"When kissed for the first time, a girl should close her eyes. The second time, she should give an ecstatic back kick, clutching her sweetheart by his coat lapels."Traditionally, when a woman and a man kiss, the woman tends to lift her leg to show just how hot and heavy it's getting or to demonstrate how much she trusts the man to hold her up. A somewhat Discredited Trope nowadays, and mostly crops up in parody (though the alert viewer will still sometimes see it played straight, mainly in romantic comedies), as often a man will do this to emphasize his effeminate side, or both people will do it at once. The Trope Namer is the film version of The Princess Diaries. Though the trope originated earlier, one of The Hays Code's dumber demands required that women, in love scenes, at all times have "at least one foot on the floor" (in other words, no love scenes in bed). It may even be an example of Getting Crap Past the Radar if it's combined with Something Else Also Rises. However, this euphemistic meaning has become mostly forgotten over time, to the point where it can be used without a single raised eyebrow in children's programming, or conversely, seen in pornographic movies, where the need for euphemism is lessened, to say the least. According to some commentary on the topic (including several actresses from The Golden Age of Hollywood), this trope was/is also intended as a way for starlets to draw attention to their shapely legs. This is borne out by numerous posed "cheesecake" photographs from the 1930's through the 1960's where the model is striking a Foot Popping-style pose without actually kissing anyone (generally she's the only one in the picture). Many old hosiery advertisements (stockings and pantyhose) also used the trope in this way, to showcase their wares by calling attention to the legs wearing them. Often used as a Modeling Pose. See also Stock Kisses.
— "An Outline of Motion Picture Etiquette", October 1923 issue of Screenland
open/close all folders
- Older than Television: A magazine stocking advertisement from the 1920s features this trope, suggesting that it developed as soon as skirts became short enough to show off female legs.
- This trope used to show up frequently in pantyhose and stocking commercials (and some shoe commercials as well) in the 1960s and '70s.
- In the '80s, commercials for Big Red chewing gum would occasionally show this trope, sometimes spoofed, sometimes played straight. Example here.
Anime & Manga
- As shown in the picture, Black Canary and Batman once indulged in this.
- Apollo of The Authority (a man married to Midnighter, another man, mind you) did the leg lift thing while they kissed once◊. This notably inverts the One Head Taller rule as far as the two of them are concerned.
- Lois and Clark's kiss in issue 3 of All-Star Superman provides a sterling example of how this trope can still be played straight.
- In X-Man comic from The '90s, Nate Grey meets a mutant who uses her life-consuming powers to commit mass euthanasia. After they "hit it off", he takes her on a flying ride and kisses her. She lifts her foot. While flying.
- Gender-inverted (and mostly off-frame) in Excalibur, in a sequence◊ (3rd panel in middle row) where newly arrived alien hottie Cerise decides to try out kissing with Nightcrawler.
- Teen Titans: Wonder Girl does it the first time she and Superboy kiss. They're both in the air at the time.
- In the Captain N: The Game Master comic A King In Shreds And Patches, Samus Aran of all people does this (while in full armor, even!) when a thirty-year-old Kevin from a Bad Future kisses her.
- The last kiss in Kyon Big Damn Hero, chapter 29.
Films — Animation
- Barbie in Toy Story 3 does this. Considering that she's a Barbie Doll, it's a weird moment in the film. Ken does the same in the follow-up short Hawaiian Vacation.
- Shows up in the Disney version of Hercules, where Megara, naturally, is not a victim of Pater Familicide but a Femme Fatale.
- Parodied in Chicken Little, right before the title character leaves to go stop aliens from destroying the town; he grabs his friend Abby, the Ugly Duckling, delivers a rapid-fire confession of his love for her, and kisses her. Her foot pop is immediate and rather funny.
- At the end of Ralph Bakshi's Fire and Ice, when Larn and Teegra embrace, she pops a foot.
- Done by Leah at the end of Osmosis Jones when she kisses Ozzy. According to commentary, the animation was added in for laughs.
