by Jan and Dean are are all about this trope. The Go-Gos replaced the line "Two girls for every boy" with "Two boys for every girl" in their cover version of the song.
- "Wild Streak" by Hank Williams Jr.:
I want to jump in the sea
With two hot mamas and
Get it on
- "Two For The Price Of One" by ABBA
- "The French Song" by Joan Jett.
- "I Got It From Agnes" by Tom Leher:
Pierre gave it to Sheila
Who must have brought it there
He got it from Francois and Jacques
Haha, Lucky Pierre
- A rare 2M/1F version in "Ménage" by Black Sheep featuring Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest. By the end of the song, it turns into a 3M/1F four-way.
- Starting at the 1:52 mark in her video for "Hangin' In", Tanya Tucker hooks up with 3 muscular, bare chested hunks for a 3M/1F fourway.
- "3-Way (The Golden Rule)" by The Lonely Island is about this. The eponymous golden rule is: It's not gay when it's in a threeway. But being a comedy song, it doesn't really mean that.
It's okay when it's in a 3-way
It's not gay when it's in a 3-way
With a honey in the middle there's some leeway
The area's grey in a 1-2-3-way
Normally, I don't get down with dudes
But tonight is a special exception
See, you're my best friend through thick and thin
Now it's time to make a triple connection
Here in the dark
(Here in the dark)
It's hard to tell
(So hard to tell)
Where her body ends
And my homie's begins
- "Culture Shock" by Olivia Newton-John.
- Difficult but possible: In Jade Empire, it is possible to have sex with Silk Fox and Dawn Star at the same time if you have a high enough persuasion skills and are male, or Silk Fox and Sky for either gender.
- Dragon Age:
- In Dragon Age: Origins it is possible to have a threesome (or foursome) with pirate queen Isabela under a few circumstances: if a female warden is romancing a hardened (that is, more cynical and selfish) Alistair, she can proposition Isabela for sex and invite Alistair along. If a male or female warden is romancing a hardened Leliana and propositions Isabela for sex, Leliana will insist on joining you to "keep an eye on things". If a male or female warden propositions Isabela for sex under any situation, and Zevran is present, Isabela will invite him to join you; this can result in a warden + Isabela + Zevran threesome, or a warden + Isabela + Leliana +Zevran foursome (but not a foursome with Alistair—he will refuse).
- In the dwarf noble starter area, it is possible for a male dwarf noble to sleep with two "noble-hunters". They insist on taking turns instead of any "three-to-a-bed", though.
- In Dragon Age II, there is a possible threesome, also involving Isabela: at the resolution of Zevran's sidequest, Isabela will proposition him for sex. If Hawke protests, she will tell him or her, "You can come too."
- Subverted in Mass Effect. If you flirt with both Liara and the human squad mate they will eventually confront you. Shepard can suggest a three way, however Kaidan and Ashley won't agree and will break off the relationship.
Shepard: "I love it when women fight over me."
- In the God of War games, Kratos can have a threesome in each. In addition, Aphrodite in God of War 3 is busy with two slave girls when Kratos arrives, and invites him to join (but then a foursome is averted when the other two ladies are relegated to the sidelines, providing commentary on the player's skill with Aphrodite in the following Quicktime event).
- In Fire Emblem Fates, if Niles is called up to an Avatar of either gender's room for "bonding" and said Avatar's spouse is there, he can imply that he'd be up for this:
"If you two don't have anything planned for tonight, I can think of a few suggestions."
- In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, the Dunmeri Tribunal (a trio of Physical Gods) engage in this with each other, according to Vivec's 36 Lessons series. (Though sex amongst gods likely isn't as we mortals understand it.)
- The Nasuverse uses Deus Sex Machina and Intimate Healing more than once, so this trope tends to take place sometimes:
- In Tsukihime fan-disk Kagetsu Tohya is the unlockable side story 'Flower of Thanatos', where Shiki can have a passionate threesome with maid twin sisters Hisui and Kohaku.
- In Fate/stay night, the first erotic scene in the Fate route is between Shirou + Arthuria/Saber + Rin. (With Saber in the middle, even.)
- Fan-disk Fate/hollow ataraxia has a gorgeous hot dream scene between Shirou, Sakura and Medusa/Rider.
- The School Days franchise has its share of this tope too:
- The player can make Makoto score a threesome with both Kotonoha and Sekai either in on the rooftop of the school or in Sekai's own bedroom. If they do well enough in the game, the three stay together in a Polyamory relationship.
- Summer Days adds threesomes with twin sisters (Kazuha and Futaba), two regular sisters (Otome and Karen), and mother and daughter (Youko and Sekai).
