Upped for Grabs by Alnair.
In olden days a glimpse of stocking
Was looked on as something shocking...the 1800s or early 1900s, or is referring to that era, expect mention to be made of The Ankle Taboo. This is often played for laughs; a picture of a bare ankle will be referred to as pornography, and the sight of one will induce much shock, scandal and monocle-popping. Other times, "can't show your ankles" will simply be used as short-hand to sum up all of the repressiveness of that era. Note that a *lot* of things we tolerate today were severely frowned upon in those days (and vice versa), but the exposed ankle is probably one of the easiest, quickest, and (in today's culture) silliest examples of Values Dissonance that a show can portray, and thus works best for a quick gag. A subtrope of Fully-Clothed Nudity and Our Nudity Is Different. See Also: Changed My Jumper for when this comes into play with time travelers.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fandom the joke about "unshorn fetlocks" started out as the pony equivalent of this. There's nothing in canon about it but fans took to having Princess Luna, who was stuck in the moon for a millennium, freak out at the sight of stallions having unshorn fetlocks.
- Les Visiteurs. In a medieval version of this trope, the king considers his mistress lifting her dress past her ankles to be incredibly risqué.
- Because Bobby Hayes from R.I.P.D. was from The Wild West, his favorite thing to ogle at on a woman is her ankles.
- George MacDonald Fraser's Flashman was born at just that point in time when atttiudes were changing and prudishness descended on Britain. His whole life could be seen as a rebellion against Victorian morality - which at the other end of his life had become the ankle taboo. Something Flashman was somewhat opposed to.
- Making Money. Professor Feedle has been dead for several centuries but is still as randy as he was when alive. So when Moist makes a deal with him to let him haunt a strip club, he asks if it's "smutty" and if the women show their ankles.
- In Robert A. Heinlein's Time Enough for Love, Lazarus Long mentions when he travels back in time to 1917 that he is surprised at the thrill it gives him to see a woman's ankle when it happens to get exposed. He also mentions that he is careful not to let anyone catch him looking.
- Horrible Histories: The "Surfing the Web Safely" video has a prudish Victorian going online and being shocked by all kinds of smut: such as women showing their ankles, or appearing in public without gloves.
- In an imagine spot on Married... with Children, Al Bundy has an Imagine Spot where he's an old west cowboy and after stopping a hold up at a general store he asks for a nudie magazine called "Bare Ankle."
- In the Murdoch Mysteries two-part episode "Stroll on the Wild Side", a shy librarian is found to have a rose tattooed just above one ankle. The coroner Dr. Grace shows it to Murdoch and they discuss its rarity and how it could be revealed by the woman raising her skirt. Viewers also learn such things are very rare: there's only one tattoo artist in the whole city of Toronto at the time (circa 1900), and the artist tells Murdoch that the librarian was his only female customer.
- An episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation has the Enterprise pick up a colony who live like stereotype Irishmen from centuries ago. In one scene, Riker is having a conversation with one of the women from the colony and she lifts up her skirt to show her ankles, indicating she wants a realtionship with him.
- From The Shins' "Turn A Square":
Just a glimpse of an ankle and IReact like it's 1805
- In the music video for "Amish Paradise" by "Weird Al" Yankovic, two Amish teens are seen looking at a supposedly erotic magazine, with the centerfold girl lifting up her long skirt to show her ankle. This illustrates how the Amish live by very old-fashioned values.
- The CollegeHumor page on "If the Internet Always Existed" has bare ankles on the 1900 version of YouTube.
- In the Nostalgia Chick's review of Kate & Leopold, she lists "can't show your ankles" as one of the problems with Leopold's time period.
- The Simpsons:
Mr. Burns: Enough of this vulgarity! Back to your brothels, harlots!
- "Simpsons Tall Tales" has a segment set in the 1800s, where the buy-your-photo section of a log flume ride has to deal with a shot of a lady "flashing her private parts". It's her ankle, and the man running the shop claims he'll take care of it before shiftily stowing it in his pocket as if it were porn.
- In "Lady Bouvier's Lover" Marge's mother, Jacqueline Bouvier recounts how she was arrested for wearing a Old-Timey Bathing Suit because it exposed her ankles.
- In "All About Lisa", Bart and Homer become coin collectors researching a double-struck "Kissing Lincolns" penny, which was made in 1917 when the sight of a woman's ankle caused three days of rioting at the Philadelphia mint.
- In "The Burns and the Bees", Mr. Burns' cheerleaders for his basketball team, the Basket-Belles, do this. Due to Values Dissonance, the spectators boo them for being boring.
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