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  • In Ranma ½ this leads to Mistaken for Cheating more than a few times. It's never what it looks like.
    • Yes, but he probably shouldn't have shouted "Now give it up!" while leaning over a very buxom teacher and grabbing at her breast. Or tried to do the same thing several times over the next week....
    • Also in one episode, Akane burns herself while trying simulate a strong battle aura for Ranma's training with gloves on fire; the fire has burned off her top so she's left in her bra, and Ranma gives her his shirt to cover herself. Ryôga comes across this — and thinks Ranma tried to rape her. For once, though, Akane's the one trying to explain it isn't what it looks like, while Ranma plays along with Ryoga's misunderstanding because he actually wants Ryoga angry at him.
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    • Akane finds Ryoga on top of a female Ranma in bed, right after Ryoga forced open Ranma's shirt. Ranma himself assumed the case the wrong way. Because while Ryoga was only checking to see if Ranma had a weird mark, our lovesick hero was merely waiting for the love-making to begin.
    • During the final story Shampoo has been mind controlled, Akane almost died but is now a dehydrated doll, Saffron is about to rise to full power and entire Jusenkyo is at the risk of being destroyed. And Mousse and Ryoga (with the Jusenkyo guide and Plum) lost Ranma after a previous fight. He's eventually found in the room next door by his voice asking to see Shampoo's hot, naked body, to their shock. And after smashing the wall they find them lying on the floor, Shampoo partially naked, with Ranma grabbing her "two round beauties" with his mouth. IT'S NOT WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE!
  • Full Metal Panic!:
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    • Kaname is first introduced to Sousuke's CO Teletha Testarossa, a 16-year old girl, coming out of the shower in his apartment. Since she is unaware that Tessa is his CO, Kaname's immediate (and justifiable) assumption is that she's his girlfriend — an assumption only encouraged by Tessa, who's too pleased to be taken for Sousuke's girlfriend to want to clear things up. It's only when things turn really serious that she drops that facade.
    • However, when Tessa actually climbs into bed with Sousuke in an episode of Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, Kaname — by this point well aware that he's a hopeless case — replies to Sousuke's panicky "It's not what it looks like!" with an irritable, "yes, yes," and proceeds to get on Tessa's case for breaking their mutual agreement not to go into Sousuke's room.
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    • Before the first meeting with Tessa, there is an episode where Sousuke notices a thief sneaking up to Kaname's balcony and goes to stop him. It turns out to be Shinji Kazama, a classmate of theirs forced to steal a pair of Kaname's panties by upperclassmen who are holding something of his hostage. Shinji's also a military Otaku, so he and Sousuke start having a lively conversation. So Kaname steps out onto the balcony just in time to see the two of them chatting away — and worse, when Sousuke starts to explain, he raises his hand and accidentally shows the panties he grabbed from Shinji earlier. Batter Up!!
  • Maison Ikkoku: Made up almost entirely of a long string of Not What It Looks Like incidents for the major characters. In the beginning they tend to end in apparent Snap Backs, amplified by pathological levels of Cannot Spit It Out. But as the show progresses they have long-lasting repercussions and increasingly force Godai and Kyoko to talk to each other and learn to trust each other. Particularly notable examples:
    • Godai and Asuna (Mitaka's sort-of fiancée) open Mitaka's door to find him on the floor on top of Kyoko. He actually fell on her after passing out from his fear of dogs, but Godai and Asuna both look like they've been clocked with a brick and leave before Kyoko can catch them to explain. It was nice to see the tables turned on Kyoko for once, and have Godai be the jealous one.
    • Subverted when Godai's student Yagami gets her friends to lock him in a storage closet with her. She's wearing only bloomers and a bra, and threatens to scream rape if he doesn't stay and talk to her. She grabs him when he tries to leave, the struggle results in a fall, and Godai thinks his life is over when the principal opens the window with Kyoko standing behind her... while he's kneeling over a half-naked Yagami, with his hand on her breast. Luckily for him, they've been listening long enough to know he's not at fault.
    • Quadrupled, subverted, averted, and inverted when Mitaka takes Kyoko on a date that turns out to actually be, 1. an omiai cooked up with the help of Kyoko's mother. Kyoko calls Godai and asks him to come help her, but when he gets there Mitaka tells Godai that he's reserved a hotel room for them before whisking her away to dinner before Godai can see her. Kyoko is notably anxious — Mitaka asks if she called Godai, then "speculates" that, 2. he must not have cared enough to come. When Kyoko's father shows up at Ikkoku late that night and she's not back, he freaks out and tries to hunt the city for them; Godai goes with him (mostly to keep him calm). When they get back and she's still not home, he keeps telling him to have faith in his daughter 3. despite appearances. When Kyoko does get home (after turning Mitaka down) and finds out they've been looking for her, she blows up at her father for overreacting. So he claims that he had faith in her, and 4. makes it look like it was all Godai's idea. This alone may establish Rumiko Takahashi as the Queen of Not What It Looks Like.
