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Toplessness from the Back

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Studio Executive A: She strips? This has got to get a PG-13 rating.
Studio Executive B: Like I say, it's a family movie. She only strips to the waist. And we only see her from the back.
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A naked or topless woman is shown only by the camera showing her bare back (and usually nothing below her waist). This usually means someone is seeing her bare front… but not us. This allows female nudity without actually showing the goods and, as such, is a form of Discretion Shot.

As the quote atop the page indicates, the point here is to have some titillation without showing the forbidden nipple. Reasons for this vary. Some examples come from times when censorship rules were stricter. Other works may need to avoid a more "adult" rating. Many actresses simply don't want to go topless. Or, a filmmaker may decide that less is more.

It is not an example of this trope if the character is also seen topless from the front, unless it's a Shoulders-Up Nudity shot or her nudity is hidden via another form of Censorship Tropes. Between My Legs or Dress Hits Floor can be used as a below-the-waist equivalent. Sideboob may sometimes be visible.

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In love scenes (particularly mainstream TV and PG-rated films) this will often be invoked alongside a Modesty Bedsheet positioned to cover anything from the lower back downwards. If the film is PG-13 or higher, or a cable/streaming series, odds are no bedsheet will be in place, sort of rendering the trope moot as another part of the actress' anatomy is displayed instead.

For clothing that exposes the back but covers the front, see Sexy Backless Outfit.


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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In 009-1, Mylene Hoffman/Agent 009-1 has several such scenes combined with Modesty Bedsheets. Indeed, the very first time you see her in the series is when she gets out of bed wearing only a bedsheet and showing plenty of naked back.
  • Blade & Soul: In episode 1, we see Alka's naked from the back as she's bathing in a pond. When she notices someone peeping, this gets combined with Shoulders-Up Nudity in the next sequence as she reaches for her weapon underwater and goes on a Full-Frontal Assault.
  • Bleach: The Keigun officer's uniform, which is worn by the Shinigami that is both Supreme Commander of the Stealth Force and Captain of the Second Division, is designed to leave her back and shoulders exposed. When Shunko is activated, it bursts from the back and shoulders, destroying any clothing that's present so the uniform is designed to remain intact while Shunko is in use. Soifon doesn't realize this design purpose until Yoruichi demonstrates the practical necessity by deliberately activating Shunko while being fully clothed.
  • Happens to Clare in Claymore a couple of times when Rubei tells her to turn around while naked. Of course, what he's seeing is a really horrible-looking scar, or possibly something even more squicktastic, but the idea is the same.
  • Code Geass:
    • During Kallen's Shower Scene, the curtain gets pulled open, and we get a Toplessness From The Back shot. Then the camera pans down.
    • Much later in the series, we got another Toplessness From The Back shot of Cécile putting on her Knightmare driver bodysuit.
  • Don't Toy with Me, Miss Nagatoro: The Arts Club President did a self-portrait of herself nude from the back for the previous year club's school festival exhibit. According to Senpai, her painting was very popular with the boys for reasons she didn't intend.
  • In the Fate/stay night anime, the audience sees Saber's back while Shiro sees the front after she gets out of the bath. Saber doesn't seem to mind and tells Shiro that he shouldn't think of her as a woman, but as a warrior first. Shiro's reaction? "Please Put Some Clothes On!"
  • Riza Hawkeye in Fullmetal Alchemist Her back has a giant tattoo, and burn scars covering it and this trope happens whenever the tattoo is shown. Since it's Riza, you could still call it Fanservice, and the fourth ending to Brotherhood prominently features her back.
  • Fushigi Yuugi gives us a view of Miaka's back as she's bathing to purify herself for the summoning ceremony (her butt's included though, poor girl). We don't see her when she turns around. Tamahome does.
  • Gintoki gets a lot of these moments. Most of the time, they're Played for Laughs but that doesn't stop the fangirls from ogling over him.
  • A couple of scenes in Girls und Panzer where Miho is talking to the other girls in the school baths.
  • Goblin Slayer: Cow Girl's introduction shows her stretching in the morning while nude from the back, since she regularly Sleeps in the Nude.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry: In episode 21 of "Kai", Miyo gets a Harassing Phone Call from Okonogi in the middle of the night and we see her bare back as she sits up to answer as the sheet slides down, showing she Sleeps in the Nude.
  • In Inuyasha:
    • Kagura has one of these in an episode when she's attacked from behind, showing off Naraku's mark on her back.
    • Kagome has one of these moments when, after being captured and waking up naked in a tub of sake, she leaps out of the pool when Inuyasha breaks down the door to rescue her. All we see is her back and Inuyasha's hilarious expression. She has a Naked Freak-Out when she notices she's naked in front of him.
  • Weapons-grade Pettanko Isis Egret from Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force has another side that's gotten a lot of attention lately, with a certain racerback outfit.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • Bare back scene appear on occasion, but it's usually overshadowed by the fact that most of the girls are naked all the time anyway, their modesty only preserved by Censor Steam and lack of detail.
    • Ako. She may think that her back is ugly, but if you're into chicks with scars...
  • One Piece:
    • This is often the most we get to see of Nami during her ShowerScenes. In some cases, however, she is shown topless from the front, but with her breasts covered by Censor Steam.
    • The trope was also used as an actual plot point for more than a half chapter, when Hancock had to show Luffy the mark on her back.
  • The Ouran High School Host Club anime has the twins putting a photoshopped picture of Haruhi's shirtless back on the club website, leading Tamaki to falsely conclude that they must've seen something while taking the picture. It's more egregious in the manga, where the twins put Haruhi's head on Tamaki's chest and Tamaki is still fooled into thinking it's real.
  • When Akane's body was possessed by a vengeful spirit doll in Ranma ½, it tried to distract Ranma (so it could kill him afterwards) by stripping bare in front of him. The audience only got to see Akane's back and upper hips; the real Akane (trapped in a doll's body) threw herself at Ranma's face to keep him from looking.
  • Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers: Mora Chester's Crest Of The Six Flowers is located on the small of her back, so any shot of said Crest usually results in this trope, like this shot from the OP.
  • Mixed with the Japanese nape-of-neck thing in Samurai Champloo when Fuu poses for an artist. First she's asked to only loosen her kimono a bit and let the collar slide a little lower. OK, that's a bit naughty. The artist just keeps prompting her to lower the collar more and more. Scandalous!
  • Soul Eater. Tsubaki Natsukasa in the first opening and the various Furo Scenes.
  • Spice and Wolf: Holo normally doesn't wear clothes, but she does use the trope to justify why she's not going to remove her (ear- and tail- concealing) cloak for some strange merchant Holo and Lawrence met that day.

