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Stealth Hi Bye / Live-Action TV

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Unexpected arrivals and departures in live-action TV.

  • Michelle, a member of La Résistance (literally) in 'Allo 'Allo!, frequently does this.
  • In Green Arrow's own series Arrow, he does this a lot, particularly after threatening villains.
    • In the very first episode he does it out of a moving car in the middle of an empty street.
      • The Season 8 premiere gives us a bit of detail of how, as he finds himself on Earth-2, impesonating himself from that Earth (long story), and tries to pull the same trick on that version of the driver. However, it fails because the Earth-1 version of the driver (by now his best friend) has also taken his counterpart's place, and he made sure to lock the back doors of the car beforehand.
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    • In Season 5, Vigilante is even better at doing this than Green Arrow himself. In the episode "Vigilante", the titular Vigilante Man manages to pull this off when he's tied to a pillar.
  • The murdered copper in Ashes to Ashes has a habit of this.
  • In the finale of Battlestar Galactica Kara Thrace does this in the middle of an open plain when Lee turns away for a moment, proving that she really was killed in Season 3 and is actually some kind of corporeal angel.
  • In The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon attempts to stay at Raj's apartment in order to avoid a bitter argument between Penny and Leonard. Unfortunately, when he enters, Raj was already in a severe argument regarding leaving for a wedding back in India (citing that he has something important to do for his university as his reason), as well as his parent's implication that he and Howard Wollowitz were a couple ("The closest thing we have to a daughter in law is that Jewish boy Howard"). When Raj turns and angrily asks Sheldon to back him up by telling them that they are just friends, Sheldon was already long gone (obviously because of wanting to run away from their argument).
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  • In Birds of Prey (2002), Huntress is constantly doing this, especially to her Friend on the Force, Detective Reese. (Presumably she got this from her dad). At one point, even Alfred manages to do this to Reese, prompting him to say something to the effect of "you've gotta be kidding me."
  • The Cleaner in Black Books, constantly scaring Bernard half to death and/or creeping him out.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    • Angel was fond of doing this in the first season, when he was simply the Mysterious Protector. He kept this power throughout Buffy, and into his own series, on one occasion vanishing out of the back seat of a car with closed doors without seeming to open one. As such, lampshaded with increasing ferocity as the series went on. Hell the lampshade practically hung itself for a while there.
      Xander: [referring to Angel, who has just exited stealthily] Okay, that's it. I'm putting a collar with a little bell on that guy!
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    • Buffy has other examples of this, particularly a subverted scene in "Gone" (somewhat of a trope of its own) when the geek trio attempt a stealth bye with a flashbomb, but the smoke clears to reveal them fiddling with the door ("dude, I thought you said it was unlocked!").
    • Also in Angel, Connor has a tendency to use this trick, prompting Cordelia to comment, "It must be genetic" (In this particular case, Lamarck was, in fact, correct).
    • In the Angel episode "Somnambulist", it's hinted that Angel doesn't teleport or use super speed, as it shows Kate looking around dumbfounded while the audience sees Angel is just walking away at a normal pace. There are many other examples on his own show where the audience can see Angel has just walked away while other characters clearly seem to think he's vanished. Angel and Connor have some sort of obfuscation, and they have much better reflexes than a normal human, but neither can cover significant distances faster than the human eye can see. Illyria and Glory had super-speed. (Technically, Illyria slowed the world down, but since time is relative, depending on your point if view it's the same thing when they're moving quickly or you're moving slowly.)
    • In "Epiphany", Lyndsey runs Angel over with his car, then gets out and beats on him with a sledgehammer. He then retrieves a stake from his car... only for Angel to be right behind him and beat him up.
    • In the series 2 final episode "There's No Place Like Plrtz Glrb" it's lampshaded again and Fred is revealed to be capable of doing it, too. (When we first met Fred she had spent some years in a world where, for humans, stealth is a survival skill.)
      Gunn: He's Angel. He does that. How'd she do that?
      Angel: She's Fred. She does that, too.
  • Subverted in Burn Notice, where Michael explains that it do not involve spy magic, but quick feet and strong fingers, as he is seen hanging from the roof.
  • Charlie does this in episode 1x02 of By Any Means; disappearing when the DI he is talking to turns to look at the tied-up villain in the boot of a car Charlie has just delivered to him.
  • Agent Gray, the CIA agent from Castle.