- In Looney Tunes: Rabbits Run, the trope is both Played Straight (by Lola Bunny, when she and Bugs Bunny do their First Kiss) and Played for Laughs (when Bugs, posing as a female flight attendant, shows off his high heels).
Films — Live-Action
- National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1 had a scene where both the man and the woman stick one foot in the air as they kiss. Then each puts the other foot in the air at the same time. They just sort of hover there.
- In the first The Princess Diaries movie (protagonist Mia's life dream is to meet a guy, fall in love at first sight, and kiss him like this. She expressly specifies the foot pop. Subverted three times and then played straight.
- First try: Daydream sequence, when Mia is kissing the boy and she can't pop her foot because it's cemented to the sidewalk by used gum.
- Second try: Mia and boy are hiding in a shed. Kiss is attempted, foot gets caught in fishing net and she falls over.
- Third try: Guy forces Mia into a kiss with paparazzi surrounding them. She starts to do this, then takes off her sandal and beats the guy over the head with it.
- Fourth try: Mia is (finally) kissing the boy she likes outside, her foot pops properly. Her foot pops such that it turns on the fountains in the garden as well as all the lights, demonstrating that when one kisses the right person, foot pops go perfectly.
- Mia indulges in Foot Popping again in the second The Princess Diaries movie on two occasions:
- First attempt: Mia gets smooched at a garden party and she does the foot pop.
- Second attempt: Played straight. Mia encounters her true love (the same guy who kissed her earlier) and kisses him in front of the throne; she lifts her foot as the camera pulls back out of the room. Heck, she picks up both feet on the second one.
- Spoofed in The Naked Gun when Frank Drebin and his Love Interest do this at the same time.
- In the 1932 Jean Harlow film, Red-Headed Woman, the protagonist and her boyfriend go behind the cupboard in a bar, so we only see their feet. She lifts one of their legs, showing that they're kissing — quite scandalous in a public place back then.
- Spoofed in the Bob Hope/Jane Russell film Son of Paleface, in the scene where Jane kisses Bob. One of Jane's shapely legs goes up as per trope specifications, then both of Bob's legs fly up in the air and the spurs on his bootheels (he's in full-dress cowboy gear) begin to spin madly.
- This was subverted in Date Movie. Julia pops her foot while kissing Grant, and Grant pops his foot also — the wrong way.
- Seen and played straight in Ferris Buellers Day Off, when Ferris (Matthew Broderick) greets his girlfriend (Mia Sara).
- Also played straight in Working Girl at a key romantic moment between Melanie Griffith and Harrison Ford's characters.
- Faye Dunaway's character does this briefly in Network as part of a montage of stereotypically romantic scenes — it's kind of played straight, but also satirical as she spends all of these scenes talking nonstop about work.
- Played straight in the classic musical Three Little Words, where Red Skelton's character finds his fiancee kissing another man backstage.
- In the Dean Martin/Tony Curtis/Janet Leigh movie Who Was That Lady, the movie opens with a scene showing Leigh arriving at her husband's (Curtis) office and catching him in the act of kissing a foot-popping girl.
- Played straight by Brigitte Bardot in her 1950s' movie Une Parisienne.
- Also in Contempt, but she lifts it the other way.
- Martine Carol strikes a Foot Popping pose in her movie Nana during an onstage scene, though she doesn't actually kiss her male opposite number.
- Done in So I Married an Axe Murderer by Mike Myers' character, kissing his bride at the altar, dressed in a kilt.
- Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster has one between Shaggy and Velma played entirely straight.
- Some Like It Hot: when "Sugar" Kane kisses Joe as he's lounging on a couch, one leg stands up straight in the air behind her back.
- In & Out contains a male-on-male example, when openly-gay Peter cuts off inadvertently-outed Howard's "you've got the wrong man" protests with his lips, giving the audience its first solid indicator that, no, in fact, he doesn't.