    Comic Books 
  • In Astonishing X-Men #21. When Colossus and Kitty are given refuge from the Breakworld's Powerlord by former gladiator Arghanne, Colossus considers the ramifications of his presence on Breakworld before turning in. Hearing his confusion, Kitty emerges from behind the curtain. The reader is treated to a clear view of Kitty's nude back (and a little bit of her cleverly shadowed rear end) while Colossus clearly sees her front.
    Colossus: Now I am more confused. But somehow not as tired.
  • The cover of one issue of Billy, which is the R-rated, Norwegian variation of Beetle Bailey shows Sgt Snorkel's dog Otto pulling off Miss Buxley's towel at the beach, when she's sunbathing in the nude (but lying on her stomach).
  • Danger Girl:
    • The crossover with a Army of Darkness has Abbey bathing in a river with her topless back to the reader and to Ash.
    • The credits page for the "Revolver" miniseries has Abbey, Sydney and Sonya being shown topless from the back with them only wearing shorts for good measure.
  • Kitty Pryde again in Excalibur #11, when she tries on one of Phoenix's outfits and then, noting the differences in the fit, uses her Intangibility powers to tears it off in frustration... just Widget starts manifesting its teleportation powers and she ends up naked in public much to her mortification, although the reader only gets to see her bare back.
  • In a scene in the graphic novel Hooky, Spindrifter uses a portal to save Spider-Man from plunging into an abyss, and he falls into a lavish palace full of harem girls, two of which are shown like this. (Three others are topless and covering themselves with their arms.)
  • In Justice League International Classified #6 after Beatriz da Costa / Fire turns on her fire powers while in her civvies, destroying them in the process. She asks for Ralph for his shirt before turning off her powers and when he questions why, she turns off her flames in front of him to emphasize that she's naked, with her nude backside to the reader.
  • The Marvel Swimsuit Special occasionally depicts female heroes (and villains) this way, such as this artwork with the New Warriors, with Namorita applying sunscreen with her bikini top off (only Nova and Speedball seem to notice.)
  • In Red Sonja Vol. 4 #3 opens with a shot of naked Red Sonja climbing out of a bathtub with her back to the reader.
  • In JMS' Spider-Man, when Peter and Mary Jane make love for the first time after reconciling, they're show lying in bed post-coital under a Modesty Bedsheet up to their waist, with MJ lying naked on her stomach.
  • In a John Byrne Superman story from the 1980s, when Superman's powers have gone haywire due to a satellite put into orbit by Lex Luthor, Catherine Grant's "toplessness" (due to Superman's X-ray vision kicking on in an inopportune moment, where he could see through people's clothes) is first shown from the back.
  • In Wonder Woman (2011) #1, Zola is teleported into Diana's London house and finds her sleeping in the nude, covered only by a Modesty Bedsheet. After a tense explanation, Diana gets out of bed and walks up to her wardrobe, dropping the sheet in the process and giving the reader a view of her bare back.
  • X-Factor (2006)
    • Monet is the privacy of her room, shrugging off her robe and dancing to the tune of "I'm Too Sexy" while naked. Naturally, Rictor barges at that moment and gets a full-frontal view while the viewer sees her naked back. She has a Naked Freak-Out and promptly tosses Rictor out of the room.
    • When Rahne takes off her shirt just before having sex with Rictor, only her bare back is seen.