    • Mitaka gets drunk and can't remember what happened between him and Asuna, except that he woke up in the morning in bed without his clothes on. He asks what happened, and she, thinking he is talking about their kiss, confirms they "did something". As if that isn't enough, Asuna's dog and Mitaka's dog did do What It Looks Like that night — he misunderstands when she tells him about "the pregnancy," and promises to "take responsibility". Now this is all classic comedy, and you're just waiting for the Snap Back, but by the time Mitaka learns the truth it's too late and he's committed to marrying her. He was rather unhappy about it too. At first, at least.
    • Godai has to go to a love hotel to cover the bill for a drunken housemate (Akemi) whose date had abandoned her, and walks out with her just in time to run into his nominal girlfriend Kozue — who then immediately runs to Kyoko for advice. But it turns out that Akemi had engineered the whole thing in order to give Kozue the impression that Godai was seeing other women, so that she would break up with Godai, so he could get together with Kyoko. And it works, too. Now doubtful about Godai, Kozue accepts the marriage proposal she had received from someone else, tells Godai, who admits he really wanted someone else (just not Akemi). When Kyoko asks Akemi about Godai, Akemi is careful to word her answers so Kyoko ends up with exactly the wrong impression. This time, the only way Godai can account for his actions is by confessing his love to Kyoko, and they (almost) sleep together that night after over years of UST.
  • Mazinger Z: It happened sometimes in the original series, but the Shin Mazinger Zero spin-off gave a particularly hilarious example. In a chapter Kouji and Minerva-X are together inside the cockpit. During the battle Mazinger moves a lot and Minerva lands on Kouji on a very awkward and embarrassing position (face-down and on top of Kouji, with her head hovering above his groin and Kouji's head stood between her legs). Sayaka -who had just arrived and destroyed three Mechanical Beasts in a fit of jealous rage- sees them, and they -after displaying tremendously comical Oh, Crap! stares- try to explain it is not what it looks like, and Minerva was not human but she actually is a Super Robot created by The Professor Dr. Kabuto to be Mazinger-Z's Battle Couple. Sayaka's reaction was an incredulous Flat "What" before trying to kill them.
  • In REC (Not the Spanish horror film), Aka notes that Fumihiko never comes home after going out drinking with an old crush whose boyfriend had just broken up with her. He'd carried her back to her apartment after she'd passed out drinking, then she'd woken up and wanted to continue drinking with him through the night.
  • In Nodame Cantabile, Shinichi's ex-girlfriend Saiko comes to see him so she can complain about being passed over for the lead role in a concert. Nodame sees them together and spirals into comic depression. Slightly different in that Saiko (after a few drinks) does try to get back together with Shinichi, but he refuses.
  • In GeGeGe no Kitaro (2018), Mana arrives at the building where her mother works to witness Neko Musume attacking and wounding her mother, what really happened is that Neko Musume arrived at the building to investigate who's been turning Humans and Yokai against each other, Nanashi conjured an illusion to make Mana's mother look like a Yokai. Before she could explain what happened, a distraught Mana awakens her ancestor's spiritual power and unwillingly fires a blast that kills Neko Musume. It's get particularly bad when Kitaro saw the incident and presumes Mana killed her intentionally and was withholding her abilities from them.
  • Your Lie in April:
    • Kousei trying to take a picture of Kaori while performing with the children, only for him to accidentally take the photo at the exact moment Kaori sees him and the wind blows her skirt up.
    • After jumping in the river, Kousei lets Kaori change into his dry clothes at his house. Kaori, in a fit of rage, slams open the windows in the piano room... and Tsubaki, who lives next door, sees the two of them through her window at that moment. Of course, after noticing Kaori's wet hair and choice of clothes, Tsubaki gives Kousei a good beating.
  • School Rumble:
    • In the Beach Episode, Kenji Harima ends up naked and grappling with the bikini-clad Eri Sawachika when their classmate Akira Takano walks in. Even worse than the usual Not What It Looks Like because it looks like he's about to rape her, including to Eri herself. Akira is immediately able to discern (and explain in detail to Eri) exactly how they got into that position, rather than jumping to the obvious conclusion. This only serves to further cement Akira's position as the only Genre Savvy person in a series that parodies Genre Blindness.
      Akira: Ah, let me guess. Eri walked in on you while you were changing, and you, in your infinite wisdom, decided to grab her to keep her from screaming. Don't worry Harima, I don't think you're a pervert, but you are a great big idiot.
    • It gets better — the reason he panics and grabs Eri is because he's afraid it'll lead to another misunderstanding with Tenma, his love interest. Before the beginning of the series, he rescued her from a thug and carried her back to his apartment since she was unconscious. When he leaned in for the traditional Dude, She's Like, in a Coma! kiss, she woke up and thought he was about to molest her (or already had). Unluckily for him, Akira wasn't present to explain.
    • The release of School Rumble in the U.S. invoked this trope in all of the promotional material, especially with the tagline: "It's not what you think! It's hilarious!"