    • Becket pulls one of these on Esposito in "Probable Cause".
  • Al is sort of this in the first few episodes of 'Chicago P.D.''. Voight would say something like "When Al gets here..." and Al would interject "I'm here." Possibly a case of Early Installment Weirdness.
  • Subverted in Series/Community Season 6, Episode 7, Advanced Safety Features where Britta’s old boyfriend recruits her to work with him for his mysterious boss who initially disappears from the bar until she spots him hiding under a table. Played with again later when he attempts to do it again by attempting to get her to “look over there” and scampering away, but she turns back quickly enough to see him looking for a place to hide, though she pretends to go along with it anyway.
  • From Chuck:
    Bryce: [steps out from behind a wall] Chuck.
    Chuck: [startled] Aah! You— What did I say about the entrances?!
    • Casey used to love startling Chuck that way, too.
  • In Constantine, the angel Manny often disappears while John is still talking to him, often to the confusion of whoever Manny was taking over.
  • In Crusade, Galen, the resident techno-mage, did this frequently. In an episode, another techno-mage did the same to him, leading Galen to mutter "Now I know how it feels...".
  • Horatio Caine on CSI: Miami also does this from time to time (mostly the Stealth Hi version), complete with *Click* Hello when he's sneaking up on the Perp of the Week. Apparently Jerry Bruckheimer didn't think the sunglasses routine and super-serious monotone fulfilled the show's Narm quota.
  • Daredevil (2015):
    • More than half the time, Matt Murdock's appearances among the bad guys (and sometimes the good guys) come with him just appearing in a spot he wasn't standing in a moment ago when the camera panned away.
    • During "In the Blood", Ben Urich pulls it on Karen when he sits down behind her at an auction, then seemingly disappears into thin air just as she's about to ask him how he knew she was there.
    • Throughout "The Ones We Leave Behind", Ben gets subjected to this three times: Matt first jumps off a dumpster behind Ben while he's getting in his car, prompting Urich to say "You like making an entrance, don't you?". Then Karen, waiting in a doorway, surprises him as he's returning to his apartment, to which he says, exasperated, "Everybody's got to be sneaking out, tonight?" Lastly, at the end of the episode, Wilson Fisk breaks into Urich's apartment, then sits in a chair in a dimly lit corner and waits for Ben to come home. He's unnoticed until the camera pans and Fisk begins talking. This last one ends fatally for Ben.
    • Thrice happens in "Penny and Dime". First, Karen pulls one on Matt and Foggy, using the distraction of Foggy pulling Matt into his office to tell him about a client to slip out unnoticed with the Punisher files. Later, Matt pulls one on Sgt. Brett Mahoney in a storage closet while Brett is answering a call on his radio. And in the final scene, Elektra is able to pull such an entrance on Matt, who is in a bit of a love daze after having kissed Karen.
  • Dexter notes that Astor and Cody have the ability to enter a room without their presence being known until one (usually Astor) speaks.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Second Doctor was fond of this trope (did it to himself in "The Three Doctors").
    • In "Remembrance of the Daleks", the creepy schoolgirl vanishes more than once when someone turns their head away from her for a few seconds.
    • "Aliens of London": The Doctor pulls one on the coroner when he leaves Albion Hospital. She trails off when she discovers he's not there, and runs into the hallway to hear the TARDIS dematerializing.
    • "The Empty Child"/"The Doctor Dances":
      • Nancy does it to the Doctor in her first scene, appearing seemingly out of nowhere to tell him not to answer the phone in the TARDIS (which shouldn't have worked to begin with), and having vanished when he turns around again to question her further about the phone call.
      • The Ninth Doctor pulls this off very well in the first episode. When Nancy and her fellow orphans sneak into a dining room while the home's residents are in a bomb shelter (the ep takes place during the Blitz), Nancy starts a plate around and everyone takes a slice of beef. The Doctor is already sitting at the other end of the table, accepting the plate from the child ahead of him. No one notices him until he speaks (keeping in mind there are around a dozen other people in the room). He later does it again when he follows Nancy to her hideout. She points out that people can't usually do that to her.
      • When the Doctor opens the door of the house to talk to Creepy Child Jamie, he's vanished.
      • Later, Jack disappears very suddenly... and then, better yet, Rose and the Doctor manage not to notice that they were being teleported.
        Jack: Most people notice they've been teleported... You guys are so sweet.
