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[[quoteright:350:[[ArchieComics http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Betty_Barrel_9154.jpg]]]]

To show that a character is in such dire financial straits that he's literally "lost his shirt" (though there are times where a character has to wear a barrel because he or she lost her clothes, not because he or she is poor) the otherwise naked character will resort to [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/barrel.jpg wearing a large barrel]] held up with suspenders. Primarily seen in cartoons. This image probably came from a punishment for public drunkenness in Germany and England, where drunks had to wear a booze barrel. It's unclear how barrel wearing became associated with bankruptcy,[[note]]Though possibly because drunks tend to blow all their money on booze fairly quickly[[/note]] but the trope stuck.

A SubTrope of StockCostumeTraits.

Compare ImprovisedClothes. May overlap with BarefootPoverty. Contrast ConspicuousConsumption.

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* Brainy Smurf wears one in ''[[ComicBook/TheSmurfs The Gambler Smurfs]]'' after losing everything at gambling (even his glasses).
* In CarlBarks' "Statuesque Spendthrifts", [[ComicBook/TheLifeAndTimesOfScroogeMcDuck Uncle Scrooge]] competes with maharaja of Howdoyoustan about who can raise the biggest statue of [[OurFounder Cornelius Coot]], which to the latter ends with this trope.
* In the album "De fez van Fes" of the Belgium comic book series ''DeKiekeboes'', we twice see a man in a barrel; one is walking out of a tax office and the other out of a casino.
* In the ''ComicBook/LuckyLuke'' book ''The Daltons Escape'', Luke runs into a man in such attire. The man explains that he was transporting a tequila barrel on donkeyback and the Dalton robbed him of everything, including the tequila (which they drank) and the donkey (which they ate).
* JoseCarioca (or ZeCarioca) once became invisible in order to manipulate a soccer game so he'd win the lottery. (There's one lottery in Brazil where people bet in the results of a series of soccer games) Because his clothes didn't become invisible, he took them off and went to the field. The invisibility potion wore off while he was at the field. Wearing nothing but a barrel, Zé was seeking revenge against the witch who sold him the potion and the [[GuardianAngel guardian devil]] who goaded him into seeking her help.
* The page image for GoneSwimmingClothesStolen shows [[{{Shazam}} Captain Marvel]] in one, which really raises more questions than it answers.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* Although no one wears it, there is the barrel in the neighbourhood of ''Series/ElChavoDelOcho'' where the titular Chavo seems to reside. Quico did once, because Don Ramón was wearing Quico's clothes.
* Quentin on ''Series/WelcherAndWelcher'' expressed disapproval at the fact that this wasn't seen anymore, describing it as a very funny image.
* Mentioned in an episode of ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}''. Elaine finds out the man she's dating is poor, and Jerry asks, "Does he wear the barrel with the straps?"
* ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' (which can be like a living cartoon at times) had this on a Weekend Update segment where Lehman Bros. CEO Richard Fuld (played by Jason Sudeikis) comes out wearing a barrel because his company was the first to go under because of the 2008 economic crisis. Lampshaded when Fuld explains that he can't sit down because he's wearing a barrel.
* Ross and Moose end up wearing these during the ''Series/YouCantDoThatOnTelevision'' episode about theft, when their clothes (and most of the set) have been stolen. Moose's has still has water, and a rubber duck, in it.
* A part of Brazilian game show named ''Topa Tudo por Dinheiro'' ("Agree to Everything for Money") consisted of an employee making an unusual proposition to a random person and the contestant had to guess if the random person would accept for less than a certain amount of money; for that amount or more; or not accept at all. At least one occasion had the random person was offered to exchange his/her pants for a barrel and some cash.
* ''Series/HorribleHistories'''s [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=kGHYNAJRAkg&NR=1 version of Diogenes]], much like the Real Life one, lives naked and penniless in a barrel.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Newspaper Comics]]
* Appeared in one short ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'' arc. "Our new dress code is barrels." The impracticalities of wearing a giant stiff tube of wood are explored for comedy such as them sliding up when sitting down.
* Long ago, {{Popeye}} managed to beat the Sea Hag at gambling so badly she ended up wearing one of these.
* HagarTheHorrible's looting sometimes results in the castle owners wearing barrels.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Radio]]
* On ''TheRickyGervaisShow'', Ricky and Steve pictured Karl going to school in one of these as a child.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop RPG]]
* There was a fairly popular early 1990s ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' supplement called ''The Book of Marvelous Magic'', which contained a cursed item called a Barrel of Poverty. The first person to look inside of it would have all of his personal items, including all clothing, weapons, armor and even spell components, magically transported back to his home, wherever that was. The Barrel would then become non-magical, but would grow straps to allow the now naked adventurer to wear it to avoid embarrassment and because it was slightly better than no armor at all.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* OlderThanSteam: The UrExample may be the RestorationComedy ''Love in a Tub''.
