From Dress to Dressing

When miles away from a first aid kit, your jammies will do

Somebody is injured and there is no hospital, drugstore, or first aid kit in sight. This leaves only one option, someone is going to have to rip up the clothes they are wearing to make a bandage to put on that wound.

This is an action that, though seemingly a simple act of kindness, can say many things about the characters involved. It can show that if they don't hesitate at all the character ripping their clothes is either a battle or survival pragmatist, or if they do hesitate that they are perhaps a tiny bit vain or at least image conscious or if said clothes were expensive and / or new they are more mindful of the money they are wasting rather than the needs of others.

It also can be can be used to send romantic signals about the characters involved, it is not uncommon to have the person ripping the clothes being a girl and the injured party be a guy she likes. The fact that it is commonly a woman doing this can be seen as a form of mild titillation if it is played for fanservice.

See also After Action Patch Up and Action Dress Rip.


Anime and Manga
  • Sailor Moon: Naru does this with her pajamas to make a bandage for Nephrite when they are hiding from Zoisite in a park after his attack. She hangs onto said bandage as a token to remember him by after he dies and eventually uses it on a wound Umino gets whilst trying to defend her to show she's moved on emotionally from Nephrite's death.
  • In Axis Powers Hetalia, Prussia does this for Hungary.
  • One story in the No Need For Tenchi! manga series has Sasami tear up an hankerchef to help make a splint for an injured wolf.
  • In the second part of the Fushigi Yuugi manga, Miaka uses her shirt as a tourniquet/bandage on Tasuki.
  • In one of the Anpanman theatrical shorts, Umeko-chan rips off part of the bottom of her kimono to wrap up Komusubiman's damaged foot (which he hurt by skidding down a mountainside, which snapped his sandal in two and rubbed a hole in his sock, which rubbed his heel raw). What makes it kinder was the fact that he hurt himself saving Umeko-chan.
  • In Attack on Titan, Christa rips apart her skirt to make a bandage and sling for an injured comrade. She apologizes for not having anything better to use, prompting him to blush and insist it's fine.
  • Casca does this for Guts with a strip of her shirt sleeve in Berserk. For extra symbolism, she ties it around his upper arm, where a knight would traditionally display his lady's favor.
  • In A Certain Magical Index, Awaki tears her jacket apart to bandage her wounds from her fight with Kuroko.

Fan Fiction
  • Maddie rips the sleeves of her dress in Home with the Fairies, chapter 5 "Up and Out", to make pads to soak the blood from her own period. In this Deconstruction Fic, ripping her dress was not trivial. "I had to use my teeth and rocks, and got some rug burns on my hands from all the pulling."
  • Emergency! :
    • In ''One Dark and Stormy Night",Johnny and Dixie are kidnapped after a Halloween event and Johnny is badly beaten. Dixie tears strips from her costume dress to bandage him.
    • Captain Stanley uses his flannel shirt to make bandages for Mike Stoker in ''I Will Carry You" and ends up hypothermic from it.
  • In the AdamTwelve fic "Thunder Rolls Again",Sgt. MacDonald uses his uniform shirt to tie off Pete's bleeding leg after Pete is shot.

  • Janet ripped her slip to make a bandage for Rocky in The Rocky Horror Picture Show just before the "Toucha Toucha Toucha Touch Me" number.
    • He's got more hurt than you've got skirt!
  • Parodied in Hot Shots! Part Deux, the main girl rips off a part of her (already scant) clothing to bandage a wounded team member, then another one, then the resident perv realizes she'll just keep going until she is completely naked, so he claims he is wounded, too.
  • In the early Michael J. Fox movie Doc Hollywood, he momentarily agonizes over having to rip up some Armani shirts in order to treat a woman who's gone into sudden labor.
  • Happens in Short Circuit 2 when Johnny is mortally wounded by Oscar and his mooks and rapidly leaking battery acid. Fred tears off part of the very expensive shirt he's taken pride in throughout the movie to bandage Johnny and try and slow his "bleeding".
  • A Mormon missionary in States of Grace rips up his iconic white shirt to help a gang member who was shot in front of him.