  • Love Hina: It usually ends up with either Naru or Motoko attacking Keitaro.
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima!, the next series by Ken Akamatsu. It's often subverted by the fact that most of the characters are often fully aware that it isn't what it looks like. This doesn't stop these types of moments from happening often. The worst is probably this, which could very easily be construed as a sexual encounter if one was not aware of the context (NSFW, obviously. Also, spoilers).
  • Ai Yori Aoshi averts this: despite having so many situations where it's Not What It Looks Like, as the girls listen to Kaoru's explanations and actually believe him. Sometimes, he doesn't even need to explain anything. Except for his first encounter with Miyabi. He'd gotten out of the tub in an unsuccessful attempt to keep Aoi from coming in. Then he slipped and fell on top of her. So Miyabi enters and sees Kaoru, naked, kneeling between Aoi's legs ... with his hands firmly planted on her breasts. It was perfectly natural for Miyabi to throw him across the room and start trying to stomp him to death. <snicker>
  • Haruhi Suzumiya
    • When the Student Council demands that the SOS Brigade produce a book of short stories if they want to continue using the Literature Club Room, Kyon is forced to write a romantic short story. He refuses to give Haruhi the last page, and she attacks him, holding him in a wrestling position. Enter Mikuru, who knows about Kyon and Haruhi's love for each other and the Belligerent Sexual Tension. She sees them in this position, and...
    • Taniguchi jumps to the obvious conclusion after seeing Kyon kneeling over Yuki in an empty classroom. Actually, she was on the floor because she had just saved Kyon from a rogue Data Entity, and was trying to recover from the wounds she took in her fight with it before she could get back up and they could finish fixing the damage. While it wasn't what it looked like, Kyon couldn't exactly explain.
    • In Disappearance, Kyon has been losing it all through the beginning when it seems like Haruhi and Koizumi have been erased, Mikuru and Tsuruya don't recognize him, and Asakura has returned. Then he finds Yuki. she recognizes him, which gets his hopes up for a second, but doesn't remember Haruhi or any of the things they've been through. He finally snaps and eventually pins her against a wall in a way that looks like assault. Once he finally comes back to his senses, he realizes about how easily this scene can be misconstrued if someone were to walk in and backs off.
  • The Familiar of Zero:
    • Played... oddly in season 3 when the ridiculously busty Tiffania asks Saito to feel her breasts, because she's trying to understand why everyone keeps asking her whether they're real. Saito, rather stupidly (considering his past track record) agrees to check them out and is predictably caught by Louise and Siesta in bed with Tiffania, enthusiastically groping her. Played straight in Tiffania's case, but almost certainly inverted in Saito's case.
    • Also averted and played straight simultaneously in the first episode of the second season. Saito tries (and fails) several times to kiss Princess Henrietta. Unfortunately, the head guard, Agnes, sees this, but decides to forgive him of "his shameless act". More unfortunately, Louise goes absolutely berserk, whipping Saito until the sun rises the next morning, which is when Agnes barges into the room to report. Saito is on the floor, almost completely nude, covered in numerous bruises and cuts. Louise is straddling him, blouse open, skirt pulled up, stockings torn, and out of breath. It actually is what it looks like, but this is not sexual in the least.
    • Saito and Agnes spar with wooden swords, and Saito gets his ass kicked. Eventually, Saito manages to knock her down and pin her. At that moment, Louise walks in to find Saito on top of Agnes with them both panting and sweaty...
  • Welcome to the N.H.K. features a comedic example. Misaki spills hot sauce on Setou's lap, and jumps in to wipe it off. Cue Yamazaki walking in, with Misaki's back to him.
  • Blown out of all possible proportions in Daily Lives of High School Boys: the obsessive-in-hindsight Literary Girl chases Hidenori (who runs for his life, scared of how she looked running at him) to the next town over just to explain she wasn't on a date and was just walking with a classmate. Cue Hidenori not having any idea what she's on about.
  • In Ah! My Goddess, it's a common occurrence for someone to pull Keiichi into a compromising situation, but Belldandy always believes him when Keiichi explains that it's Not What It Looks Like.
    • On one occasion, he doesn't even need to explain — when she finds her sister Urd naked in the bath with him, her immediate response is "Why didn't you tell me so I could join you?", prompting another character to say that Belldandy must be stupid to trust Keiichi so blindly. But considering that Keiichi can't even make moves on the eminently-willing Belldandy, it's quite reasonable.
    • Belldandy once defended her K1 from a manufactured compromising situation by saying "It's true! He doesn't have the guts to do that!" She realized how bad that sounded and tried to correct herself, but just made it worse. Specifically, she corrected herself by saying, "My Keiichi... isn't enough of a man to-" This results in the unsound effect of "Digging the hole deeper."
    • When they were under attack, Urd manipulated Keiichi into groping another woman in front of Belldandy. Belldandy subconsciously channels her jealousy into explosions, powerful enough to defeat the attacker.
    • Belldandy has flat-out stated that she will always believe Keiichi — even if he's lying.