    • "The End of Time": The Woman in White pulls this on Wilfred Mott twice, once on a spaceship orbiting the Earth. It helps that she's not physically there...
    • The Tenth and Eleventh Doctors sneak up on River Song a couple of times. Once when she was telling another character about who the Doctor was and what she had seen him do, thus accidentally serving the Doctor some spoilers since those things were still in his future. The other time she was just mad at him for wandering off in a crisis:
      River: […] if he's dead back there, I'll never forgive myself. And if he's alive, I'll never forgive him. And Doctor, you're standing right behind me aren't you?
      The Doctor: Yeah.
      River: [lovingly] I hate you.
      The Doctor: You don't.
    • The Eleventh Doctor has a tendency to Stealth Bye people without warning. The first time he does it is off the hospital roof in "The Eleventh Hour" to Amy and Rory — both of whom were closer to the door than he was.
      • He does it to Amy again in "The Beast Below". He's in the middle of explaining that that time travel is like a nature documentary, they must only observe and never interfere, while the scanner pans over a crying child. Amy questions how hard it must be not to help people, only to realize the scanner now showing the Doctor outside, interfering...
      • He also does this to Craig in "Closing Time", twice. Once while Craig is trying to tell the lady at the shop that they aren't a couple, and again just before Sophie gets home. Poor Craig.
    • "Deep Breath": Clara is waiting for the Doctor in the back booth of a restaurant, only to smell something awful, look to her left and discover him sitting at the table.
    • "The Pilot": Bill is staring out the window of the Doctor's office while telling him about the weird puddle she and Heather found, only to suddenly break off her story when she sees the Doctor sprinting across the yard.
      • In general, the Doctor will often do this at the end of a story; once the battle is won and the monster is no more, the supporting characters will turn to the Doctor, only to realize that (s)he's already gone. Played with, however, since the camera usually follows the Doctor and companions, so the audience sees how they do it.
  • In The Dresden Files, Morgan often pulls this trick on Harry. Late in the first season, he reveals that he actually turns invisible while Harry (and the audience) aren't looking. Morgan's actor suggested that it worked because the cameraman liked him.
  • Father Brown: In "The Face of the Enemy", Lady Felecia's New Old Flame takes advantage of the cover of a cloud of steam to vanish during his Train-Station Goodbye with Lady Felicia.
  • Neatly subverted in the final episode of Father Ted where a mysterious priest asks about Ted and then vanishes with a little music sting. Ten seconds later he re-appears with the comment "Sorry, I went over there. What did you say?"
  • Firefly
    • Played with a bit of a horror aspect in the episode "Bushwhacked". As Mal and Zoe are cleaning out the derelict's cargo bay, the feeling that something is wrong starts to overtake them. They look around the previously empty bay, and find that River has snuck up on them without warning, only this time, she's looking up. The camera pans up, and cue the horror.
    • Mal pulls one of these on Jubal Early in "Objects in Space", when Early climbs out on top of Serenity and starts for his ship, only to have Mal pop up behind him, rip off a witty one-liner, and hurl him into deep space. More easily justified, as it's space.
    • Early himself manages to pull it off on Kaylee earlier on, and exploits it for maximum terrifying effect. It helps that Early's appearance would have been completely shocking, since he was a complete stranger and they were in the middle of space (meaning that there would have been no obvious means of him getting on the ship at all).
    • River pulls off a subtle one in "Safe" when she slips out of the store while Kaylee and Simon have their disagreement. If you watch closely, you can actually see her circling around Kaylee and then vanishing off-screen.
  • Game of Thrones: Ghost is master of this, especially his Big Damn Heroes in "The Gift", after which he vanishes again.
  • Gilmore Girls:
    • Paris does it to Rory, prompting Rory's "God! You're like the pop-up book from hell!"
    • Francine is also quite adept.
  • David Karofsky from Glee started a meme of Suddenly Karofsky due to his tendency to appear seemingly out of nowhere despite his big size and habit of wearing a distinctive red letterman's jacket. It was played for dramatic effect when he was bullying Kurt.
  • The Good Place plays with this with Janet's appearances and disappearances, accompanied by a "bing" sound, although she tends to appear and reappear when called. Further played with in season three when Janet, on Earth without her powers, begins entering and exiting rooms vocalizing her own "bing". Upon leaving she implores people not to watch her leave.
  • Grimm: Nick's mother Kelly makes a habit of doing this, continually surprising with her appearances/disappearances in "Bad Teeth".
