Created By: kevatuwMarch 11, 2011 Last Edited By: kevatuwAugust 27, 2011

Clean suit getting dirty

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Trope
Sorry if this one has already been covered.

I'm talking about scenes where a person or persons (almost always adult men; rarely women or children) are wearing a nice, clean, fancy, expensive suit and a tie. And because of the violence that they go through, their suit gets horribly mangled. It could be covered in blood, dirt, or it could be torn. Regardless, the damage of their clothes is contrasted with how nice those clothes are. Usually, people working white-collar jobs won't have to go through violence, so this is done for humorous value or ironic effect. To add to this, they're often doing things you wouldn't expect people wearing those clothes to be doing, like dropping Cluster F-bombs, committing very serious crimes, or performing sexual acts. Bonus points if the person dies in the suit. I'm sure there are tons of examples, but I can't think of many right now, so here goes. Apologies if what I'm saying is too general to make a trope out of.

  • Pulp Fiction: Probably the most obvious example. Jules and Vincent are all covered in blood after Vincent's mistake.
  • Reservoir Dogs: Basically everyone. Lots of people get a ton of blood on their suits.
  • Kill Bill: Quentin Tarantino really loves this trope, huh? The Crazy 88 fight in the first film has a ton of this.
  • Pineapple Express: Mostly just Saul, but he's a process server and at the end of the film, his suit is all in a mess and he has to be taken to the hospital.
  • Final Fantasy VII: A certain character is impaled by the game's villain while wearing a suit.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! (animated series): I think the character Pegasus was describing that when the illustrators at his company were working on the design for the Egyptian God Cards, they mysteriously disappeared or were killed.
Community Feedback Replies: 17
  • March 11, 2011
    DragonQuestZ
    Um, is this Doomed New Clothes?
  • March 11, 2011
    kevatuw
    Kind of similar, but I would say not really. What I'm talking about has little to no emphasis on the newness of the clothing.
  • March 11, 2011
    DragonQuestZ
    This isn't limited to suits either.
  • March 11, 2011
    Rolf
    Fancy clothes getting dirty? Bit more generic...
  • March 11, 2011
    peccantis
  • March 11, 2011
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    We could expand Doomed New Clothes to include clothes that aren't definitaly new, but they might be. Or not.

    Anyway:
  • March 11, 2011
    NateTheGreat
    I think we can expand "new" to include "pristine".
  • March 12, 2011
    peccantis
    IRL mothers everywhere know this as a law of physics. Attraction of dirt to clean clothing is like magnetism.
  • March 12, 2011
    randomsurfer
    The Blues Brothers. As long as things are going their way their suits stay clean, or anyway not visually dirty. Their fortunes start to go downhill when they get covered in sludge in the sewer ducking machine gun rounds shot by Jake's jilted fiancee, whom he Left At The Altar in the Back Story.
  • March 12, 2011
    AFP
    The opposite of Bulletproof Fashion Plate.

  • March 13, 2011
    BOFH
    Live Action TV
    • In one episode of Auf Wiedersehen Pet, Oz is wearing a suit (most unusual for him) when he chases someone who has been vandalizing the building site; the vandal escapes, and Oz falls down an embankment and his suit gets covered with red paint.
  • March 13, 2011
    randomsurfer
    • The Brady Bunch: Bobby is wearing his nice clothes for picture day but goes and rescues a Cat In A Tree, ruining his suit.
    • Arthur: Muffy convinces Francine to wear a nice dress for picture day, but Francine goes nuts trying to stay clean during recess & lunch instead of playing kickball with the boys. She eventually gives in, and is proud of the messy picture because it shows the "real" her.
    • Peanuts: Pig Pen can get dirty just walking down the street.
  • March 13, 2011
    Rolf
    The peanuts one Pig Pen example was actually more extreme.. In one case he just stood clean indoors and got dirty.
  • March 15, 2011
    kevatuw
    Okay, I really meant to emphasize the clean suit getting bloody more than torn and dirty. Bloody is the key here, which is why this is largely inappropriate for kids' shows and things of that nature.
  • August 26, 2011
    NateTheGreat
    Should we formally expand Doomed New Clothes to include "pristine clothes"? We're already including Thordike's driving jumpsuit from The Love Bug, so why not?
  • August 26, 2011
    GreyCat
    I would've called it something like, "I Just Got This Dry-Cleaned!"
  • August 27, 2011
    Arivne
    Film
    • Men In Black. Both J and K wear black suits and ties, the standard MIB uniform. After Agent K blows up the Bug at the end of the movie, both J and K are covered in Bug slime.

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