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A completely nude character's "naughty bits" are blocked from the camera by a convenient prop or oddity of architecture, yet every other character in the scene gets an eyeful, usually resulting in either ogling and nosebleeds, or Squicks and grabs for the Brain Bleach. Usually this is used just out of cultural necessity, and/or to hide the fact that the cast members involved weren't really nude in the filming of the scene, but it can be turned into a gag due to the increasing absurdity of the covering elements, as seen in the Austin Powers films. Even when technically played straight, overuse of this trope tends to break the audience's Willing Suspension of Disbelief and effectively become a gag.
Another common example is when a female character takes a bath. The bubbles will generally cover her "naughty bits" -- somehow like a Modesty Bubble Bath or Modesty Foam Bath. See Censor Suds for more on this form of scenery censorship.
In comics, speech bubbles are very serviceable too.
Bowdlerized is when the original footage is censored to allow normal viewing for a different audience, which contains some overlap with this.
For hidden faces, see The Faceless. For bedtime Scenery Censor techniques, see Modesty Bedsheet. Related to Godiva Hair and Hand or Object Underwear. TV shows and movies (be they animated or live action) that use bathing scenes usually rely on Censor Steam or Censor Suds. For cases in which an actress is pregnant but her character isn't, see Hide Your Pregnancy.
- An add for Fruice played this for laughs as we are introduced to two girls hiding behind a bush, apparently naked talking about a "natural thing". Cue two shirtless guys walking in, then we see that the thing they're hiding is a bottle of Fruice and the girls are just wearing tube tops.
Anime & Manga
- Neon Genesis Evangelion plays with this trope in a few episodes.
- Shinji, panicked and shocked by discovering a penguin in the bathtub, confronts his new roommate Misato while he is still undressed. As he rants, his "naughty bits" are hidden by a beer can on the table in the foreground. During the conversation that ensues, Misato picks up the can, revealing that Shinji's modesty is still defended -- by a much smaller container clearly labeled "toothpicks".
- In Rebuild 2.0., the above scene is repeated with Asuka instead of Shinji, and when Misato picks up the can this time, a smaller cup with a straw sits, blocking her. That still doesn't stop Shinji from seeing Asuka naked, whose reaction was... well, not good.
- Episode 5 has Shinji walk in on Rei just after she got out of the shower. After Shinji knocks her down and she drops her towel, a desk lamp in the foreground keeps her breasts obscured until she gets dressed. In the Rebuild version of this scene, Rei's nipples are clearly visible just before she gets up off the floor. Then there are there are all of the times when Rei gets in her cloning tube. Naked.
- Puni Puni Poemi has a scene with at least half a dozen naked women in a (tiny) Japanese communal tub, but no matter what camera angle is used, the one rubber duck in the tub with them is always blocking the naughty bits that would otherwise be visible.
- In addition to Censor Steam, episode 20 of Persona 4: The Animation uses this to hide the girls' lady bits from the audience. There are many, many conveniently positioned arms. At one point, a washtub held at a funny angle is used to hide Naoto's entire upper half.
- The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, episode 9: Each time Haruhi undresses Mikuru, Yuki's books block the nudity. Also, Yuki only changes her book when Haruhi undresses Mikuru.
- In the series Marine Boy, the mermaid Neptina wears nothing; her breasts are concealed by her long hair, a technique also used in the Japanese animated version of Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid. It is perhaps worth noting that the mermaids in the Disney version were also originally intended to be unclad; this was only abandoned late in the pencil test stage of the feature's development.
- One Piece:
- Parodied when some of the crew steal Franky's speedo in order to force him to join. You see stuff like Franky running in side-view, and a ball bounces along his side, perfectly obscuring the view just when his audience-side leg would reveal his bits.
- They do it again when the women of Amazon Lily are checking out Luffy's "family jewels". First he's covered by someone's head. When she moves, there's a book held by someone. When even that is out of the way, someone's bow comes out of nowhere between two frames, and gets in the way. Nobody's telling them to move that though.
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
- Done during its Hot Springs Episode. Kamina is covered by Boota hovering in between his legs, while Simon's drill covers him. In fact, it looks less like "covering" and more like temporarily "becoming" said part. What's really funny is that the Sci-Fi channel broadcast still blurred the first shot of naked Kamina, presumably because you could still see his ass. This has the effect of making Boota's presence less obvious and it seems that that one shot originally showed his penis.
- Also in the prison fight episode. Towels that stood magically in place while in midair.
- In the second movie, Lordgenome walks naked in front of a Big Bang powered Wave Motion Gun. No need to worry about censors, as his crotch is ON FIRE, and we don't see anything.
- Nia in episode 24.
- The American broadcast dub of Dragon Ball and Dragonball Z would sometimes censor the random nudity that wouldn't fly on cable TV. Sometimes it worked okay, such as putting in an additional tree in a forest scene or fluffing up an area of the flying nimbus. Other times it was just too painfully obvious, digital underwear usually sticking out the most (especially if the character moves around a lot in them).
- One of the Cartoon Network showings of DBZ had Gohan naked just after transforming back from a giant space monkey, being followed around by a cropped photo of a bonsai tree.
- Dragon Ball Kai had Gohan's tail in place, including the Japanese version.
- To be fair, that was a group effort between FUNimation and Saban. Though FUNimation did continue a little bit with editing, it wasn't nearly as noticeable or ridiculous-looking (other than the one instance of airbrushed-in pants on Vegeta, but that was one time).
- One of the Cartoon Network showings of DBZ had Gohan naked just after transforming back from a giant space monkey, being followed around by a cropped photo of a bonsai tree.
- Full Metal Panic
- Parodied with singular joy in Full Metal Panic Fumoffu's Onsen Episode. It starts out subtly enough, with a peeping hole in the women's changing room being just out of focus of the girls' bits, or the logs in a fence being the right height to cover their breasts and crotch... but then you get increasingly absurd methods, like a ladybug flying from a nearby leaf, hands moving in synch with characters in the background, and ending up with Tessa slipping and falling spread-eagled on her rump, a rubber ducky covering her crotch from the camera (and her knees covering her breasts).
- The Second Raid did this only once: in the second episode with Yui Lan and Yui Fan; the only occasion when at least one crotch wasn't covered by the other girl, it was covered by a table (breasts got zero censoring; no cover, no missing nipples).