  • H₂O: Just Add Water: Miss Chatham does this to Cleo in her first several appearances while delivering cryptic warnings.
  • Sylar from Heroes does this several times in the first season, both the quick disappearing act and the suddenly appearing from nowhere. Usually Sylar pops up just behind the protagonist's shoulder who only moments before had been looking around an empty room or empty plaza. Bennet and Peter actually speculate in the season finale that Sylar has the power to "hide in plain sight". Given that Sylar has assimilated an unknown number of superpowers, it's not that unlikely.
    • About Bennet's "hide in plain sight" comment; guess who taps on his shoulder a second later?
    • He does this in season four out of the back seat of a closed car, reappearing on the top of an apartment building about 100 feet away in less than ten seconds. The writer admits this is 100% Offscreen Teleportation.
  • Stacy Warner, in House, would often do that. House found it cool.
  • Subverted in the first episode of How I Met Your Mother, when Marshall and Barney were talking, and Marshall suddenly noticed Barney had disappeared, naturally assuming that Barney was doing another one of his magic tricks(which he used to impress the ladies into bed). Barney pops his head from behind the bathroom doorway and remarks: "I'm taking a leak, dumbass!"
  • Subverted in an episode of Jonathan Creek when Jonathan and a member of his fan club are standing in the centre of a large field. Jonathan gets the man to close his eyes for a moment, and when he opens them he finds that Jonathan has completely disappeared. After shaking his head in wonder, the man walks away, revealing to the camera that Jonathan merely nipped round to stand behind him. He promptly walks off in the opposite direction.
  • Kamen Rider Ryuki: Kanzaki Shirou does this in virtually every scene he's in. He pops in on one of the Riders, tells him to go kill the other Riders, and disappears. Justified as he is utilising a Portal Network that connects all reflective surfaces.
  • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid: The natural way for Bugsters to enter the scene thanks to their teleportation ability. Most of Parado's interactions with Emu start with a sneak up because of his need to cause chaos and be a Personal Space Invader.
  • Kamen Rider Zi-O: It took Sougo some time to get used to Woz' preffered way of passing through by appearing out of nowhere and vanishing just as suddenly. One particular example that happened right besides him actually made Sougo scream, much to Woz's annoyance.
  • This happened on Las Vegas, of all places. James Caan's character, Ed Deline, is around a bend in a corridor, holding a gun to the head of someone on the floor. Another character, McCoy, comes along and tells him that the police want him for murder. Ed looks up, and then McCoy turns at the approach of the police. When he, and the camera, turn back, Ed is gone. When the other character reviews the security tape, Ed actually waved through the camera at him, when he wasn't looking. McCoy deletes the recording before we actually see Ed leave. It's implied, but never shown, that Ed escaped through the fire doors behind him.
  • On Leverage, Parker ran out on the group in the middle of "The Orphan Job", but tech guy Hardison, having experienced her pulling a stealth bye earlier, tracked her down with the GPS device he sneaked into her shoe should she disappear again. She does this sort of thing all the time.
    • This is, in fact, a direction note for the series, as noted in the commentary. The audience almost never sees Parker entering or exiting from a room. She just walks into scene once everyone's there.
  • Lost's Others are capable of this. A memorable example was Harper's appearance at the beginning of "The Other Woman". The audience was convinced this meant she was actually an apparition, until this was officially debunked.
  • Subverted in M*A*S*H:
    • Jerkass Colonel Flagg frequently attempts to do a Stealth Hi/Bye, but always fails miserably. Ending with this exchange:
      Hawkeye: Well, Flagg, I guess you've got better things to do — like torturing sheep.
      Col. Flagg: As a matter of fact, I do. Now everybody close your eyes.
      BJ: Beg your pardon?
      Hawkeye: Whaaa?
      Col. Potter: Close our eyes?
      Radar: Oh, nonono...
      Col. Flagg: When I finish a job, nobody sees me leave.
      BJ: Oh, I forgot. You're the wind.
      Col. Flagg: I'm either swallowed up by night, or disappear in the mist. It's my trademark. Now close your eyes.
      Hawkeye: I'd rather close my ears.
      Col. Flagg: [finally exasperated] If you don't close your eyes, I'm not leaving!
      Hawkeye & BJ: [both rapidly covering their eyes] Bye! See ya!