  • In Dragon Bones, Oreg's shirt is at one point used to bandage Ward's wounds.
  • In the second Dragonriders of Pern novel, F'lar and Lessa are wearing new outfits to a wedding. F'lar ends up in a duel with T'ron, during which he gets his suit cut up, and Lessa has to rip up her dress to make bandages.
  • In the 1924 novel Jungle-Born by John Eyton a village girl who's run away from her abusive father finds the Wild Child protagonist unconscious and badly injured from a tiger attack. To save him she strips off her one and only garment and tears it into strips to wash and bandage his wounds. The fact that this means they're now both naked probably isn't insignificant.
  • Rachel does this in an Animorphs book, tearing a strip off her own leotard to bandage Tobias's wounds. Justified in that they've been thrown back in time 65 million years; she literally has nothing else to use that she knows isn't poisonous.
    • In the first book Cassie suggests using Jake's shirt as a bandage for Elfangor, but the latter says that he's too injured and it wouldn't help.
  • In Hogfather, Susan does this to patch up the Hogfather's wounds after she saves him from being killed Deader Than Dead by the Auditors.
  • Olivia Koudelka rips up her party dress to bandage Dono Vorrutyer after some thugs nearly castrate him in A Civil Campaign. This is the moment Ivan, hovering nearby, realizes that he doesn't have a chance with Olivia.
  • In John Green's novel An Abundance of Katherines, Colin, the protagonist, receives a head wound, and Lindsey, a girl he met an hour ago, orders Colin's friend Hassan to take off his (Hassan's) shirt. When Hassan refuses (so that Lindsey won't see his man boobs), Lindsey whips off her own shirt to staunch Colin's bleeding.
  • After James Bond's hands are cut from barbed wire in No Deals, Mr. Bond, one of the agents he is rescuing rips pieces from her skirt to apply bandage to them.
  • In the Temeraire series, neckcloths are used for field dressing more often than not.
  • Happens so often in the Chronicles Of Ancient Darkness series that you can start to wonder how long Torak's clothes were originally, if he's not naked by the end of the book.

Live Action Television
  • There was an episode of The Flying Nun where Sister Bertrille tore her habit to make a bandage.
  • An episode of Gunsmoke had Kitty shred up her petticoat to make bandages for an ailing Matt.
  • Survivorman Les Stroud has done this after injuring himself in the wild.
  • In Upstairs Downstairs (2010) Lady Agnes Holland uses an expensive looking blouse to stem the bloodflow of Beryl, after Lady Persephone shoots her and then kills herself, she even tells the staff to ignore Lady "Persie" who is already dead.
  • Star Trek, particularly Deep Space Nine, did this several times: the characters would find themselves without their advanced medical technology, so they (usually Bashir) would rip up their uniforms to make bandages.
  • Angel. After bandaging Wesley when he gets an Impaled Palm from a Booby Trapped door, Cordelia points out that she doesn't have enough shirt for the rest of them.
  • The Swamp Fox had an ep where Mary Videaux boarded a British prison ship by pretending to be a Tory. She befins nursing the American soldiers, hoping to find a way to sneak them off to supplement Marion's dwindling brigade. She ends up turning the party dress she'd been wearing the night before into bandages for the guys' wounds.

Video Games

Web Comics

Web Original
  • STO Forum: Versus thread (rp): After Kang is stabbed in the shoulder by a Hirogen, Kanril Eleya tears a strip off Kang's Honor Guard cape to make a sling.

Western Animation
  • Not clothing, but thematically similar, in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Rarity cuts off her tail to fix the mustache of a prissy sea-serpent who is suffering a Minor Injury Overreaction. It's done specifically to highlight how her generous nature outweighs her fashionista personality to set her up as the wielder of the Element of Generosity.
  • Used for humorous Fanservice in the Archer episode Space Race Part 2. While being held hostage on a space station, Lana Kane opens her jumpsuit and removes her tank top to distract the guard so she and the rest of the ISIS hostages can overpower him. In an offscreen fight Lanas jumpsuit is destroyed and Archer is shot in the arm. Left wearing only panties, Lana reaches for her tank top just as Archer is wrapping it on his arm as a bandage. This leaves Lana with nothing but space agency decals to cover her nipples with.
  • The Gargoyles episode The Journey had Elisa rip a strip from her dress to tend to Goliath's injured wing after he was shot by the Quarrymen.
  • Wendy of Gravity Falls does this after being attacked by the shapeshifter.

Real Life
  • In the case of Real Life occurrences, in the past it happened on the battlefield before medical personnel were deployed, and it can still happen now. Also in the areas after any disaster where you cannot locate a First Aid kit, where clothes will be used as makeshift bandages. Using things like belts and ties as makeshift slings is a common bit of advice in first-aid manuals as well.
  • Readers Digest wrote about one of those incredible true stories of the one-hundred-pound girl dragging her six-foot injured boyfriend down a mountain. She stripped off her jacket to wrap a gash on her leg, her bikini top for his head wound, and said that, "If the bottom half [of the bikini] had to come off too, it would have." Props, lady.