* Amneris from Broadway's ''{{Aida}}'' "would rather wear a barrel than conservative apparel".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In {{Sierra}}'s ''VideoGame/JonesInTheFastLane'', failing to buy new clothes for one of your character every once in a while will eventually cause the character to resort to wearing a barrel. Others walk around using censor bars.
** Also in a Sierra game, the first ''VideoGame/LeisureSuitLarry'' featured a broke guy with just a barrel and an apple he'll sell for 10 bucks. You'll need to buy it. (The guy in question is implied to be Apple's Steve Wozniak).
* There is a gambler in ''VideoGame/JakAndDaxterThePrecursorLegacy'' who lost all his winnings. For some orbs to get him back on his feet he'll hand over your PlotCoupons. Mild degrees of discomfort can result when he hands you the coupon he's keeping ''inside'' the barrel.
* ''SpongeBobSquarePants: Legend of the Lost Spatula'' for the GameBoyColor includes a mission where [=SpongeBob=] [the player] has to help Patrick find his lost shorts. Patrick is seen wearing a pink barrel and looking very sad.
* One of the sponsors for the Wrong Answer of the Game in the 2011 release of ''VideoGame/YouDontKnowJack'' is "Fashion Barrel", a chain of stores that sells wearable barrels.
* The main character in the freeware game ''NonsenseMadness'' wears a barrel, for no other reason than to [[RuleOfFunny amplify the nonsense]].
* This is one of your first equipment sets in ''VideoGame/HalfMinuteHero'', reflecting how your character is being fleeced for all his money by his hyper-capitalistic Goddess. Other characters remark it makes him look poor.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original]]
* TheComicsCurmudgeon references the trope and its usage in [[http://joshreads.com/?p=1796 this installment]] of ''SixChix''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* In ''KevinAndKell'', when Kell's mother [[FanDisservice Elanor]] loses her life savings day-trading, she suddenly goes from wearing a coat composed of live minks to wearing a [[http://www.kevinandkell.com/1999/kk1111.html barrel]].
* In ''ThePrincessPlanet'', Princess Christi and her snowman friend [[http://www.theprincessplanet.com/?p=33 briefly wear barrels]] after losing at StripPoker, but Christi later has to cover her nudity with leaves.
* After making one too many cross-dresser jokes in the ''CrossTimeCafe'', Tarin the fox wears [[http://www.whiteponyproductions.com/comicstrips/ctc/ctc0359.htm a rain-barrel after he gets skinned alive and his fur made into a David Crockett-style hat]]!
* [[http://nobodyscores.loosenutstudio.com/index.php?id=265 This]] ''NobodyScores'' zig-zags the trope. Jane Doe arrives wearing a barrel, probably in poverty, but really happy and with a protege - also in a barrel and holding a hypodermic needle.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Referenced in the opening theme to ''{{Freakazoid}}''; the lyrics "So stay tuned to this station / If not, we'll be unemployed" is accompanied by several characters from the show wearing barrels.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' episode "Raging Bender", one of the robots Bender fights as part of his stint as an Ultimate Robot Fighter is a rich-looking robot. Bender seals his victory by forcing a barrel onto him labeled "very poor".
* In ''HarveyBirdmanAttorneyAtLaw'', Harvey is called out of court by Gigi to buy her things. After a shopping montage, he returns to the court wearing a barrel.
* In the first part of the ''WesternAnimation/ChipNDaleRescueRangers'' pilot, main villain Aldrin Klordane's lackey Percy is seen wearing a cardboard box in this fashion, not because he's flat broke, but because the police dog Plato tore off the bottom of his pants.
* Subverted in an old [[ClassicDisneyShorts Goofy cartoon]], "Get Rich Quick": After playing dice, Goofy is seen wearing a barrel, holding it up with both hands. He then hails a taxicab and, in a brilliant subversion, empties the barrel -- full to the brim with his winnings -- into it.
* In the TDA special of ''WesternAnimation/TotalDramaIsland'', DJ and his mother are both seen wearing these [[spoiler: after countless lawsuits leave them broke and homeless.]]
* Happens to Reggie van Dough in an episode of Creator/HannaBarbera's ''ComicBook/RichieRich'' when Richie thought that his father had lost his fortune, as part of his friends helping to earn his money back, Reggie starts selling Richie's goods at absurdly low prices; when he is discovered, the mob strips off Reggie's clothing, forcing him to run off wearing only a barrel.
* A ''WesternAnimation/GarfieldAndFriends'' episode depicting Garfield's take on the Literature/ArabianNights had Jon playing the part of a young artisan with Garfield as "[[ParodyNames Alley Katta]]" in a town overrun by thieves. At the start, Jon went out to get a job with the Sultan declaring that "[[TemptingFate I have nothing left to lose]]" and, of course, ran back in the room a second later wearing a barrel. Garfield commented that "we'd better jump the story ahead before someone steals the barrel." (Jon [[SnapBack got his clothes back in the next shot]].)
* ''SchoolhouseRock'' had this happen to the colonists when they were unfairly taxed in the episode "No More Kings".