- The Professional. When Léon rescues Mathilda from corrupt cops at the DEA office, she throws herself into his arms; naturally as she's only a little girl the subsequent Foot Popping closeup shows her feet hanging a foot above the floor.
- The last kiss in OSS 117: Lost in Rio.
- Something similar to this happens in the 1996 film Michael, during Archangel Michael's (John Travolta) dance with hippie waitress Anita (Joey Lauren Adams). After catching Anita in a hug and lifting her up before playfully spinning her around, Anita's shows her enjoyment by her big grin and also by both of her legs doing some foot popping (although this differs from normal as neither of her feet are touching the ground).
- In the photo-novelization of the 1980 Village People movie Can't Stop the Music, there is a picture of Valerie Perrine Foot Popping while she kisses Bruce Jenner. In the actual movie, Perrine and Jenner are shown only from the waist up.
- In a Magic The Gathering novel of the long-running "Weatherlight Saga", the Weatherlight crew is fighting a group of Mooks. One of them tries to get a jump on Hanna from behind. She turns her head, kisses him and does a foot pop. The mook goes down clutching himself. This may also qualify as both a Crowning Moment of Funny and Crowning Moment of Awesome.
- Scrubs did a gag in which J.D. and Kim both lift their legs while kissing.
- In Heroes, Isaac's prophetic painting of Peter and Simone kissing under an umbrella in the rain has Simone with her leg up.
- Pushing Daisies has an Daydream Surprise from Olive Snook where she is literally swept off her feet.
- Happy Days
- In one episode, the boys watch a kissing scene involving an actress with whom they might have a chance to win a date and discuss how much they'd like to raise that foot up.
- In another episode, Potsie observes Fonzie kissing a Foot Popping girl and comments that Foot Popping is a signal that the girl is "worldly".
- In the episode of Living Single where Overton and Sinclaire finally Spit It Out, they both pop their feet when they finally kiss.
- Sarah does this in the "Something Ida This Way Comes" episode of Brothers and Sisters.
- Mork and Mindy: Mork does this while kissing Mindy in the episode "Mork the Prankster".
- In the movie version of The Man From UNCLE episode "The Double Affair", The Spy with My Face, Senta Berger disrobes, enters a shower and kisses Robert Vaughn. Only their legs are seen, and hers take a sort of Foot Popping pose (actually, more like her bare foot caressing Vaughn's bare legs) accompanied by suggestive dialogue.
- The first lesbian kiss in a Brazilian soap –Amor e Revolução (translation: Love and Revolution)– had this.
- Tracker: After Daggon/Cole rescued Tina - a homeless teenager who ran away from her mum - from a pair of alien fugitives, he later reunites her with her father. Tina is shown briefly doing a foot pop as she and her Dad hug each other.
- In the Doctor Who episode "Time Heist", the Doctor is so pleased with himself for exhausting Clara right before her dinner with Danny Pink ("Robbing a whole bank. Beat that for a date!") that he does this in the last shot.
- Star Trek: Enterprise. T'Pol does this while sharing a Shower Of Love with Trip Tucker.
- On My Name Is Earl, Billie does this in Earl's coma fantasy, where the two of them are protagonists in a Dom Com.
- The cover of the old Carmen Cavallaro record, For Latin Lovers, shows this trope.
- The cover of the 2007 compilation album, The Departure Lounge: Love also shows this trope.
- In the video for Eddie Money's early-1980s song "Shakin'", the Latina beauty driving the blue "lowrider" strikes a Foot Popping pose as she kisses the hood of her car after winning a street race.
- The music video for Josh Turner's "Your Man" plays this trope straight as his lover lifts her foot while kissing in an elevator.
- Taylor Swift does this near the beginning of the "Wildest Dreams" music video.
- In the video game GoldenEye on N64, the ending has James Bond and Natalya kissing, and she does this. It's sort of distracting because the whole credits sequence is just orbiting around them for several minutes.
