Created By: MrInitialMan on March 13, 2011 Last Edited By: MrInitialMan on March 9, 2015
Troped

Wet T-Shirt Contest

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Trope
Up for Grabs
A contest about who looks best in a Sexy Soaked Shirt. Played for Fanservice both In-Universe and out, or Played for Laughs when it goes wrong. Such contests are usually referred to rather than actually depicted.

Competitive Sub-Trope of Sexy Soaked Shirt. Compare Wet Sari Scene.

Examples:

Comic Books
  • In the magazine New Horizons, a couple of space ship officers are absent. They're not watching a Wet T-Shirt Contest—they're judging it.
  • One issue of She-Hulk showed what the title would be like if different artists were responsible for it. The Adam Hughes illustrated segment mentioned Black Widow and Scarlet Witch being undercover at a wet tee-shirt contest.

Fan Fic
  • In Cinema Snob Reviews Frozen, Snob talks about Anna falling in the river, and that she could have entered a wet petticoat contest if her skirt wasn't turned to ice instead.

Film
  • Invoked in Revenge of the Nerds 2: Nerds In Paradise, the announcement of a wet t-shirt contest is used to clear out an arena full of fraternity brothers before Louis Skolnik, leader of the nerds' fraternity, can give a rebuttal to an unfair resolution proposed by the antagonist fraternity.

Literature
  • This is used for an Incredibly Lame Pun in the Xanth novel Up In A Heaval. A group of kids have a stock of Wetti shirts, which are perfectly normal t-shirts until worn, at which point they soak the wearer and become transparent, and they decide they should have a contest, because that's what the shirts are for. And then some zombie girls wear them.

Live-Action TV
  • Joked about on Canada's Worst Driver. Sergeant Cam Wooley said "This is looking like a wet t-shirt contest!" Cut to an absolutely soaked Mike Butt: "I've never been on this side of a wet t-shirt contest!" This was during the Water Tank Challenge, and Mike Butt was doing as poorly as any of the contestants do (they invariably get drenched).
  • MST3K parodied the trope with the bots, and yes, the scene from MST3K may have inspired the Futurama one.
  • In another Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode, the 'bots are trying to "recreate the college experience" (since they never got to experience college firsthand, having been built in a space station). They hold a wet t-shirt contest—with no one wearing the shirts. The shirts just soak in pans of water. The 'bots don't see what the big deal is, and Mike doesn't bother to correct them.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia had a wet t-shirt contest interrupted at the last second because one participant was underage.
  • NCIS had some fun with it during the second season when Tony discovers, thanks to a random picture in a bar (I think) that prude, fellow agent Kate, took part in and won one of such contests. He wouldn't let her live it down. Not that it mattered - she was killed by a sniper four episodes afterwards.
  • The Big Bang Theory: Penny has won several wet t-shirt contests she never even entered, or knew she'd entered. As she explained to Leonard Hofstadter, it was usually when she was drunk enough to have spilt a lot of drinks over herself.
  • In a season 2 episode of She Spies D.D. takes part in a broadcast-safe version at Spring Break, which is basically a dry T-Shirt Contest.
  • Father Ted has an episode where Father Jack is shown to be dreaming of this one occasion where he was judging a wet t-shirt contest.
Music
  • Brad Paisley's song "Water" mentions one in one verse.
    Daytona Beach on spring break
    Eighteen girls up on stage
    White t-shirts about to be sprayed with water
  • Frank Zappa's album Joe's Garage has a track titled "Wet T-Shirt Night", which tells about one such contest.

Video Games
  • An interactive example in Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude, in which the protagonist wields the water gun.

Web Comics

Western Animation
  • Parodied on Futurama, where one is held for robots. They all short out.
  • In The Haunted World of El Superbeasto, Suzi X is briefly seen participating in a wet t-shirt contest.
  • Family Guy: When Peter becomes smart after going to the smartest cities in the country, the family gets him back to normal by sending him to the dumbest city: Tuscon, Arizona. When he comes back, Peter mentions that the city's philharmonic does wet t-short contests with chocolate milk.