      [sound of enthusiastic yelling, followed by the crash of glass; Hawkeye walks over to the office window]
      Hawkeye: The "wind" just broke his leg.
    • He succeeds at least once, after being humiliated by Winchester in a tent filled with angry people he turns off the only lamp and is not there when someone manages to turn it back on again. Those present are more impressed by Winchester than by this stunt.
  • Agent LaRoche in The Mentalist is good at sneaking up on people, a useful skill for him to have as an Internal Affairs investigator, since otherwise, the protagonists are likely to try to avoid him.
  • Dang of Canadian teen sitcom Mr. Young tends to suddenly appear at random times, mostly when people say his name. He's so good, he can even do this in outer space. In fact, he's so amazing at this that he can do this in two places at the same time.
  • In an episode of Murphy Brown, someone asks a Deep Throat-like informant how he always manages to mysteriously appear out of the shadows, to which he offhandedly explains, "You just stand in a shadow, then step out."
  • Jessi's introduction on MythBusters.
  • NCIS:
    • Gibbs does this with the other agents (although he mainly does the Stealth Hi and not the Stealth Bye). It's usually played for a Right Behind Me moment. In one episode Abby puts bubble wrap on the floor across her door as an attempt to warn her when Gibbs is sneaking in. It works, but annoys Gibbs so much that he orders her to get rid of it.
    • When Gibbs temporarily comes back from his 10-Minute Retirement, he finds Tony, who had been filling in as the team's leader, hiding behind a stairwell while the other agents are talking, eavesdropping with a speakerphone. He tells Gibbs that "you know exactly what I'm doing", and then attempts a Stealth Hi just like Gibbs did as soon as the opportunity arrives. He quickly finds out that Gibbs did not gain his information that way, causing him to remark, "I have much to learn still, master."
    • Gibbs has a stealth bye pulled on him when he, Kate, and Tony visit Guantanamo. He's giving them orders while reading a newspaper, and they're down the hall arguing over who gets the bedroom with the bathtub. Naturally, Gibbs gets back at them by taking said room.
    • One particularly memorable moment is, unfortunately, only implied: Abby thinks that Gibbs has forgotten her birthday, and says that she forgives him, prompting Gibbs to tell her to check her desk drawer for his gift, despite her having been in the office all day.
    • Charles "Chip" Sterling pulls one in his introduction. He attributes it to special shoes, which make him extremely quiet; he turns out to be setting up Tony, so his sneaking skill is appropriate.
    • On one occasion Tony attempted to outfox Gibbs. When Gibbs failed to appear on cue, Tony was flummoxed, and then Gibbs showed.
    • Tony and Tim experience a twofer in one episode. They are hiding behind the stairs, observing Gibbs in the bullpen when all of a sudden director Vance appears behind them to ask what they are doing. They make an excuse and watch as the director leaves. Just as Vance closes the door behind him, Gibbs appears right behind them telling them to go back to work.
    • Happens to Vance after Gibbs and Fornell have been forced to work with their mutual ex-wife on a case, with the shared feeling among the three just one step below amicable. While focusing on his paperwork, Vance suggests that the three could form a permanent interagency task force; when he looks up, all three are gone.
  • An episode of NUMB3RS featured a mysterious government agent checking up on the characters. He had a bad habit of surprising people with a "stealth hi" (his exits were normal), but in a subversion he was also disarmingly cheerful and helpful.
  • In Once Upon a Time, Rumplestiltskin loved doing this. As did other Dark Ones, such as Emma.
  • Happened in The Palace, of all things, with one of the king's senior advisors. Prince George is enjoying a nice bath, when he opens his eyes and jumps, startled. Not only has Sir Iain entered the room without a sound, but he's casually perched on the side of the tub.
  • Frank Lemmer from Parker Lewis Can't Lose was quite good at the "bye" part, simply fading into thin air occasionally. At one time this failed when he tried to teleport out of an awkward situation with his current love interest and he just flickered a bit, with a strained facial expression.
  • Person of Interest:
    • John Reese does this a lot, as befits a mysterious vigilante, but in the episode "Judgement" we actually see him do so, sneaking off while Detective Fusco is still yakking away to him, until Fusco turns round and realises he's gone.
    • Early in the series Harold Finch is able to dodge Reese when he's being tailed, despite Reese being an ex-CIA agent and assassin, thanks to an alley that he's clearly reconnoitered beforehand.
