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, or a pair of glasses. 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 off in a cartoony fight.
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.
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.
- 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.
- One Big Happy has the occasional fight where someone's shoe flies off.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Distressed Damsel 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
) 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.