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"Tell me James Bond, do you still sleep with a gun under your pillow?"
Paris Carver, Tomorrow Never Dies

Worried about hostile burglars? Haven't got a skimpy nightdress? Try the Pillow Pistol!

This handy accessory goes under your pillow, allowing you to be fully armed in the event of strange nocturnal noises. The pillow is also a handy silencer! Just be careful not to shoot yourself or your sleeping partner. Or anyone trying to wake you up.

Compare Hidden Supplies, Can't Bathe Without a Weapon. Not to be confused with Victoria's Secret Compartment.

Examples of Pillow Pistol include:

Anime and Manga

  • A particularly interesting example is in the manga version of Gunsmith Cats. Rally Vincent has been hospitalized and complains that the pillow isn't comfortable. Upon receiving a pistol to hide under it, she sighs and falls asleep... so deeply that her partner is able to draw on her face, and later a would-be assassin has plenty of time to kill her... but she wakes instantly when he tries to get the gun out from under her pillow.
  • Momochi Zabuza from Naruto had a kunai under his pillow.
  • In the Black Butler manga Ciel has a pistol under his pillow. Once when Sebastian wakes him Ciel points the gun at him due to a nightmare he had just had. He lowers the gun when he realizes it's just Sebastian.

Comic Books

  • Michael Tree, the heroine of the Ms. Tree comics, makes a habit of doing this. Given the number of times someone has broken into her bedroom in the middle of the night planning to kill her, it seems a sensible precaution.


  • In the Mass Effect/F.E.A.R. crossover Harbinger, Commander Shepard's intense, growing paranoia (fostered by equal parts of living in a Cosmic Horror Story and a history of fighting out-of-control psychics) leads to him sleeping with a pistol under his pillow. Ashley notes that he uses the pistol because once she and Shepard started sharing a bunk, there wasn't enough room for the two of them and the shotgun.


  • James Bond, and it was even used against him in Die Another Day.
  • In Disney's Pinocchio, Gepetto, of all people, keeps a loaded flintlock pistol under his pillow.
  • Towards the end of the movie Carlitos Way, crooked lawyer Kleinfeld has been put in the hospital by a mob assault, and is sleeping with a revolver under his pillow. Carlito comments on the stupidity of this because, especially in the hospital bed, there's no way Kleinfeld will be able to reach it and aim in time when someone comes for him.
    • Later on, he does manage to draw it in time, but Carlito unloaded it. Bye bye, Counselor.
  • In the opening sequence of The Ipcress File, Harry Palmer takes a gun out from under his duvet.
  • Lily Dillon (Anjelica Huston) in The Grifters.
  • Happens by accident near the end of the book Wag The Dog is based on: two characters have sex after one gives the other a pistol as a present. They fall asleep with the pistol there, a bad guy breaks in and gets the last surprise of his life. The narrator comments that it was like a movie.
  • In Harlem Nights, Dominique (Jasmine Guy) reaches for a pistol to use on a post-coital Quick (Eddie Murphy), only to find out Quick discovered the pistol before they'd had sex and hid it for his own use.
  • El Mariachi from Desperado does this with one of the two Rugers that he always uses. As his buddy Buscemi tells him, "One day, you're gonna lay down too hard on that thing and blow your brains out."
  • In the movie adaptation of Frederick Forsyth's The Fourth Protocol' the KGB agent played by Pierce Brosnan and the female Soviet weapons expert have just finished having sex. She rolls over in bed and sees the imprint of Brosnan's latest orders on a notepad: KILL HER. Brosnan promptly shoves a pillow against her chest and fires his Makarov pistol through it as an improvised silencer.
  • In the documentary Bowling for Columbine, Moore interviews James Nichols, brother of the Oklahoma City Bombing accomplice Terry Nichols. James shows Moore the loaded gun he keeps under his pillow, and a subtitle then tells us that James has put the gun up to his head.
  • In The Film of the Book Prince Caspian the queen has essentially a Pillow Crossbow.
  • This trope is played with in one of the Tomb Raider movies. The male lead goes to put his gun under his pillow, apparently the bed was already taken by Lara as there was already a pair of pistols under the pillow.
  • Midway through Miller's Crossing, a gang of Mooks storms former-mook-turned-mob-boss Leo O'Bannion's house in the middle of the night as part of an attempted coup. The first two get taken out with one of these. For the others, he's got a Tommy gun in his wardrobe. And damn if he ain't still an artist when using it, too.
  • Riggs in Lethal Weapon sleeps with his service pistol.


