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When a person, more often than not a woman, shown is behind a backlighted screen of some kind, usually during a conversation with a man. The person is often undressing while doing so.
Expect her to have to bend down, a lot, slowly. Expect also that the screen -- which is apparently supposed to ensure some form of modesty -- will be as thin as paper and positioned right in front of a source of light, leaving absolutely nothing to the imagination and thus utterly defeating its supposed purpose.
Anime and Manga
- Parodied in Umisho; various props made it seem like the silhouettes of the undressing girls suddenly grew extra bits.
- Shizuru in Mai-HiME... in Fan Disservice mode, since the scene in question is a flashback of her apparently raping Natsuki in her sleep (although whether it actually happened is debatable).
- Neon Genesis Evangelion, with Rei.
- Reversed version in One Piece. Califa's silhouette is shown while she is dressing, after she takes a bath in front of Nami to humiliate her.
- ROD the TV has Yomiko's Sexy Silhouettes in its opening credits.
- In Tantei Gakuen Q, there is a scene involving Sakurako and Kyuu.
- Done in some of the Lupin III movies - usually with Fujiko.
- Cowboy Bebop episode "Black Dog Serenade". Faye Valentine's silhouette is seen behind a shower curtain while she is taking a shower.
- Just about every title sequence of a James Bond movie will feature these.
- Played with in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. Eddy sees what he thinks is the silhouette of Jessica Rabbit in a hotel window, but once he gets up there, much to his horror it turns out to be Lina Hyena from ~Li'l Abner~.
- The first Austin Powers movie.
- Played with in the second Austin Powers movie, with the tent scene.
- Used in some Busby Berkeley Numbers.
- Subverted in The Prince of Egypt: The sexy silhouette turns out to be a weirdly bound guard.
- The second Cannonball Run movie had the girls changing in the back seat with a blanket hanging in front—when a track pulls up behind with high beams to highlight them perfectly. Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise (who think the ladies are nuns) are practially biting their lips in the front seat.
- Happens to Mulan in the beginning of her movie.
- Spoofed in The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult when Tanya (Anna Nicole Smith) undresses behind a screen but reveals a Biggus Dickus, much to the chagrin of Frank Drebin and Rocco.
- With a 90-degree angle!
- Played straight in The Shadow, when Penelope Ann Miller's character strips behind one of these while talking to Alec Baldwin's character.
- In Sherlock Holmes, Irene Adler does this to Sherlock Holmes.
- Played around with in Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Robin and Marian are both behind a curtain that they don't know is see-through, and Robin, as he finishes an incredibly overdone opera-style love song, drops to one knee, causing his sword scabbard to rise up like a... you know.
- A character arc point in A Very Brady Sequel revolves around Greg and Marcia watching each other in this way. Then, they figure out that, well, if Roy is alive, then, well...yeah.
- In Leap Year, this trope is played with when Amy Adams showers, unaware that her love interest is watching her silhouette through the curtain - he points this out to embarrass her, and then gives her a similar show.
- Nicolette Sheridan got one in Beverly Hills Ninja. And so did Chris Farley.
Live Action TV
- Willow in a scene from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Ohhhh.
- T'Pol (Jolene Blalock) in the Carbon Creek episode of Enterprise.
- Rachel does it in the hospital during the Laryngitis episode of Glee, prompting Finn's rendition of "Jessie's Girl".
- Eureka's Jo Lupo (Erica Cerra) while taking a shower in "Momstrosity".
- El Goonish Shive presents Susan this way. Twice. "Hot damn"!
- Seekers: In their first meeting, Eloya spends hours staring at Giselda's shadow on the canopy before ever seeing her face.
- The trope is used here on Thelma from Nip and Tuck.
- Played in a sophisticated manner in Le Petit Spirou, where the curvaceous Maths teacher is seen waiting for a car lift. It's dark and headlights casts a clean shadow of her against a nearby wall. Add the fact her skirt is rather sheer, and that's about as nude as a fully dressed person's shadow can be. Cue slow motion walking.