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Losing a Shoe in the Struggle
Just be glad you didn't lose your life also!

Sometimes, as a result of the danger they are in, a character can take Clothing Damage. But Clothing Damage is often associated with Fanservice (even if that's not always the case) and often isn't family-friendly, so what can be done to show a visual reminder of the danger a character is in without resorting to showing Clothing Damage or blood? How about, losing a shoe in the struggle?

It doesn't have to be a shoe. It could be a hat, a pair of glasses or any kind of small article of clothing. Even getting hair mussed up for a character whose hair is normally well-kept is a visual reminder of danger. Anything that's G-rated, but noticeable. A missing shoe is certainly noticeable, and even a missing hat on a character who's known for always wearing one gets the point across visually.

Sometimes losing a shoe is done in comedic situations, such as having one fly out of a Big Ball of Violence.

Compare Hat Damage, which is when an unimportant article of clothing takes damage but remains with the person. Also compare Giving Them the Strip, which is when a piece of clothing (usually something like a jacket) gets removed in order to escape. In some cases, may lead to The Girl Who Fits This Slipper, when a character uses the missing clothing article to try to identify whoever lost it.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Garzey's Wing, the ferario (fairy) is grabbed by two soldiers who attempt to rip her legs off and kill her, but they only succeed in ripping her boots off, as she escapes by Giving Them the Strip.
  • In Monster Rancher, Genki arrives in the monster world barefoot (as he was playing the game in his room at the time) and apparently his shoes weren't sucked into the world with him save for only his roller blades. Course he finds they're not very useful when having to climb hills. Luckily though a kindly couple give him some boots in the next episode.

    Comic Books 
  • Actually plays a plot-critical role in one flashback story in Tom Strong. Tom is investigating a slum where his current love-interest, Intrepid Reporter and perennial Damsel in Distress Greta Gabriel has gone missing. He finds her discarded high heels, evidently lost in some off-panel confrontation. This pays off as, being a Gadgeteer Genius, Tom has an ultraviolet flashlight which is able to track the heat signatures left by Greta's bare feet as the Mooks dragged her off. Pummeling ensues.
  • In Peculia the title character originally wore shoes. But was forced to leave them behind in order to escape from a house when a monster was after her. All issues after have her barefoot, either not having the money to afford getting another pair or just likes going without them.

    Comic Strips 
  • One Big Happy has the occasional fight where someone's shoe flies off.
  • Peanuts
    • Sometimes happens comedically to Charlie Brown when he's hit by a baseball or misses trying to kick the football.
    • It also happened to Royanne, the girl who claimed to be Roy Hobbs' great-granddaughter, when her baseball team played against Charlie Brown's team. When Charlie Brown slid toward home plate, he knocked her shoes off. In the next strip, Snoopy found only one of her shoes.
  • On Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin often loses his shoes when Hobbes pounces him.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Used more seriously in The Little Dragons, where the kidnap victim loses a sandal in the struggle.
  • Tremors
    • Earl and Valentine are attacked by the Graboids while they're crossing the desert on horseback. After they lose the horses, Earl's hat flies off his head and is left behind as he flees on foot.
    • Rhonda is attacked by the Graboids and gets her legs wrapped up in barbed wire. Combined with Giving Them the Strip, as Valentine helps her escape by removing her shoes and trousers (for a little Fanservice), and they run to "safety" inside the general store.
    • The third Tremors movie has Burt getting intentionally swallowed whole by a rare albino Graboid in order to plant a homing device inside it. When his assistant hauls him out via the tether he's attached to, he's naked from the waist down except for his underwear and one of his boots.
  • In An American Tail, Fievel loses his hat while helping release the Mouse of Minsk. Finding it is how the Mousekewitzes learn he's still alive.
  • This happens twice in Pacific Rim.
    • In Mako's flashback to her childhood, she remembers being a little girl alone in the ruins of Tokyo. One of her shoes isn't being worn; young Mako is carrying it instead. Either it's too crushed to be worn or Mako had hurt her foot too badly to wear it.
    • In the present, Hannibal Chau leaves only a shoe behind when he's eaten by a Kaiju. In the mid-credits scene, he cuts his way out of its dead body. His first words when out are "Where is my goddamn shoe?!"
  • Happens in the 1989 Batman film to Damsel in Distress Vicki Vale. While being forced to climb the the bell tower of Gotham Cathedral by her captor the Joker, Vicki falls and loses one of her high heels. The Joker then throws away the offending shoe, seemingly to taunt the pursuing Batman and/or make Vicki move faster. Her other shoe is later seen discarded further up the stairs.
  • In Without A Clue, Sherlock Holmes has a fight with some of Moriarty's Mooks. One of said Mooks loses a shoe when Holmes grabs him by the ankle and refuses to let go. The bad guy gets away and Holmes is left holding the empty shoe. Fortunately, it ends up providing a clue to Moriarty's whereabouts.
  • In Inglorious Basterds, German actress-turned-Allied-spy Bridget von Hammersmark loses her shoe during a sudden shootout in the cafe she met with other spies at. Colonel Hans Landa investigates the scene, and finds her lost shoe, allowing him to discover she was there.
  • In the film Malice, teacher Andy goes to his student's home when she misses an appointment with him. The first hint of troubles is when he finds one of her shoes in the backyard. Sure enough, she's become the latest victim of the serial rapist terrorizing the campus.
  • In Cloud Atlas, Luisa Rey, played by Halle Berry, winds up getting her car pushed off a bridge by her arc's villain. When she escapes from the car after its windshield caves in, she's shown to be barefoot, having lost her heels from the onrush of water.
  • In Ghostbusters II during the trial after the group are arrested for illegally continuing their paranormal investigation. The courtroom is attacked by the ghosts of two murderers sentenced to death row. They wind up targeting the prosecutor who loses a shoe as she being hauled away upside down.
  • In Animal House in a blink or you'll miss it deal. When the fraternity do their rampage at the parade and ram into the stand holding the dean, the mayor and their wives. The women clearly aren't wearing any shoes as the group is sent flying note 
  • Part of the climax in the first Die Hard movie. John manages to shoot Hans with his remaining bullets left. But Holly's watch gets caught on Hans' sleeve as he falls out a window, nearly taking Holly with him. John has to quickly unfasten the watch to save her (unaware a not quite dead Haus tries to shoot him. He's foiled when the watch is freed, sending him falling to his doom).