- Happens on occasion in Mahou Sensei Negima, where characters will be covered by random objects like leaves, plants, hair and, in some cases, the shredded remains of their clothes. Like every single time Negi uses his powers against anything female. And for some reason it is almost always nothing but a tiny scrap over the crotch, presumably held up by hidden antigravity devices.
- Done in one of the Code Geass picture books. Collectively taking a bath, it is quite apparent that Milly, Shirley, Kallen, and Nina can see each other's privates, but the artist angles it so limbs block the viewer's view.
- Rurouni Kenshin
- While Kenshin and co are at hotsprings, Kenshin has an epiphany. He races out to tell Kaoru and Megumi, still naked. A convenient bush stands in the way, and there are only above the waist shots of Kenshin once he breaks free of it...
- Also, in the anime version of Raijuuta's Arc, Yutarou decides to give Yahiko an agressive speech about how he will train with Kaoru and become better than Yahiko and such... when Yahiko is about to get into the bathtube. A small part of the scenery covers the space between a VERY embarrassed Yahiko's legs.
- Creed from Black Cat has one of these. One is when he's in a rose bath daydreaming about Train, and his privates are covered by strategically placed rose petals.
- In Hunter X Hunter Chapter 158: "Reassembling Companions," page 09 does this with a shout bubble over Pedoclown Hisoka's naughty bits; a panel cut-off on page 10, and page 11, which is probably NSFW, actually uses two frames with strategically placed speech bubbles to indicate that he just got an erection. Understandably, the two Cute Shotaro Boys who are our heroes are probably wishing that they'd stumbled upon Hisoka when he wasn't bathing. Luckily for them, they're the main protagonists of a Shounen action series, and the scene proceeds with Hisoka simply getting dressed and them working out an Enemy Mine situation because Gon and Killua desperately need to fill the membership quota for their dodgeball team.
- In Wild Act, volume 3, Yuniko's... lower half... is covered by a shovel. Ryu Eba doesn't see what we see, and we see quite a bit.
- Despite this being fairly common in Cutey Honey (just watch the intro), Fan Service wasn't the focus of the original series. That's what New Cutey Honey was for.
- The intros to later iterations often played with this. The intro for New did in fact have similar censoring (usually using visual effects) until the very end, while one part in Re: parodies the original by having one of the checkered hands peeking (though Honey catches it and covers herself).
- GITS:SAC 2nd Gig: The Major shows more than her usual skin when she's staying overnight in a Taiwanese hotel with a kid from the refugee gangs. She enters the room naked, covering her breasts with a towel draped over her shoulders, then when she slips into bed a ceiling cam view is obscured by the overhead lighting fixture.
- Oddly subverted in the somewhat obscure OVA My Dear Marie. There are times when this would happen to characters, such as one point where a character is sitting, and his head would block the view of another character's nipples. In the third episode, however, the eponymous Marie, a Robot Girl, was given the ability to dream and had this same scene. The camera was inexplicably moved a few inches to the left, giving full view of one of her nipples. Apparently nudity is okay as long as it's on robots.
- Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple does this sometimes, usually involving Shigure.
- Used in Wandaba Style's second episode. Innocent Fanservice Girl Robot Girl Kiku#8 is recharging her battery, but since she runs on solar power, and her "skin" is actual solar cells, she spends the scene naked, with Hanagata making efforts to keep the camera from seeing her naughty bits, mostly with his afro.
- Lizzy in Seikon no Qwaser episode 7, with Mafuyu's ahoge.
- B Gata H Kei had this occur when Kanejou attempted to spy on Yamada and Kosuda after they sneaked away to her bedroom during a christmas party. Kosuda's "erogami" was blocked from view by a well-placed bit of bed railing.
- Shaman King: Tao Ren only seems to bother getting dressed as a matter of decency, rather than modesty. As a result, this happens to him in almost every bath scene. One particularly egregious example used Bason's head to hide his "naughty bits".
- Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood:
- A scene immediately after Ed takes a shower in where he's talking to Al without bothering to cover up (until Shao May crawls out of Al's armor and sees him, complete with Luminescent Blush through panda fur) has one of the spikes on Al's armor in the frame to cover the exact point where Ed's genitals would be.
- A far more blatant example occurred right after this when Envy walks in on them, asking if they were done yet. Ed had forgotten his Modesty Towel at the moment, but Envy's head makes up for it.
- When a yaoi title doesn't want the awkwardness of invisible penises or censoring bars, it often adopts a Scenery Censor approach to genitals -- even during randy sex scenes. What covers the critical bits is most often another character or their body part.
- Hanaukyo Maid Tai:
- In episode 6 a female school teacher strips naked in front of her class of children. One of the children's heads blocks the view of her groin, and moves as needed to prevent any viewing of it.
- In episode 12's opening title; a nude Mariel is on the screen. As the camera pans down, Taro's head pops up to cover her genitals.
- Subverted in Gunbuster. The girls are having a bath, and while you'd think foam or water or something would cover their naughty bits... it doesn't.
- To Love Ru is a master of this, with a girl's naughty bits being covered from view at one point by droplets of water streaming down from a showerhead.
- Male characters are sometimes shown naked too, just using this to cover the bare minimum.
- Buso Renkin
- Mahiro, Tokiko and Ouka are in a hot spring, and Mahiro mentions Tokiko and Ouka's breast sizes. An enraged and embarassed Tokiko stands up in the bath, and at that moment, Mahiro extends her arm to block Tokiko's breasts.
- Also happens in a male perspective when Papillion and Kazuki are in the same bathhouse. Papillon gets up and walks around completely naked, actually WEARING something over his crotch.
- In Toradora!, when Kitamura drops his Modesty Towel, the only thing remaining between his naughty bits and the audience is the cell phone Minori is using to take pictures of him. It... Makes Just as Much Sense in Context.
- Fairy Tail has a very good example when Gray gets naked on the boat to Tenrou Island. His naughty bits are cleverly censored by a glass on a table in front of him, by Happy's deliberately getting in the way while smiling to the readers, by Loke's face and lastly by Cana's hand before finally being told to wear some clothes.