- Subverted in Cross Days, where Makoto can convince Hikari, Nanami and Roka to gather for sex, but they don't engage in actual three-or-four-way action. First Makoto does Hikari while Roka talks to Nanami and then fingers her to orgasm, then Makoto fucks Nanami while Hikari and Roka chat and watch over them.
- Played "straight" in the route with Makoto, Taisuke and Yuu/ki.
- Played for absolutely horrifying Fan Disservice in Saya no Uta, where Fuminori and Saya rape Yoh.
- Shows up often in Ménage à 3, though maybe not quite as often as the title makes some people expect, with most gender permutations. Some examples:
- Flashbacks shows Zii's foursome with (male) triplets (exhausting) and her threesome with two male former band-mates (abortive due to male-male hang-ups). Another flashback shows Zii's abortive attempt to organize a surprise six-way orgy for Yuki, which ran into the problem of the latter's phobias.
- Zii gets a threesome with Sonya and Jake. The night ends badly, but no one is objecting at the start—and Jake subsequently develops an excessive taste for (mostly off-screen) group sex.
- Matt manages to bag two cast members (one male, one female) from Dillon's play, simultaneously.
- Nathan organises an encounter between himself, Amber, and Dillon (in drag), though he mainly just watches.
- Zii gets Erik and Adrien into bed simultaneously, the first night that they all meet.
- Amber offers Gary a threesome, and he fantasises about her and Chanelle. Unfortunately, she means with her and Dillon, which isn't to Gary's tastes, so that fantasy quickly ends. He does get his fantasy realized and expanded later, though.
- Yuki and Sonya's "sex contest" for Gary's favours culminates in a (pre-arranged) three-way encounter, which ends in disaster (unless you count Gary having sex with Kiley as an indirect consequence), as Gary for one should have expected, when Yuki's issues kick in, again.
- Zii, Sonya, DiDi, and Peggy, wind up in what has to be called a lesbian orgy, though that's mostly about two pairs at any given moment.
- Matt arranges a foursome with Gary, Kiley, and Peggy, for complex reasons of his own which he doesn't fully disclose to the others. As a result, when Kiley discovers what's going on, she storms out. However, the others all stick around, so it reduces to a threesome.
- Kiley offers Sonya and Yuki therapeutic assistance with their mutual problems. Given how Kiley is approaching this, and the nature of those problems, these sessions may end up looking a lot like lesbian threesomes.
- Least I Could Do:
- Rayne ends up sleeping with another guy in addition to the girl he tried to pick up. He's not too happy about the dude, but they're a "package deal" and he's apparently just heteroflexible enough to handle it.
- A small storyline centers around him trying to get a threesome with two girls going. It would have succeeded, but he pushed his luck in trying to make it a fivesome. Impersonating a police officer probably didn't help much either.
- Skin Horse: Tip's "superpower" is apparently so strong that he can get two women to have sex with him at once even when he's barely paying attention. He doesn't realize until the next day that he never even got their names.
- Sexy Losers discusses the above-mentioned situation with two men and one woman in strip #164 (NSFW).
- Dora from Questionable Content gives her opinion on the subject.
- In Schlock Mercenary, the husband of a woman who was "gate-cloned" suggests this. The two women are of one-mind in their disagreement with the idea.
- Ally, Lisa and Anne have a period in Sunstone where the three are in a threesome arrangement. This drops off when Ally and Lisa confess their love to each other and Anne gets involved with Ally's friend and ex, Alan.
- Kimchi Cuddles: Baxter, Soliloquy, and Lilly try to have one, but Baxter drops the ball. He's not good at multitasking.
- In "Spooning With Spoony 2", Spoony mentions pulling a man-sandwich with The Nostalgia Critic. It's safe to say that Critic really didn't want to be the filling, as it were.
- In Where the Bears Are, this happens in Season Two with Wood and Detectives Winters and Martinez, who are partners in both senses of the term. They briefly break up with him to save their marriage, but neither can stay away.
- Tremontaine has an F/F/M threesome Kaab, Tess, and Vincent and an F/F/F threesome in Season 2.
- Family Guy: "Boy, this is more awkward than that threesome where the girl didn't show up!"
"So, you definitely left her a voicemail?"
"Yeah, home and cell."
"Oh, good, you got the cell too, I was wondering "
- On The Simpsons, one "Treehouse of Horror" segment ends with Homer having a threesome with two demons (although they safeword out almost immediately).
- In the "Flashback" of the South Park episode "Cartman's Mom Is a Dirty Slut", Liane Cartman discusses with Chef if he and Mr. Garrison could do the "manage-o-three"note with her.