Created By: GracieLizzie on March 18, 2012 Last Edited By: GracieLizzie on March 23, 2012
Troped

Makeshift Bandage From Clothing

Someone rips an item of clothing to make a bandage

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When miles away from a first aid kit, your jammies will do

Somebody is injured and there is no hospital, drugstore, or first aid kit in sight. This leaves only one option, someone is going to have to rip up the clothes they are wearing to make a bandage to put on that wound.

This is an action that, though seemingly a simple act of kindness, can say many things about the characters involved. It can show that if they don't hesitate at all the character ripping their clothes is either a battle or survival pragmatist, or if they do hesitate that they are perhaps a tiny bit vain or at least image conscious or if said clothes were expensive and / or new they are more mindful of the money they are wasting rather than the needs of others.

It also can be can be used to send romantic signals about the characters involved, it is not uncommon to have the person ripping the clothes being a girl and the injured party be a guy she likes. The fact that it is commonly a women doing this can be seen as a form of mild titillation if it is played for fanservice.

Examples:

Anime and Manga

  • Sailor Moon Naru does this with her pajamas to make a bandage for Nephrite when they are hiding from Zoisite in a park after his attack. She hangs onto said bandage as a token to remember him by after he dies and eventually gives it to Umino to show she's moved on emotionally from Nephrite's death.

Film

  • Janet ripped her slip to make a bandage for Rocky in The Rocky Horror Picture Show just before the "Toucha Toucha Toucha Touch Me" number.
  • It was parodied in Hot Shots! 2: the main girl rips off a part of her (already scant) clothing to bandage a wounded team member, then another one, then the resident perv realizes she'll just keep going until she is completely naked, so he claims he is wounded, too.
  • In the early Michael J. Fox movie Doc Hollywood, he momentarily agonizes over having to rip up some Armani shirts in order to treat a woman who's gone into sudden labor.

Literature

  • In the second Dragonriders of Pern novel, F'lar and Lessa are wearing new outfits to a wedding. F'lar ends up in a duel with T'ron, during which he gets his suit cut up, and Lessa has to rip up her dress to make bandages.
  • In the 1924 novel Jungle-Born by John Eyton a village girl who's run away from her abusive father finds the Wild Child protagonist unconscious and badly injured from a tiger attack. To save him she strips off her one and only garment and tears it into strips to wash and bandage his wounds. The fact that this means they're now both naked probably isn't insignificant.

Live Action Television

  • There was an episode of The Flying Nun where Sister Bertrill tore her habit to make a bandage.
  • An episode of Gunsmoke had Kitty shred up her petticoat to make bandages for an ailing Matt.
  • Survivorman Les Stroud has done this after injuring himself in the wild.

Video Games

  • In the final part of Mass Effect 3, you can hear a man instructing a girl to do that over the radio.

Western Animation

  • Not clothing, but thematically similar, in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Rarity cuts off her tail to fix the mustache of "Steven Magnet" the sea-serpent who is suffering a Minor Injury Overreaction. It's done specifically to highlight how her generous nature outweighs her fashionista personality to set her up as the wielder of the Element of Generosity.

Real Life

  • In the case of Real Life of it happening... in the past it has happened on the battlefield before First Aid Personnel were commonly deployed, and can happen now. But also take a zone after any disaster and you cannot locate a First Aid kit, therefore you use clothes as a makeshift bandage.

Needs a Better Title, Rolling Updates

EDIT: Changed Title to make things clearer

SIDENOTE (Which will not be in if Launched): I originally had the below here, keeping it as someone below replied to correct me. Just retaining it on the draft for etiquette....

"I am sure I've seen this elsewhere too. My mind wants to say it happened in Beauty and the Beast but that might have just been a normal bandage."
Community Feedback Replies: 23
  • March 18, 2012
    cygnavamp
    It was just a normal bandage in Beauty And The Beast.

  • March 18, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
  • March 18, 2012
    chicagomel
    How do we decide if it's a trope or not? It sounds like one to me. But I could be wrong.
  • March 18, 2012
    Alvin
    I think this was parodied in Hot Shots!Part Deux .
  • March 18, 2012
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    ^^I'm not sure. I agree with {{tropers/rodneyAnonymous}} that this may be Truth In Television (i.e., something that is used in fiction because it might occur in Real Life) but that doesn't mean it's not a trope.

    Tropes are supposed to be meaningful, a shorthand. Tearing clothes to bandage someone might be used to symbolize a character's generousity, nurturing nature, romantic inclinations, etc. For a (usually) G - rated act, it's quite an intimate thing to do.
  • March 18, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    ^ That's certainly part of it, but I think there's more. It seems like I've seen this often done with women's slips/petticoats/skirts, when it could mean that societal niceties must give way to the demands of immediate reality (in addition to such garments being practical and easily accessible sources of material). Naturally, I can summon no examples to mind just now.
  • March 19, 2012
    Koveras
    • It was, indeed, parodied in Hot Shots 2: the main girl rips off a part of her (already scant) clothing to bandage a wounded team member, then another one, then the resident perv realizes she'll just keep going until she is completely naked, so he claims he is wounded, too.