* A non-finance-based variation comes at the end of the WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry short ''Love That Pup'', when Tom is shown donning one of these after Spike the bulldog follows through on a threat to skin him alive.
* The ''[[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes Merrie Melodies]]'' cartoon "Hollywood Steps Out" features this trope near the end when Harpo Marx uses a slingshot to pop Sally Rand's balloon. She wasn't poor; it was for decency reasons (she was performing a nude bubble dance and the Hays Office would have banned the short outright if she was shown naked after the bubble popped. Plus, [[RuleOfFunny it's just funnier this way]]).
* Used in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CU0g7WahHF8 this]] old ''Series/SesameStreet'' cartoon short.
* After {{Doug}} finds an envelope of money and has it legally declared his, he learns it belonged to an old lady and is conflicted over what to do. In his ImagineSpot not only is the lady in a barrel, but her dog as well.
* Drakken wears one in ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' episode "Showdown at the Crooked D".
* In the ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' short "My Bunny Lies Over The Sea", BugsBunny meets a Scotsman [[ManInAKilt wearing a kilt]] and quickly outfits him with a barrel to cover his "indecency".
** In another one, Daffy was hunting a bear when an explosion made him lose his feathers. Fortunately he had them numbered for emergencies. Unfortunately, he only recovered the ones from the upper part of his body. The bear made a headdress from the others. Daffy put on a barrel and went after the bear when the game warden stopped him because hunting season was now closed. Daffy then announced they hadn't seen the end of him and started to leave, when a part of the barrel fell down, revealing [[ExactWords "his end"]]. Daffy doesn't seem to have noticed it.
* ''AdventuresOfSonicTheHedgehog'' had several anthropomorphic sheep losing everything (including their freedom) to Robotnik in rigged gambling. Once they lost their wool, they were given barrels. Robotnik's casino even had nickel alleys that automatically removed the wool and gave the barrells.
* ''PinkPanther'' once shaved all his fur to rid himself of a flea. He then put on a barrel.
* In one ''{{Popeye}}'' short where he and Olive were about to get married, Bluto sabotaged Popeye's preparations, leaving our hero with no choice but showing up wearing a barrel, causing Olive to reject him and agree to marry Bluto. Popeye got his revenge by [[spoiler:disguising himself as Justice of Peace and reminding Bluto of the duties married men usually have to follow, causing Bluto to run away from the marriage]].
* ''WoodyWoodpecker'': Buzz Buzzard was once running a supermarket where a customer entered with a barrelful of money and left wearing the barrel and carrying a small piece of meat.
* In the 1920s FelixTheCat cartoon "Felix In the Swim", Felix and his friend, a young boy, go swimming together. Their clothes get eaten by a goat, so they have to go home in barrels. (This creates some FridgeLogic, since when they originally went in they were wearing swim trunks. And, wait a minute, Felix wasn't wearing any clothes in the first place...)
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs'': A debt collector once took all the furniture from Gargamel's house and left him nothing but a barrel to wear. When Gargamel protested about being left like that, he said he'd come back later to take the barrel.
* Both played straight and lampshaded in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheClevelandShow'':
--> '''Cleveland:''' C'mon, dad, [[TemptingFate he's probably not gonna scam us again]]!
--> ''(GilliganCut to Cleveland, [=LeVar=] and Rallo all walking home, wearing nothing but bankruptcy barrels.'')
--> '''Cleveland:''' I can't believe he scammed us again!
--> '''[=LeVar=]:''' ''(sighs)'' I don't even wanna think about how I'm gonna pay for this barrel rental.
* In the Viking episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Histeria}}'', a bit featuring vikings raiding with the element of [[SurpriseParty supprise]]. Afterward the raid targets comments "They took everything but the shirt of my back", prompting a second pass leaving said target in a bankruptcy barrel.
* Clarabelle Cow wears one in the WesternAnimation/MickeyMouse short "Ye Olden Days", after Mickey and Minnie use all her clothes to make a BedsheetLadder.
* ''WesternAnimation/PrivateSnafu'': In "Payday", Snafu winds up wearing nothing but a cardboard box after he loses all of his money playing craps.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Truth In Television ]]
* The philosopher [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diogenes_of_Sinope Diogenes]] embraced a life of virtuous poverty and lived in an urn. Probably as close as this trope has ever come to happening, even if Diogenes' urn was too large and heavy to be worn.
* Though not really broke, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrel_Man_%28Denver_Broncos%29 Barrel Man]] (real name Tim [=McKernan=]) used to wear nothing but an orange-painted barrel to every [[UsefulNotes/AmericanFootball Denver Broncos]] home game for 30 years until his death in December 2009.
* As mentioned in the lead section, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drunkard%27s_cloak wearing a barrel]] was a common punishment for public drunkenness in medieval and early modern Germany and England. Since the rich tended to get sloshed in private, the poor were generally the ones arrested for public drunkenness.
[[/folder]]

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