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The hero has his back up against the wall. He's tied to the chair blindfolded, the firing squad is taking aim, the shark tank is sliding into position, the laser cannon/deathtrap is warming up, and his last cigarette is already half ash, you know the drill. By all accounts, his pooch is clearly about to be screwed.

And the Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter or The Baroness or the Femme Fatale moves in for that last lingering sadistic Kiss of Death to resolve that pesky UST...

Cue the Downer Ending, right? Not so much; as it works out, during the kiss she slipped into his mouth the key to his shackles, or a lock pick or the appropriate piece of Phlebotinum, ensuring that our intrepid hero lives on to fight another day.

Examples of Sleight of Tongue include:

Anime and Manga

  • Reversed with Kaji slipping the microfiche to Misato.
    • Or not. It's not actually shown and the dialogue indicates he used an orifice other than her mouth...
  • Eat Man: Rain slipping Bolt the last piece of her gynormous BFS in the pick.
  • In the manga Red River, Rusafa is framed for assaulting a nobleman's daughter and is placed out in the desert, his arms and legs all stretched out and tied with leather and is to be left there for five days. If he manages to escape or is alive when the five days are up, he can go free because 'the gods allowed him to live'. Yuri goes to him (accompanied by guards), kisses him and passes him a sharp sliver of obsidian, which he somehow manages to spit out towards his hand, pick up and cut himself free with.
  • Towards the end of Zero Zero Nine One, Mylene is captured by the Eastern Bloc. She manipulates the guard into kissing her. While their lips are locked, she tongues a Cyanide Pill into his mouth. After he falls over dead, she picks the locks to her restraints and escapes.

Fan Fiction



 Mike Nelson: Man, there must be an easier way to get your vitamins.

  • In The a Team the team is being carted back to prison at the end when Face reveals that Sosa used their kiss goodbye to slip him the key to their cuffs.
  • In The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, the titular character gives his girlfriend/secretary a sudden kiss at a dinner party to quickly get rid of a nasty-tasting hors d'oeuvre. Since, you know, spitting it out on the ground would be rude...


  • In Roger Zelazny's The Changing Land, the resurrected priestess Semirama does this (with considerable... emphasis) to slip a key to Dilvish (who happens to be the spitting image of his ancestor, who was her lover) when he's chained in the dungeon of the Castle Timeless.
  • Played more or less straight in the climax of ~S. M. Stirling~'s Under the Yoke: the protagonist doesn't escape, but does manage to slip the microfilm to a supporting character who does.

Live Action TV

  • Played with in Angel, when Doyle hands off his psychic whammy to Cordelia before he does the Heroic Sacrifice thing.
    • Also done later when it was retconned that Cordelia gave Angel one of those psychic whammies so that he could end the series.
  • In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Our Man Bashir" a Genre Savvy Julian Bashir gets out of a pair of handcuffs in this manner via a holographic Bond Girl (who happens to be storing the genetic pattern of Jadzia Dax due to some Techno Babble plot occurrences, and so looks just like her.)
    • Complete with the actual former spy who is also tied up with him remarking that they never taught that particular trick ("kiss the girl, get the key") when he was in the service.
  • Somewhat inverted in Jekyll. Claire (apparently) swallows the key to Hyde's chains to prevent him from escaping. Hyde, ever horny and homicidal, gives her a long, slow one. Result.
  • Happens in an episode of Monk when the homicidal magician's stage assistant takes pity on the titular character. Being Monk, though, the very thought of swapping a plot device orally freaks him out enough to alert his captor.
  • In Harpers Island, Abbey slips a key to Jimmy's handcuffs when she kisses him goodbye.


  • Kate Bush depicted Houdini's trick in her song "Houdini" and on the cover of her album The Dreaming. Take a good look in her mouth and listen to / read the lyrics some time.

Western Animation

  • This is apparently foreplay for Talia and Bruce Wayne. In Daughter of the Demon, she gives him a dose of scorpion villain antidote. In another episode, she gives him a lock pick.
    • The scorpion venom antidote kiss comes straight from the Batman comic on which the episode was based.
  • Trevor Goodchild does this to Aeon Flux, except he actually stores the microfilm into her false tooth and closes the lid. With his tongue. No wonder she's into him.
    • Happens in the movie as well. Two Monican agents walk up to each other with completely blank expressions, kiss passionately, slipping a message capsule from tongue to tongue, and then walk off again as if nothing had happened.

Video Games

  • At the end of Hitman: Blood Money Dianna slips 47 the antidote of the feign-death poison she injected into him earlier through her lipstick. Subverted in that if the player doesn't juggle the joysticks fast enough to get his heart rate up, he'll slowly be pushed into the giant crematorium oven

Real Life

  • Turns out this is the trick behind a good deal of stage magic. In particular, Houdini's wife is said to have aided him in this fashion on several occasions.
  • This is a favourite means of passing drugs to someone during a prison visit. Probably any prison show has depicted this at one time or another.
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