- When Yoruichi transforms into a human for the first time there's liberal use of Censor Steam. But when she sits down, Ichigo's freaked out reaction ensures his flailing limbs hide parts of her anatomy that would have very clearly been on display.
- When Wonderweis is first born, there's a convenient shadow covering where it counts.
- In in a Filler episode, when Mizuho walks into the bathroom, Ikkaku's so shocked he drops his towel. No matter what panicked position he moves into, there's always a conveniently located item blocking the audience from seeing too much.
- In episode 8 of Mawaru Penguindrum after Ringo gets naked and attempts to rape Tabuki, Shouma stops this and her naughty bits are blocked by the fan and then by Shouma's foot.
- Part of the plot in Don't Cry,Girl. In chapter 1 Masuda quickly arranges his apartment so that his penis is always blocked from the camera's view by some object. Or while talking he suddenly has the remote control in his hand resting in just the right place.
- Yuri!!! On Ice has Victor glomping Yuuri and then giving him The Big Damn Kiss in episode 7.. but the smooch is semi-blocked by Victor's arm.
- Used in the manga version of Nakago and Soi's sex scene in Fushigi Yuugi, with flowers blocking any vital parts.
Comics -- Books
- Happens all the time in Italian comics Dylan Dog, Nathan Never and the like, which often feature staggeringly beautiful women. Breasts (with *gasp* nipples!) and butts (female and male) are shown but the genitals still need to be covered with strategically placed items, pieces of furniture, or (during showers, baths and similar) implausibly high splashes of water... especially irritating since the rest of the water is often not splashing at all.
- This trope is used quite often in the Ultimate Spider-Man comics, much in thanks to the more realistic depictions of certain supervillains. It is almost always very well done and almost never distracting -- it can take two read-throughs to realize that the Hobgoblin is naked during his entire first appearance.
- For example, read through volume 4 (Legacy). Norman Osborn reveals himself -- in many ways -- to Peter Parker. A desk obscures his naughty bits. Peter Parker's backside is also obscured, in volume 6 (Venom) by the remnants of the Venom symbiote.
- Another example is the Clone Saga arc, where both Mary Jane and Gwen Stacy appear totally nude, with smoke covering Gwen's breasts and nether regions, and a Peter Parker clone's hand covering Mary Jane's.
- An interesting aversion is Electro, who, every time he appears naked, nothing obscures... anything. Yet when Electro appeared in Spider-Man Shattered Dimensions, Spidey still blocks the view of his crotch with his hand.
Spider-Man: Oh dude, pants! No-one wants to see your junk!
- Between the sex scenes, bondage, and titular heroine's catastrophically delicate super-suit, Empowered gives this trope a massive workout. We twice see Ninjette take off her top to reveal shuriken pasties on her (admittedly almost indistinguishable from a boy's) chest.
- In Batman and the Outsiders #3, Batgirl casually walks into the kitchen nude in front of two lesbians. The orange juice she takes out of the refrigerator prevents the reader from seeing anything except her butt, which is kept partially in shadow but still quite visible.
- Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose has full-frontal nudity for almost all of its female characters, but Jon (the one male comic character who gets molested more often than Kon-El) gets increasingly strange and improbable means of hiding his penis, topping off with having a lilypad laid over it, and a frog sitting on top of it. The Double Standard is not lost on the readers.
- Comics in general do this all the time with strategically placed word balloons.
- Mostly averted in Watchmen. We see full frontal shots of naked Dr. Manhattan several times. Lampshaded by his groin region being covered on occasion by transparent objects that don't actually hide anything.
- Batman Confidential #18 may set some kind of record for this trope as it features an issue long fight between Batgirl and Catwoman in a nudist club with masks being the only item of clothing either of them is wearing. The artist, Kevin Maguire, continually manages to cover up everyone's naughty bits, with a raised hand here, a well positioned turn, and my favorite, a bowl of fruit -- in particular, a pear -- to cover Barbara's butt.
- An infamous She Hulk cover when John Byrne was in charge. She's naked but everything is obscured by the motion of a skipping rope. That's actually shown to be a subversion within the book itself, where she's still skipping rope, and then stops, showing herself to be wearing a halter top and a pair of pants.
- In an early issue of The Incredible Hulk, Betty Ross is transformed into the Harpy sans culottes, with shadows hiding her breasts and genitals; when she changes back into human form--in midair, high above the ground--the subsequent splash page shows her wearing a brown bath towel. (This ignited a discussion on the letters page as to whether the Comics Code ban on nudity was necessary or appropriate).
- Cloud, a sentient cloud that could assume either male or female human form, used little cloud puffs to cover the genital and (in female form) breast areas, although it wasn't clear as to whether those parts of his/her anatomy were actually formed or just left nebulous.
- When Mercy Thompson shifts from coyote back to human, she ends up naked. The Mercy Thompson: Homecoming comic uses anything -- even shadows -- to cover up Mercy's breasts and genitals.
- In an televised interview, Alix author Jacques Martin notes that for an album, he always had to "cheat" for a barechested female character. Except for one dramatic scene where he couldn't do it without ruining the effect, so he snuck it to print before the editor noticed (it was probably for a weekly magazine like Le journal de Tintin at the time).
- Birthday Girl in Knight and Squire is an Innocent Fanservice Girl superheroine who is always naked, but also always surrounded by balloons. Except when she reports to the Knight, when her videophone image has a black bar across it labelled "Inappropriate".
- In one old issue of The Creeper, Ryder had to remove his "fake" Creeper suit to see if his real Creeper suit still worked, and gets fully naked, having a shoe on the corner of a desk cover his bits.
Comics -- Newspaper
- Bloom County
- Parodied: After Opus the Penguin got a nose-job, the results were concealed from the reader for about a week by a series of increasingly improbably placed household objects.
- Bloom County once did an entire week with all the characters naked (purportedly as a ratings grab) and covered in this fashion. The last strip has Milo standing behind a potted flower, ordering Opus to remove his bow-tie; when he does so, the flower stretches across the panel to cover up his neck.
- Happens in Zits when Jeremy is home alone and decides to march around the living room naked.
- Used as a gag in a Beetle Bailey strip in August 2009 (no longer on the Houston Chronicle site).
- Hanyuu and Yuki's linked hands would have prevented anyone watching from the doorway from seeing Kyon's "most interesting areas" in Kyon: Big Damn Hero.