Community Feedback Replies: 65
  • March 14, 2011
    TonyG
    Futurama had a wet t-shirt contest for robots. All the contestants shorted out.
  • March 14, 2011
    MorganWick
  • March 14, 2011
    Mozgwsloiku
    Though the Ancient Greeks didn't do it, the basic idea is present in their art - some sculptors made the female statues' robes "look wet" better to emphasise their physique. There is probably a formal term for it.
  • March 14, 2011
    TonyG
    Subtrope of Wet Sari Scene.
  • March 14, 2011
    foxley
    One issue of She Hulk showed what the title would be like if different artists were responsible for it. The Adam Hughes iluustrated segment mentioned Black Widow and Scarlet Witch being undercover at a wet tee-shirt contest.
  • May 3, 2011
    MrInitialMan
    @ Tony G Subtrope or Sister Trope?
  • May 3, 2011
    TonyG
    Subtrope, as it is an excuse to have one, as well as a Real Life example.
  • May 3, 2011
    jaytee
    This is an activity, not a trope. People Sit On Chairs.
  • May 3, 2011
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ No. This is done for humor and/or Fanservice. It's a trope. Using "activity" as a reason misses a whole load of tropes that are activities.
  • May 3, 2011
    jaytee
    ^The description doesn't reflect that. As written, it's PSOC.

    An activity by itself is not a trope. If the activity is used in a particular way in multiple works, then it it's a trope.
  • May 29, 2011
    MrInitialMan
    I have to disagree, since wet t-shirt contests are much less common than sitting in chairs.
  • July 1, 2011
    Prfnoff
  • October 9, 2011
    MrInitialMan
  • October 12, 2011
    LuxExterior
    Okay, here's one for film:

    • In Revenge Of The Nerds 2: Nerds In Paradise, the announcement of a wet t-shirt contest is used to clear out an arena full of fraternity brothers before Louis Skolnik, leader of the nerds' fraternity, can give a rebuttal to an unfair resolution proposed by the antagonist fraternity.
  • October 12, 2011
    gneissisnice
    This is used for an Incredibly Lame Pun in the Xanth novel Up In A Heaval. A group of kids have a stock of Wetti shirts, which are perfectly normal t-shirts until worn, at which point they soak the wearer and become transparent, and they decide they should have a contest, because that's what the shirts are for. And then some zombie girls wear them.
  • October 12, 2011
    Dawnwing
    Music
    • Brad Paisley's song "Water" mentions one in one verse.
      Daytona Beach on spring break
      Eighteen girls up on stage
      White t-shirts about to be sprayed with water
  • October 13, 2011
    Routerie
    Ah, but don't you see that character mentions something exciting elsewhere to clear a room, character competes with Death, and comic book artists like fanservice may all be tropes, but none are, in the slightest, the same trope? Even if they involve the same activity?
  • October 13, 2011
    Folamh3
    • An interactive example in Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude, in which the protagonist wields the water gun.
  • October 25, 2011
    bwburke94
    If Futurama counts, so does MST 3 K. Yes, MST 3 K parodied the trope with the bots, and yes, the scene from MST 3 K may have inspired the Futurama one.
  • December 22, 2011
    Sligh
    Real Life has these. Also, it really Needs A Better Description . I don't consider myself a person of rather loose morals and I'd have no problem with people partaking in one. And maybe if there were one close to home and I had nothing better to do, I'd even watch one, perhaps (though not probably).
  • January 29, 2012
    Desertopa
    @ Tony G

    That doesn't make it a subtrope. For Wet T-Shirt Contest to be a subtrope of Wet Sari Scene, all Wet T-Shirt Contests must be Wet Sari Scenes, but all Wet Sari Scenes must not be Wet T-Shirt Contests.
  • January 29, 2012
    MrInitialMan
  • February 26, 2012
    Westrim
    bump
  • February 26, 2012
    pawsplay
    All Wet T-shirt contests, if actually depicted, are Wet Sari Scenes. Someone gets wet, clothing becomes transparent, fanservice ensues.
  • February 26, 2012
    MrInitialMan
    Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia had a wet t-shirt contest interrupted at the last second because one participant was underage.
  • March 5, 2012
    TBeholder
    ^^ and if not, it's invoked or whatever.