    Comic Strips 
  • In a Hi and Lois strip from 1971 (the bottom strip on this page) Lois strips down to her panties before giving Trixie her bath. The creator notes that it somehow "made it past the editors at King Features".

    Fan Works 
  • Lampshaded in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series when Marik/Malik takes his shirt of to reveal a tattoo on his back. "Now watch, Fangirls, as I strip. Yea, get a load of that back. You (EFF)ing love it, don't you!" Might be counted as Fan Disservice in the original anime, once you see how exactly he received it, since in the original Japanese-language anime, it wasn't a tattoo at all; it was actually carved into the flesh of his back to the point of scarring. And look at how intricate this thing is!

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Act of Vengeance, the camera lingers on Karen's naked back as she walks down in the tub for the Bathtub Bonding scene.
  • The Archer: While in the camp's shower, Lauren's shown nude from the back and waist up.
  • Awake: Sam when she's brushing her teeth naked at the start of the movie and later sitting up in bed post-sex with some Sideboob in Clayton's memories.
  • In Be Cool, Edie is introduced sunbathing topless.
  • Breaking the Girls: Alex shows this while lying in bed, with only a sheet covering her backside. Nina also has it while having sex with David on a lawn chair (as Sara and Alex watch). She also has some garment covering her bum.
  • Bring It On: The film begins with Torrance having a "Not Wearing Pants" Dream where she's doing a cheerleading performance in front of the whole school while topless, with the camera only showing her from the back.
  • Perhaps the raciest shot of Cabin Fever shows Marcy from the back. Specifically, it shows her lover squeezing her back, which explains how she gets the rashes that reveal she was actually infected with the flesh-eating disease and passed it on to loverboy.
    Paul: (While they are in the middle of having sex) Shouldn't we use a condom?
    Marcy: It's okay, I'm healthy.
    Marcy: (Later) Damn, Paul, you really did a number on my back!
  • Chalet Girl: Kim when she rises out of the hot tub to play in the snow.
  • Cowboys & Aliens has this when Ella is reborn from the fire. While we see her bare back, Jake and most other male characters clearly see her front.
  • Myca has a serious moment of Toplessness From the Back in her Shower Scene in The Crow, showing off her tattoo.
  • In The Day the Earth Caught Fire, there is a scene in which Jeannie is washing her hair; although her back is to the camera, there is a flash of just enough Sideboob.
  • Tiffany Case's first appearance in Diamonds Are Forever. Plenty O'Toole gets this herself once she Dress Hits Floor courtesy of Bond.
  • In Dodsworth, Ruth Chatterton is shot from behind as she's taking off her dress and putting on a nightgown.
  • Entrapment: When her luggage is stolen, Gin is forced to sleep naked in her hotel room with only a Modesty Bedsheet to cover her. Naturally, when Mac sneaks up on her sleeping and startles her, she sits up and the sheets pool at her waist, giving the audience a shot of her bare back while he gets an eyeful of her front. Also happens later in Kuala Lumpur when she's sleeping naked again, this time due to the heat.
  • A lingering shot of Hazel in this state after Gus takes off her bra is the most raunchy that The Fault in Our Stars's sex scene gets.
  • A Fine Mess: Claudia arrives at Spence's apartment wearing only a white fur coat, as shown above. Spence asks, "May I take your coat?" and Claudia answers, "Sure," shedding the coat and walking into Spence's bedroom wearing only panties.
  • Erich von Stroheim became famous during The Roaring '20s for pushing the boundaries of sexual content in film far beyond what anyone else dared. In Foolish Wives, the most dramatic shot comes when Helen has to change out of her wet clothes. Count Sergius, being a creep and pervert, turns his back but then holds up a mirror. The mirror catches both Helen topless from the back, and Sergius' leering grin.
  • The Guest House: Amy is seen topless from behind when undressing and taking a shower.
  • Done in The Guns of Navarone, but definitely not played for fanservice. The team are, rather brutally, interrogating one of their local guides, whom they suspect to be The Mole. The suspected mole claims to have been tortured by the Germans when she refused to betray La Résistance, and the team wants to see her scars to corroborate the story.
  • In Halloween (1978), Annie strips down to her panties and changes into an over-sized dress shirt before putting her clothes in the washing machine.
  • Help!: Ahme's sister taking a bath in Part Two.
  • The titular housemaid in The Housemaid does this when peeling out of a wet dress, in order to seduce her boss.
  • In I Love You, Beth Cooper Miss Cooper gives the audience this, while giving Denis's "I" what's on the other side when she drops her Modesty Towel in front of him.
  • Jennifer's Body: Jennifer climbing out of the water after Skinny Dipping on a lake.
  • Older Than Television! Mary gets caught while taking off a dress in Wings.
  • In The Wolfman (2010), there's a scene early on where Lawrence goes to give Ben's possessions to his fiancee, Gwen. When Gwen's maid answers the door, he has a brief glimpse of Gwen's back as she changes out of her dress. This is referenced in Lawrence's Madness Montage later, while he's kept in Lambeth Asylum. At one point he hallucinates/dreams about Gwen sitting on his bed in Talbot Hall, topless and looking at him over her shoulder.
  • The Woman in Red. Crossed with Sideboob and as a subtrope of Nipple and Dimed. Charlotte is shown naked from the back after taking off everything aside from her panties before getting into bed with Teddy.
  • The Trip (1967) uses this during Paul's sex scenes with Sally and Glenn.
  • In Psych-Out, this is done when Jenny changes in Stoney's room.
  • Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters: Mina is shown entirely nude from the back she gets out of her dress by the pool.
  • In The Shadow of Chikara, Drusilla is shown topless from behind when she is mending her dress; having pulled the top of it down so she could sew it without having to take the dress off.
  • When the Bough Breaks (1994): When Macleah undresses for bed, the camera stays focused on her back, where scars are visible.