- Most of the time Dr. Manhattan is shown in I'm a Marvel And I'm a DC is from the waist up. The reason is obvious.
Films -- Animation
- The title character of 2007's CG-animated Beowulf fights the monster Grendel in the altogether, with his goods blocked from view by his leg, a sword, smoke and a table, among other things. Grendel's mother (voice, face and rendered body of Angelina Jolie) is "clothed" in weird gold water... stuff.
- In The Little Mermaid, when Ariel is transformed into a human, she's shown in the shadows where barely anything is visible. When she's on the shore, she's wearing nothing but her Seashell Bra, and the audience never sees anything but her legs and upper body until she finally gets dressed. However, her three (male) best friends, a crab, a seagull and a fish, are with her all the time and presumably see everything. (When her father Triton transforms her into a human at the end of the movie, he also gives her a sparkling dress to wear).
- In Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were Rabbit, right after Wallace has had the Were-Rabbit curse lifted, and woken up (so he is now stark naked), Gromit gives Wallace a box to wear. Naturally, the box reads "May Contain Nuts."
- Treasure of Swamp Castle: Szaffi bathing.
- The Simpsons Movie, Bart, skateboarding in the nude, passes by several dozen conveniently placed objects... and then they subvert it when he passes a fence with a hole in the middle, resulting in a lengthy, uncensored shot of his animated genitalia, while the rest of him is covered up -- at least in the uncut version that was shown in the movies and is on DVD and Blu-Ray. The TV version plasters a censor box that reads, "European Version Only" over the hedge with the long hole in it.
Films -- Live-Action
- The Austin Powers series has a Running Gag where Austin or a female character will have their privates covered from view by random objects in the environment. The things used to cover usually get more and more phallic in Austin's case, and more voluptous in the case of any woman. At one point, Vanessa Kensington conceals her breasts behind a drawing of a pair of breasts.
- Played straight in Daniel Craig's nude scene in Lara Croft Tomb Raider, in which he paces back and forth behind a table that just covers up his modesty.
- Lampshaded in the pre-Soccer Stephen Chow film, Look Out, Officer! (released post-Soccer on American DVD as The Shaolin Idiot). Ordered by a doctor to disrobe for a physical examination, Chow's character, Hsing, runs around the room rearranging items on shelves and tables seemingly at random, finally citing "decency" as his reason. When the doctor points out that he can still see Hsing, Hsing points out at the audience and replies, "But they can't." And sure enough, throughout the following scene, Hsing's lower extremities are hidden at every angle by one of the items he'd placed.
- In Eyes Wide Shut, many obscuring props, and even some digitally generated characters, were deliberately added into the movie's nude scenes in post-production so as to avoid the dreaded NC-17 rating (which, in practice, would have made the movie borderline pornography) and bump the film back into an R rating.
- The Jackie Chan movie The Accidental Spy has one of that actor's usual combat sequences running, then fighting, then running some more, then fighting some more, all the while stark naked in the middle of a Turkish street bazaar. The entire scene is lengthy, and is an unending combination of this and Hand or Object Underwear with extra credit to the film editors for keeping it clean with near-impossible difficulty.
- Subverted in A Clockwork Orange. When Alex is being checked in to the prison, he is stark naked with a box in front of the camera at groin level... then they remove the box.
- According to the DVD commentary on The Incredible Hulk, Eric Bana was going to be covered by strategically placed objects during his fight with the Hulk Dogs, but upon realising the result was like Austin Powers they went for his Amazing Stretching Pants instead.
- One of the Scary Movies has the president naked in front of the UN. Long story. He is censored by several heads and a man's arm. However, it turns disturbing when he stands in front of a flagpole, bends over (still in front of the flagpole) to look at a machine, and very suggestively starts to go lower (with his ass still right in front of the flagpole) all while talking about "loose flabby pink things."
- In the film of Starship Troopers there is a mixed sex shower. As the camera pans around we see naked young men and women showering, chatting and walking about. But somehow a bit of plumbing always manages to be between the camera and any genitals. The boobs do show up, though. There is also Dizzy and Johnny's sex scene which cuts away before they get farther than removing their shirts.
- Naked Leeloo in The Fifth Element in a tube before her "bandages" get applied. Her fully nude body is actually visible in the background in several brief shots, which is rare for a PG-13 film.
- The film adaptation of Stephen King's Autopsy Room Four avoids showing the protagonist's groin, despite the fact that it's an important plot point (A paralysed man is mistaken for dead and is about to be cut open for his autopsy, when the startled female doctor realises he has an erection). The dialogue used to imply what's happening is quite funny though.
- In The Whole Nine Yards there is a scene, when the Quirky Miniboss Squad is entering Tudeski's house, where Jill comes out of the bedroom on to the landing, totally nude, as a diversion with the railing covering her genitals but leaving her breasts completely exposed.
- Most people don't seem to remember this trope in Titanic, because Kate Winslet's breasts are unobstructed. Her vulva, on the other hand, is placed very conveniently behind Jack's sketch pad.
- In Avatar, when Norm's Avatar is first shown, its pubic region is obscured by heads and pieces of equipment. In addition, all the female Na'vi could be considered as using this with their necklaces which (barely) cover their nipples.
- The T-X uses a combination of this and Godiva Hair at the beginning of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.
- Sherlock Holmes 2 has Stephen Fry using this. *shudder*
- In Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, Alice loses her clothing when she grows into a giant girl. Until the Red Queen gives her appropriately huge clothes, most of her below the shoulders is hidden behind various buildings and trees.
- This is common in depictions of Adam and Eve in children's Bible story books, along with Godiva Hair for Eve.
- On the covers of the Xanth books, when they depict nude characters (such as female centaurs, who don't wear clothes) they're strategically posed so some part of the scenery or a body part covers the naughty bits.
- This happened in an episode of Hells Kitchen. Contestant Ed, who was hammered drunk after a reward session at a winery, was encouraged to get naked in the hot tub by other contestants. He did, and this trope happened instead of the usual censor blur.
