|Tropes and genres|
|Synonym(s)||Puppy Pile (for poly versions)|
|Related tropes/genres||Huddling for Warmth|
|See also||Pretend Couple, Smarm, Hurt/Comfort|
|Related articles on Fanlore.|
Bed sharing ("Only One Bed") is a trope where characters discover they have to, or that they choose to, share a bed either for sexual tension or comedic effect. Sometimes the characters suggest alternative solutions, such as sleeping on the floor or the couch, but after an argument about how uncomfortable or cold it must be, they decide to share the bed anyway.
Ship-Based Bed Sharing
- Fevers by Pamela Rose is a Professionals circuit story: Doyle insists that Bodie gets some rest after taking care of him for two days. Fortunately for the reader, there is only one bed. (1983)
- Now and Always by Fiona James in the zine Duet #10, Kirk/Spock: Having to share a bed while planet-side brings Kirk and Spock together. (1985)
- Murder on San Carmelitas by Lynna Bright: Starsky and Hutch must pose as gay lovers when they infiltrate an island inhabited primarily wealthy homosexuals; their operation requires them to share a bed. (1986)
- Soundings by David Alexander in the zine Naked Times #15, Kirk/Spock, Star Trek: TOS: While visiting a lesbian couple at a research station, Kirk and Spock finally come together when forced to share a bed. (1987)
- Bealach Na Ba: The Pass of the Cattle by O Yardley, The Professionals: "Doyle inherits a Scottish cottage in the middle of nowhere... The cottage, of course, has only one bed, and Bodie has another nightmare, and you can figure it out from there."  (1992)
- Future Tense by Paige Aaron in the zine One in Ten #5, Miami Vice: "I put a hand on his shoulder, leaning close. 'What is it, partner?' 'Would you... stay here with me tonight?' He closed his eyes, maybe afraid of my answer. Before I could open my mouth, he'd rushed on. 'I... I don't want to be alone.' His tentative question, and the need to justify it, made me blink hard to keep the tears back. Jesus. How many times have we shared a bed in the past? Especially after a hard case when one of us was too tired to head home. Easier to just bunk with your partner." (2000)
- Sign Language by by SDWolfpup, due South, Fraser/Vecchio: "The bad news was that the room was small, cold, and looked like it had been decorated by a ten-year-old kid who had wet dreams about warp cores. The good news was that it had a fully-stocked mini bar. The really bad news was that it only had one bed, but Ray had high hopes that the good news was going to help him forget about that." (2006)
- The Merlin Forced Bed-Sharing Fest, Merlin (2011)
- Bed by Alexis Gunn, The Sentinel: Jim, Blair, a snowstorm, a hotel with one bed and no heat... (1990s)
- If We Sleep Together Would You Be My Friend Forever, by blithers. The Mindy Project, Danny Castellano/Mindy Lahiri: A hotel loses Mindy's reservation and she has to share Danny's. Written for Yuletide. (2012)
- courage teaches me to be shy, by victoria_p. The Avengers, Darcy Lewis/Steve Rogers: Jane sets up Darcy to share a hotel room with Steve at a conference. (2012)
- one more dance to help me sleep, by redweathertiger. Teen Wolf, Allison Argent/Lydia Martin: Lydia makes Allison sleep in her bed after Allison is injured. (2012)
Gen Bed Sharing
Gen bed sharing gets two characters into bed for reasons other than sex. While not always, the trope is usually employed as an off-shoot of hurt/comfort, with the emotional and physical comfort offered after bad dreams, emotional meltdowns, and physical injury. Both characters are portrayed as finding relief with this close contact.
In 1999, a Sentinel fan explained:
All the same, even though both [the genres slash and smarm] are writing primarily about love, I really would argue that there's a difference between smarm and slash, and I think it has something to do with the surprise of smarm. Take smarm's favorite chestnut, Jim and Blair sharing a bed. Well, if Jim and Blair are lovers, then there's nothing very unexpected going on when they crawl in bed together. It's sort of the whole point. But when two straight men share a bed, and are comfortable with that degree of intimacy and that degree of trust -- you're never more vulnerable than when you're asleep, after all -- then that is something unexpected. And that's the kick of smarm for me. That "oh, my" moment when the walls come down, and two friends nakedly express their love for each other without reservation or fear, even though they're "just friends.