    • Shaw is always sneaking up on Harold Finch, who being a Properly Paranoid hidden Chessmaster finds it rather annoying. We see her doing so in "4C".
      Finch: Would it be too much to ask you to snap a twig?
      Shaw: [obviously suppressing a smile] Not my thing.
  • Pie in the Sky: Used by the environmental activist in "Endangered Species" when Crabbe goes to speak to him on his home ground.
  • Pixelface: In "Fool's Gold", Claireparker demonstrates she is an expert at this. Alexia spends most of the episode attempting to prove she is better, without success.
  • The Pretender, on occasion. Perhaps most notably in a first season episode where Jarod meets a Magical Native American (or one who likes to play up the trope, anyway) who does this, initially confounding Jarod. By the end of the episode, Jarod has picked up the skill from him.
  • Psych: In "Woman Seeking Dead Husband, Smokers Okay, No Pets" (1.4) Shawn somehow got into Lassiter's back seat while his car was parked and Lassiter and Juliet were in it on a stakeout.
    Shawn Spencer: Shouldn't you be wondering how I managed to get in here and lounge for two minutes without either of you noticing?
  • The eponymous Queen demonstrates her ability to do this in Queen of Swords.
  • The Devil does this a lot in Reaper.
  • In Revolution, this is the standard method of Big Damn Heroes. In Episode 2-9, "Everyone Says I Love You", Monroe takes the time to lampshade it afterwards.
    Monroe: I'm Batman.
  • Scrubs
    • Ted occasionally does this unintentionally, as he puts it: "No one expects me to be anywhere." One episode exaggerates this to the point that he's able to spy on people for a newspaper because people simply don't pay attention to him.
    • Dr. Cox manages to pull one off. Turk is sitting on a bench near the hospital's parking lot, enjoying a sandwich. A van passes in front of the screen and Dr. Cox is magically sitting next to him. Once he begins talking, Turk is understandably surprised to see him there.
  • On Seinfeld, Elaine was annoyed by a co-worker who did this. She dubbed the practice "sidling", and convinced the guy to start carrying Tic-Tacs around, figuring the rattling would let her know when he was coming. The result was that the rattling of Tic-Tacs was heard throughout the entire building constantly and driving everybody nuts, but nobody knew where it was coming from because the sidler was just as invisible as ever. Elaine then had the brilliant idea to pop a few Tic-Tacs herself while her boss was in the room, making him think that she was the one who had been rattling.
  • Sherlock:
    • In "The Blind Banker", John and Sarah are at the circus on a date and John is getting their reserved tickets when he is informed that there are three waiting for them, not the two John was expecting. John is confused - until Sherlock pops up out of nowhere behind them, explains that he called back to get the third ticket for himself, introduces himself to Sarah, and promptly walks off offscreen.
      John: I've got two reserved for tonight.
      Box Office Manager: What name is it?
      John: Er... Holmes.
      Box Office Manager: Actually, I have three in that name.
      John: Oh, no. I think that's an error. He booked two.
      Sherlock: [offscreen] And then I phoned back and got one for me as well. [slides onscreen; turns to Sarah] I'm Sherlock. [slides offscreen]
    • Done again in "The Sign of Three", when Sherlock vanishes from a park bench in the middle of a conversation with John, without John noticing.
  • Smallville:
    • Clark Kent does this on occasion, though he usually just speeds away on-screen while everybody is looking away.
    • Kara picked up the family business and arguably did a better job (read:more off-screen Stealth Byes due to budget cuts).
    • Green Arrow also pulls this at least once in Season 9 on Cat Grant. When Green Arrow is first introduced, Clark turns from him for two seconds and turns back to find him gone. It's all the more bewildering because Clark doesn't appear to have noticed himself, despite having had super hearing for years by this point.
    • Lionel Luthor also frequently pulls this off, usually to help reinforce the point that Lionel is sneaky. For instance, Clark or Chloe goes down to the cave and the camera pans around the cave and shows that nobody is there. All of a sudden, a literal second later we hear Lionel's voice saying "Miss Sullivan" or "Clark?" and the character turns around and suddenly Lionel is just there. Lionel managed to do this so often that, given that the show takes place in the DC Universe and the fact that Lionel hangs out with other rich people, one seriously has to wonder if young Bruce Wayne learned this trick by studying Lionel.
    • Chloe finally gets to pull this trick on Clark when he's stuck in a virtual world. He seems to realise how irritating it is.