- Power Rangers
- The show regularly engages in the "non-naughty" variant: Jason David Frank was not allowed to wear short-sleeved shirts in Power Rangers Dino Thunder, though he regularly wore tank tops in earlier seasons. The reason? He'd gotten several tattoos on his arms in the intervening years. Likewise, one of the actors on Power Rangers SPD always wears gloves to cover a tattoo on his hand. Superheroes aren't allowed to have tattoos.
- SPD's original version, Dekaranger, used this one a lot too, especially since the Pink Ranger loved taking baths, requiring very, very lucky groupings of bubbles. (In one episode, this was played with a bit by having the new, male addition to the team cheat her out of her bathtime, whereupon the same bubbles covered his same areas).
- Doctor Who
- Aversion: The Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) clearly had a snake tattoo on his arm which showed up from time to time. There was no way to defend the Third Doctor's having this, nor did the writers even try. (Although some rather desperate Fanon claims it's a Time Lord prison-brand, marking him as an exile).
- In the new Doctor Who, after a pair of (parody) robot TV show hosts hit Captain Jack Harkness with a defabricator ray, which does Exactly What It Says on the Tin, his naughty bits are concealed from the camera by a strategically placed... TV camera. When the robots confirm that he is, indeed, naked in front of millions of viewers, he announces, "Ladies, your viewing figures just went up."
- The scene from "Blink" where Sally meets Lawrence. That counter is rather convenient.
Lawrence Nightingale: Not sure, but really, really hoping. Pants? (points down)
- JAG has an example of the bubbles version.
- The Bill has a nude model's genitalia covered by a bit of wood from an artist's easel.
- Ea, the main character of the Japanese made-for-TV drama Invisible Girl Ea, is found nude by the main male character, and she stays that way pretty much the entire series. Partially justified as clothing (or anything touching her skin) causes her invisibility superpower to malfunction. Regardless, no effort is made to conceal her nudity, outside some clever camera work and the occasional lens flare blocking things that are too much even for late-night Japanese TV -- which, apparently, isn't much.
- Firefly uses this quite a bit:
- For example, River's out-of-the-box scene in the pilot episode, Saffron showing up naked in Mal's bunk in "Our Mrs. Reynolds", and Mal himself strutting about in the cargo bay stark naked at the end of "Trash."
- The Serenity: Better Days comic miniseries also played with this. When River kicks an enemy soldier in the teeth without looking at him, the angle of the panel would have shown a clear shot up her dress... if it weren't for the kicked soldier's hand flying up to block the view.
- An interesting variation of this pops up in the pilot when River climbs out of the box. Though you don't see anything from the first few shots, the camera then switches to a far-off, wide-angle shot of the entire bay that shows River very clearly, in which nothing is covering her up, but the camera is so far off that you can't see anything distinct about her.
- In the first-season episode "Purple Haze", Taggart is running around the woods au naturel (his phrase) under the influence of an intoxicant. Somehow there's always a conveniently placed branch between his hips and the camera, full of leaves larger than those of any tree native to the Pacific Northwest.
- Happens to Fargo in a later episode when he was showering at GD and a man-eating blob crawled out the drain; Fargo panics, and runs straight into the crowded main hall. He calmly makes a one-liner, borrows two briefcases from confused bystanders, covers his naughty bits with them, and runs out.
- Star Trek:
- James Doohan lost a finger when he took part in D-Day as a Canadian infantryman. During most of his career he and his directors took pains to not show the missing finger, despite the fact that as an engineer on Star Trek, at least, it wouldn't be a stretch for a man who spends most of his time around machines to have lost a digit at some point. But then, they'd have to explain why they hadn't just fixed it with 23th century medical technology. You can see it in the TNG episode "Relics," where he appears, especially in the holodeck scene. Missing finger is also blatant in "The Trouble with Tribbles", when Scotty comes on the Bridge with the double-armful of tribbles.
- Many other episodes in TNG also featured nudity, with several methods.
- Q had his junk blocked by an actor standing in the camera's line of sight. According to the producers, he was meant to be wearing a small, er, "pouch" to cover himself during that scene. After several takes where it appeared in shot, he just filmed the scene while naked.
- Lwaxana Troi would have discretion shots of the neck up. This was used on Seven of Nine several times.
- When Captain Picard was captured and tortured by Cardassians, his naked form was hidden from the audience by the room just being really, really dark. For the record, Patrick Stewart really did film that scene in the buff, although he requested a closed set.
- Star Trek Voyager: When Ms. Fanservice Seven of Nine was posing nude for the holographic Doctor in one of his fantasies. Argh!
- Similarly, Gary Burghoff's withered left hand was concealed throughout M*A*S*H.
- A more obvious example is when, in one episode, Hawkeye bets Trapper that he could walk around the camp naked and no one would notice. The scene runs like a blueprint for the Austin Powers examples.
- In the series premiere of Stargate SG-1, a kidnapped USAF sergeant is stripped naked and evaluated as a Goa'uld host; she gets this treatment rather unsubtly as she's hauled all over the room. After she's rejected, Daniel Jackson's wife is similarly appraised... and then this trope gets utterly averted. Full frontal nudity is already extremely unusual in a scene filmed for American television, but the contrast with the first scene made it downright shocking in this case.
The production team have made it clear that they regret this scene (it was forced on them by Executive Meddling) -- it will be altered when they do a do-over of this episode, starting from scratch with the original footage. Stargate SG-1 was originally aired on Showtime which allowed for the full-frontal nudity, which also appears in the DVD, but all airings of "Children of the Gods" on regular TV (mostly Sci Fi channel) have that bit (or those bits, if you prefer) edited out. Some broadcast in other countries don't, however.
- A non-naughty version occurs in the first couple of episodes of the fourth season of Stargate Atlantis. Between season three and four, Jason Momoa got a tattoo on his left forearm and since the first episode of season four carried on directly from the end of the last episode of season three, he spent the episode first wearing a bandage on the arm (the character had been injured) and then a long sleeve coat. A few episodes later, we finally see him "acquire" the tattoo, eliminating the need for this trope.
- An episode of New Tricks has this with a nudist chopping logs.
- The CSI episode "4x4" involves Sara and Greg forced into a shower due to a potential exposure to hazardous materials/disease. The camera spends a lot of time on closeups of their face and feet.