  • In an episode of InuYasha, Inuyasha has been wounded, and Kagome tries to administer first aid (not knowing about his demonic Healing Factor). In order to do this, she must remove his clothes, which leads to the two of them on the ground, her on top, struggling to pull open his robe, and loudly ordering him to undress. At the time Kaede is Right Behind Her, along with some children who take the scene the wrong way.
  • Nearly every episode of Chobits. Poor Hideki is always found in compromising situations... especially when it comes to Chii's "power button".
  • In Mai-Otome, after Shizuru discovers a secret about Akira (that she's disguised herself as a boy and is impersonating Prince Takumi), Arika walks by and sees the two of them in a suggestive pose with Shizuru's face behind Akira's.
  • Early in Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, Lucia, looking for Rina to make friends with her, finds her on the roof apparently cutting class to kiss Kaito. In actuality, Rina was harassing the poor boy instead, as she mistook him for the Big Bad in disguise.
  • Happens all the time in Girls Bravo. Quite a lot of episodes start with Miharu ending up naked or near-naked in front of Yukinari, during which Kirie will probably walk in and beat the shit out of him before bothering to hear an explanation.
  • To Love-Ru:
    • Rito constantly ends up in ridiculously suggestive situations with Lala in front of Haruna, the girl he has a crush on. Some of the situations he's had to attempt to explain his way out of include him and Lala popping out of a locker in the girl's locker room while naked, and running into Haruna in a lingerie store, just in time for Lala to emerge from the changing room wearing only a bra and panties and ask Rito what he thinks of it.
    • Then there's this incident involving Yui. Her brother just so happens to walk in during a Thanks for the Mammary moment after she falls out of bed onto Rito.
    • Later, Rito grabs one of the devices Lala has made as she's searching through things. Somehow, he and Haruna activate it. It ends up being the device that transports a person without their clothes. Eventually they are found by the school nurse, who's response is, naturally, to leave them alone to get back to what they were doing.
  • In the first episode of Karin, Kenta witnesses Karin embracing an older man in a park and jumps to the conclusion that she is a prostitute (conveniently failing to notice that she is, in fact, biting the man's neck). Later on, he sees her in a similar position with his own mother. Hilarity Ensues.
  • The second season of Hidamari Sketch has Yuno walking in on Sae posed on all fours over Hiro and starts freaking out. Turns out the two were practicing for the school play, with Sae being the criminal. I wonder what the crime was. Oddly, this scene is depicted in the OP for the first season, making it Bait-and-Switch Credits at the time.
  • In the Beach Episode of SHUFFLE!, Sia catches Rin carrying a half-naked Asa to the washroom and jumps to the wrong conclusion; unbeknownst to Sia, Asa's bikini top was washed away by a large wave.
  • Near the beginning of the Bount Arc in Bleach, Ichigo suspects Renji may be one of the mod souls which are kidnapping their friends. He decides to test it by jumping on him outside the classroom screaming at him to "Take it off!" ("it" being the artificial body which allows him to interact with the "real world", but the rest of the class didn't know that).
  • In Candy Boy, there is a roll call just when twins Kanade and Yukino are fighting over control of a mobile phone, which makes them end up on the bed in a very suggestive position. After an awkward pause the student checking on them simply declares that the "shameless couple" is in and leaves.
  • In Someday's Dreamers II: Sora, Seiichirou sees how Sora seemingly gets seduced by her teacher. In reality she is having a heart attack, after which the series becomes much darker in nature.
  • This happens several times in the hospital episode of Get Backers to Ginji and Himiko. Himiko was not amused.
  • Yumeria: After her first battle in the dream world, Mizuki rushes to Tomokazu's room to see if he had the same dream. His cousin Nanase finds them with Mizuki kneeling between his legs (bonus points because Mone slipped between Mizuki's legs and has her head poking out from under Mizuki's skirt). Tomokazu twists this, deliberately making it seem it is what it looks like with a shy expression and a whispered "Please be gentle." Mizuki's face gets redder than is physically possible, and she wails, "It's a misunderstanding!"
  • Elfen Lied:
    • Subverted: Kouta is most definitely groping Nyu, who as local Innocent Fanservice Girl made him do so because she... uh, liked the sensation. While he has an excuse, it's pretty clear what was going on.
    • There was later another scene where it happened again (but with the Nyuu and Kouta naked) that Mayu sees, and walks off before Kouta can even try to explain.
    • Played straight however when Yuuka opens the screen door just as Kouta pulls the wet underwear off Nyuu who's lying back on the tatami, because she can't change her own clothes.
  • Although played straight briefly at the beginning in Mx0, the presence of openly lecherous Ise and Kuzumi's past attempts to stop Ise's schemes quickly teaches the girls to give Kuzumi a chance to explain himself. At one point Kuzumi ends up in the woman's pool time as a girl not only do they create a believable lie for him to use they don't even make him leave. Saving half dozen of them from drowning may have helped though.
