This is a scene from the movie Synchronicity.

Jim: Was I playing the beard tonight?

Abby: Why do you ask?

Jim: Well, either you came to the lab with Klaus or you got there through the wormhole.

Abby: I did arrive with Klaus. But I'm leaving with you.

I am not sure what "playing the beard" means in this context, and it appears to be a total non-sequitur. It doesn't seem to be idiomatic. I can only think of it being sort of a reference to Jim being a facade/playing a role for Abby.

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    I don't see how it fits this dialog, but one meaning of beard is a person of the opposite sex who goes to public events as the date of a gay person, so that other people won't realize the gay person is gay.
    – The Photon
    Commented Jun 7, 2019 at 1:29

1 Answer 1


The dialogue in this movie is plodding and uninspired. It seems to me the writers heard this slang expression somewhere and misunderstood its meaning, but decided to include it anyway to try and add some life to the script. From what little I watched, it doesn't work.

My best guess is it's supposed to mean that Jim thinks that Abby came to the restaurant as Klaus' date, and (for some reason) used Jim to try and make Klaus jealous. Or something.

What a beard usually means is: Any person of the opposite sex taken to an event in an effort to give a homosexual person the appearance of being heterosexual. This often is applied to celebrities who, for personal or professional reasons, want to keep their sexual orientation private.

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