    Literature 
  • A classic, well-known example that kicks off part of the plot, in Cinderella. Cinderella has to leave the royal ball before the spell wears off and her fancy clothes change back to normal, but accidentally leaves a glass slipper behind while running. This then changes the plot to The Girl Who Fits This Slipper.

    Live-Action TV 
  • On Sisters, as Cat, the daughter of second sister Teddy jogs around a track, she stops to tie her sneaker laces. Suddenly, she's viciously attacked and dragged off into the shadows. Minutes later, her mother arrives. Initially confused to not find her daughter, she quickly becomes alarmed when she finds her discarded sneaker and realizes she must have met with foul play.
  • In 999 (the Transatlantic Equivalent of Rescue 911) a young boy who'd been rescued from neck-deep mud by the fire brigade recalled being afraid his mother would be upset, because one of his new shoes was lost.
  • In the Bones episode "The Beginning in the End", Hodgins leaves behind a shoe in the maw of one of the two Angry Guard Dogs chasing him.

    Theater 
  • In the musical Thoroughly Modern Millie, the main character gets mugged right after coming to New York City, and loses her hat, scarf, and shoe.

     Video Games 
  • In Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles at the end of Ada's chapter. Ada escapes Raccoon City by launching her grappling hook on a passing helicopter. A hunter tries to jump and grab her but only winds up catching one of her heels in its claw.

    Web Comics 
  • In Modern Day Treasure Seekers, Sam loses a sandal when falling down a rockslide as the result of a booby trap, and can't get it back. Its disappearance is permanent. That, along with unkempt hair and dirt on their clothes, serves as a reminder of the danger the kids remain in. Once Sam realizes it is futile to look for it, she takes off the other sandal and throws it away because she has no use for an incomplete pair. With both of them lost, she has to go barefoot on uninviting terrain.
  • In Homestuck, Dad Egbert loses a single shoe and his hat while fighting monsters on the Land of Wind and Shade. He uses a nearby Parcel Pyxis to request spares.

    Western Animation 
  • Played comedically in The Simpsons.
    • When Sideshow Bob threatens to blow up an air show the family is attending, everyone (including them) quickly exits the scene.
      Marge: (panicking) Kids! Everything's gonna be OK! Don't panic! Just don't panic!
      Lisa: Mom. Mom! You're stepping on my heels and knocking my shoes off!
      Marge: We can always get more shoes! Move! Move! Move!
    • When the family is walking across a rickety bridge, Marge slips and her shoe comes off. As Marge dangles, Homer shouts, "Oh no, your shoe!"
  • This is a clue in the Geronimo Stilton episode "Barry the Moustache" when the titular gangster kidnaps reporter Sally Rasmaussen. Since the show takes place in a world of Barefoot Cartoon Animals, it's lucky for Geronimo and company that Sally is The One Who Wears Shoes.
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Hooky", Patrick mentions that there was a kid playing around in the "carnival", which is actually a bunch of fishing hooks. As he says it, he and SpongeBob pass a pair of sneakers left on the ground.
  • In the Bob's Burgers episode "Fort Night", the kids narrowly escape their fort before it gets crushed under a truck, and Andy loses one of his shoes. He throws the other one back to keep it company.
  • An episode of Beavis And Butthead has Todd pummeling Beavis offscreen after one of their antics made him spill a drop of beer on his pants. As Butt-Head laughs at the situation, one of Beavis' shoes bounces into frame.
  • The Grim Adventures Of Billyand Mandy: One episode deals with Chutullu doing phone pranks and turning Endsville into monsters. Billy and Erwin and later Grim and Mandy venture into the netherworld to try and stop him via the telephones. However shoes can't be transmitted through for some reason and always slip off as it's sucking them through, leaving Billy, Erwin and Mandy barefoot.


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