- Bunkies by L.A. Adolf, Star Wars: Luke and Han must share a bed for the night when no double accommodation is available: "Pulling off the second boot, Luke reached for the buckle on Han's belt, opened it, and unbuckling the leg strap of the blaster holster, pulled Han's weapon away from his hip. 'Better men than you have died for less,' Han commented darkly, not moving from the prostrate position in which he’d found himself. 'It's bad enough I have to sleep with you. I'm not going to sleep with fully energized blaster as well,' Luke replied." (1979)
- The Complete Rack by Emily Vance, Star Trek: TOS: Spock and Kirk share a bed and from their conversation, it is not the first time: "'The Governor indicated there are no other rooms, Spock," he said slowly, "but if you're dissatisfied...' 'No, Captain. I merely thought...' Kirk turned to face him; Spock hesitated. They were somber for a moment, realizing their awkwardness, then Kirk grinned. 'Don't worry, Spock. I promise not to snore.' 'You do not snore, Jim. You mumble.., and generally manage to acquire approximately eighty per cent of whatever space has been provided.'" (1980)
- "When Half-gods Go..." by K. Hanna Korossy, Starsky & Hutch: Sharing a bed is suggested by Starsky's doctor: "He’s going to be okay, Ken. The bed’s big enough for two; why don’t you get some sleep, too?" and the sleeping arrangements are given approval by their boss, Captain Dobey. (1999)
- Sentinel Con. by Shedoc, The Sentinel: Jim has bad dreams, and Blair makes him hot chocolate, tucks him into bed, and tells him a story: "Blair wondered why he hadn't woken and stilled as he realized his Sentinel was lying beside him, head resting up against Blair's shoulder, hand on Blair's arm. Jim had turned his body in to Blair's and Blair sighed. Obviously the subconscious had taken over and Jim had climbed into bed for protection last night." (early 2000s)
Poly Bed Sharing
In fandoms where teamfic, found family, and OTEveryone relationships are common, bed sharing will often occur in an ambiguous space between ship-based bed sharing and gen bed sharing. Like with gen bed sharing, the impetus is often hurt/comfort; it can also be simple fluff. A poly bed sharing arrangement is sometimes called a "puppy pile."
- The Most Wonderful Stories, by bessemerprocess. Criminal Minds, for the kinkmeme prompt: "After a rough case, the team gets all sleepy and snuggly." (2011)
- across my big brass bed, by sabinelagrande. X-Men First Class: nap!fic at the mansion involving Charles, Erik, Raven, Hank, Armando, Sean, and Alex. (2012)
- Feels Like Belonging, by nan. Teen Wolf: The pack all find their way into Stiles's bed. (2012)
- I Need You Near, by seratonation. The Avengers, OT6: "There's a blizzard outside and everyone is cold. Luckily, Tony's bed is the warmest and also the biggest bed in Stark Tower." (2013)
Too Many Beds, an inversion of this trope, gained popularity in 2020/2021. In this setup, the characters want an excuse to share a bed, but are thwarted by Reasons. Of course in the happy versions, the characters end up sharing anyway. Just like the original trope, this can be executed in a fluffy or angsty way, as crack or in earnest.
This prompt featured in the 2020 Reverse Trope Bingo challenge in NCT fandom (K-Pop). It was also mentioned in a 2020 tiktok video by user 'dakotajohnsongf' who asked for "backwards book tropes." A screencap of the comment section shows "Too many beds" as the most popular comment was widely circulated on Twitter on several occasions, going viral in August 2021.
- Too Many Beds AO3 tag.
- A Whole World Out Of Three Words, chapter 2, by ShadCat (Final Fantasy XV, 2020): There were too many beds and Gladio couldn't sleep.
- I Want That One by LuarRosa (BanG Dream!, 2020): in which someone's bedroom is fantastically large, leading to one of the freaked-out characters sharing the other's bed anyway.
- no vacancy by liadan14, podfic by greedy_dancer (The Old Guard, 2020): Joe keeps being misunderstood by inn keepers who give them their most spacious rooms, when all he wants is a single narrow bed.
- Where More Is Less by Samtree (The Witcher, 2021): Or, Jaskier isn't used to sleeping without Geralt but the bed arrangement is not in his favor.
- too many beds by herisson_et_musaraigne (Les Miserables crack, 2021): trapped in Ikea! So many beds!
- The 'One Bed' fanfiction trope finds popularity in predictability. But which fanfic pair shared a bed first? by Kristina Manente (March 25, 2021)
- "Sharing a Bed" tag on Archive of Our Own
- There Is Only One Bed on TV Tropes
- Recs tagged Cuddling, Snuggling & Bed-Sharing at Fancake