Created By: LadyJuse on August 10, 2015 Last Edited By: BoukenDutch on 9 hours ago

Red Sock In The Laundry

A single sock can ruin your whites.

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Do We Have This One??

Ah; fresh laundry. Nothing's better. Crisp and clean, colors bright and whites white.

Unless a red sock ended up in the wash. Now you have pink.

The reason for this trope is a fairly simple one: coloured clothes can have excess dye on them (especially if they're new or aren't washed very often) and even small amounts of dye become obvious in lighter clothes. If the two are washed together, there's a risk that some of the dye will be washed off and stain the lighter clothes. Red clothes staining white clothes pink is a classic because Pink Is for Sissies, much to the horror of the macho man or tomboy owner of the recoloured garment (especially if they already got themselves in this mess by "reducing" themselves to doing their own laundry).

This is becoming a Dead Horse Trope with both the invention of better dyes and colour fast detergents (to the relief of fans of striped clothing everywhere) and the fact that wearing pink isn't as much of a big deal any more.

Compare Shrunk in the Wash.


Examples:

Advertising
  • In one of the CN City bumpers, Samurai Jack and Johnny Bravo are washing their clothes in a laundromat. Jack's white clothes came out pink because Blossom's pink clothes somehow ended up in them.

Comic Strips
  • Foxtrot: Peter's sweater once ended up in the laundry with Paige's stuff, turning it from grey to pink... and making him popular with the girls for Real Men Wear Pink reasons. Too bad it was on the very last day of school.
  • In one Get Fuzzy strip, Bucky's "lucky red sock" got in a load of Rob's whites, even though he doesn't wear socks normally, being a cat.
  • In one Garfield strip, Jon accidentally dyes his underwear pink in the wash. He then gets an idea to leave it in the wash again with blue clothes to make purple underwear. Garfield sarcastically remarks Jon as a genius.

Films — Animation
  • Incredibles 2: This happens to Bob as one of his many blunders when he has to run the house in his wife's absence.

Films — Live-Action
  • A throwaway scene in Spider-Man 2 has Peter Parker ruin his whites by washing them in the same load as his Spider-Man costume.

Live-Action TV
  • An episode of Lois & Clark had A Day in Her Apron for John and Martha. Clark ended up with a pink shirt after his dad washed it with his Superman cape.
  • The first episode of Tracy Beaker Returns has Liam arrested by the police after he pulls a scam where he offers to do someone's laundry and the clothes get turned pink after he sneaks in a red sock.
  • The show Life with Derek has the family's whites turn pink when Derek tosses his red sweater into the dryer to get it warm.
  • In one episode of House of Anubis, Mara does this to Mick as a spiteful prank for him thinking she's boring. She also turns it onto high, making his shorts not only pink, but too small for him.
  • Sam does this to Freddie once on iCarly, in an effort to tricking him into thinking he was cursed by an internet chain letter.
  • An episode of The Dumping Ground has Frank sneak his red Manchester United shirt into Rick and Faith's laundry. This results in Rick and Faith's laundry being turned pink and it is not discovered Frank was the culprit until Jody notices the ends of Frank's shirt have been turned pink.
  • Hunter Street: In one episode, Daniel's white shorts end up in the same load as Anika's red jeans. Of course they came out of the washing pink.

Video Games
  • Street Fighter: The reason Dan Hibiki's dougi is pink is that it used to be white, but it got mixed with some red clothes in the laundry.
  • In Spongebob Squarepants Battle For Bikini Bottom, its mentioned that a villian named Prawn did this to Mermaid Man. For some reason, it's treated as some big deal.

Western Animation
  • An episode of The Simpsons has Homer take out his shirt from the laundry, only to find it has been turned pink because Bart put his red cap in there.
  • An episode of Peppa Pig has Peppa put her red dress in with Daddy Pig's white shirt, which ends up turning the shirt pink.
  • An episode of Mona the Vampire has Mona with her friends putting their clothes into a washing machine. Charlie asks Mona if they should separate the reds from the other clothes, to which Mona replies that Charlie shouldn't believe everything he sees on tv. This leads to everyones' clothes turning pink (not just their whites, their clothes which aren't white as well).
  • In the Futurama episode "Bendin' in the Wind", Fry, Leela, Amy and Zoidberg are following Bender (who is now a folk singer) on tour, when they stop at a laundromat. Zoidberg puts his shell in along with their laundry, causing it to look tie-dyed.
  • Dexter's dad from Dexter's Laboratory went through this during A Day in Her Apron plot. When trying to do the laundry, he ended up dying Dexter's lab coat pink because he thought it was a good idea to wash them alongside Deedee's ballet tutus.
  • Rugrats: In the episode "Accidents Happen", Dil's onesie gets washed and ends up pink.
  • Invoked in Courage the Cowardly Dog. In "Ball of Revenge", Katz puts colorful clothes and white clothes together in the washing machine to torture Muriel.
  • In the pilot episode of Apple & Onion, Onion has to get his boss's jacket cleaned after he accidentally smeared melted ice cream on it. While at the laundromat, Onion lets another customer wash his team's red uniforms along with his load. Unfortunately, this causes the boss's jacket to turn pink, and poor Onion gets fired.
Community Feedback Replies: 41
  • August 10, 2015
    shimaspawn
    Live Action TV

    ~One example deleted for violation of site rules -shimaspawn
  • August 11, 2015
    triassicranger
    Live Action Television
    • The first episode of Tracy Beaker Returns has Liam arrested by the police after he pulls a scam where he offers to do someone's laundry and the clothes get turned pink after he sneaks in a red sock.