  • Kannagi: The final scene in the last episode.
    Jin: Tsugumi! Wait!
  • In All Rounder Meguru, Meguru's sister finds him practicing his ground grappling techniques on a cloth doll in his bedroom. She's entirely sympathetic.
    "Don't worry, I totally understand. If you don't practice now, you might mess up and end up getting dumped."
  • Princess Tutu has a somewhat more innocent variation. Episode 20 opens up with a beautiful woman sneaking up behind Perpetual Frowner Fakir and giving him a kiss on the cheek. Later, it shows him out buying flowers with her and smiling. Ahiru and her friends see them together and automatically assume that they're dating, but the woman later happily informs Ahiru that she and Fakir are Like Brother and Sister.
  • Inverted in Fushigi Yuugi. Taka and Tasuki are napping together (with absolutely no overtones at all, no sir). When they wake up, Taka realizes he can't see himself in the mirror, leading him to experience a minor Heroic BSoD, which he begs Tasuki to keep a secret because it will upset Miaka. Miaka herself promptly walks in, sees them all rumpled and uncomfortable looking, and wants to know what's going on. Taka comes up with the excuse that "Tasuki can't sleep unless someone is hugging him," vaguely suggesting it is what it looks like (and you can't tell me Yuu Watase didn't know some fans would really get a kick out of it).
  • Ouran High School Host Club:
    • Tamaki trips and falls onto Haruhi as he and the Host Club visit her apartment on her day off. In walks Haruhi's dad...
    • In another case, during a storm, Tamaki attempts to help Haruhi overcome her fear of thunder and lightning by blindfolding her and plugging her ears. While Tamaki may have good intentions, in walks the remainder of the Host Club ready to accuse him of being an S&M loving pervert.
  • Serge in Kaze to Ki no Uta says these exact words when Sebastien enters his room to find him with a very naked (and partially unconscious) Gilbert on top of him.
  • In Gintama, while Gintoki and Hattori are staying at the hospital, the latter gets a lit candle shoved into his butt by Sacchan, which he later asks the former to remove. He reluctantly agrees to do so, just in time for everyone to pay him a visit and catch him while he's in the act.
  • In Soul Eater Not!, Anya wakes up one morning to find Meme in bed with Tsugumi, who is tied up with rope, all for non-sexual reasons. Naturally, she assumes something kinky was going on.
  • Wonderfully subverted in Bitter Virgin, despite one character's efforts to make it seem exactly what it looked like. Yandere Kazuki attempts to seduce the male lead Daisuke, going so far as to unbutton her shirt and threaten to cry rape if he leaves the room. Right then walks in female lead Hinako, a Shrinking Violet who Does Not Like Men and has only managed to open up to Daisuke. Kazuki keeps her word and tells Hinako Daisuke tried to rape her. Hinako's response: "Liar. Suwa-kun would never do that." The final nail in Kazuki's coffin is when a third party, Daisuke's sister, appears and suggests going to the police to prove her claims.
  • Change 123: in chapter 29 (volume 6) this happens.
  • In Darker Than Black Hei learns the hard way that, when purchasing clothes and undergarments for a Doll that you're sheltering from the Yakuza, it's generally a good idea to not go alone, lest you run into the target of your UST and be forced to explain that the wig and bra you're buying aren't for yourself.
  • In Harukanaru Toki no Naka de - Hachiyou Shou, Akane is visited by Dragon God's messenger spirit and tries to follow him as he starts to leave; Yorihisa, who is guarding her outside the door, rushes into the room, and the two of them end up on the floor on top of each other just as a court lady walks in to inform them of the return of the house owner. Cue Yorihisa hastily apologizing to Akane and yelling to the court lady not to leave without a word as she walks away chuckling.
  • In World Embryo Riku's father comes home unexpectedly after a business trip. As he arrives, he notices Shizuru acts weird and seems to try to prevent him from entering part of the house. However, he has an urgent need to go to the toilet. He manages to get past her, opens the restroom door, and finds his son crouching down in front of the toilet, holding down the underpants of a pre-pubescent girl sitting on the toilet who closely resembles Shizuru's sister Amane when she was a kid. Cue "It's a misunderstanding!" from Riku.
  • My Bride is a Mermaid has an epic one after Lunar spills water on herself, causing her to revert to her mermaid form. Nagasumi tries to dry her off, only for her to revert to her human form at the worst possible time: her father enters the room as Nagasumi is rubbing Lunar's butt with a towel. He nearly gets killed/forced into marrying Lunar over it. It's worth mentioning that Lunar's father is the Terminator, and Nagasumi was already on thin ice just by existing.
  • Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu has a straight romantic misunderstanding version of this, but there's also several times when Haruka's prying sister/father mistake innocuous activities for sex.
  • In Please Twins! Karen faints and falls face first into Maiku's lap. And then the other two girls walk in the door.
