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Skirts & Ladders


(permanent link) added: 2010-05-19 11:04:34 sponsor: Alucard (last reply: 2010-05-19 23:41:16)

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Before you ask, yes the title is referring to the popular boardgame.

Basically, a Genre Savvy skirted female character refuses to climb a ladder while men are nearby for fear of subverting Magic Skirt, and well, you know...

This could conceivably be played with any other form of elevation (stairs, vertical ziplines, glass elevators), but since none of those are very common, nor are they similar enough to eachother in nature to make a trope out of, we may as well stick with just this. If it's the camera who does this, then it's Male Gaze.
Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • In a scene cut by 4Kids, during Yu-Gi-Oh!'s Duelist Kingdom arc, Tea/Anzu and the cheerleading squad (lead by Tristan/Honda) were scaling a secret tower via rope. Honda suggests that Anzu go first so that if she falls they can catch her. She refuses initially, blushing and indicating her skirt. Hondo doesn't understand, so Bakura explains the problem. She ultimately allows it so long as they both wear blindfolds (which eliminates the original purpose of catching her if she falls).
  • In E's Otherwise, Yuuki, Kai and Asuka are being pursued by a killer cyborg. Escaping into the sewer, Yuuki leads them up a ladder while carrying Asuka on his back. Asuka (who's wearing a short skirt) requests that Kai go up first. Not understanding, Yuuki heads up the ladder anyway, giving Kai a perfect view (he blushes tomato-red). She cries afterwards (and Yuuki still never got it).
  • Great Teacher Onizuka starts with this scene.
  • In Bastard!!!! (the anime), when Dark Schneider goes off to rescue Tia from a ninja along with the royal army AND the Royal Princess, they run into a problem like this during the assault on the tower. Since the ground-floor is a battleground, DS has to go up last to protect the ladder, but the princess refuses to go up first since she's wearing a rather short skirt. (She originally wore it under a rather fancy set of armor, but DS had her take it off once it became clear that it was completely useless and very encumbering.) DS rolls his eyes, throws her over his shoulder, and climbs up the ladder with her hanging there. Thus, instead of him potentially looking up her skirt, she winds up having her boobs bouncing off his back and her hips grinding against his face all the way up. Judging from her expression, she'd probably have preferred it the other way around.
  • An early episode of Digimon Frontier had Zoe suspect this trope was in effect one she was offered "Ladies First" up a ladder.

Comic Books
  • I remember a scene from League of Extraordinary Gentlemen where Mina climbs up something before Alan, and he's clearly taking a look up her dress (there might also have been some conversation about this trope, I forget).

Film
  • The Mel Gibson/Goldie Hawn movie Bird On A Wire featured this in the commercials for the movie. Though Hawn's charcter doesn't invoke this until they're halfway up a fire escape and the wind is lifting her skirt.
  • Parodied in one of the The Naked Gun movies. Priscilla Presley climbs up a ladder.
    Leslie Nielsen: Nice beaver.
    Priscilla Presley: Thanks, I had it stuffed. (Hands him a stuffed beaver.)
  • David Fincher's The Game has this. When climbing out of an elevator, Christine wants Nicolas to go first. Nicolas complains it'll be that much harder to pull Christine up than for her to go first. Christine says that she's not wearing any underwear.

Literature
  • Anita Blake is climbing down into a sewer with a friend below her. For added fun, she explicitly says that if a skirt covers her ass it's long enough for her, and she's wearing a thong. Oh, and she knows her friend is looking up her skirt, but is so...empowered? or something that she doesn't care. Of course, this is a later book, sooo...
  • There's a comment at one point in the Book of the New Sun where Severian, the protagonist says that he should walk in front of a female character because he's seen the state of her undergarments.

Video Games
  • In Star Ocean: The Last Hope, the group is on top of the tower Citadel on Lemuris, they find a long cloth leading down to the ground. Edge suggests he go first to test for strength, at which Reimi complains and calls him a pervert. She gets her wish and heads down the cloth first (this entire scene makes no sense; she doesn't wear a skirt but a panel of thigh armor over top of leather shorts).
  • Resident Evil 2 - Ada either leads Leon up a vertical ladder (while wearing what's almost a miniskirt), or asks him for a boost up to a high ledge. Leon is clearly taking in the view in the latter.
    • Attempting to do this in Resident Evil 4 (again, playing as Leon) attempting to do this to Ashley (or doing it by accident if an enemy throws you to the ground near her) will cause her to call you a pervert.
  • In Timesplitters: Future Perfect, Cortez is with the be-skirted Jo-Beth for the horror movie themed level. Half way through the level they find an ominous hole in the ground with screams and roars coming from it. We then get this little gem;
Jo-Beth: *hearing the screams* ...er...you go first.
*Cortez pauses, the camera focuses on her skirt*
Cortez: Okay.

Web Comics

Western Animation

Real Life
  • Averted by the US Navy, and maybe others. Sailors respect a lady's modesty (and perhaps the occasional Scotsman) by facing away.
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