    Are we only accepting socks?

    Live Action Television
    • An episode of The Dumping Ground has Frank sneak his red Manchester United shirt into Rick and Faith's laundry. This results in Rick and Faith's laundry being turned pink and it is not discovered Frank was the culprit until Jody notices the ends of Frank's shirt have been turned pink.

    Western Animation
    • An episode of The Simpsons has Homer take out his shirt from the laundry, only to find it has been turned pink because Bart put his red cap in there.
    • An episode of Peppa Pig has Peppa put her red dress in with Daddy Pig's white shirt, which ends up turning the shirt pink.
    • An episode of Mona The Vampire has Mona with her friends putting their clothes into a washing machine. Charlie asks Mona if they should separate the reds from the other clothes, to which Mona replies that Charlie shouldn't believe everything he sees on tv. This leads to everyones' clothes turning pink (not just their whites, their clothes which aren't white as well).
  • August 11, 2015
    shimaspawn
    <Mod Hat>

    We do not trope hardcore porn.
  • August 11, 2015
    zarpaulus
    • In one Get Fuzzy strip Bucky's "lucky red sock" got in a load of Rob's whites, even though he doesn't wear socks normally, being a cat.
  • August 11, 2015
    LadyJuse
    It can be something besides a sock. It's just that a sock is so small; it causing that much sticks in the mind. If anyone has a better trope name; please suggest it
  • August 11, 2015
    Chabal2
    • Foxtrot: Peter's sweater once ended up in the laundry with Paige's stuff, turning it from grey to pink... and making him popular with the girls for Real Men Wear Pink reasons. Too bad it was on the very last day of school.
      • Roger, Bumbling Dad extraordinaire, once managed to shrink everyone's laundry to Barbie-doll size. And to comfort a hysterical Paige...
      Roger: Calm down. You don't hear your brothers screaming.
      Peter: (with the sweater around his neck like a choker) Only because we can't breathe!

  • August 11, 2015
    shimaspawn
    ^ That violates Example Indentation In Trope Lists terribly, and the second bullet isn't even an example of this trope.

    Do we want to expand this to general laundry mishaps? Often to show that someone is domestically incompetent.
  • August 11, 2015
    TonyG
    In the Futurama episode "Bendin' in the Wind", Fry, Leela, Amy and Zoidberg are following Bender (who is now a folk singer) on tour, when they stop at a laundromat. Zoidberg puts his shell in along with their laundry, causing it to look tie-dyed.
  • August 11, 2015
    SibunaTheSecond
    • In one episode of House Of Anubis, Mara does this to Mick as a spiteful prank for him thinking she's boring. She also turns it onto high, making his shorts not only pink, but too small for him.

    • Sam does this to Freddie once on iCarly, in an effort to tricking him into thinking he was cursed by an internet chain letter.
  • August 11, 2015
    LadyJuse
    ^^^ Maybe; depending on the examples; if there's few we can expand, but shrinkage might have enough examples to warrant it's own trope
  • August 12, 2015
    AgProv
    Jokes
    • The Ku Klux Klan member, who turned up at a rally and caused a stir by wearing a pale pink robe and hood. Everyone else tried to ignore him but his presence caused such a commotion that the Grand Dragon himself stomped over angrily and yelled
      God-DAMN-it, Billy-Bub! Y'all ain't been payin' attention, huh? What did I say to you'all over and again, about NEVER, EVER, mixing the whites with the coloured?
  • August 12, 2015
    StarSword
    Film:
    • A throwaway scene in Spider Man 2 has Peter Parker ruin his whites by washing them in the same load as his Spider-Man costume.
  • August 12, 2015
    lakingsif
    Wasn't this yk discarded a few days ago?
  • August 12, 2015
    Arivne
    • Examples section
      • Added a line separating the Description and Examples sections.
      • Namespaced and italicized work names.
      • Moved both Webcomics examples under Newspaper Comics.
  • August 12, 2015
    Bisected8
    The reason for this trope is a fairly simple one: coloured clothes can have excess dye on them (especially if they're new or aren't washed very often) and even small amounts of dye become obvious in lighter clothes. If the two are washed together, there's a risk that some of the dye will be washed off and stain the lighter clothes. Red clothes staining white clothes pink is a classic because Pink Is For Sissies, much to the horror of the macho man or tomboy owner of the recoloured garment (especially if they already got themselves in this mess by "reducing" themselves to doing their own laundry). This is becoming a Dead Horse Trope with both the invention of better dyes and colour fast detergents (to the relief of fans of striped clothing everywhere) and the fact that wearing pink isn't as much of a big deal any more.