  • During the story about Sakuya's birthday in Hayate the Combat Butler, a little teasing by Sakuya ends in a little scuffle between her and Wataru which ends with him sprawled on top of her. Naturally, Wataru's crush Isumi walks in and misinterprets the whole thing. Then again, she might not be misinterpreting anything regarding Sakuya.
  • Karakuridouji Ultimo does this in chapter 3. Ultimo, has been seriously injured and, for some reason Yamato thinks that a robot boy is comparable to a fairytale princess. So Yamato decides a kiss is the only way to wake Ultimo up (why he felt the need to strip to his boxers and straddle him is beyond us), but doesn't actually have to go through with it, since Ultimo wakes up just in time. Sayama walks in just in time to see a half naked Yamato on top of a very young looking boy who's crying (He was just happy Yamato was trying to help him). She jumped to the obvious conclusion.
  • Subverted in Omamori Himari when water spirit Shizuku shows up in Yuuto's bathtub. He lifts her out of the water before realizing she has the form of a preteen girl. His cry of surprise brings Rinko running in, only to see him holding Shizuku with his hands on her breasts. Shizuku's "drowned girl" appearance, however, causes Rinko to think Yuuto has discovered a corpse rather than that he's doing anything lewd. There's also the fact that he cried out in shock.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • During the Mariah sequence in Stardust Crusaders, Joseph and Avdol wind up not only getting magnetized by Bast, but stuck to each other's sides. In order to be able to chase her down, they first have to detach from each other. They quickly figure out that their heads are opposite poles, and likewise their feet. That means to detach, all that has to be done is for one of them to get his head down to the other's feet. However, when they're starting this, some children are looking on (note that this is in Egypt, where man-man romance is... not encouraged). They manage to explain it away by saying that they're practicing a dance. Once the kids are gone, it's back to detachment preparation. Unfortunately, by the time Avdol's head is level with Joseph's hips, the kids are back — with friends. Even worse, so is the old woman who crushed on Joseph earlier in the day. That crush inverts fast... which turns out to be a good thing. Not just because Joseph no longer has to worry about her, but because the drubbing she subjects him to detaches him from Avdol by itself.
    • In Part 4, Diamond is Unbreakable, con man Tamami Kobayashi cons people by using his Stand, the Lock, to inflame feelings of guilt in his targets until they pay him off. When his initial attempt to hustle Koichi fails, he goes to Koichi's home and applies the Lock to his mother and sister and makes it appear as if Koichi robbed him. Koichi is able to stand up to him and one of Kobayashi's attempts to fight back is to stab himself and then throw the knife to Koichi just as his mother and sister re-enter the room, making it appear as if he had stabbed Kobayashi. This magnifies Koichi's mother's guilt to the point she nearly commits suicide before Koichi is able to convince her to believe in him.
  • Baby Steps: Straight-laced protagonist Eiichirou vehemently protests his innocence after being labelled a "perverted stalker" when he was caught secretly watching his classmate, Natsu, practice for her tennis club. To be fair, he was watching her out in the open at first, but ducked for cover out of embarrassment when she started to look his way.
  • In Beauty Pop, Narumi thinks he sees Ochiai and Kiri kissing. Ochiai is actually getting a bug out of her hair, and it's only the angle at which Narumi sees them that makes it look like a kiss.
  • Early in Dusk Maiden of Amnesia, a girl walks in on a situation where Yuuko has fallen on top of Teiichi (she'd put on his glasses for a joke, and they really screwed up her vision and balance) and then started getting flirtatious. Teiichi promptly yelps that "It's not what it looks like!" ... forgetting that Yuuko is a ghost, and the new girl can't see her, so it didn't look like anything naughty to her.
  • Late in the second season of Code Geass, Kallen walks in on C.C. telling Lelouch "Please take off your clothes, I will do my best" in a very uncharacteristically timid voice. This ends up being less hilarious and flaily than it could have been, given the fact that Lelouch is in the middle of a Heroic BSoD thanks to the previous episode. It's also pretty quickly resolved when Lelouch explains to Kallen that C.C.'s suffering Laser-Guided Amnesia and has reverted to a childlike state. And yes, the whole thing is innocent, if rather unorthodox: Lelouch thinks his sister is dead, and C.C. wants to bandage him, mistakenly thinking his pain is physical rather than mental and emotional.
  • This happens in Heart no Kuni no Alice when Peter, the devoted crush, walks in to find Alice held down by Ace and Boris, who are simply trying to hear the sound of her heart because neither actually have one.
  • In an early episode of Rosario + Vampire, Yukari Sendo creates a voodoo doll of Tsukune to try and drive Moka away from him, and uses it to make him feel up Kurumu when she comes to visit him in the sick-bay. Moka walks in on them, with Tsukune panicking and Kurumu in ecstasy, then Yukari forces him to trip and pull Kurumu's panties off. Kurumu certainly doesn't mind.
    • This happens again in the second volume of the manga. Tsukune's shirt get's messy and Kurumu offers to wash it. By the time the rest of the harem arrive, it looks like she's forcing herself on him.