    So, Redirects Are Free.
  • March 6, 2012
    Routerie
    So far, we have four examples of the actual contest, two of which involve robots...
  • March 6, 2012
    TooBah
    Frank Zappa's album "Joe's Garage" has a track titled "Wet T-Shirt Night", which tells about one such contest.
  • March 7, 2012
    pawsplay
    Is there something that unites Zappa's song thematically with examples in film?
  • March 7, 2012
    SilentReverence
    NCIS had some fun with it during the second season when Tony discovers, thanks to a random picture in a bar (I think) that prude, fellow agent Kate, took part in and won one of such contests. He wouldn't let her live it down. Not that it mattered - she was killed by a sniper four episodes afterwards.
  • March 7, 2012
    pawsplay
    Still Needs A Better Description. What, exactly is the signifiance of wet T-shirt contests that is being commented on? As it is, I'm inclined to say redirect to Wet Sari Scene.
  • March 9, 2012
    randomsurfer
    A Wet Sari Scene is an accidental thing (in universe) to give a little bit of Fanservice. A Wet T-shirt Contest is entered into on purpose by its competitors and is usually very NSFW.
  • March 15, 2012
    pawsplay
    I understand that west T-shirts are a phenomenon, but what about them is a trope?
  • March 15, 2012
    SilentReverence
    The same thing that makes east T-shirts a phenomenon I guess?

  • March 16, 2012
    MetaFour
    • In Unwinders Tall Comics, Unwinder writes unsolicited TV ads for Taco Bell that paint the restaurant as some kind of hedonistic fantasy. This includes girls using the soda fountain for wet t-shirt contests.
      Two young women walk up to the soda fountain at their local, ultra-hip Taco Bell. Both of them are wearing thin white fitted tee-shirts. Are they wearing bras? That depends on how relevant Taco Bell wants to be.
  • March 17, 2012
    TBeholder
    it's an Invoked Trope (Wet Sari Scene). Merge in, but add a redirect since it's a common enough variation.
  • March 17, 2012
    Routerie
    I wonder if "People discussing a wet tshirt, in-universe" is a trope. Judging from these examples, it happens a hulluva lot more often than the actual contests.
  • March 17, 2012
    pawsplay
    Actual contests can be found, if you want them badly enough. From my own perspective, it just reeks of desperation for everyone involved.
  • March 18, 2012
    TBeholder
    ^^ see Playing With A Trope. This gives a lot of variations of the same concept that almost never are needed to be separated.
  • March 18, 2012
    Routerie
    ^ Right, assuming we have a Wet Tshirt trope at all. I was suggesting focusing the whole page on the discussions.
  • October 22, 2013
    XFllo
    Wet Sari Scene is in TRS and a split into sub-tropes came up in the discussion.
  • October 22, 2013
    AP
    • In Piranha 3 D, Jerry O'Connel's character is a Girls Gone Wild-type host who spends most of the movie trying to get to a wet t-shirt contest. In fact, "Wet t-shirt" are his last words.
  • October 23, 2013
    AgProv
    The Big Bang Theory: Penny has won several wet t-shirt contests she never even entered, or knew she'd entered. As she explained to Leonard Hofstadter, it was usually when she was drunk enough to have spilt a lot of drinks over herself.
  • October 23, 2013
    MetaFour
    In another Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode, the 'bots are trying to "recreate the college experience" (since they never got to experience college firsthand, having been built in a space station). They hold a wet t-shirt contest—with no one wearing the shirts. The shirts just soak in pans of water. The 'bots don't see what the big deal is, and Mike doesn't bother to correct them.
  • August 28, 2014
    SWFMax
    Since this is a Sex Trope, and no real life examples are allowed under sex tropes, this probably shouldn't allow any real life examples.
  • August 28, 2014
    jamespolk
    For starters, Wet Sari Scene is now a subtrope of Sexy Soaked Shirt. Which this probably is.
  • August 28, 2014
    DAN004
    ^^ This is more of a Porn Trope cuz this doesn't involve actual sex.
  • August 28, 2014
    SWFMax
    If this ends up getting launched, it could go on the We Are Not Alone index, since The Other Wiki has an article on it as well.
  • August 28, 2014
    eroock
    Just came here to check out the trope image. what a bummer.
  • September 1, 2014
    SpiderRider3
    In one episode of Threes Company, Janet has lied to her parents about being married to Jack, and the two pretend to be married when Janet's parents visit. Larry shows up and, not realizing what's going on, tells Jack about a wet t-shirt contest happening nearby and that they may get to be the water boys.
  • September 1, 2014
    axelsonfire
    In the song "Dixie Beauxderaunt" by Chris Cummings, the titular Dixie and another girl named Tina enter a wet t-shirt contest.
    Well they pulled into the parking lot
    They saw a flashing sign that said,
    Wet t-shirt contest every Saturday night
    Well Tina looked at Dixie, said one of us can win that prize
  • September 1, 2014
    XFllo
    It was agreed in the TRS that Wet Sari Scene is Bollywood-specific trope. It was used as an umbrella for all scenes that involved people in clothes getting wet, which was later deemed misuse. It's now Sexy Soaked Shirt and this new trope covers both deliberate and accidental occurences. It should be reflected in the description. You may also want to check the TRS thread where we discussed if Wet T-Shirt Contest is tropeable. So far, it's covered by Sexy Soaked Shirt and you may find some instances of it in the example section. You may notice that it's more often spoken of rather than shown.