    Compare Shrunk In The Wash.
  • August 12, 2015
    LadyJuse
    ^^^ I accidentally made two; so discarded one

    ^/^^ thanks
  • August 12, 2015
    lakingsif
    Would this be a Discredited Trope by now? Or a Dead Horse Trope
  • August 12, 2015
    LadyJuse
    ^ Depends on how manyrecent examples parodying this trope there are
  • August 12, 2015
    GiorgioDaneri
    • Dexter's dad from Dexters Laboratory went through his A Day In Her Apron, and when trying to do the laundry ended up dying Dexter's lab coat pink because he thought it was a good idea to wash them alongside Deedee's ballet tutus-
  • May 20, 2016
    Prfnoff
  • May 20, 2016
    DAN004
    • Street Fighter: The reason Dan Hibiki's dougi is pink is that it used to be white, but it got mixed with some red clothes in the laundry.
  • May 30, 2016
    SquirrelGuy
    There was a Happy Days episode ("The Apartment") where Potsie and Ralph rent an apartment. Tasked with doing their own laundry, apparently for the first time, when a green garment spills over to the whites, one of the guys complains that he now has a "wardrobe like Peter Pan".
  • May 18, 2017
    buckmana
    • Hunter Street: Daniel's white shorts were in the same load as Anika's red jeans. Of course they came out of the washing pink.
  • May 18, 2017
    Arivne
    • Capitalized the title.
    • De-capitalized Laconic.
    • Corrected punctuation (commas, periods at the ends of sentences).
  • May 18, 2017
    Getta
    Description's gonna need rework.
  • May 18, 2017
    Unicorndance
    Rugrats: In the episode "Accidents Happen", Dil's onesie gets washed and ends up pink.
  • May 18, 2017
    DrNoPuma
    Western Animation:
    • Invoked in Courage The Cowardly Dog. In "Ball of Revenge", Katz puts colorful clothes and white clothes together in the washing machine to torture Muriel.
  • March 28, 2018
    Pichu-kun
    Edit: It's already been mentioned.
  • March 28, 2018
    NateTheGreat
    Dave Barry got quite a few jokes out of both the male phobia of washing machines and the female disbelief that men can do the laundry without messing it up:
    A typical reaction came from my research department, Judi Smith, who gave the following statement regarding her husband, Tim, a Ph.D. college professor: "I don't trust him to do my laundry at ALL, unless I've sorted it first and given him strict instructions before each and every load, because otherwise everything we own would be mauve or gray . . . He puts his clothes away damp. He can't put away anyone else's clothes, because he can't fold. I mean, the man can't fold a TOWEL for God's sake. Somehow, he can't get the corners to match up. A HAND towel, even."
  • March 28, 2018
    zarpaulus
    • Foxtrot also has a few times when Roger tried to do laundry, once he not only turned Paige's white sweater pink but shrank it, another time he went the other way and bleached all her clothes white.
  • March 28, 2018
    alnair20aug93
    • A strip in '"Garfield'' has Jon accidentally leaving his underwear pink in the wash. Fe gets an idea by leaving it in the wash again with blue clothes to make purple underwear. Garfield sarcastically remarks Jon as a genius.
  • March 28, 2018
    TonyG
    In the pilot episode of Apple And Onion, Onion has to get his boss's jacket cleaned after he accidentally smeared melted ice cream on it. While at the laundromat, Onion lets another customer wash his team's red uniforms along with his load. Unfortunately, this causes the boss's jacket to turn pink, and poor Onion gets fired.
  • March 29, 2018
    Antigone3
    Foundation: A throwaway scene, meant to help show just how overworked the servants are now that so many youngsters are being Chosen, involves Mags overhearing another Trainee complaining that his gray uniform got mixed in with the Guard's laundry and wound up stained blue from dye bleeding.
  • June 13, 2018
    AjWargo
    In Spongebob Squarepants Battle For Bikini Bottom, its mentioned that a villian named Prawn did this to Mermaid Man. For some reason, it's treated as some big deal.
  • June 17, 2018
    ANTMuddle
    Tweak it to become Red Sock In The White Laundry and you've got something.
  • June 17, 2018
    Omeganian
    Incredibles 2 includes that as one of Bob's many blunders in his wife's absence.
  • yesterday
    4tell0life4
    There are many unadded examples.
  • yesterday
    Pichu-kun
    Fixed the wording on the CN City example and put it in the Advertising section.
  • 15 hours ago
    BoukenDutch
    Added an image. I think it's ready for launch now.
  • 9 hours ago
    BoukenDutch
    Also added all the unadded examples.

  • 9 hours ago
    alnair20aug93
    ^ Kindly ask the OP or the mods first.
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