    Literature 

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Castle episode "Murder He Wrote", Castle takes Beckett to a vacation spot in the Hamptons for their first vacation since their Relationship Upgrade. They decide to use the swimming pool during their first night, and when Beckett takes her robe off, she treats the camera to a clear shot of her back. (Regrettably, a murder interrupted their fun and games.)
    Castle: You forgot your bathing suit.
    Beckett [smiling mischievously] I know.
  • Coupling: Susan repeatedly, Sally in series two, and once with Jane in series four. In each case the audience is treated to "the full backal", as the show puts it, but other characters see the front.
  • CSI: In "Skin in the Game", Morgan goes undercover as a hooker. She has to disrobe to keep her cover intact, and the audience is treated to shot of her unclad back.
  • CSI: NY:
    • Sheldon's girlfriend, Camille, treats him to a view when she shows up at his door dressed only in a fur coat. The camera catches her back from the waist up...and his reaction.
    • A gender-flipped variation with Mac in the season 9 opener. He exits the shower, wipes off his steamy mirror, and the audience sees only the reflection of his face and his back, revealing the scar left by his bullet wound from the season 8 finale.
  • Seen in the Dallas Reunion Show War of the Ewings, when a woman drops her robe for J.R. in this way as he smiles.
  • Daredevil (2015):
  • Dark Matter: We get a shot of Two's naked from the back while she drops her Modesty Towel in front of One while getting dressed, who is left stammering while trying giving her a report on the ship.
  • Dates: Kate briefly sits up naked in bed while she's putting on her clothes, showing her bare back and buttocks.
  • The opening credits to Deadwood use this to great effect.
  • Doctor In Charge: When Emma performs this impromptu striptease.
  • Becomes a plot point at the end of Elementary's first season. Sherlock has been reunited with love interest Irene Adler after her abduction by Moriarty, and as he spies her topless back as she changes clothes, he observes that she's missing a mole. He deduces that Moriarty wouldn't care enough about his abductee's health to have the mole removed, so she must have been working for Moriarty. Sherlock was half right — Irene actually is Moriarty.
  • Everybody Loves Raymond: Sports journalist Ray Barone is reduced to incoherent mumbling and embarrassment when interviewing an ice-skating star who blithely changes out of her performance gear into street clothes during the interview. Being American primetime TV, she is only seen from the back.
  • Lauren is briefly seen like this in Faking It when she's preparing to send a naked selfie to her boyfriend and Shane opens the door on her. Being gay, Shane has no appreciation for it.
  • Foundation (2021): In episode 3, Salvor is shown from behind as she gets out of bed wearing only panties, walks across the room, and starts getting dressed.
  • Hart of Dixie:
    • Happens when Zoe decides to go Skinny Dipping at the end of "In Havoc & in Heat".
    • Also occurs with Zoe in "Red Dye", when she pulls off a Sexy Coat Flashing on Wade.
  • In one episode of House, the reaction of a female teenage model to the revelation that she is technically male is to rip off her hospital gown in front of House and a large viewing window (with a lot of startled people on the other side) and scream, "Look at me! I'm beautiful!" We only see this from the back, but House, who has a better view, is definitely looking.
  • Fairly Legal: One memorable scene has Kate walking out of Justin's kitchen wearing only his shirt, and he tells her he intends to wear that shirt to work. So she takes it off.
  • Fargo: In "The Law of Vacant Places", the audience is treated to a shot of Nikki's naked back when she rises out of the bathtub in an attempt to distract Maurice long enough for Ray to get the gun away from him. It works on her part, Ray's just too slow to the draw.
  • Farscape. Alien nymphomaniac Chiana always has sex in the reverse cowgirl position, thereby avoiding the need for a Modesty Bedsheet while at the same time showing off her naked back.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • In "Kissed by Fire", during Jaime and Brienne's Bathtub Scene, he taunts her over her failure to protect Renly causing her to when she stands up in the bath furiously, with her bare back to the camera while her front is covered by Jaime's head.
    • In "High Sparrow", Margaery shows this to the audience and Tommen as she climbs out of bed after their wedding night.