  • A running gag in Spooks, despite the show otherwise taking itself quite seriously, is that every Director of a national intelligence agency knows how to do this. Harry in particular seems able to effortlessly break into any building, no matter how difficult it was for the rest of the team.
  • On Stargate SG-1, Daniel in ascended form does this quite often. In fact, this is the preferred entrance of most ascended beings. Particularly notable in "Full Circle": Jack, Sam and Jonas need Daniel to appear to help them out, so Jack starts looking round the room calling out to him. The camera follows him, panning round the room. When it gets back to the start, Daniel has appeared, standing right in front of Carter! Naturally, she doesn't notice him until he speaks.
  • Done by Koloth in an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine who sneaks into Odo's office. Odo, being the Chief of Security is understandably disturbed by this, especially since he didn't hear the telltale sound of doors opening. When asked how he got in, Koloth simply introduces himself. When Odo persists that this isn't an answer to his question, Koloth replies that it is. He later explains that he's a Klingon Dahar Master, implying that all Dahar Masters can pull off stunts like that.
    • Section 31 agent Sloan has demonstrated this ability as well, appearing out of nowhere, then disappearing just as quickly, with no indication that he's using a transporter, and leaving no trace that he was ever there. Once he simply stepped through a door, Dr Bashir chased him through a moment later, only to see an empty hallway.
  • Supernatural:
    • Castiel does this, even when people are looking directly at him. One time Dean was driving in a car, the camera pans around the side of the car (losing sight of the passenger seat in the process) and when it comes to the side of the car, Castiel is sitting calmly shotgun. Dean is considerably startled. Another time, mid-conversation with Dean, he vanishes from the park bench after Dean glances away. It can be assumed that he is flying from place to place (since he's an angel, and the sound of wings and rushing air accompanies his arrival) but visibly he only appears and disappears.
      Dean: Why is it always gotta be me that makes the call, huh? It's not like Cas lives in my ass. The dude's busy!
      [Castiel appears behind him]
      Dean: Cas, get out of my ass!
      Castiel: I was never in.. your...
    • Crowley turns this into an artform. In fact, he doesn't make any noise at all. When Cas gets upgraded, he starts doing the same thing.
    • Anna is also shown doing it. At one point appearing in the back of the Winchester car, while Dean's driving.
      Anna: [suddenly appearing in the backseat] Hey, guys.
      Dean: Ah! [jerks steering wheel, but manages to get the car under control]
      Anna: Smooth.
      Dean: You ever try calling ahead?
      Anna: I like the element of surprise.
    • When Crowley proposes a deal with angel Naomi, she leaves silently before he even finishes.
      Crowley: Maybe we can make a deal before this gets truly bollocksed. I mean, I must have something that you want. [looks over, notices she's gone] Tart stole my move.
  • Survivor: In "Worlds Apart" Mike did this to Carolyn and Sierra in the episode, My Word is My Bond."
  • In The Thick of It, Malcolm Tucker is able to sneak up on people in a glass-walled office. "I'm a shapeshifter!"
  • Top Gear's resident Deadpan Snarker James May delivered one of these during the Cheap Alfa Romeos Challenge:
    Jeremy: I have been rescued [referring to the two women with him] and I haven't even broken down.
    Richard: Well then you don't—
    [cut into James, who just arrived]
    James: Hello.
  • In The Vampire Diaries, vampires in general are experts at doing this using their superspeed.
  • Rounding out the Nathan Fillion-related examples is a presentation at the Spike TV 2010 VGAs where, due to an optical illusion, Fillion seems to appear from nowhere on a stage. If you're looking for it you can tell where he is.
  • Warehouse 13:
    • The enigmatic Mrs. Frederic, who rarely enters or leaves a room except via this method. Her bodyguard and the Regents (Mark Sheppard, at least) seem capable of doing it as well.
    • Artie does this once to Claudia in order to catch her disobeying his and the Regents' orders.
      Claudia: Did you just Mrs. Frederic me?
    • When Artie and Jinks see Mrs. Frederic walk out of the Warehouse in "All the Time in the World", it's a sign something has gone very wrong.
    • In the Distant Finale epilogue, Claudia — as new Caretaker Miss Donovan — does this to the new agents.
  • On an episode of The West Wing, C.J. manages to sneak into Leo's office behind him without him noticing. After Leo recovers, he says, "You should wear a bell around your neck, you know?"


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