- A Running Gag in Home Improvement was that Wilson's face was always half-obscured. This started out with only the top half of his face being seen over the fence to add a mysterious feel to the character, then it turned into a Running Gag as the show started putting other objects to obscure the bottom half of Wilson's face in increasingly silly manners. On one occasion this was inverted, and the top half of his face was covered while showing the bottom half.
- NCIS has bodies on an examination table fully undressed, but with a lamp casting overly bright highlights on the body's no-no region. If they're female, their chest cavity is open.
- In How I Met Your Mother, we've seen all the main characters (except Robin) partially naked. Especially in the aptly-named episode "Naked Man."
- Forever Knight. In a point-of-view shot, vampire detective Nick Knight raises his badge just in time to block our view of a stripper's below-the-neck-area as she turns to face him. This scene was used in the opening title sequence for the series, for obvious reasons.
- In the Chuck episode "Chuck versus the Beefcake", there's Morgan, in Ellie & Awesome's kitchen. He's holding a large bowl of fruit to hide his groin. Somewhat a subversion, as if one closely examines the bowl of fruit, one sees a banana and two fuzzy kiwi fruits are humorously positioned.
- During the pilot episode of The Sarah Connor Chronicles, while Cameron is beating the crap out of a group of drunken guys while naked, at one point she turns toward the camera at an angle that would have flashed her entire upper body, but any naughty bits are blocked by the arm of one of the men she's beating up on.
- The Monty Python's Flying Circus "Full Frontal Nudity" animation has a succession on increasingly absurd objects blocking the crotches of naked women, leading up to a passing train and then a multi-car pileup.
- The Daily Show: Jon Stewart speaks of the Beach of Strategically Placed Objects.
- While wearing a latex bodysuit in an episode of Jonas, Joe had to place his hands awkwardly in front of his crotch because, according to one producer, "there was a lot of Joe showing." It is worth noting that neither of his brothers, who were both wearing similar outfits, had this problem.
- In the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode "City Limits", Joel unexpectedly opens an umbrella in the theater to obscure some nudity in the movie.
- Used in That 70s Show when Hyde forces Fez to serve customers naked in the Photo Hut.
- In the first series of the The Armstrong and Miller Show, there is a running in-show series called Nude Practice, a parody of the James Herriot vet stories, where the vets running the practice are committed nudists. In scene after scene, Ben Miller, Alan Armstrong and the lovely Sarah Alexander, all nude save for wellies and cloth caps, tend to animals whilst working through every posible scenic censor this trope has to offer. In the final episode, they do in fact knowingly dispense with the scenery censorship and get blatantly full-frontal naked.
- Sherlock: Done in "A Scandal in Belgravia" when Irene Adler decides to recieve Holmes and Watson totally naked.
- In one episode of Scrubs JD is given a physical by Dr.Cox and his genitalia is concealed by a table. Later, in the same episode, when he is unconscious in his neighbor's bathroom after trying to use their toilet as the result of Vasovagal syncope, a light fixture preserves his modesty.
- Discussed in an episode of Polish sitcom Swiat wedlug Kiepskich where the main protagonist and his manchild neighbour are watching an episode of Latin American soap opera, and the said neighbour gets quite turned on by the erotic scene, even though everything goes under the blanket. When the protagonist tells him how pathetic he is, he tries to defend himself by assuring than in the next scene the girl will go to the bathroom and will probably be stark naked, to which the protagonist points out that "they will just put a flower in front of the camera to cover her ass".
- Played With in this music video.
- This is almost ridiculous in the music video for AKB48's song "Ponytail and Scrunchy": the girls head into the locker room after some sports session, and they are constantly obscured by random towels, locker doors opening, shampoo bottles, etc. Only, there's some random chihuahua that just happened to wander in without them noticing, panting heavily while he watches. Lucky dog... (You can see the video here).
- Subverted in Devil May Cry; Dante has a sword which appears to cover the a poster of an apparently topless woman; he takes it off, and strategically blocks the view of it, but right before the "camera" changes angles, it is revealed that the woman's breasts were covered (by stars, but still). Later games in the series mysteriously include a bra in the same poster.
- Metal Gear Solid 2:
- Played with, possibly as a homage to the Neon Genesis Evangelion toothpick scene. Raiden is stripped of his clothes towards the end, and has to run around preserving his modesty -- he can, however, press himself to the torture rack he was originally strapped to. He reverts to an arms-stretched out pose, and the camera changes view -- to behind a drinks can, the close-up protruding straw completely preserving Raiden's dignity. There's also a hilarious moment when, if he's seen by an enemy soldier, Raiden can retreat to the rack and press himself against it to fool the soldier, who looks on in envy and says, "I wish I had that..." before leaving.
- If you pay attention, at some point during this whole sequence, there's a frame or two where Raiden's dangly bits aren't covered... but his character model doesn't have dangly bits... (as evidenced when he does sideflips). In The Document of MGS2, you can pause and move the camera around freely in any cutscene, including the one in the torture chamber. This allows you to get a full view of Raiden's (lack of) privates.
- In the cutscenes before the section of running around naked, the camera stays clear of Raiden's lower half while he's strapped to the torture bed. One shot has the camera zoom out, with Olga stepping into the frame maintaining Raiden's cover.
- In Bikini Karate Babes, the character Venus finds herself tied to a tree after removing another fighter's top. Aphrodite (that character) finds her and rips off her top to reveal a bra. She then rips that off and Venus's dignity is preserved only by Aphrodite holding her bra like a trophy. Oh, and did I mention it's live action?
- A Mortal Kombat Deception promotional image shows Mileena in her second costume (where she is basically nude) or presumably naked holding her sai weapons. The thin blades manage to cover just enough to make it not explicit.
- Dragon Ball: Origins has much of the original comics' dirty humor intact, including the part where Bulma flips her skirt at Master Roshi to make him hand over his dragonball, from his POV to boot and both without the knowledge that she's not wearing any underwear at the moment. Conviniently enough, this being a DS game, the offending part is blocked by the gap between the screens. On the other hand, the game also subverts it by being true to the original comic and making no effort to block any view of kid Goku's penis.
- In the not "Naughty" category, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney has this, in case 1-5. The Blue Badger, a mechanically dancing police mascot (shaped like a badge, not an animal), was moved into storage for a few hours to keep it from being damaged in the bustle of cleaning out evidence lockers. A man broke into this storage room and was supposedly killed there. There is video footage of the attack happening, however, when his identity becomes important, it's easy to note that at all times in the video, his face is constantly either out of shot, or covered by the Badger's batons, which move perfectly in time to his movements.