    I'm not convinced it's tropeworthy. The current version when it's part of Sexy Soaked Shirt works just fine IMHO.
  • September 7, 2014
    Westrim
    Sexy soaked shirt specifically references this as a subtrope, though, and a contest would have to be a deliberate occurrence.
  • September 8, 2014
    MrInitialMan
    Exactly. That's what this is all about.
  • September 10, 2014
    Westrim
    Well, then get this going, Mr. Clean up that description, get the examples in, and it has my hat.
  • October 9, 2014
    MrInitialMan
    Cleaned up the description.
  • October 10, 2014
    DracMonster
    • In this Nerf Now strip, Morphling (a water elemental from Dota 2) protests being disqualified from one.
  • October 10, 2014
    StrixObscuro
    Film Animated
  • October 11, 2014
    randomsurfer
    In a season 2 episode of She Spies D.D. takes part in a broadcast-safe version at Spring Break, which is basically a dry T-Shirt Contest.
  • October 11, 2014
    Westrim
    The explanation could use some expansion, and links to related tropes.
  • October 12, 2014
    MrInitialMan
    How should I expand it?
  • October 15, 2014
    MetaFour
    Added an example.
  • October 16, 2014
    triassicranger
    Live Action Television
    • Father Ted has an episode where Father Jack is shown to be dreaming of this one occasion where he was judging a wet t-shirt contest.
  • October 16, 2014
    HellKillUsAll
    • Family Guy: When Peter becomes smart after going to the smartest cities in the country, the family gets him back to normal by sending him to the dumbest city: Tuscon, Arizona. When he comes back, Peter mentions that the city's philharmonic does wet t-short contests with chocolate milk.
  • March 8, 2015
    DragonQuestZ
    • In Cinema Snob Reviews Frozen, Snob talks about Anna falling in the river, and that she could have entered a wet petticoat contest if her skirt wasn't turned to ice instead.
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