Disrobing Impact YKTTW Discussion

Disrobing Impact
Onscreen clothing loss associated with blunt force or snap movement
Needs Examples Better Name
(permanent link) added: 2013-09-26 07:26:13 sponsor: Skybunny edited by: yisfidri (last reply: 2015-04-07 20:07:48)

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Closed TRS thread: [1] (instructed to create a new YKTTW rather than fix via TRS).
Proposal: cut Right Out of My Clothes and replace with this, renamed.
related YKTTW

One moment a character is wandering through life, oblivious. In the next, some or all of their clothing is drifting to the ground like fallen leaves.

Unlike Empty Piles of Clothing or Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing, this method of clothing loss is usually Played for Laughs, and is seen most often in slapstick comedy or animated cartoons.

Gags that often set this trope into motion include an impact strong enough to literally smack the victim's clothes off (as in Getting the Boot, or the Plank Gag), or said outfit getting snagged whole by an obstacle along the way, like a tree or briar bush. If a nearby object or character is OffLikeAShot, its field of effect may carry the victim's outfit along even if the character is not.

A variation where clothing a character wears doubles as a costume and is lost in this manner can lead to The Reveal, or a Dramatic Unmask.

Sometimes the victim's clothes will float for a few seconds in their original position before falling to the ground, fall to pieces around the character, or they'll simply fly offscreen piecemeal to be absorbed into [[Hammerspace]] - or the next scene over.

This can also be self inflicted by the effects of FlipTakes, WildTakes, a SlipperySkid, or other equally acrobatic clumsiness. If the character is OffLikeAShot, they may exit their clothes as well as the current scene, if they dash off fast enough.

May cause combinations of Comedic Underwear Exposure, Partial Nudity, or Defeat by Modesty, and may join with Fur Is Clothing if clothing lost includes a character's fur or feathers. Naked People Are Funny is a frequent, but not guaranteed, destination. If the clothes snap back to reappear on the victim without particular explanation, then Magic Pants has taken effect.

Compare with Dress Hits Floor, All Cloth Unravels, The Nudifier, and Wardrobe Malfunction.

Not to be confused with Empty Piles of Clothing, where a pile of clothing is a mysterious or foreboding element or Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing, where the specific case of [[Shapeshifting]] is involved.


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  • The Trix Rabbit frequently fell victim to this trope as his disguises to get Trix cereal are foiled by his excitement in having the bowl in his hands at last. Whether by The Pratfall, Facefault, or Wild Take, this would result in anything from the Rabbit's headgear to his entire costume falling off, making his not-a-kid identity plain. "It's the Rabbit!"

    Comic Books 
  • Happens often in Astérix, with Romans getting knocked off their sandals from an uppercut by one of the Gauls, usually Obelix.

    Films — Animation 
  • Pinocchio, in a scene on Pleasure Island, in which bad boys turn into donkeys after misbehaving. The Coachman interrogates a boy turned donkey wearing only a blue hat, shirt, and shoes as to his name. When the boy can only answer with "Haw!", the Coachman rips off the boy's shirt, then kicks the donkey into a crate, knocking the ill-fitting shoes and his hat clean off him.
  • In An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, Cat R. Waul does a Pain-Powered Leap out of his suit.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • A Running Gag in Peanuts is that whenever Charlie Brown pitches for his baseball team, the opposing batter hits the ball back at him so hard it knocks him right out of his clothes, usually accompanied by a frame with socks, shoes, shirt, etc. flying through the air. He is otherwise completely unharmed.
  • Attack Hello, as seen in Calvin and Hobbes when Hobbes pounces Calvin when he comes back from school. Calvin's shoes are nearly always sent flying off his feet. Socks, a jacket, hat and a backpack (if he's just come back from school) have also been flung off at one time or another, by the force of Hobbes's pounce.
    Calvin: Seriously, you could never have done that if my taunts hadn't boosted your adrenalin.
    Hobbes: *walking towards Calvin with his discarded clothing in hand* I can only find one of your socks.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • Donald Duck has been on the receiving end of this several times in golden age Disney shorts.
    • On Ice (1935) sees Donald losing his sweater as it doubles as a makeshift kitestring.
    • Mickey's Birthday Party (1942), Donald loses his shirt to an overzealous dance toss.
    • The Clock Watcher (1945): Donald, working as a gift wrapper, has a huge number of gifts to wrap sent down a conveyor, passing him. The pile speeds by so quickly that his hat and shirt are sucked clear off him in the direction of the gifts.
    • In The Three Caballeros, Donald is chasing after bathers in Acapulco when he is yanked right out of his bathing suit, which continues the chase on its own.
  • The 1935 Disney Silly Symphony The Tortoise and the Hare uses variants of this several times as the lighting fast rabbit zips past spectators...a smartly dressed owl and stork lose their snappy outfits AND feathers; a tree is stripped of its leaves in what passes for arboreal nudity.
  • In the Pixar short For the Birds, after the large bird is pecked off of the telephone wire, all the little birds lose their feathers as they are shot up into the air by the recoiling line.

    Real Life 
  • The specific case of "Knock your socks off" (encompassed in this trope) was tested by MythBusters. Their conclusion: Busted. The kinetic energy from a battering ram, let alone a punch, could not knock the socks off of Buster by pure force alone. The team WAS able to remove socks off of dummy legs with a shockwave generated by high explosives, but the explosion would be fatal even at the maximum distance required for them to be blown off.
    • Note that one shot of the vertical pneumatic cannon did knock his shoes off and the shoes pulled the socks halfway off. Unfortunately the socks were not completely off and the cannon was far stronger than any boxer.
    • In a revisit of the myth, the team even redid the same tests including a new set of tests using the best set of variables possible (smooth, shaven legs wearing loose-fitting woolen socks) to see if they would get knocked off and were still unsuccessful with the original tests. However, while they ultimately were able to knock the socks off of Buster (as well as his hands and his entire left leg), it required hitting him with a vehicle-mounted battering ram at 65 MPH, roughly 10,000 times the kinetic force of a human boxer.

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