  • Levi Kroll from the Alex Rider series deserves a special mention on this one:

 "For over twenty years he had slept with a loaded nine millimeter FN-pistol under under his pillow. And then, one night, it has fired. [...] An eyepatch covered the empty eyehole where the left eye had been."

  • The Little Drummer Girl (a John Le Carre novel) a Palestinian terrorist comments that it's quicker to have the weapon by the side of the bed.
  • Ciaphas Cain, due to his extreme extremely healthy sense of paranoia, always keeps his laspistol and comm-bead underneath his pillow.
  • In the opening chapter of the first James Bond novel Casino Royale, Bond is described as keeping a Colt Police Positive revolver under his pillow. He sleeps with his hand underneath its butt, ready to draw and fire.
  • Averted in the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series of books by Laurel K. Hamilton, where the titular heroine has a special holster attached to her headboard specifically for a Firestar 9mm. Apparently she has had problems in the past with zombies/werewolves/minions breaking and entering...
  • In the Metal Gear Solid Novelization, Snake has a gun close to his bed when he was forcibly dragged to the mission - and interlude at Master Miller's house reveals the latter has guns concealed in every room in his house.
  • In Chronicles of a Death Foretold, it is mentioned that Santiago's father once kept a loaded gun in his pillow, until one day it blew a hole in the wall when the maid was changing the bed. He still has an unloaded gun in his pillow, though.
  • In Terry Pratchett's Mort Princess Keli, expecting an assasssin, slept with a knife under her pillow. Upon being woken in the night by a suspicious total lack of the noise of anyone moving around the room, she found that it had slipped behind the headboard.
  • In Robert E. Howard's "Shadows in Zamboula"

 Conan grunted and tossed his naked broadsword on the couch.

“Your bolts and bars are strong; but I always sleep with steel by my side.”

  • In The Thrawn Trilogy, while worried about Noghri attempting to capture her, Leia keeps her lightsaber under her pillow as she sleeps. When some do come in the night for her, she throws the pillow first as a distraction.
  • In I Am American And So Can You, Stephen Colbert recommends sleeping with a gun under the pillow and blasting away at anything that wakes you up. Footnotes and sidebars strongly discourage it.

Live Action TV

 Miss Parker (discovering the firing pin on her gun has been removed, rendering it inoperable): I sleep with this gun under my pillow.

Jared: And you drool out the left side of your mouth.

  • Sledge Hammer doesn't keep Gun under his pillow. Gun has it's own very fancy pillow beside Sledge's.
  • NCIS: Kate tells Gibbs that she sleeps with one. His reaction "Good Girl".
  • Babylon 5's Security Chief Garibaldi pulls his PPG out from under his pillow in one episode when he's woken up by suspicious noises from his shower.

Real Life

  • One home defense book recommended placing the gun between the mattress of the bed as it will move about less there. Under the pillow there's a risk of the gun shifting (as you move about during sleep) and falling to the floor.
  • There actually is a pillow holster designed to keep a sidearm from moving around while you sleep.
  • There is also the story of the Chinese Civil War general (whose name escapes me), who always sleeps with his prized handgun. Unfortunately, he ended up accidentally shooting himself in the head during a sickness-induced bout of delirium.
    • There was a similar story in the news last year sometime about a German man who got shot because the gun kept under his pillow accidentally discharged.
  • At least one Darwin Award winner managed to shoot himself with his Pillow Pistol when startled awake.

Web Comics

  • In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, the good doctor breaks into Mayor Chuck Goodrich's bedroom, thinking him to be elsewhere, only to be confronted by Chuck in bed, pointing a gun at him. A later flashback has another character breaking into Chuck's bedroom and Chuck vowing to buy a gun to go under his pillow if he survives the encounter.
  • In Sinfest, Seymour has one.

Western Animation

  • Stan Smith of American Dad has a small shotgun inside his pillow.

 Stan: Ah pillow gun. 200 thread count, *pumps the shotgun* 200 dead count.

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