    • In "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms", the audience gets a bare back and Side Boob shot of Arya as she takes off her clothes.
  • The Gifted: Lorna during her Shower Scene in "rX", as she's washing the dye out of her hair.
  • Grand Hotel: Gigi Mendoza is introduced relaxing at her home in the nude with a shot of her topless back while pieces of furniture cover her rear.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: In one episode, Emelia takes off her robe and we get a glimpse of her bare back before she steps into the bath.
  • JAG:
    • In the pilot episode, when Harm and Kate search the deceased female officer's belongings in her cabin, her bodybuilding roommate Cassie comes to change and as Harm gentlemanly offers to leave, she quips "Why? Never seen a naked sailor before?" before he even gets a chance to leave, she gets naked and is shown from the back. Both Harm and Kate get noticeably uncomfortable in their facial expressions. When Cassie has left, Kate asks Harm:
      Kate: Did you see the muscles on her?
      Harm: I wasn't looking at her muscles.
    • Also, in the first part of two-parter "Boomerang", Harm and Bud walks on the beach when a hot blonde takes of her bikini top, which makes Bud clearly distracted.
  • The pilot episode of Kung Fu: The Legend Continues has an example of this combined with Dress Hits Floor and Shameful Strip. Marilyn is forced to strip for crime boss Danny Zhao. His right-hand man, Chan, briefly watches as she takes off her dress before he exits the room.
  • Kyle XY: Shortly after Jessie moves in with the Tragers, Kyle walks in on Jessie as she's coming out of the shower, and we get a shot of her naked back as they both awkwardly pause for a moment, before Kyle remembers himself and bolts from the room.
  • Briefly via Dawn removing her bikini top in a hot tub on the Law & Order episode "Submission."
  • Leverage: Shameless Fanservice Girl Parker reveals her back quite often, since she's prone to changing clothes in front of people. Usually in front of Hardison which leads to a lot of Unresolved Sexual Tension.
  • Lost Girl uses this quite a lot, especially during or just before the numerous sex scenes. In the pilot episode alone, we see Bo's naked back when Lauren (in her professional capacity as a doctor) is examining her.
  • The third season Mad About You episode "Our Fifteen Minutes" has a rather shocking and hilarious bit when Lisa, oblivious of the cameras everywhere, talks non-stop and changes right in front of Paul and Jamie.
  • Used in 2x30 of Magnificent Century, when Prenses İsabella decides enough is enough and she is now ready to seduce her way out. Used together with Scenery Censor, and Dress Hits Floor.
  • In the Married... with Children episode "Her Cups Runneth Over", a woman in the lingerie store asks Al's opinion of a sexy ensemble she's wearing, asking if he'd like it if she was her boyfriend. When he replies in the affirmative, she asks if he'd like it better without the bra, and removes it, invoking this trope (and causing Al, who has full view, to faint). Incidentally, this is the episode that started the famous letter-writing campaign in 1989, calling for a boycott of the show (that backfired).
  • In Mike & Molly, cop Mike and his partner are policing a demo at which lots of women are advocating for the right to go topless in public. This must have been a triumph of editing, as at least fifty women are seen topless from the back as the two cops move through the crowd - and there isn't even a suspicion of Sideboob, let alone anything else. The fact that women have breasts at all has to be inferred from the context.
  • Mr. Bean: In Back to School Mr Bean, Mr Bean is horrified by the sight of a topless model he is expected to draw; the model is only seen from the back.
  • Murdoch Mysteries: When Murdoch learns that Julia was once arrested for Skinny Dipping, he imagines this. Vividly.
  • Mutant X: Both Shalimar and Lexa when strip searched while trying to infiltrate a women's prison in "The Taking of Crows".
  • Juliette indulges in this sometimes on Nashville, although in "Road Happy" (but not the other times) it's done by a Body Double due to Hayden Panettiere's condition at the time and what it entailed.
  • Abby on NCIS had one of these scenes early in the third season, and for a couple of other seasons, the scene was a part of her montage in the opening credits.
  • Happens in an episode of Night Court (of all places) where a member of royalty from a small island nation casually takes off her halter top in Harry's office when he tells her to "make yourself comfortable". Apparently, nudity is not a taboo in her culture, seeing as she was arrested in the first place for indecent exposure.
  • One Tree Hill:
    • In "Your Cheatin' Heart" when Alex strips naked to seduce Julian she's shown from the back, until he has her use a pillow to cover up.
    • In "Even Fairy Tale Characters Would Be Jealous" Gigi decides to return Mouth's shirt by taking it off right in front of him revealing she's topless underneath.
    • In "Almost Everything I Wish I'd Said The Last Time I Saw You...", Quinn is in bed covered with a Modesty Bedsheet when Clay starts pulling it down so he can admire her back.
    • In "We All Fall Down" Tara is shown like this when getting dressed after sleeping with Chase.
  • The Originals: In the episode "Alive and Kicking", when Hayley stands up defiantly from her bath when Elijah interrupts it to chide on her recent rampage against witches. Elijah, annoyed, reaches for a Modesty Towel and hands it to her.
  • Laura on Pan Am shows hers as she poses for some nude photos.
  • Passions: When Charity performs this impromptu striptease.
  • The ladies of Pretty Little Liars indulge in this on several occasions.
    • Spencer in "It's Alive" and "Hush, Hush, Sweet Liars" is shown this way when she's changing clothes. Also in "New Guys, New Lies" when she gets out of bed.
    • Aria is shown like this whenever she has sex with Erza. Notably, "Miss Me x 100" and "Til DeAth Do Us PArt" have both the same scene, with Aria with her back to the camera straddling Ezra in bed as she flings a Modesty Bedsheet over them as she plunges down on him.
    • Alison in "The Perfect Storm" when she drops her towel in the locker room, right in front of Emily who gets visibly distracted.
    • Emily herself does this in "Never Letting Go" when she takes off her dress and gets changed in front of Samara.
  • The Royals:
    • Gemma when she takes off her shirt in front of Liam in an effort to seduce him in "Infants of the Spring".
    • Ophelia when she briefly takes off her bikini top at a balcony in Monaco when Liam dares her. She's photographed by a Paparazzi which causes some trouble in later episodes.
    • Eleanor when she changing clothes in front of Jasper in "Passing Through Nature to Eternity".
  • Seinfeld: Jane goes topless on the beach in "The Hamptons" episode.
  • Shadow and Bone: In "The Making at the Heart of the World" when Alina is undressed to get into the bath, her bare back and buttocks are seen briefly.
  • The Shannara Chronicles: Amberle during her Waterfall Shower in "Chosen Part 2".
  • The "Pilot" episode of Shasta McNasty has this with Scott, Dennis and Randy secretly watching Cindy Margolis get undressed to take a shower. The boys then watch her well hung POSSLQ take off his towel and join her.
  • Sherlock: "A Scandal in Belgravia". Extensively.
  • ''Smallville:
    • In "X-Ray", when Clark activates his X-Ray Vision, he up seeing through a wall and into the girls' locker room, just as Lana drops her Modesty Towel with her back to him and he grins widely.
    • In "Shimmer", Victoria after she drops her robe before getting into the bathtub.
    • In "Heat", when Desiree climbs out of the pool naked to talk to Jonathan in the Luthor Mansion. When she makes no move to cover herself, he throws her a robe and asks her to Please Put Some Clothes On.
    • In "Crusade", Lana when she wakes up naked in her bed, with the Modesty Bedsheet only covering her waist. Also later in the episode when Lana steps out of the shower and sees the Mark of Transference tattooed on her bare back.
    • In "Facade", Abby when she takes off her shirt during her makeout session with Brett.
    • In "Fade", Lois during her Shower Scene, combined with Shoulders-Up Nudity when she steps out, suspicious someone was peeking on her, and barges into a startled Clark outside her bathroom.
    • In "Wither", Lana when Lex takes off her dress and they have sex at the end of the episode.
    • In "Persona", Lana yet again when she leaves the bed after sleeping with Clark (actually Bizarro) and walks naked to the window open the curtains. Lucky for her no one was looking at the time.
    • In "Committed", Tess briefly as she's finishing getting dressed after sleeping with Oliver
    • In "Idol", Lois while making love with Clark in her vision about the Bad Future.
    • In "Persuasion", when Tess climbs out of her bathtub after Major Zod interrupts her Candlelit Bath.
    • In "Escape", happens when Chloe (possessed by Silver Banshee) ambushes Clark in the shower and drops her Modesty Towel. Also, Tess climbing out of bed after sleeping with Zod.
    • In "Patriot", when Mera changes out of her swimsuit in front of Lois.
  • Stargate SG-1
    • In the season 2 finale, O'Neill wakes Carter from the cryotable and she only has a sheet on. When she sits up her entire back is revealed resulting in O'Neill giving her a thorough looking over before requesting they get her some clothes.
