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A type of Room Shuffle where the adults need some alone time but there are kids in the room. The adults will disguise an attempt to make the kids go away as a game, an errand, or something like that. With a bit of luck, it'll work.

Despite the obvious Subtext in the explanation above, this trope doesn't only apply to sexual situations; G-rated examples include, but are not limited to, times when the adults need to talk about something the kids probably won't take too well (e.g. the death of a friend), or when they just need a break from playing with the kids.

Compare other types of Room Shuffle. Can overlap with Snipe Hunt.

Examples of Hide and No Seek include:


  • Paige did something like this to Jason in FoxTrot. During a game of freeze tag, he was left "frozen" in the yard while she went inside to watch TV.
    • Also happens with Peter sending Jason and Marcus out to play hide and seek so he can have some alone time with Denise.


  • Lampshaded in Star Trek II the Wrath of Khan when Carol Marcus wants to have a private talk with Captain Kirk without her son David or the others listening in.

 Carol Marcus: David, why don't you show Dr. McCoy and the Lieutenant our idea of food? [snip]

David Marcus: This is just to give us something to do, isn't it. Come on.

  • While playing a game with the kids outside in Nacho Libre, Ignacio decides to talk to the hot new nun, Encarnacion.

 Ignacio: OK kids, new game. *dropkicks ball* Go get it!

  • Done by the titular hero in Rob Roy .
  • Done in Life Is Beautiful to save the life of the narrator as the panicking Germans are executing every concentration camp prisoner they can get their hands on.


  • Happened in The Tamuli. Mirtai, a former slave, is telling her life-story as part of a 'ritual of passage into adulthood', and when she gets to a certain point, she asks the young princess Danae to fetch her some water, since all the talking has made her thirsty. Naturally, this heralds the beginning of a slightly more sordid part of her tale, which wasn't really appropriate for children. When one of the younger knights, a Chaste Hero if there ever was one, starts to flinch, she suggests that maybe he should go help Danae look for water. Of course, since Danae is actually a reincarnation of The Child-Goddess Aphrael, she knows exactly what's going on, could still easily listen in if she wanted to, and is unlikely to be shocked by ANYTHING humans get up to. So she basically just played along, returning with water just when the story left the naughtier subject-matter, while at the same time making it clear that she was well aware of why she'd been asked to go.

Live Action TV

  • Occurs in Scrubs when the Janitor is taking pictures of Doctor Cox playing dangerously with his son and a young girl spots him. He starts asking her to make silly faces for his camera:

 Janitor: Look happy... now look sad... now look like you're going away...

  • In the first season of Last Comic Standing, the other comics tricked Dat Phan (the eventual winner) into a game of hide-and-seek, waited for him to hide, and then went about their business as before.
  • An episode of The Cosby Show has Cliff send Olivia upstairs to find his slippers because he doesn't want to play with her. He then tells her to find his yellow robe. However, Olivia becomes wise to his game because Rudy tells her that she's being tricked.

Western Animation

  • In Camp Lazlo, Scoutmaster Lumpus wants to spend the day fishing, and tries to convince the scouts that "You can help me by NOT helping me." Of course, this results in Lumpus actually needing help...
  • In an episode of The Weekenders, Tino's divorced parents need to discuss him. Tino obligingly goes upstairs. "I'll just go organize my collection of Things That Aren't My Parents Having A Private Conversation."
  • On The Simpsons, Bart uses this as a pause button for his reluctant playdate with Ralph Wiggum, giving himself a chance to clean the syrup stains off of all his toys.

 Ralph: I've been in [the hallway closet] for two hours, and Bart still hasn't finded me!

  • In Timon and Pumbaa, Timon uses this to get rid of Pumbaa Jr. in "Never Neverglades."
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