- The most recent The Sims 2 expansion pack, Apartment Life, includes a new kiss called "Suck Face"; the receiver's foot pops if the interaction succeeds (regardless of the gender of said Sim).
- Used in one ending of LucasArts adventure game Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, in what is probably a throwback to the Hays Code-era adventure serials that inspired it.
- In Bully, once a certain level of suavity is achieved, the protagonist can kiss girls For Health(tm) and there will be foot-popping involved. Of course, then the leg-pop progresses to more intense making out, so it's not so much a "cute" move.
- In the game adaptation of Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, Knives does this whenever she kisses Kim (once again, For Health(tm)).
- The Non-Adventures of Wonderella strip "BURNING Love".
- In Freefall, this pose is avoided since the kiss in question is between a human and an uplifted wolf.
Florence: When a dog lifts its leg, the image that comes to most people's minds isn't associated with romance.
- Karate Bears do a double foot pop!
- Bill Holbrook, creator of Kevin & Kell, seems to be a fan of these, possibly because his anthropomorphic characters don't wear shoes, creating a unique foot focus. Usually it's the title character of Kell who ends up doing it, but there's also a notable one when Coney kisses Nigel just before the two use a time machine to return themselves back to their usual toddler forms.
- Girl Genius has one with the conclusion of a big hero moment.
- Blade Bunny does this with a pin-up bonus.
- In a strip from Housepets!, it's King's foot that lifts when he goes to kiss Bailey, instead of the usual male/female roles.
- Done twice by Zenith in Commander Kitty. First when hugging her newly made abomination of a boyfriend, even spreading out her toes on her raised foot for emphasis. After a Heel-Face Turn, she later does it again while showing off a new outfit she just made.
- GastroPhobia: Phobia does it while kissing Klepto in a panel explaining the "four kinds of love" in Ancient Greece.
- In the final episode of Sonic Sat AM, the titular character kisses Princess Sally, whose foot "pops" off the ground.
- At the end of the episode "How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back", his wife does this as he kisses her. The Obstructive Bureaucrat does this earlier in the episode while kissing Fry.
- In the episode "When Aliens Attack", the title character does it in the fictional show Single Female Lawyer.
- In the episode "Leela and the Genestalk", when Fry reassures Leela he still loves her even if she's become a writhing mass of tentacles, he kisses her and she pops about six tentacles.
- The Simpsons: Homer Simpson has done this a few times while kissing Marge. It was even lampshaded once, when Marge became a cop. He popped said foot right after Marge assured him that he was the man of the house, wearing the pants in the relationship (even if, under those pants, he wore ladies underwear).
- Done by Sam in the last episode of Danny Phantom when he finally kisses her.
- This happens in ReBoot during Bob and Dot's first and only kiss (unless you count Dot kissing the fake Bob several times over the course of the My Two Bobs movie).
- Total Drama
- The Alchemist pops a foot in the fourth season finale of The Venture Bros. when Shore Leave kisses him.
- Actress!Katara in Avatar The Last Airbender, "The Ember Island Players"'.
- In the sequel The Legend of Korra, in a rare male example, Kai does this while hugging Bolin after seeing him again for the first time in years.
- In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!, Black Widow does this as she and Hawkeye share a goodbye kiss.
- In the Adventure Time episode "Death in Bloom", Death uses the Kiss of Death on Jake (on the lips) to give him his memory back, Jake does a quick foot pop.
- Gender inverted in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode "The Disappeared Part 1". After being reunited with his old love Queen Julia of Bardotta, Jar Jar lifted one of his legs (and his ears), when kissed by her.
- Truth in Television: The VJ Day Kiss features a nurse Foot Popping with the sailor kissing her. It's funnier when you realize that the two are strangers, and the latter was kissing everybody.
- Fergie did a Foot Popping kiss with her husband◊ Josh Duhamel in Las Vegas on 12/31/2009 that got written up in a number of celebrity blogs.
- This giant statue at St Pancras International Train Station, London called The Meeting Place◊.