A character who doesn't really have to be, but usually is, an attractive young woman, through some madcap circumstances is publicly stripped to her underwear. Or less. The stripped lovely, rather than running off to hide, might be shown as temporarily losing her senses -- standing like a statue and/or screaming, gasping, and/or whimpering, her hands shooting rapid-fire all over her body to try to cover every beautiful part at once.
Obviously, this tends to be a form of Fan Service for male viewers—with two exceptions.
If the stripped woman is old, ugly, or even Hollywood Homely, the joke will be less fanservice and more Comedic Sociopathy. In fact, in these cases the target of humor might not be the woman herself but male onlookers, who might even start comically looking away and howling in agony, as if they fear the sight will turn them to stone.
And if the stripped person is male, it will either be a version of the aforementioned Comedic Sociopathy or an opportunity to show that the man is "unmanly." He might, for example, shriek and try to cover his completely decent pectoral muscles.
Note that in order to meet the ramifications of this trope, the scenario has to involve a person getting stripped through no fault of their own, either by accident or through the malice of another. The stripping has to be more or less instantaneous, and the person has to panic as soon as the exposure is discovered. If any of these criteria are not met, it's a subversion.
Thanks to both feminism and a lingering squeamishness over showing unclothed skin, this trope is relatively uncommon in the United States, usually present only in works that aren't afraid of coming off as offensive. Filmmakers and TV producers will often opt for something in the same vein but a little tamer, such as the Marilyn Maneuver.
Arguably a subtrope of Hilarity Ensues. Will often—though not necessarily—be performed by a Fanservice Extra. (In-universe, the victim invariably tends to be the Alpha Bitch.) Similar to Hand or Object Underwear, but in those cases the stripping tends to be self-inflicted or not quite as sudden. And what kids tend to eventually graduate to after I See London.
For use of this as a combat tactic, see Defeat by Modesty.
Anime & Manga
- Those Who Hunt Elves: the main characters strip elven females and the elves get a Naked Freakout.
- In fact, the above image is from Episode 3, where Dihal, the aformentioned elf, is tricked into drinking a magic growth potion dubbed "The Water of the Giants" by Airi. Considering Dihal was needlessly putting the town at risk just to win a bet between herself and Airi, it's practically karmic.
- When Akane walks in on (male) Ranma in the bath in the first episode/chapter of Ranma ½, both simply freeze in place staring at each other's (semi)nude bodies for several moments before Akane calmly returns to the outer bath room, puts her robe back on, steps out into the hall, closes the door behind her... and then screams her head off.
- Numerous instances in Love Hina.
- Likewise, in Mahou Sensei Negima, especially to Takane. Although some of the girls manage to get over this due to the sheer amount of Clothing Damage that they're subjected to.
- Happens all the time in To Love Ru.
- This happens in Maicchingu Machiko Sensei whenever the main character ends up naked. Considering this happens Once an Episode, it has featured many subsequent freak outs.
- A non-nude example occurs in Keroro Gunso: During the physical exam episode, Fuyuki, while getting dressed, gets knocked outside in his tighty whities in front of his classmates by Keroro. His reaction is what you'd expect.
- Appeared in some of the Jerry Lewis comedies of the 1950s and early '60s - within the limitations of that era's censorship rules, of course.
- Babs Jansen (Martha Smith) in her final scene in Animal House. Especially funny because the Yeah! Shot for Babs's segment in the Where Are They Now? Epilogue freezes her in that state of undress - thereby leaving her stuck on the street in her underwear forever!
- In fact, Animal House really got the ball rolling on this trope. Countless 1980s teen comedies have scenes like this shoehorned in: Zapped! (where it's pretty much the raison d'etre of the plot), Weird Science, Better Off Dead, etc. The trope in a sense came full circle in 1995 when National Lampoon did it again in Senior Trip — this time with a young Mormon entertainer who is stripped of her gown during a riot and left in women's underwear that's several decades out of date.
- Barbara Windsor got this in just about every Carry On movie she was in. Also Patsy Rowlands in Carry On Matron. One of the many nurses in Carry On Nurse was stripped by the drunken men in her ward and tied to a bed. Bernard Bresslaw in Carry On Girls (you have to see it). And I'm sure I'm forgetting many other examples in the Carry On series.
- There's a completely unfunny example near the beginning of A Clockwork Orange: A young woman is stripped by a gang of skinhead rapists, and she runs off naked when Alex and his crew arrive on the scene looking for a fight.
- Subverted in The Movie of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Pike accidentally rips off part of Buffy's ball gown as she runs off to fight the vampires, exposing almost all of her white-stockinged legs. But Buffy is so focused on the vampires that she doesn't notice at first - and doesn't care too much when she does notice.
- Slaughterhouse-Five: when Montana Wildhack first discovers herself on Tralfalmadore.
- Played for Drama in the "out damned spot scene" of Roman Polanski's version of Macbeth.
- One of the illustrations for Dave Barry's Babies and Other Hazards of Sex parodies a common picture from sex-ed textbooks by showing the people in the picture as doing this.
- This happened at least once on America's Funniest Home Videos. Someone slipped on the floor and grabbed a curtain to try to break his fall - pulling the curtain all the way down to reveal that a group of young women were changing their clothes behind it.