- Dragon Quest VIII also uses this in a not-naughty fashion to prevent you from seeing King Trode and Princess Medea's faces in flashbacks from before they were cursed. This gets very contrived when the only thing blocking Trode's face is Medea's hand gestures.
- Chrono Cross gives you a good shot of Serge's naked body, including his butt, but with his arm covering his penis.
- Geist was given an "M" rating in the US for (among other things) a brief scene containing nudity -- but anything objectionable was covered by strategically-placed soap bubbles.
- Grand Theft Auto IV (specifically The Lost and the Damned addon) plays this trope straight and then brutally subverts it, when Johnny meets with Thomas Stubbs III, he (Thomas) is naked after a massage and walks around the room conversing normally with Johnny - his genitals covered up by various props - but then suddenly the camera switches to give us a hefty shot of his dangling genitals.
- In Heavy Rain, the camera angle changes to cover your character's bits whenever they shower or urinate. Madison's breasts are never concealed, though.
- Ouendan 2:
- During the final song showing the various nations contributing their energy to help reheat the sun (its a weird game, just go with it) there a quick scene where we there a very nude statue in background, one of the contributors pump his fist blocking the view as we see an energy beam firing from the... lower regions.
- In the same game, "Go My Way"'s highest difficulty features the cheergirls bathing. During the zoom in before the countdown, you get to see Sayaka (the leader) topless... except her breasts are covered by the gap between the DS screens. Exactly how did Nintendo let this stuff slip by?
- At the start of the ending anime to Xenogears Fei and Elly are trapped naked in a sort of empty parallel dimension and must run towards the point of contact with their own world. The characters glow with a faint aura when standing around (as the camera strategically bounces around) but during their run, while the camera pans with them from the side, Fei in the lead somehow always manages to conceal himself with the leg nearest the camera whereas Elly a few steps behind has her entire torso glow with obscuring light. Then subverted in the next scene when their White-Haired Pretty Boy former friend appears to help them with a full frontal shot to display his lack of attributes (stylistic censorship, or maybe because said character is not exactly human anymore).
- At the beginning of the SNES version of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, we see a demo of the main character walking around naked on his way to a house, with his private area being censored by fences, trucks, and even motorcycles (however, once the Start button is pressed, it bypasses the whole scene). The Angry Video Game Nerd even lampshades this.
- Older Than Steam: The art that hangs in museums is no stranger to Scenery Censor. Take this 15th-century painting by Lucas Cranach the Elder. By an improbable coincidence, all four men's genitals are obscure by leaves or other obstacles (the women and children don't mind showing theirs though).
- The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli has Venus fully nude though her hands cover her breasts and her long hair is blowing in the wind to conveniently cover her genitals.
- Olympia by Edouard Manet has a bare breasted woman on a bed with the white sheets covering her lower area.
- Hilarious Lampshade Hanging in this strip of Freefall. Florence's efforts to maintain her modesty make for a bit of a running gag; she's successful in keeping first Sam and then Winston from getting a good look at her completely naked... but she finally meets a robot who can see right through her clothes and her fur, and (even though readers still don't see a thing), poor, flustered Flo feels utterly exposed.
- Sluggy Freelance is fond of this.
- Megatokyo Strip #404.
- This Schlock Mercenary strip, which features the subtrope Godiva Hair as well, and even hangs a lampshade on it in the strip's commentary.
- Questionable Content
- Misfile: One naked outburst, three panels. You can guess where the panel breaks are.
- In the last panel of this Friendly Hostility strip.
- K. Fuhr is fond of this technique and uses it from time to time; see for instance this Boy Meets Boy strip.
- In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, one of Dr. McNinja's old college buddies transforms into a monster -- rather like Hulk -- and all his clothes rip off, hidden only by shadows, his arms, a tricky lobster person, and when he reverts back to normal an inexplicable stream of paper.
- Last Res0rt: Adharia's top rips open during a live broadcast, and all we see are the tattered bits of her shirt covering up anything interesting. To top it off, the two men with the best probable view were reptiles -- talk about a waste!
- Goodbye Chains loves to do this. At one point, they used a word bubble. A very tiny one.
- This Scary Go Round strip has a conveniently placed clock keeping us from seeing Desmond Fish-man's Fish-thing.
- In Order of the Stick, when V gets balefully polymorphed into a lizard; his... her (whatever) clothing falls to the ground. Later, after being returned to normal, he/she has to get dressed again. Fortunately, modesty was maintained (and any indication of V's sex obfuscated) with a handy Black Dragon's tail to stand behind.
- The sound effects protect the modesty of undressed characters in Exiern, especially when the costumes don't.
- Angora of The Meek spends the first chapter naked. Conveniently placed props and limbs cover her nether regions, but her nipples are often showing. Needless to say, this webcomic is NSFW.
- Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures has had numerous examples of this trope:
- Wildy has it happen in this comic and this one.
- Dan accidentally stumbles into a room with two other people while naked. Thankfully for the PG rating, his dignity is preserved by another character's arm.
- And then there is this one.
- Done in Ansem Retort: Axel is only shown from the waist up and declares that "PANTS ARE FOR THE WEAK!"
- Done a bit in The KAMics: some examples for you.
- Played straight in this Zap! strip, although the robot's head, which is normally straight, isn't here, leading to speculation in the comments about the curvature of the object concealed.
- In this Sandra and Woo strip, Woo's naughty thoughts are (partially) censored with shrubbery.
- Monstar and Bunnee try to find out if the new iPad can handle "Flash" applications.
- Used straight several times in The Whiteboard.
- Characters from Intragalactic got manuals on this. Also played with in the adjacent pages and eventually subverted when the man's nipples are covered, but not the woman's.
- In El Goonish Shive, this is due to Grace's views on casual nudity, and a lack of Magic Pants.
- Something Positive: Kharisma, in this strip.
- In one strip of A Doemain Of Her Own, it's something of a running gag that a male character's genitalia are hidden by objects being handed between other characters, all of them with some kind of phallic suggestion in their shape.