  • Poor Tsubame has this happen to her in an early chapter of Samurai Harem: Asu no Yoichi. To be fair, it's a direct result of holding a loaf of cream bread before having a bout of bad luck.
  • In the manga of Brigadoon: Marin and Melan, someone walks in on Marin and Aloma half-dressed and very close together. They had changed their clothes because of a heavy rainfall, and Aloma was trying to interrogate Marin, but that's sure not what it looked like.
  • In A Certain Magical Index, Touma has this happen to him at the end of every arc without fail.
  • This is a common theme in Ai Ore! Love Me!.
  • In one chapter of D.N.Angel when everyone was on a field trip, Disuke goes to Risa's room to give her some medicine, thinking she's sick. Riku comes in, prompting him and Risa to hide quickly in a closet. Riku leaves, Daisuke and Risa try and get out of the closet and fall... with them both landing on the bed with Daisuke in a compromising position on top of Risa. Guess when Riku comes back in because she forgot something?
  • Happens in Naruto Shippuden episode 185 when Kotetsu and Izumo are Mistaken for Gay by Tsunade.
  • Wandering Son:
    • In an early chapter Nitori's sister walks in on her undressing with a girl in her room. Nitori is transgender and had been caught by Saori wearing girls clothes. Maho then proceeds to think that her sibling was doing something "dirty" and tells their mom.
    • In a later chapter, set when Nitori is a high school freshman, Maho catches her with her girlfriend and once again thinks she was doing something naughty. In reality Anna was just massaging Nitori and she got a Raging Stiffie by accident.
  • One scene of Family Compo revolves around this. Sora is arguing with his editor about how There Is Only One Bed at a remonstrant. Their argument sounds like his editor wants to have an affair with him but Sora is protesting her advances.
  • Invoked in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny when Meer Campbell sneaks into Athrun's roomExplanation , and then answers his door while wearing a very slinky baby doll. It helps that the person at the door is Lunamaria, who has something of a crush on Athrun herself. Eventually Athrun realizes that trying to explain isn't going to do a damn bit of good and just gives up.
  • Variation in a phone call in Axis Powers Hetalia; Italy calls Germany, screaming in pain, claiming that his brother's "in bed" and "it won't come out". Germany assumes Romano is raping Italy and runs to help, only to find that the two are actually stuck together by their entangled Idiot Hair.
  • Happens in ½ Prince Prince finds Gui, who is technically straight but makes an exception for Prince, and Wicked, who knows Prince is really a girl and has had a crush on her for years on top of each other in their hotel room.
  • In The Pet Girl of Sakurasou Sorata is in a lot of these thanks to Mashiro. Often in those situations she will also say things either out of context, or out of order, to imply things done between her and Sorata.
  • The titular characters of Horimiya are sent to get everyone's drinks. They end up taking a long time, and everyone, especially Ishikawa, begins to assume the worse, which is only made worse when Miyamura tries to apologize for doing something (dropping Ishikawa's coke) and Ishikawa takes it the wrong way.
  • In Haiyore! Nyarko-san, Mahiro is attempting to get Pretty Freeloaders Nyarko and Cuuko out of the house before his mother returns from her honeymoon. Just as she steps in the door, the trio falls into the foyer from the living room, with Nyarko on her back, Mahiro on top of her (and between her legs) and Cuuko clinging to his back. Thankfully, Mahiro's mother actually does let him explain things, though we don't see the explanation thanks to the opening credits.
  • A darker variation happens in Bokurano. At the end of the second episode (chapter eleven of the manga) Jun appears to push Waku off the Humongous Mecha everyone is standing on. Whether it was intentional or accidental isn't certain at the moment, especially due to Jun's Jerkass nature so far and his "You're embarrassing us" line. Eventually we learn it would have happened no matter what. The pilots die after they finish using the mecha. Waku happened to die at that moment and fell due to that.
  • In Sekainohate De Aimashou recent Gender Bender Ryouma is horrified that people will assume he's engaging in Man, I Feel Like a Woman when he's interrupted closely examining his newly feminized body with far more practical considerations (such as "how do I go to the bathroom?") in mind.
  • In Love So Life, Shiharu responds with this whenever someone thinks she's Oeji's girlfriend, since with the twins they're often mistaken for a young family.
  • In episode 7 of Is the Order a Rabbit?, two girls enter Chiya's cafe. One of them has a Brown Bag Mask, while the other is openly displaying a pistol. She immediately assumes she's being robbed until Cocoa, who was holding the pistol, reveals why they had those things on them.
  • Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun:
    • Mikoshiba forcefully volunteered to be Miyako's shirtless model. Nozaki and Sakura came when he was stripping and shouting "Take a good look!".
    • Sakura and Hori act out Nozaki's script, and Mikoshiba comes just in time to hear the part where Hori's character shamelessly admits that he's in love with other girls than Sakura's character.
    • Nozaki imagines taking pictures at the beach and being mistaken for a peeping tom.