    • Also happened to an attractive but ill-fated blonde female sergeant in the series premiere.
    • And the entrance of "RepliCarter" took place like this.
  • Star Trek:
    • T'Pol showed her interest to Tucker in Star Trek: Enterprise when she slips off the robe she wears while giving him Vulcan neuropressure to reveal she's wearing nothing underneath, as revealed by a full body shot, with her back to the camera.
    • This popped up in Star Trek: Voyager as well, in an episode where Q's son uses his powers to take away Seven's clothes. Only the top half in that case. He's disappointed by her lack of a Naked Freak-Out.
    • In the episode "Drone", we see B'lanna like this as she gets ready for a sonic shower.
    • In "Disease", Harry Kim sleeps with an alien girl. Because she looks more human than usual for this show, this trope is used to show she has some alien markings on her back during a Come Back to Bed, Honey scene.
    • Intendant Kira on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is shown this way while getting out of the bath in her first episode. Also done with Leeta in the regular universe on a few occasions.
  • Rather surprisingly, this shows up in the pilot episode of The X-Files between Mulder and Scully. The case involved teenagers being returned from alien abduction with two small bumps on their lower back. Scully finds two such marks on her own back, freaks out, and runs in her underwear and red robe to Mulder's hotel room to have a look. Mulder is understandably perplexed when she drops her robe and has a moment of pause. There is a shot of both the front of Scully in her undies and her bare back as Mulder inspects the bumps. They turn out to be mosquito bites. For the rest of the series, Scully is noticeably more stoic and clothed.
  • Teen Wolf:
    • In "Wolf Moon", Scott gives the soaked Alice a shirt to wear, and gets a glimpse of her bare back as she's changing in the hall outside. He stares until the dog he's treating looks at him accusingly.
    • In "Omega", when Lydia stumbles out of the woods naked and dirty with only Hand-or-Object Underwear to preserve her modesty from the front. Stiles is the first to spot her and just stares at her wide-eyed. Lydia soon gets frustrated and throws up her arms in frustration while demanding a coat. The audience only sees a shot of her bare back, but Stiles gets the full eyeful and is so Distracted by the Sexy he stumbles into the ground while trying to give her his jacket.
    • "Superposition" shows a brief shot of Malia on top of Nathan while she's naked from the back before she rolls off and collapses unto the bed. After gushing about how amazing she just was he tries to cuddle, but she's clearly not as into him as he's into her.
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Cameron is shown like this when prying a bullet out of her torso topless, causing Sarah to tell her to "Put those back in the holster". Later in the same episode, it happens to both Cameron and Sarah when they time travel to 2007.
  • The Vampire Diaries:
    • In "Bring It On", Elena, who has turned off her humanity is no longer concerned about modesty, comes out of the shower naked and dripping wet in front of Damon, Stefan and Caroline. The camera focuses on her bare back while the two brothers openly stare and Caroline politely averts her eyes.
    • "No Exit" has a scene with Katherine in the shower, who upon hearing Stefan enter the room, deliberately leaves the door to the bathroom slightly ajar, letting him get a peek of her naked back as she towels off.
    • Happens on "Rescue Me", when Elena is getting out of bed after a one-night-stand with Damon.
  • Van Helsing (2016): Vanessa during her Shower Scene in "Help Me." When a nonchalant Axel walks in on her to shower on the tall next to her she is visibly uncomfortable and presses her front against the wall to cover herself.
  • Wicked Science: In "Catch Me if You Can", when Elizabeth invents an invisibility gel that doesn't work on clothes, so she becomes an Invisible Streaker to spy on Toby's date with Nikky. But at the end of the episode, it starts to rain, washing off the gel and we see her from the back as she starts to panic about being stuck outdoors with no clothes.
  • The Wilds: Leah and Fatin both display this at different times, while going to swim in the former's case or for the latter while having sex (during a flashback).
  • Without a Trace employs this after a sex scene between Martin and Samantha. She gets up to get ready for work and is seen this way as she walks into the bathroom.