- Early in Apple Geeks, we have this. Note the label on the can.
- Blade Bunny feels no compulsion to cover up after waking up in a room with a stranger. That stranger has no desire to see Bunny's naked body and blocks her own line of sight, coincidentally blocking the reader's as well.
- Syrys of The Cyantian Chronicles spends much of Genoworks Saga taking advantage of this. To be fair, he wasn't wearing anything in cryo and I doubt a fox facility would have anything that could fit a seven-foot-tall wolf. And of course his fur and genetic enhancements keep him from freezing.
- Also his nephew Darius during a dream.
- In one live-action segment of Homestar Runner, all four members of Limozeen appear on a Thanksgiving e-card. There is a conveniently placed turkey in order to hide the fact that one of the members is played by the creator's wife.
- The Simpsons:
- In an episode, used to censor a painting Marge had made of Mr. Burns. On the commentary, everyone talks about how much fun they had making those objects as small as possible.
- In another bit, Homer and Marge's nudity is concealed by wind-powered lawn ornaments. When Homer notes that the ornament in front of him is two men sawing a log in half, he asks, "Can we trade? I don't trust these guys."
- In "Call of the Simpsons" Homer and Bart wind up naked after falling from a water fall after finding each other Homer after finding out his clothes are missing he walks out into the open and a conveniently placed bird's nest covers his crotch.
- In "The Girl Who Slept Too Little" (the season 17 episode where Lisa faces her fear of sleeping next to a graveyard), Chief Wiggum somehow ends up naked in the graveyard next to the Simpsons' house and staggers away listening to music on a Walkman while a strategically placed patch of fog covers his butt (The Simpsons used to allow bare butts to be shown, but the FOX censors have since cracked down on this, which is kinda stupid considering one of the other episodes they did centered on Marge posing naked for a charity calendar, though that was toned down considerably too).
- Avatar: The Last Airbender:
- The scene of Katara bathing on screen, using water and Godiva Hair.
- There was also an earlier episode where Zuko tells Iroh to get out of a hotspring, but when he comes out, a visibly Squicked Zuko cringes while our view is blocked by the same hand he's using and he tells Iroh to go back in.
- Alluded to in the quite-well-done Abridged Series by GanXingba:
Iroh: Zuko, you shmuck, it's 5 o'clock. What happens at 5 o'clock?
- Lampshaded in Tex Avery's The Shooting of Dan McGoo: the bartender, strategically positioned in front of a nude painting, announces, "I don't move from here all through the picture." When a fight breaks out, though, he ducks behind the bar -- revealing that the woman in the picture is missing everything from chest to mid-thigh. (In its place she holds a sign reading "I ain't got no body.")
- Lampshaded in Sheep in The Big City, in which General Specific changes his uniform while walking past a box, which is labeled "RANDOM BOX" in flashing neon lights.
- The Spectacular Spider-Man's Flint Marko is depicted as nude when he serves as an experimental subject. He is mostly shown from the waist up, but anything lower is obscured by someone standing in front of him, the glare of a pane of glass, or the process of his transformation. After he becomes the Sandman, his lower half initially remains a shapeless mass, until we cut to him maintaining human form, complete with manifested clothes.
- SpongeBob SquarePants:
- An unusual case of this when SpongeBob decides to shrink clothing and return to nature. Various objects cover the lower part of his body, as usual, but proceed to cover less and less over the course of the episode, until it becomes clear that there's really nothing there to cover.
- In another episode, Squidward goes crazy while he's taking a bath and runs to the Krusty Krab with bubbles covering him. Eventually, he looks down and we see a close up shot of the area directly above his legs, and all the bubbles pop except one. SpongeBob gives him his pants to save him from being completely nude. However, the Fridge Logic comes in when you realize that Squidward never wears pants anyway...
- In another episode, Squidward rips off his Kuddly Krabs uniform and a policefish instantly appears and puts a ticket right where you'd expect only, once again, Squidward never wears pants anyway...
- Again pulled off inconsistently in a late episode, this time with Sandy. Sandy sheds her pelt in order to take a shower and Plankton takes it in order to disguise himself. Sandy is very clearly wearing her regular bikini throughout, but the framing and object placement (and various characters) occasionally seem to think that she isn't.
- At the beginning of Justice League, when Diana (a.k.a. Wonder Woman) steals the Amazonian armor that becomes her costume, she takes off a cloak and judging from what is seen, appears to be wearing nothing as she proceeds to put the armor on.
- Which is a reference to the scene in Heavy Metal where the female warrior armors up in pretty much the same fashion.
- The climax of the second season finale of Justice League Unlimited (making it the fourth Justice League finale overall) ends with Luthor left lying on the ground naked, with his naughty bits just barely blocked off by Flash's legs. (This soon makes for an odd scheme where Supes almost strangles a naked Luthor.)
- Superman the Animated Series:
- After Supergirl is seriously injured both by a brainwashed Superman and soldiers armed with Kryptonite guns. When she's brought to Star Labs for medical treatment... hello conveniently positioned medical equipment.
- Same thing later happens to Galatea. And considering Galatea is basically the DCAU version of Power Girl...
- There is an episode of The Weekenders where they went to see the Venus de Milo. Of course, they only showed its head at the beginning. When the camera finally zoomed out, guess what was obscured by a conveniently placed plant.
- One Danny Phantom episode had Vlad hiding his nudity behind an armchair.
- Home Movies: Mc Guirk is given a kilt, which brings out his suppressed passion for Highland dancing -- then a leg cramp sprawls him out on the ground, to the horror of everyone getting a full view.
- Good Vibes: in scenes where Mondo is naked, his fat belly is enough to cover him.
- Many companies object to visible tattoos, although their popularity is steadily rising. In many cases where clothing is insufficient to conceal a tattoo, bandages are liberally applied.
- Many wedding websites sell tattoo cover-up kits for those who want to permanently mark their bodies and express themselves... except for one day, when they are generally expected to look like princesses.
- Thanks to the unfortunate implications of having a tattoo in Japan, many public Hot Springs Episode and bathhouses take this to an amusing extreme. Once you're in the right bathing area, you can strut around as naked as a jaybird, without even worrying about a Modesty Towel... but there had better be a bandaid over that tattoo, or you'll be asked to leave.