    And I think this is a trope, after all. First of all, it is a form of mild titillation, since it is almost always a woman who does it. Secondly, it can be used for characterization: the girl doesn't just freak out at the sight of an injury, but actively tends to it, ruining her clothes. Thirdly, ripping clothes is not as easy as it looks, since they are made not to rip easily, so the girl is thus established as physically strong.
  • March 19, 2012
    Omeganian
    In the final part of Mass Effect 3, you can hear a man instructing a girl to do that over the radio.
  • March 19, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    "...since it is almost always a woman who does it."

    Not true. I would say it's almost always male, usually with military experience, but I have no evidence to support such a claim.

    You decide if something is a trope or not based on whether it has storytelling significance, whether it has meaning. This has no meaning. That is what People Sit On Chairs means. Sure, many things might be communicated during dinner. But "eating dinner" is not a trope. "Using clothing as a bandage on a wound" is a hop skip and a jump from "using a bandage on a wound".
  • March 20, 2012
    Arivne
    ^ It could be an indication of the desperation of their circumstances. Someone is wounded and needs medical attention but they don't have a first aid/medical kit to dress their wounds, so they have to use the ripped clothing instead.
  • March 20, 2012
    Koveras
    rodneyAnonymous, please provide male examples, then. Four female examples have been gathered so far (Sailor Moon, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Hot Shots 2, and Mass Effect 3).
  • March 20, 2012
    GracieLizzie
    This isn't People Sit On Chairs because, of the character significance. Sorry I should have been more specific with the original draft, I was tired at the time as it was late over here in the UK. But yes as people have said, it is often used to show romantic or even sexual tension implications for the characters involved. As well as highlighting the person ripping their clothes as a pragmatist willing to put aside their clothing for the benefit of another's well being and shows she is able to deal with the situation.

    Also who often would you say this happens in real life? I'd say not that much, in most situations where injury is likely to occur there will be a first aid kit to hand and in ones where they aren't most people would probably be able to find toilet roll or something else. I'd say this happening in real life, though possible, is uncommon add that to the character significance and signals it sends has I believe makes this tropable. Certainly as much as many other Clothing Tropes. Like Battle Strip, Action Dress Rip or Black Bra And Panties in what it says about a character.

    Heck, the fact that it's even been parodied by Hot Shots I think definitely lends credance to this being tropable.

  • March 20, 2012
    cygnavamp
    • There was an episode of The Flying Nun where Sister Bertrill tore her habit to make a bandage.

    • An episode of Gunsmoke had Kitty shred up her petticoat to make bandages for an ailing Matt.
  • March 20, 2012
    Generality
    • Survivorman Les Stroud has done this after injuring himself in the wild.
    • In the early Michael J Fox movie Doc Hollywood, he momentarily agonizes over having to rip up some Armani shirts in order to treat a woman who's gone into sudden labor.
  • March 20, 2012
    captainsandwich
    I don't see anything wrong with this being a trope. its not something the average person does regularly or anything.
  • March 21, 2012
    Koveras
    ^^ There we also have an example of this being played for internal conflict (expensive clothes vs. helping a person). Definitely a trope.
  • March 21, 2012
    GracieLizzie
    Anybody got any suggestions for a better title?
  • March 22, 2012
    GracieLizzie
    I'm thinking maybe From Dress To Dressing? Possibly? Or Putting The Dress In Dressing? Anyone else got any ideas/preferences?
  • March 22, 2012
    Generality
    I think the fact that the clothes in question are often expensive play into it. Particularly when someone well-dressed is asked to use their clothes for a bandage or some other purpose, it says a lot about their character if they hesitate or try to come up with an alternative, vs. immediately doing everything they can to help.
  • March 22, 2012
    LeeM
    In the 1924 novel Jungle-Born by John Eyton a village girl who's run away from her abusive father finds the Wild Child protagonist unconscious and badly injured from a tiger attack. To save him she strips off her one and only garment and tears it into strips to wash and bandage his wounds. The fact that this means they're now both naked probably isn't insignificant.
  • March 23, 2012
    Mauri
    In the case of Real Life of it happening... in the past it has happened on the battlefield before First Aid Personnel was around, and can happen now. But also take a zone after any disaster and you cannot locate a First Aid kit, therefore you use clothes as a makeshift bandage.
  • March 23, 2012
    Koveras
    Looks good for launch.
  • March 23, 2012
    GracieLizzie
    Great, just adding the last examples. I am going to launch this as "From Dress To Dressing" punnier title but gets the point across better than "Putting The Dress In Dressing".

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=9nr1hhtur8rijribkvzalz48