    • Miyako's college friends are perhaps not the brightest given that they doggedly stick with the assumption that Miyako's odd behavior is because she has a boyfriend in highschool, namely Nozaki. They also think she has an incredibly shady job because whenever they ask her what she actually does she just laughs, leaving them with the assumption that it's some dirty job performed at night. Hmmm...
      • The first time it comes up, one of her friends is convinced that they're going through a messy breakup with both of them being incredibly unfaithful while the tiny Sakura sits back watching with highly malicious entertainment at the drama. The reader knows that they're actually just talking about possible costumes for their characters.
      • When Ryousuke tries to check out what's going on, he thinks Miyako and Nozaki are talking about cosplay with Nozaki not being satisfied with anything, so at the end of the chapter he helpfully informs her that he would love to see her as a bunny girl.
  • Angel Densetsu': This pretty much describes Kitano's entire life. Due to several physical factors, his Uncanny Valley face is basically locked in Death Glare mode, and it's not helped by the fact that he unintentionally Kubrick Stares everyone he meets. So every time he shows up, everyone thinks he's a delinquent or Serial Killer, and things go downhill from there. In one instance, the teacher he was talking to cut herself on a broken mug, cue the witnesses going around convinced Kitano stabbed a teacher.
  • In Sengoku Otome, Nobunaga feeds an unconscious Hideyoshi medicine via a kiss. Mitsuhide, who is in love with Nobunaga, witnesses this and thinks they have gotten intimate, becoming insanely jealous. The misunderstanding is never cleared up.
  • My Monster Secret: Rin hugs Asahi at every opportunity, feeds him, and even spends an entire day riding around on his shoulders. It's actually a rather cute grandfather/grand-daughter relationship, but it doesn't look like that from the outside.
  • In The Testament of Sister New Devil, Basara is often caught up in situations like these with Mio.
  • In the OVA Sekkaroku of Hakuouki, Hijikata runs into this when he was trying to extricate Chizuru from her brief mission of being a spy at a geisha house. A bystander at the gate believes Hijikata is trying to kidnap or elope with her. Trying to explain goes nowhere and Hijikata loses his temper, announcing himself as the vice captain of the Shinsengumi and that Chizuru is under his protection. Hilarity Ensues as rumors quickly spread that the vice-commander of the Shinsengumi has eloped with a cute geisha.
  • Fairy Tail: Now, I know what you're thinking...
  • In Kids on the Slope, Kaoru finds his friend shirtless with a girl at school. He assumes they're doing something sexual but it turns out that Sentaro is modelling for a painting.
  • In Dragon Ball Super, Gohan gets roped into being a stuntman in a Great Saiyaman movienote , and Videl pisses off the star Barry Kahn by not fawning over him when he tries to impress her. In revenge, he tries to make it look like Gohan is having an affair with the film's leading lady, who Barry blackmailed into helping him. When Barry shows up with photos of Gohan leaving the actress's apartment (and getting a thank-you kiss for helping her memorize her lines), Gohan starts to say something like this...but Videl just tears up the photos and reveals that she instantly saw through the trick; she knows Gohan well enough to realize he'd never cheat, and she calls Barry pathetic for trying to destroy their marriage just because she didn't stroke his ego.
  • This is a running gag with Miko in Kaguya-sama: Love Is War after she joins the student council, walking in at the worst possible time on things that are far more innocent in context (like Shirogane and Ishigami forcibly taping Fujiwara's mouth shut to keep her from spoiling a manga, or Kaguya running out in tears while calling Shirogane a manwhore because she thought he wore boxers). This results in her coming to some very interesting conclusions about what happens when she isn't present.
  • My Hero Academia has an example very much like the page image—when Izuku first meets Gran Torino, the latter appears to be lying dead on the floor in a pool of blood. Then he gets up, and explains that he tripped while carrying tomato sauce. Given his personality, he may have done this deliberately.
    • A G-rated version happens in the movie. When Melissa and Midoriya are exploring the expo together—they unexpectedly run into Ochako, who has a brief Heroic BSoD while Midoriya frantically tries to explain to her, Jiro, and Yaoyorozu that he and Melissa are not on a date.
  • The Quintessential Quintuplets has Fuutarou push down Nino (who's only wearing a towel since she just came out of the bath) so that she isn't hit by falling books. At that very moment, Nino's sister Itsuki comes in and takes a photo. In an unusual case, Itsuki figures out what really happened.
  • Saint Young Men has a scene where Jesus befriends a Yakuza mobster while hanging out in a sauna. A miscommunication in retelling the story of the Passion leads to the guy thinking Jesus is the son of a powerful gangster, and that his father got him sprung from death row after three days.
  • In the manga version of Saiunkoku Monogatari, Shuurei became sick and Ryuuki sneaked into her bedroom at night to visit her, genuinely wanting to help her feel better. Unfortunately, Ryuuki ended up giving her a strong medicine mixed with a (badly made) ginger broth, making Shuurei scream from the horrible taste. In comes running her family who then see what looks like Ryuuki forcing himself onto a gagging Shuurei on the bed ...
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