    Music 
  • The cover for Carly Rae Jepsen's 2019 album Dedicated.
  • The video for "Who's Your Daddy?" by Toby Keith shows Tiffany Fallon from behind, swimming topless in his pool.
  • The lovely Kimbra in the music video of Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know", combined with Body Paint. Gotye himself appears nude from the front, but both are censored by camera discretion.
  • Lady Gaga's videos for "Bad Romance" and "Alejandro", although both incidences contain a certain amount of disturbing along with the sexy.
  • The Pink Floyd poster "Back Catalogue"; naked women, with Pink Floyd album covers painted on their back. NSFW
  • Queen: When a bicycle race with nude women was held to promote the album and the "Fat Bottomed Girls"/"Bicycle Race" single, it caused a bit of an uproar, so the United States had to use a promo sleeve to show one of the women with painted-on panties to include toplessness, as shown on the front cover.
  • The cover of Sade's newest album Soldier of Love. Bam.

    Print Media 
  • The Vanity Fair photo of Miley Cyrus that caused so much controversy in 2008.
  • This Maxim photo of Brooke Burns in a monokini.
  • In the 1960s, when the underground press flourished under the artistic inspiration and control of hard-working hippies, this demure pose was extremely popular in both line drawings and photographs. It also appeared on numerous psychedelic posters.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Once during a Raven promo in ECW in early 1996, Kimona Wanalaya took off her leather jacket with her back to the camera, revealing that she didn't have anything on underneath.
  • This picture of Allysin Kay showing off her deltoids in a mirror.
  • Solo Darling combines this with Lingerie Scene in this photo.
  • On the August 26, 1999 episode of WWE SmackDown, Tori (Terri Poch) was scheduled to face Ivory in an Evening Gown Match. Michael Cole, still a neutral character, attempted to interview Tori backstage before the match as she walked away from the camera. Tori pulled down her evening gown, saying that there was no way Ivory was going to humiliate her, and, with her back to the camera, walked around backstage wearing only a Thong and shoes until she was stopped by a group of referees and Road Agent Tony Garea, who gave her his shirt to wear. Tori won, of course, in 57 seconds. The fact that she was attempting to walk to the ring practically naked on national network television should qualify for Refuge in Audacity.
  • Holidead does it in this picture from her Instagram.
  • As a subtrope of Shameless Fanservice Girl: On the August 22, 2002 SmackDown, Shoichi Funaki, in his "SmackDown's #1 Announcer" role, snuck into the Divas' locker room and encountered Nidia, who was shown topless from the back but behind some packing boxes so nothing was shown. Then WWE Women's Champion Molly Holly walked over in street clothes and with her hair in curlers to tell Funaki that he shouldn't be there. Molly called Nidia "loose," and she said that she wasn't loose, she was "open." Nidia said that after she defeated Molly for the Women's Title, she would flash her breasts to the crowd, an idea which Molly found disgusting. Nidia gave Funaki a look at her breasts. Molly retained the title by pinning Nidia with her Molly-Go-Round Finishing Move after knocking Jamie Noble off the apron. Molly then dropkicked Noble into Nidia after the match when Nidia tried to flash the crowd anyway.
  • Miss Kitty's striptease at Armageddon 1999 was intended to play this trope straight, but accidentally subverted it. The plan was for the camera to point only at her back when she pulled off her bra, and if Sgt Slaughter missed his cue to cover her with a towel, at least only the live crowd would see anything. But due to a mistake in the production room, the camera going out live was instead recording Miss Kitty's front, and she had no idea the entire broadcast saw everything - until she came backstage to a round of applause from the locker room.

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • Danganronpa:
  • Little Busters!: One of Kud's CGs involves this, as on the island where she was born there is a ritual that involves people painting symbols onto one another's skin and while she wanted to give Riki a big canvas to work on, they hadn't yet been going out long enough that she was comfortable with him seeing her topless front like that.
  • Tamie's route in Princess Evangile has a moment during the first chapter where Masaya accidentally walks into Tamie half-naked, with her back facing him. Unsurprisingly, she screams when he sees her, and both of them promptly apologize to one another.

    Webcomics 

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 


 
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Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Topless From The Back

Top

Climbing Out of The Bath

The camera shifts to Hayley's back when she climbs out of her bathtub to provoke Elijah.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (14 votes)

Example of:

Main / ToplessnessFromTheBack

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