- On an episode of Family Matters, Extroverted Nerd Steve Urkel was up to his usual bumbling antics and lurched around a classroom wreaking havoc. He eventually ripped the dress off a Hollywood Homely teacher, leaving her in "granny nightshirt"-type underwear.
- An episode of Bewitched has Samantha befriend a beleagured magician who is being exploited by his scheming, vain assistant. On learning how the assistant plans to use him, Samantha magics the assistant's gown to rip off in front of the audience, revealing that the assistant wears a girdle.
- This happened all the time to the woman in the Kenny Everett Video Show.
- Walter White in Breaking Bad. To avoid suspicion after escaping being kidnapped by Tuco, he tricks his family into thinking he had entered a "fugue state" and came out of it naked in a supermarket.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer - when everyone's nightmares started coming true, Xander enters a classroom and finds himself in only boxer shortsm and freaks out royally. To a lesser degree in a later episode, he joins the school swim team, and when encountering the girls while wearing a speedo suit, he goes into a horrified crouch and covers himself with a paddleboard.
- A regular reaction by women (especially Heels) who lose a Bra and Panties Match), although their underwear is often less revealing than the average bikini. And the winner will likely as not rip the rest of her clothes off anyway.
- Subverted all around at the 2005 Great American Bash. Melina Perez won the match by stripping off Torrie Wilson's pants and top. She then punched Special Guest Referee Candice Michelle in a Kick the Dog moment, prompting Torrie to retaliate on her friend's behalf by knocking Melina on her ass. Torrie and Candice then stripped off Melina's pants, causing her to run from the arena in a panic in her bright orange bra and panties. Candice then stripped off her referee's uniform for no reason, and then she and Torrie both left the arena in their underwear and smiling, despite Torrie having lost the match!
- Pro Wrestling is unusual where this trope is concerned in that its victims have tended to be male as often as not. At the WWF/WCW inVasion pay-per-view in 2001, someone (probably a plant) showed up at a fan event wearing a WCW T-shirt. One of the WWF wrestlers, indignant, ripped the shirt off—leaving the now topless guy running off and covering his man-boobs.
- And something like this happened to Rick Rude once. He started up a gimmick where at every event he'd wear a pair of tights with a different image airbrushed on them, and one time that image was the face of Jake "The Snake" Roberts' wife (Rude's character was a notorious womanizer). Roberts angrily ripped the tights off, causing Rude to run off "bare naked." (Actually, he was wearing flesh-colored panty hose.)
- A particularly infamous male example was Howard "The Fink" Finkel's exposure in 2002. He was competing against Lilian Garcia in a Tuxedo vs. Evening Gown Match for the right to announce the matches on Monday Night Raw. Any hopes of seeing Garcia in her underwear were cruelly — and I mean cruelly — dashed when Trish Stratus and Stacy Keibler interrupted the match, prompting Finkel to insult them. Bad idea: one dropkick to the crotch from Stacy later, and the Fink was writhing on the mat in agony as all three women worked together to strip off his tuxedo; he was left running from the arena in nothing but revealing red bikini briefs, prompting every mortified observer to reach for the nearest carton of Brain Bleach.
- Garcia's panties were finally put before the public view on the episode of Monday Night Raw immediately after WrestleMania 23 in 2007 - and yes, The Fandom Rejoiced, having complained about Garcia's prudery countless times in the past. It actually happened because Vince McMahon had gotten his head shaved by Bobby Lashley and Donald Trump in front of the entire world the night before, forcing him to go everywhere wearing a hat or some other form of headgear. Lashley showed up on the program to snatch off Vince's hat, prompting Vince to desperately look around for something to cover his bald head - and he settled, fatefully, on sticking his head up Lilian Garcia's skirt. This wouldn't necessarily have led to anything if Lilian hadn't stood there helplessly and let Vince get away with it and if Lashley hadn't been too Genre Savvy for Lilian's sake and ripped the skirt right off, giving the whole world a good look at the spectacle of Vince's chrome dome wedged between Lilian's black-pantied thighs. It was a rare case of a face wrestler acting like a total dick (since Lilian herself has always been a face), as well as of a non-wrestling female face being hurt or humiliated for the audience's entertainment. Just try to imagine that being aired on WWE programming nowadays!
- TNA Knockouts Champion Madison Rayne was stripped of her evening gown by Mickie James in a recent episode of Thursday Night Impact.
- Distressingly, this seems to happen regularly to Ric Flair, of all people, usually when he's a heel. The basic setup is Flair coming the ring in an Armani suit to taunt another wrestler. The other guy more often than not snap and deliver a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on Flair. Being a Dirty Coward, Flair will then try to flee only to have his suit ripped down almost to the underwear level (and generally G-rated underwear at that, such as a white tank top and boxer shorts) — and if his opponent is feeling especially vicious, Flair will be made to shed blood as well. Absurdly large amounts of it.
- In the musical Best Foot Forward, when the Hollywood actress arrives at the High School Dance, she is stripped of her clothes by the souvenir-seeking preps.
- The Simpsons: Homer is caught shirtless in an intimate moment with Marge in the episode "Natural Born Kissers". He shrieks and covers his nipples with a pair of teacups.
- Happens to Kabuto at the end of Tokyo Mater, which is an extremely embarassing defeat for a mean Japanese race car who enjoyed stripping other cars of their modifications after losing to him.
- "Jackin' off in San Diego!"